Conference committee to take up state budget

Legislative session ends without FY23 budget

Decorative image of a hand stopping dominoes from falling

South Carolina’s FY23 budget will be taken up by a six-member conference committee after the House and Senate failed to reconcile differing versions of a spending plan yesterday.

Six representatives and six senators will convene to hammer out differences, which The Hub has outlined previously. This year’s legislative session was to came to a close at 5 p.m. yesterday, but a Senate sine die resolution specifies the General Assembly will reconvene at noon, June 15 to take up unresolved items like the budget.

So, who’s on the committee? Glad you asked!

From the House:

  • New Speaker Rep. Murrell Smith (R-Sumter)
  • New Ways & Means Chairman Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York)
  • Minority Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Richland)

From the Senate:

  • President Sen. Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee/Spartanburg counties)
  • Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee/Pickens counties)
  • Sen. Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington County)

Here’s how each chamber sized up the SCAC’s portion of the budget:

House plan

  • $2 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $3 million of one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs

Senate plan

  • $1 million increase in recurring funds for grants
  • $1 (yes, one dollar) in one-time funding for grants
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs

It is a quirk of the system that the one-dollar figure added by the Senate is a placeholder signifying the body’s willingness to add more via conference committee.

As noted previously, the SCAC budget request includes a $5.5 million increase.

    • $5 million increase in recurring funds for grants
    • $500,000 in one-time funding for rural pilot programs

The difference in the House and Senate versions is that between House approval and that of the Senate Finance Committee, lawmakers signaled broad support of an income tax reduction for S.C. citizens that would lower the amount of money available for recurring funding. The House had a chance to work with the Senate’s pot of money in a budget bill dubbed “H2” during the past two weeks, but an agreement couldn’t be reached.

Look for the next update in June and, as always, let the South Carolina Arts Alliance keep you updated.

Past updates