Groups to discuss rally set for SC capitol protest

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Representatives of civil rights, labor, religious and professional groups are calling on state lawmakers to stop cutting critical programs as they work to balance the South Carolina budget.

Organizers hold a news conference in Charleston Wednesday to discuss plans for a March 12 protest rally at the Statehouse in Columbia.

The group says they want lawmakers to fund, what they call a "moral budget"

President-elect The Rev. Joe Darby of the Christian Action Council says the protest will be to let lawmakers know there are other ways to balance the budget besides cutting critical state services.

The state plans to reduce Medicaid payments to hospitals and doctors next month. Those changes will affect a health care system caring for nearly 1 million of the state's elderly, poor and disabled.

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