COLUMBIA — After hours of on-the-floor negotiations, the Senate approved on Thursday the state’s $7 billion general fund budget.
It took two days for senators to reach a compromise on amendments proposed by Sens. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, and Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, that had stalled passing of the budget for days.
Senators made minor changes to Sheheen’s proposal, which will use the state’s extra cash in the budget that it collected this year above its expenses and allocate it toward a one-time $800 bonus for state employees, totaling $23.5 million. Another $4.1 million has been slotted to help cover the expenses of counties hit the hardest by the 2014 ice storms. Read more ›
The S.C. Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require all police officers in the state to wear body cameras.
Although the proposal passed by a 41-3 vote, senators debated privacy issues and who would be able to request body camera recordings under the Freedom of Information Act. The vote came weeks after release of a video recorded by a bystander showing a white North Charleston police officer shooting and killing an unarmed African-American man in the back as he ran away.
Sen. Lee Bright, a Spartanburg Republican who voted against the bill, expressed concern about the state collecting recordings in a public setting that could be stored indefinitely. Read more ›