State employees would get a raise under a budget deal reached between South Carolina House and Senate leaders over Memorial Day weekend.
Legislators on the joint conference committee agreed Saturday to a roughly $7.5 billion state taxes spending plan that increases public employees’ pay by 3.25 percent. The cost-of-living raise for state employees is the largest since 2005. It was a compromise between 2 percent in the House’s plan and the Senate’s 4 percent.
However, the State Employees Association told the Associated Press that pension contributions are still going up by 0.5 percent, meaning employees will not see that entire pay raise.
“Passing a budget takes significant time, energy and deliberation,” Senate President pro tempore Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, said in a statement. “However, the final product is about working together and finding a compromise.”
Teachers will see a 2 percent cost-of-living raise in addition to the step increase they receive for years of experience, up to 23 years in the classroom. The final budget plan also includes a $130 per-pupil increase in the base student cost given to school districts.
The budget also includes $11 million more for local governments and includes $200 million that will be used to borrow $2 billion for road construction projects. But, while the money is set aside in the budget, legislators still need to pass an enacting law later this week for it to take effect. The House and Senate have passed separate, similar bills so far but have not yet reached a compromise.
The compromise also divides an additional $50 million to counties for road projects. It also sets aside nearly $50 million to cover the cost of repairs made to roads following October’s unprecedented flooding.