S.C. Senate votes for increased arts funding

But… the amount is at odds with the House plan

There is more good news to report for arts and creativity funding in South Carolina.

The upshot is that the Senate Finance Committee approved increases in funding via the SCAC’s portion of the state’s FY23 budget. However, their $1 million increase in recurring funding is lower than the S.C. House’s $2 million. While they approved the previously allotted $500,000 for rural pilot programs in the realm of creative placemaking, the committee declined to approve $3 million in one-time funding included by the House. (Keep reading for an explanation of why!)


Nearly a month ago, the House of Representatives passed the FY23 state budget as approved by its Ways & Means Committee. (The SCAC’s budget passed overwhelmingly, 100-11, in agency-by-agency voting.)

As noted previously, the SCAC budget request includes a $5.5 million increase. Here’s a breakdown of the progress:

SCAC request

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

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
  • which became

Senate plan

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

The difference in the House and Senate version 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 next step in the budget process is for the Senate version to be debated on the floor by the full body next week. Depending on what happens then, a conference committee of lawmakers from both chambers will negotiate the differences and create one budget for approval by both bodies before being sent to Gov. McMaster.

As always, let the South Carolina Arts Alliance keep you updated.


CORRECTION 29 April 2022, 11:53 ET:

The previous version of this story erroneously reported that the SCAC budget request included $5.5 in recurring funding. The total request was $5.5 million; only $5 million was requested in recurring funding. The Hub apologizes for the error.


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