State economists added $210 million to South Carolina’s ongoing budget debate Thursday, saying state revenues are stronger than expected as more people head back to work.
It’s a surprising bit of good news after a long stretch of bad news.
The Senate will enter its fourth week debating a $5.9 billion spending plan Tuesday, with Tea Party-minded senators slowing debate on Thursday as they argued in favor of reducing the size of the spending plan and sending money back to taxpayers.
The three-member Board of Economic Advisors was split in their view of the state’s recovery from the Great Recession. Greenville hospital executive Howell Clyborne said he was concerned state revenues would not continue to grow at the 5 percent rate they have so far this year. “It still seems flat in a lot of places,” he said. “A lot of friends say it is just nowhere still.”
But BEA chairman Chad Walldorf, Gov. Nikki Haley’s appointee on the panel, was more bullish, seeing signs that coastal construction is rebounding. “Some things that have been dormant for a while are moving again,” Walldorf said.