SC budget has winners, losers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

SC budget has winners, losers

Columbia, SC -

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - The $5 billion spending plan the Senate approved early Friday morning leaves plenty of agencies short on state cash, although some of those losses are made up by federal bailout cash. But some agencies end up winners, too.

WINNERS:

State Election Commission — 237 percent increase, or $3.4 million in state cash. Why you care: The money helps the commission run elections in November.

Commerce Department — 87 percent increase, or $4.1 million. Why you care: The agency gets $5 million to seal job-creating deals.

Senate — 73 percent, or $5.6 million. Why you care. Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell said the Senate has run out of reserve cash and would face staff cuts amid the need for major repairs to its office building. Meanwhile, $1.9 million covers redrawing voting district lines for the Legislature and U.S. House seats.

Lieutenant Governor's Office: 43 percent increase, or $1.4 million. Why you care: The lieutenant governor runs the state's Office on Aging, which picked up $1.6 million in state cash for home- and community-based meals.

Probation and Parole Department: 28 percent increase, or $4.2 million. Why you care: About $2.7 million of the increase covers the costs of complying with new state sentencing laws.

LOSERS:

Judicial Department: 31 percent decrease, or $7 million. Why you care: That reduction is more than covered by a more than $20 million increase in court fees that will make it more expensive to file and pursue lawsuits and issues most of the state's courts.

State Ethics Commission: 30 percent decrease, or $109,266 in state funds. Why you care: The agency is the chief enforcement agency for the state's campaign finance, lobbying and ethics laws.

Department of Natural Resources: 25 percent decrease, or $4.2 million. Why you care: The agency would make up more than $2.7 of that loss with a $2 increase in hunting and fishing licenses and a $5 increase in boat license fees.

Department of Labor and Licensing: 24 percent decrease, or $426,130. Why you care: The agency oversees the licensing and regulation of dozens of professions.

Attorney General: 23 percent decrease, or $1.1 million. Why you care. The attorney general is the state's top prosecutor and lawyer.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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