SC House agrees to cut $25 million computer from $14 billion budget


South Carolina House Ways and Means Chairman Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill, discusses the governor’s budget vetoes Tuesday, June 28, 2022 in Columbia, South Carolina (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)


South Carolina’s General Assembly on Tuesday overruled many of Gov. Henry McMasters’ budget vetoes, but they accepted the biggest one, pulling $25 million from the $13.8 billion spending plan to try to bring some relief. great computer at Columbia.

The money was set aside for what proponents called a quantum computing operation and set up a nonprofit to rent out time on the machine to researchers and others.

He needed a one-time budget because the terms of the deal expired at the end of June, supporters said.

But only 28 of the 105 House members voting chose to override the veto, well below the two-thirds needed to overcome McMaster’s veto.

The governor, in his veto message, called the article a dangerous precedent to avoid public procurement laws and the creation of the nonprofit should be done with a separate bill that goes through the legislative process. regular.

McMaster issued 73 vetoes. taking about $53 million from the nearly $14 billion budget slated for July 1.

Twenty-nine of the vetoes had no money attached after legislative budget negotiators could not agree on how much to spend.

Among the others, the General Assembly returned 26 posts worth about $20 million to the budget. They authorized the governor’s decision to remove 17 of the items, including the computer, worth approximately $33 million.

All the money went to articles put up by lawmakers for local concerns. The items donating $7 million for a cultural visitor center in Orangeburg, $500,000 to build a museum to honor the nation’s most winning high school football coach at Summerville High School, and $5 million for a park in Myrtle Beach stayed within budget.

In addition to the computer, $2 million was cut from the budget for a community center in Orangeburg County and $364,000 for improvements to a park in Saluda County.

More than 100 protesters, many calling on South Carolina lawmakers to roll back new abortion restrictions that became law after the US Supreme Court ruling last week, filled the lobby between the House and the Senate, chanting before security instructed them to continue the protest outside.

The state’s $13.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2022-23 provides $1 billion to send hundreds of dollars in rebates to many South Carolina taxpayers. It is also spending $600 million to cut the state’s top tax rate from 7% to 6.5% and combine the other rates to 3%. Lawmakers eventually plan to lower the maximum rate to 6%.

The spending plan also raises the minimum wage for teachers from $36,000 to $40,000, invests another $1 billion in road repairs and expansion, and gives state employees a 3% raise and a bonus of $1,500. The budget also increases a number of state law enforcement salaries and sets aside about $1 billion in case this is the year the economy blows up.

McMaster congratulated lawmakers on most of the budget and thanked them for putting more than 250 of his proposals into the final spending plan.


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