Senate panel begins to discuss flood costs, state spending

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina Senate panel is beginning to study the costs of this month’s catastrophic flooding and how much the state should spend to help residents recover.

The panel meets Wednesday for the first time since Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman created it Oct. 16.

Leatherman appointed four Democrats and five Republicans, including himself.

As Senate Finance chairman, Leatherman leads the chamber’s budget-writing committee. The Florence Republican says the Legislature will provide “whatever amount of money is needed” to help residents recover quickly. But to do that, he says legislators need to figure out what’s being done and how much is necessary to complete the work.

Leatherman says the special panel’s first task is to hear from various state and federal agencies involved in flood relief efforts.

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