Senators’ $7.5B budget covers counties’ 2014 ice storm costs

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The South Carolina Senate’s $7.5 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year would finish reimbursing counties’ clean-up expenses from the 2014 ice storm.

The plan tentatively approved Tuesday would distribute nearly $12 million to 22 counties. Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman says the $4 million provided in the current budget covered just 25 percent of expenses not paid with federal emergency aid.

That $12 million is the first priority among roughly $50 million in spending senators added Tuesday. The supplemental list will be funded if tax collections exceed current estimates.

The state’s economic advisers will update their revenue forecast in two weeks.

Other added spending includes nearly $11 million to school districts slated to receive less state money beginning July 1 due to decades-old funding formulas.

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