More state agency cuts are on the way…and soon.
The South Carolina Budget and Control Board voted Thursday to cut another 4.04 percent going into effect September as proposed by Senate Finance Chair Hugh Leatherman.
Leatherman and the board waited to see if the economy looked any better last month. It did not, according to the economists who advise them.
Leatherman says, “This state, as long as I am chair of the Senate Finance Committee, will always live within our means, will not overspend, will not deficit spend. So, things like this have just got to be done.”
The state Board of Economic Advisors last month did not find enough positive trends in the state’s revenue or in the overall economy to support a more hopeful outlook.
Governor Mark Sanford took the opportunity to remind the board that he wanted to make these cuts earlier.
“In the last meeting, the Comptroller General and I tried to move forward with this cut and people were hopeful that maybe the numbers might change. I think it just again reinforces this larger notion that while we all may hope for the best in these larger, again, global and national economic times, I think it’s incredibly important, as it relates to the budget, to be very fast-moving,” says Gov. Sanford.
Sanford says cutting now means that additional costs don’t stack up for state agencies.
He says, “Timeliness is again going to continue to be key in these economic times. Again, hope for the best and plan for the worst–is the old saying–as it relates to budget matters.”
Since the overall U-S economy is showing some signs of rebound, some observers say another round of cuts may not have to happen until next year. Senator Leatherman is not willing to project. Instead, he says he “does not have a crystal ball.”