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SC budget now in the Senate, what agencies need funding?

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina House recently passed its version of the State budget. So far we know at least $160 million has been designated for teacher salaries.

The state senate now has that budget and their version may make it to the Governor's desk.
      
Even though education has been a top priority and a focal point of discussion, other state departments are also in dire need of funding.

The Department of mental health is asking for $99 million for agency priorities like veterans nursing homes and mental health counselors in the schools. Also in the House budget, the agency could see $3 million more than it did in 2018.

The Department of Corrections, which has faced many issues due to a shortage of staff, is also hoping to see additional money.

Director bryan stirling, DOC - "We're hoping to get money for our mental health staff and medical staff hoping to get raises there and money for security would be for fencing and locking mechanisms to make sure our facilities our secure.

The department hasn't received money to hire more officers, but has gotten money to increase salaries.

The South Carolina State Employee Association has also been pushing for raises for state employees, and in the House budget, state employees could see a 2% increase in salary.

Representative Murrell Smith, (R) - Chair, House Ways and Means Committee
- "So, that's about $41 million and you add what it costs to maintain the state health plan and benefits that's about $91 million."

The Senate will now be in charge of making some changes before the state's $9 billion dollar budget is approved. The fiscal year would start July 1st.


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