By SEANNA ADCOX
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a $7 billion spending plan for state taxes with little dissent.
The Senate gave a key "second reading" to the budget Monday. But that doesn't end this week's debate. Senators postponed discussion on some amendments and allowed for more to be offered as work continues Tuesday. Senators must vote one more time on the budget to return it to the House.
Senate Finance's budget proposal for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes $8.5 million to hire 262 employees at the embattled Department of Social Services and provide pay raises of up to 15 percent.
A proposal to borrow $236 million for construction at colleges and National Guard armories is separate from the budget. That is expected to be hotly contested.