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SC House agrees to knock $25M computer out of $14B budget


South Carolina House Ways and Means Chairman Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, discusses the governor’s budget vetoes on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Columbia, SC (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

South Carolina House Ways and Means Chairman Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, discusses the governor’s budget vetoes on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, in Columbia, SC (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

AP

The South Carolina General Assembly overturned several budget vetos by Gov. Henry McMasters on Tuesday, but they agreed to the largest, taking $ 25 million out of a $ 13.8 billion spending plan to try to help bring a super computer to Columbia.

The money was set aside for what the supporters called a quantum computing operation and set up a nonprofit that would rent machine time to researchers and others.

It needs one -time money from the budget because the terms of the deal expire at the end of June, supporters said.

But only 28 of the 105 House members who voted chose to override the veto, far short of the two-thirds needed to defeat McMaster’s veto.

The governor in his veto message called the matter a dangerous pattern to circumvent state procurement laws and the setting up of non-business would have to be done in a separate bill that would go through the regular process. in the legislature.

McMaster issued 73 vetoes. took about $ 53 million from the nearly $ 14 billion budget set to begin July 1st.

Twenty -nine of the vetos had no money included after legislative budget negotiators disagreed on how much to spend.

Among others, the General Assembly put 26 items worth about $ 20 million back into the budget. They allowed the governor’s decision to remove 17 of the items, including the computer, worth about $ 33 million.

All the money went to things that legislators put in place for local concerns. The items provided $ 7 million for a cultural welcome center in Orangeburg, $ 500,000 to build a museum to honor the high school football coach with the nation’s most wins at Summerville High School and $ 5 million for the Myrtle Beach park stays on budget.

With the computer, $ 2 million was taken from the budget for the Orangeburg County community center and $ 364,000 for the Saluda County park improvement.

More than 100 protesters, most of them calling on South Carolina lawmakers to reinstate new abortion bans that became law following a U.S. Supreme Court decision last week, filled the lobby between the House and Senate, sang before security asked them to continue the demonstration outside.

The $ 13.8 billion state budget for fiscal year 2022-23 allocates $ 1 billion to send hundreds of dollars in rebates to many South Carolina taxpayers. It also spent $ 600 million to cut the state’s highest tax rate from 7% to 6.5% and combined the other rates at 3%. Lawmakers finally plan to cut the maximum rate to 6%.

The spending plan also raises the minimum wage for teachers from $ 36,000 to $ 40,000, puts an extra $ 1 billion into road repairs and widening and gives state employees a 3% increase and a $ 1,500 bonus. . The budget also raises several state law enforcement salaries and allocates about $ 1 billion if this is the economic year.

McMaster praised lawmakers for most of the budget and thanked them for putting more than 250 of his proposals into the final spending plan.

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Follow Jeffrey Collins on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP.





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