SC legislators vote to keep Heritage loan

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina legislators have voted to keep in the budget a $10 million loan to the state's only PGA tournament.

The House voted 69-43 to loan the money if the Heritage golf tournament on Hilton Head Island can't find a sponsor to replace Verizon, which says this is its final year as sponsor. The loan would come from the state's insurance reserve fund.

Republican Rep. Nikki Haley of Lexington wanted to remove the loan from the state's $5 billion spending plan.

Supporters of the loan accused her of playing political games. Democrats and Republicans argued the tournament supports hundreds of jobs and pumps tens of millions of dollars into state through sales and accommodation taxes.

GOP Rep. Jim Merrill of Daniel Island said the state must show its support or risk the tournament going elsewhere.

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