state workers’ pay increase cut instead of pork

In our special meeting on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 SC Senate Finance removed the 2% salary increase from the budget. This pay increase did not include legislators – not to be confused with the retirement 2% COLA in S. S. 1124. If this was the last option we had to balance the budget, I might consider the cut. I did not vote for this cut because there are other areas to look first. For example, the Legislative Slush fund (competitive grants) has $18 million remaining from last year, but I’m told the law doesn’t allow us to use that money to balance the budget. Last time I checked we write the law so I’d like to explore ways to get that money. Also, we’re sending $3.5 million to the Greenwood Genetics Center whatever that does. We’re sending $24 million in scholarships to Coastal Carolina. We could expand medicaids’ prior authorization on prescriptions to save us millions, but no, we pick on our dedicated state employees. Go figure…