SC spending plan debate resumes

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina senators hope to wrap up unusually long debate on the state's $5.8 billion spending plan.

Thursday's debate will mark the sixth day senators have hashed out details of a proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. They usually get that work done in half that time.

The spending plan locks in spending cuts for welfare and Medicaid programs. For instance, doctors and hospitals will have their reimbursements cut as the state tries to curb spending on care for the elderly, poor and disabled.

Lawmakers had hoped to wrap up work Wednesday and give the appropriations bill the second of 3 readings. But as they dealt with the last few amendments, the all-male Senate ran into a lengthy debate on state health plan abortion coverage.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.