SC senators let schools nick teacher pay, supplies

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina senators have agreed to let school districts withhold the annual pay raise for teachers and their supply money.

Wednesday's action came during the Senate's second day of debate on the state's $5 billion spending plan. Supporters said the measures would help school districts scrape together cash in the fiscal year that begins July 1 to avoid teacher furloughs and layoffs.

The Senate also rejected Spartanburg Sen. Lee Bright's plans to take $12 million from the First Steps early childhood development program.

Meanwhile, the Senate was beginning debate on whether the state's health insurance plan should cover abortions for victims of rape and incest and narrowing the definition of when abortions are allowed when a woman's health is at risk.

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