Beaufort Senator Tom Davis was one of 12 senators who voted against the state’s budget. In that, the bill calls to provide revenues to meet the state’s expenses, and to regulate the expenditure of the funds. This year, the federal stimulus package -is- considered in the spending.
“It spends $350 million in federal stimulus money that we’re not sure we’re gonna have, I mean that’s money the governor has to apply for and the governor may or may not apply for it, we went ahead and drafted a budget and just assumed the money was gonna be there and I think that’s highly irresponsible,” says Davis.
Davis says the senate passed the first part of the budget with the money already set aside for the state, but he says it came with many holes. He says in this portion of the budget, they did not propose funding for prosecutors, SLED, state troopers, corrections, and other major state departments, which is in his taste is irresponsible.
“The set up the budget that way so that if the governor doesn’t apply for $350 million dollars, chaos results. Now, that is not a responsible way to deal with the budget. You don’t draft a budget that is so full of holes and so jeopardizing to our public safety in the hopes of motivating or forcing the governor to apply for that stimulus money. That is not responsible,” says Davis.
The bill was passed and sent back to a conference committee, where differences will be worked out between a panel of senators and house members. There will be no further amendments.