Less-than-expected surplus strikes millions from budget

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A less-than-expected surplus is cutting $12 million more from South Carolina’s nearly $8 billion budget.

This week’s annual accounting report by Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom shows last fiscal year closed June 30 with a $60.4 million surplus. But legislators included nearly $94 million worth of surplus spending in their current state budget.

By law, Eckstrom must chop from the bottom of that priority list.

But the Legislature’s decision to wait until January to take up Gov. Henry McMaster’s vetoes makes it unclear what will make the cut. He struck nearly $22 million from that list.

Items guaranteed funding include $24 million to Commerce for economic development deals and $5 million to replenish sand on beaches.

Which other items are eventually funded will be determined by which vetoes the Legislature overrides.

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