Disappearing bailout cash key to SC budget

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina public schools and colleges will lose huge chunks of their budgets when their share of more than $923 million in federal bailout money disappears.

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday released details of the spending plan it approved last week. It shows the state's share of spending shrinking to nearly $5 billion.

South Carolina's public schools would be funded at 1995 levels with state cash. But they're also dependent on $174 million in federal bailout money that disappears in July 2011. The state's colleges lose a fifth of their $413.7 million state budget, but makes that up with $86.6 million in bailout cash.

Many agencies don't get bailout cash and are taking steep cuts. For example, the State Ethics Commission loses 30 percent of its budget.

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