Budget Watch 2011: Yet more budget provisos that merit a second look…

 

  • Grants (each one worth at least $150,000) to private trade associations in the automotive, construction, engineering, and hospitality industries.
  • Funds for the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism to entice filmmakers to South Carolina.
  • Funding for up to 144 House pages (there are only 124 House members).
  • Directs money, not to privatize South Carolina’s oldest-in-the-nation school bus system, but to study the issue.
  • $25 million to increase teacher salaries – defining “teachers” to include librarians, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, occupational and physical therapists, school nurses, and others.
  • $759,000 to pay for guaranteed summer jobs for agricultural education teachers.
  • $2.4 million for a program to figure out whether students are bright enough to be in Advanced Placement classes.
  • Department of Revenue directed to withhold interest on tax refunds by as much as two percent – effectively a hidden tax increase of roughly $3 million.

And while we’re at it . . . In our effort to dispel the notion that legislators are actually cutting the budget, we wanted to point out a couple of facts:

  • No fewer than 28 agencies have an increase in Total Funds (a combination of General Fund, federal money, and “Other Funds”) for a total amount of $146.35 million.
  • And 18 agencies have an increase in General Funds for a total amount of $33.2 million.

 

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