The House of Representatives approved a balanced 2012-2013 general fund state budget today, sending more than $600 million in tax relief, prioritizing teacher raises, and adhering to the House’s spending limit legislation.
The highlight of the budget is an increase of the “base student cost” to $2,012 in 2012, sending more money down to our state’s classrooms. That increase is designated to give teachers their first pay raise in four years. The budget also sets aside $180 million to dredge the Port of Charleston to assist with economic expansion. It also includes funding for 50 new state law enforcement officers and fully funds the reserve fund requirements approved by voters in 2008.
Other budget items of note:
- The total General Fund budget (recurring and non-recurring) is $6.5 billion.
- The total budget from all funds (general fund, federal, and “other”) is $23.3 billion.
- There is $549 million in the budget for property tax relief for homeowners.
- The budget includes $77 million in unemployment tax relief for businesses.
- Funded Medicaid at current levels.
- Budget growth falls nearly 1% below the spending cap approved by the House last year.
- More than 50 agencies are funded at or below last year’s levels.
- Since the GOP took control of the House in 1994, we have cut the number of funded state employee positions by 15%.