Gov. Nikki Haley and the state Budget and Control Board met Wednesday to discuss steps and a plan put forth to help save South Carolina State University pay its bills and avoid financial catastrophe.
Haley's proposal, which passed on a 3 to 1 vote, gives the university a $6 million loan ahead of a requested bailout by the legislature. According to Haley, the University's unpaid bills can't wait for debate and a vote will keep the school afloat until a permanent solution is achievable.
Haley says the school also has to adopt an anti-nepotism policy and disclose three years worth of financial statements to the state.
The accepted proposal will allow interest rates to be set by state Treasurer Curtis Loftis and must be paid back by the end of the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
Sen. Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) was the lone no vote against the plan. He believes the plan is just a bandaid.
"We've got an institution that's bleeding to death. A bandaid or tournaquet is not going to stop it," said Leatherman.
University President Thomas Elzey and the Board of Trustees had asked the legislature for an almost $14 million bailout to help ease the financial stress the school has been under for years.
President Elzey says SC State does go after students or former students with unpaid debts to the university, and refers them to collection agencies to get payments started. But he went on to say those payments were not a realistic alternative to solve the school's financial situation.
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