Senate budget proposal would provide $5 million for Charleston’s African American Museum

Former Mayor Joe Riley has advocated for the construction of the International African American Museum. (File photo/Leroy Burnell/Staff)

COLUMBIA — The Senate’s budget-writing panel has introduced a proposal that would set aside $5 million of the state’s $7.5 billion budget that would go toward Charleston’s proposed International African American Museum.

The proposal was discussed during the Senate Finance Committee meeting this morning. The panel is expected to OK the proposal when it approves the state’s spending plan later today.

Sen. Darrell Jackson, D-Hopkins, touted the effort, after the House of Representatives approved the state budget in March with no money set aside for the museum. The extra cash could help museum construction start as early as 2017, Jackson said.

The $75 million museum will go on land at the intersection of Concord and Calhoun streets across from the S.C. Aquarium and Fort Sumter tour boat site. It is also near where the former Gadsden’s Wharf accepted slave ships from Africa.

Another pending proposal would give a 4 percent pay raise for state employees.

Former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley has long advocated for the museum.

Check back for updates to this developing story.