Compromise $5 billion spending plan approved in SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A compromise version of South Carolina's nearly $5 billion spending plan has been approved after a conference committee ditched House plans to eliminate abortion coverage under the state's health plan for victims of rape and incest.

The six-member panel's approval on Thursday sends the spending bill back to the House and Senate for final approval and should have the budget on Gov. Mark Sanford's desk by early next week.

The spending plan scrapped fee and fine increases and will bring deep cuts into health and social services programs.

For instance, the state Department of Social Services will lose $18 million. In addition, prescription drug coverage for Medicaid programs also is reduced.

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