Budget Update from Senate Finance Hearing

by Ben Homeyer

Senate Finance met today to put forth recommendations for their budget to move forward next week.  They feel they need some procedural and actual changes to ensure should a shortfall occur between Nov and Jan when the GA is not allowed to meet in session because of elections and the way the constitution would govern that cuts would not have to occur. Two laws govern when the BEA can declare a budget shortfall triggering budget cuts Section 11-11-320 Capital Reserve Fund and Section 11-19-1140. If certain triggers are met the BEA would be required to have cuts and the GA would not be able to stop them.  Senator Leatherman is very concerned that Covid could become far worse as the weather turns cooler and is setting things up for worst case scenario.  The committee will meet again to review the amendments and it will be discussed next week before the full Senate.

Net General Revenues Above Base Appropriation 86,051,463.00 (This is the 2.5% that was approved last week by the BEA

  • Recurring Allocation EFA $ 50 million
  • Local Government Fund 11,687,035
  • Residual Recurring Fund o $ 24,364,428.00

Of the $775 million in excess that was approved when General Eckstrom closed the books, the following was proposed:

  • Agency Mid-Year Reduction Fund $ 500 million
  • COVID-19 Response Account $ 70 million
  • Department of Corrections Safety and Security $ 50 million
  • State Department of Education – Charter Schools – $ 34 million
  • State Department of Education – School Nurses – $ 6 million
  • Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism – Recovery Marketing Grants – $ 40 million
  • Department of Mental Health – Veterans Nursing Homes – $ 17,888,242
  • Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education – ReadySC – $ 5 million
  • Elections Commission – Poll Workers Stipend – $ 4,145,050.00
  • Roughly $48 million left over

Phase II Covid dollars were also discussed

  • 420 million for the Unemployment Trust Fund • The Executive Budget director can take any other unused Federal Funds and apply it to the Unemployment Trust Fund
  • COVID-19 Testing and Monitoring DHEC $ 73 million recommended in Phase II
  • COVID-19 Testing and Monitoring MUSC $29,154,000 million
  • State Department of Education Recommendation is to allow the Department to repurpose their unused Phase I authorizations (approximately $ 220 million)
  • Hazzard Bonus State Agency Public Service employees – $ 50 million (Staff is still working on the details)
  • Nonprofit Relief (501c3 only)
  • Recommendation of $ $ 20 million to $ 50 million in Phase II Minority Business Grant Relief Recommendation
    • Minimum Grant would be $ 2,500 • Staff is working on details

Benjamin Homeyer


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