The Governor’s Budget – A Sign of What’s to Come?
The governor’s budget is only the first in a series of budget drafts before we arrive at the final state budget later in the spring. Generally – in fact, without exception – these successive budget drafts grow in size. So what does the governor’s draft tell us about where we’re headed?
• If the governor’s budget were to pass in its present form, federal funds grow by 4.4 percent since last year – and by 102 percent over the last decade.
• Gov. Haley says government growth should = inflation + population. But in order to bring the budget down to its actual inflation + population growth level over the last decade, the governor would need to reduce her budget by 5.57 percent. That means cutting the budget by $1.27 billion.
• The governor proposes a 14 percent budget increase ($22.5 million) for Coastal Carolina University. This is an institution that saw an overall 19.3 percent budget increase from 2009 to 2012.
• For Clemson, she proposes $12.2 in additional funding. During the recession, most state colleges escaped cuts to their total state funding by relying more and more on federal funds and “other” funds – and these increases would further that trend.
• The governor proposes a spending cap of 5.23 percent. And yet several agencies would get well above that level of increase. The Department of Education would get a 7 percent increase, the Department of Commerce 10.2 percent, and USC 10 percent.
• The governor’s budget only proposes General Fund cuts to four agencies: the Arts Commission (a total cut of 100 percent), the Sea Grant Consortium (19 percent), the Commission on Higher Education (2.2 percent), and the School for the Deaf and Blind (0.5 percent).
• However, the governor’s budget proposes a number of cuts in “other” funds and federal funds: for example, the Law Enforcement Training Council (10 percent), the Education Oversight Committee (5.5 percent), Higher Education Tuition Grants (5.1 percent), and ETV (4.3 percent).[gview file=”https://www.scpolicycouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Executive-Budget.pdf” height=”700″ width=”100%”]