SC Legislature OKs final compromise on $5B budget

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Senators spared no drama in giving final approval to a nearly $5 billion state spending plan.

A final 22-16 vote came after hours of debate Thursday and minutes before the regular legislative session ended.

The House had approved it earlier in the day with a 64-54 vote after Republicans agreed to stop insisting that the budget include new limits on the state health insurance plan so that abortions would not be covered under the plan, even for victims of rape or incest.

But that issue mired the Senate in nearly an hour of debate. And a handful of senators also protested a measure in the budget that would cost money for school districts they represent.

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