Two very different budget requests captured the attention of the governor and the state budget board Tuesday. One was whether the state should purchase a golf course for Coastal Carolina University. Another was inviting the state Department of Corrections to use its own power to release prisoners early.
The golf course is currently leased for the Coastal Carolina professional golf management (PGM)program that it shares with Horry Georgetown Technical College. The curriculum is licensed by the PGA. The school has asked to buy the course outright for $3 million. Gov. Sanford says he has always been concerned with the leasing of the course and questioned the costs to the school. Coastal’s President David A. DeCenzo defended the program, saying it serves as a classroom for 250 student and nets $2 million a year to the program. The board held the item over, with the suggestion that the school get creative and negotiate a better lease or plan to work with other nearby courses.
When the question of the Department of Corrections continuing to deficit spend, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman suggested early release of some prisoners to ease the budget. SCDC Director Jon Ozmint says he is restricted by statute, Leatherman disagrees. The governor joined the discussion:
(Leatherman, Ozmint and Sanford on early release of prisoners MP3 11:16)
Leatherman and budget board on corrections deficit MP3