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Budget Fiscal Year 2014-2015

The House Ways and Means Committee completed its work on the budget on February 20, 2014. The SC House of Representatives will debate the bill during the week of March 10th. 

Additional revenue for the state anticipated by the Board of Economic Advisors is used to fund K-12, health care, and roads and bridges.  Scholarships are fully funded and $57 million is set aside to cover health insurance premium increases.  Employees can expect to see increases in co-pays and deductibles similar to last year.  However, the committee is recommending a 1.5% salary increase and there will be an effort in the Senate to increase this amount. 

Base funding for the College is $19,687,218 which includes $400,000 in recurring dollars funded by the General Assembly last year to expand our Computer Science Department.  The Lowcountry Graduate Center received level funding of $785,099.  The Ways and Means Committee approved a proviso that recommends $4 million to be used for a Higher Education Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability Review.  The funding is pro-rated and the College's share is $235,673.  A request for 20 additional FTEs is approved and the State Lottery continues to provide funding for technology infrastructure and PASCAL.  A budget request for $3 million (non recurring) for the Simons Center for the Arts renovation resulted in a recommendation of $300,000.  A recommendation was approved by the committee to cut Other Funds in the amount of $52,000. 

The State Lottery usually outperforms estimates and higher education has benefited in the past few years.  As an advocate of higher education, Senator Courson has managed in prior years to designate a pot of money for deferred maintenance.  This budget directs the funding to the Governor's K-12 initiative.  It will be difficult for the Senate to improve funding for higher education when the budget moves across the hall.