SC welfare agency erases $29 million deficit

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's Department of Social Services has erased a $29 million deficit and eliminated the need for a bailout from the state's financial oversight board.

Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that cost-cutting the agency undertook six months ago helped reduce the deficit to $12 million. The cuts included a combination of lower spending on transportation and child welfare programs.

The agency also dropped the amount of the average monthly checks for a parent with two children this month from $270 to $216 monthly.

Haley doesn't expect the welfare payments will increase in the future unless the federal government changes formulas that don't favor South Carolina.

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