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.)
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