Special spending projects kept in South Carolina’s $10B budget

State News

South Carolina Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, takes notes during a debate asking senators to remove spending projects from the state budget on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. Senators are debating the state’s roughly $10 billion spending plan. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina senators working on the state’s $10 billion budget have rejected one lawmaker’s call to remove all special projects from the spending plan.

The spending, also called earmarks, used to be hidden in the budget.

But a new rule adopted this year requires the Senate to list any spending requested by lawmakers and not by a state agency.

Thirty-seven of the state’s 46 senators requested more than $100 million in projects for boat ramps, parks, festivals, a lighthouse and dozens of other projects.

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey tried to remove the spending. But supporters say it was transparent and met the needs of their constituents.

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