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June 6, 2016: News from the Statehouse

Budget Update

The House and Senate have agreed on a compromise budget plan that restores new, recurring money to the base budgets of colleges and universities throughout the state. While those gains are offset by several new mandatory spending items, it’s worth noting that lawmakers have shown a renewed willingness to invest in higher education.

Here are the highlights of the plan, which awaits approval from Gov. Nikki Haley:

New recurring base budget:

  • USC Columbia: $6.5 million
  • USC Aiken: $400,000
  • USC Beaufort: $400,000
  • USC Upstate: $500,000
  • USC Lancaster: $250,000
  • USC Salkehatchie: $176,000
  • USC Sumter: $145,500
  • USC Union: $88,000

In addition, the USC system was allotted nearly $17 million in one-time money for specific projects. Those include:

  • USC Columbia: New addition to SC Honors College facility ($5 million)
  • USC Lancaster: Health and Wellness Center renovations ($640,000); building repair ($60,000)
  • USC Salkehatchie: Roof repairs ($346,000); HVAC and physical plant repairs ($154,000)
  • USC Sumter: Science building renovation ($1.5 million); Physical plant repairs ($100,000)
  • USC Union: Physical plant repairs ($300,000)

*USC School of Medicine also received $5 million for rural health initiatives as part of a partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services.


Tucker Hipps Bill

The bill that would require colleges to publically report investigations of fraternities and sororities is on its way the governor. Debate on the bill in the Senate focused on whether it should be expanded to include other student organizations. The final version applies only to Greek organizations and requires institutions to report on incidents involving alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, physical assault or hazing. The bill is named after a Clemson student who died in 2014 during a fraternity pledging activity.