SC House starts debate on budget vetoes

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina legislators are debating 107 vetoes to the state budget that could nearly shut down some agencies and slash programs.

The House began debating Gov. Mark Sanford's vetoes Wednesday. The fiscal crisis and voter backlash on spending this election year could hand Sanford his most successful year yet on vetoes. This is the term-limited governor's last chance to influence state spending.

The nearly $5 billion state budget that takes effect July 1 is $2 billion less than it was two years ago.

Overriding Sanford's vetoes require two-thirds approval by lawmakers.

The budget passed the House two weeks ago on a 64-54 party-line vote. Democrats complained then it failed to meet basic health and education needs. But House Minority Leader Harry Ott says Democrats will vote to override the vetoes.

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