A day after the South Carolina House unanimously passed next year’s budget, a Democratic senator said he hopes to double the pay raise for state employees when the Senate takes it up next month.
Columbia Democrat Darrell Jackson said state workers have not gotten a raise for four years.
“At the same time, their health insurance went up. At the same time, we are debating change in the formula for retirement. So in all likelihood, state employees would have to contribute more to retirement, and increase in health insurance, with no raise,” said Jackson
Jackson said budget cutbacks have forced state workers to do more work for longer hours with no pay increase. State employees, he argued, made the greatest sacrifices.
Senate budget writers say they will consider Jackson’s proposal, but added it would be difficult to find the necessary $30 million without cutting other parts of the budget.
Jackson said the money is there, if legislators want it: “I have been around for long enough to know: when there is a need for money, for things, BMW, Amazon, other incentives, we find it.”