The Senate Finance committee has approved bills that expand business economic development incentives and close enrollment in the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive program.
The economic development bill, pushed by House Speaker Bobby Harrell, R-Charleston, was largely unchanged form the version approved by a subcommittee Monday. That version removed a provision that would have phased out the state's corporate income tax over a decade.
Though retirement system officials said the TERI program now pays for itself, lawmakers decided it was time to end the controversial program that allows retirees to return to work while accruing retirement benefits. Some have complained the program keeps the best state jobs occupied, preventing younger workers from ascending the ranks at state agencies.
The committee postponed debating the budget bill until state economists meet to assess revenues tomorrow. Chairman Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, says he has not spoken to members of the Board of Economic Advisors, but expects the Senate will have to write its budget with less money available than the House had.
- John O'Connor