Palmetto Sunrise: State budget on the fast track

The South Carolina Senate passed an initial version of the state’s $7 billion general fund budget Monday after less than three hours of discussion.

COLUMBIA — The Senate seems to have taken some cues from the House’s budget week, and done the exact opposite.

Unlike the House’s budget week which many referred to as a “disaster,” the Senate gave initial approval to the state’s $7 billion general fund during the first day of budget talks on Monday.

To be fair, the House saved the most contentious issues for later in the week, as has the Senate. The Senate plans to address later their $237 million borrowing plan, a separate measure that Gov. Nikki Haley has promised to veto and the House previously rejected, after fracturing the state’s GOP during the vote.

The talks after the budget, between select House and Senate members may be more interesting, however. Reps. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, Jim Merrill, R-Charleston, and Kenny Bingham, R-Cayce, will discuss the fate of South Carolina State’s Trustees during a bill conference committee with Sens. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill, Darrell Jackson, D-Hopkins, Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg at 2 p.m.

In other news:

Lawmakers take issue with Haley’s list of conservatives (The Greenville News)

Haley asks women to get involved in industry, government (The Times and Democrat)

Huckabee camp names South Carolina campaign director (The Post and Courier)

South Carolina owes feds $1.6M for Medicaid mistake (The Post and Courier)

S.C. agency OKs first offshore oil, natural gas testing permit (The Post and Courier)

S.C. court orders group to name recipients of school choice money (The State)