SC senators expecting to wrap up budget debate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina senators expect to wrap up debate on a $5 billion spending plan that raises a number of fees while letting school districts hold back on annual teacher pay raises and classroom supplies.

The final approval of the spending proposal expected Thursday would then send it back to the House.

Legislators are scrambling to find ways to patch the budget together because of slumped revenues.

On Wednesday, senators agreed school districts shouldn't have to force districts to decide between furloughs and layoffs or giving teachers raises or classroom supplies.

The proposal also calls for a $100 million crackdown on tax scofflaws, and higher fees for car and boat owners, people who hunt and fish and anyone using the state's court system.

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