Special spending projects kept in South Carolina’s $10B budget

South Carolina News

South Carolina Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, takes notes during a debate asking senators to remove spending projects from the state budget on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. Senators are debating the state’s roughly $10 billion spending plan. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina senators working on the state’s $10 billion spending plan have rejected one lawmaker’s call to remove all special projects to the spending plan.

The spending, also called earmarks, used to be hidden in the budget.

But a new rule adopted this year requires the Senate to list any spending requested by lawmakers and not by a state agency.

Thirty-seven of the state’s 46 senators requested more than $100 million in projects for boat ramps, parks, festivals, a lighthouse and dozens of other projects.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey tried to remove the spending. But supporters say it was transparent and met the needs of their constituents.

Senators expect a final vote on the budget Thursday.

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