SC Senate to debate $10 billion budget this week

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South Carolina Sen. Sean Bennett, R-Summerville, speaks during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. The Senate Finance Committee approved its version of the state’s roughly $10 billion spending plan for the next fiscal year. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) β€” South Carolina senators are getting ready to debate a state budget that ended up with a lot more money that expected.

Debate begins Tuesday on the roughly $10 billion spending plan that starts July 1. It includes a 2% raise for state employees and a $1,000 raise for all teachers. In all, South Carolina lawmakers have nearly $1.7 billion extra to spend in the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Both senators and House members expect to come back in special sessions after May to deal with additional spending and the federal COVID-19 relief money.

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