The state’s budget for the 2019 fiscal year is complete. Lawmakers spent the past 2 weeks coming to an agreement on some areas where the House and Senate had differences
The budget on its way to the governor’s desk for his signature includes a 4% raise for teachers across the board.
“There was some concern initially about the more experienced teachers not receiving a raise. So we made sure all teachers receive at least a 4% raise and for the newest teachers they’ll receive between 6-10% raise,” explained Representative Murrell Smith, the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee.
The budget raises the starting salary for teachers to $36,000. Full time state employees will also see more money in this budget.
Carlton Washington, the executive director of the SC State Employee’s Association explained why a raise is needed for employees that handle the day to day operations for essential state agencies.
“With 75% of all of our employees making below $41,000 a year you can probably imagine most state employees have more than one job.”
An entry-level state employee makes around $15,000/year.
The budget gives 2% raise and a $600 bonus for employees making less than $70k. State employees will also get a one time $600 bonus.
Washington added, “SC employees are still operating off a compensation system that was established back in 1995 when minimum wage was $4.25.”
The final budget also calls for South Carolina taxpayers to get some of the budget money as well.
Rep. Smith explained how an excess $61 million from income taxes on a lottery jackpot will be used in the budget.
“SC was able to enjoy some of the benefits and celebrate with the money so what we decided to do was designate that money so every person who files a tax return will get $50 so that will be coming here shortly.”
The governor can still veto any line items in the budget before giving the budget a final approval.
The budget goes into effect July 1.