SC's $6B spending plan unfinished after 4 weeks

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Debate on South Carolina's $6 billion spending plan for the new fiscal year will stretch into a fifth week after the Senate adjourned with a pile of unfinished work.

Thursday's daylong debate accomplished little. Senators nixed plans to cut health care spending for the elderly, poor and disabled, create taxpayer rebates and bigger tax breaks for businesses with records of firing people.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman says there's no chance now to get a compromise version of the budget worked out and deal with possible vetoes before the Legislature adjourns June 2.

And the budget work now stands to maroon until January bills limiting lawsuit awards and making changes to the state's jobless benefits system aimed at saving businesses money.

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