Budget Watch 2011: Provisos raising more questions
In our examination of the Senate Finance Committee’s budget – being debated right now in the South Carolina Senate – a few more provisos caught our attention.
Here are a few additional examples of how lawmakers are spending taxpayer dollars in a ‘tough budget year.’
- At least $1.375 million for regional “tourism promotion” – including $175,000 to various Chambers of Commerce like the scandal-plagued Myrtle Beach Chamber.
- An unspecified amount to pay for a plane the General Assembly purchased from MUSC.
- $200,000 for a “head lice program.”
- $150,000 for the Palmetto Poison Center.
- $50,000 to create the South Carolina Institute of Medicine, a new entity effectively controlled by the legislative leadership.
- Millions directed to ETV by forcing state agencies to contract with the state-owned broadcaster.
- Protection of the Clemson Boll Weevil Eradication Program in the event of future budget cuts.
- Creation of a new program – the South Carolina Reading Achievement Systemic Initiative.
- $48 million in money from increased tax collection enforcement used to fund a variety of programs. (This is money the state doesn’t have yet, but is already budgeting for.)