The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

General Assembly Passes Largest Budget in State History

with 5 comments

In spite of handwringing and complaining about budget cuts, the General Assembly has just passed the largest budget in state history. Consider:

  • The total budget for FY10-2011 is $21.149 billion: $8.268 billion in Federal Funds; $7.766 in Other Funds; and $5.115 billion in General Funds.
  • The new budget is almost half a billion dollars more than last year’s authorized budget of $20.695 million.
  • It is $290 million more than the FY08-2009 authorized budget, which was $20.859 billion before mid-year cuts reduced the budget to $19.97 billion.

In other words, this is the largest budget in state history. Clearly, record federal spending is driving the increase. But the Other Funds part of the budget, which is derived from fines and fees, has also substantially increased

For FY10-2011, Other Funds accounted for 37 percent of the total budget, compared to 39 percent in Federal Funds and 24 percent in General Funds. For FY09-2010, Other Funds appropriations were $7.175 billion; and $7.028 billion for FY08-2009. Given previous patterns, it is also likely that Other Fund revenue has been significantly underreported (by about 7 percent).

Overall, the state budget has increased by 2 percent over last year. Federal funding is up by 6 percent and Other Funds are up by 8 percent. General Fund appropriations are the only part of the budget that decreased, going from $5.174 billion in FY09-2010 to $5.115 billion, a 1 percent decline.

Exclusively looking at the General Fund budget leads to a misreporting of state spending trends and fosters a lack of transparency. The real story with this year’s budget is not that spending has gone down, but that it’s going up.


Written by Jameson Taylor

June 4, 2010 at 12:35 pm

5 Responses

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  1. […] Indeed, in spite of having apparently made passing a spending cap a top priority for 2010, Senator Glenn McConnell seems unable to persuade his fellow senators to take a concurring vote on S 2 – a much weaker reform that would limit General Fund spending to a 6 percent annual increase. (Recall that General Fund appropriations currently account for less than ¼ of the total budget.) […]

  2. […] State agencies would suffer “serious damage” if the governor’s vetoes are allowed to stand. This is “because [of] all the cuts state agencies have sustained.” What cuts? This year’s budget is the largest in state history. […]

  3. […] indicated above, South Carolina just passed its largest budget in state history. The state is also facing serious problems with its pension plan and needs to look at cutting state […]

  4. […] South Carolina spending likewise continues to grow, with the legislature passing the largest budget in state history for […]

  5. […] all the rhetoric about budget cuts and employee furloughs, South Carolina’s FY10-2011 budget was the largest in state history. The total state budget was $21.149 billion. This includes: $8.268 […]

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