We worked all week on the 2015-2016 Annual Budget and completed it last night around 9PM. There was a lot of debate, but in the end we passed a balanced budget. Below is a statement from House Speaker Jay Lucas regarding the process.
(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed H. 3701, the General Appropriations Bill for FY2015/2016, and H. 3702, the Capitol Reserve Fund Appropriations Bill. “After a lengthy week of fervent debate, the House passed a responsible budget that spends within our means, invests in our economy, and appropriates taxpayer dollars wisely,” Speaker Jay Lucas stated. “South Carolina families balance their own budgets and our state government is appropriately required to do the same. Chairman Brian White and the dedicated members of the House Ways and Means Committee worked hard to prepare a laudable fiscal blueprint that meets our state’s needs and I am proud that the House has coalesced around this plan.”
When the budget package was passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee in mid-February, it included a $497 million bond provision that funded key statewide economic development projects. Every bill that is drafted in the House is subject to the legislative process. The measure went through this process and was ultimately defeated during debate in the House.
Several of these important priorities are included in the final version of the budget package and are funded with unobligated available resources. “South Carolina is a powerhouse for economic development and job creation,” Speaker Lucas continued. “As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to invest in the future so that our economy will continue to flourish. I am very pleased that our budget includes workforce training programs, healthcare advancements, road infrastructure repairs, and other priorities that will allow South Carolina to continue to prosper.”
We will be back in full swing next Tuesday with committees and subcommittees meeting and debate on the House floor.