COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee has approved a budget proposal that expands full-day 4-year-old kindergarten, gives state workers a slight raise, and puts more troopers on the highways.
The committee's Republicans sent the $6.3 billion spending plan for state taxes to the full Senate. Democrats voted "present" to protest Republicans' refusal to expand Medicaid eligibility to hundreds of thousands of additional poor adults.
The Senate plan added to the House budget's Medicaid initiatives aimed at improving residents' health. It puts an additional $5 million toward health clinics and community residential care facilities.
Other key differences from the House plan include a 1 percent pay raise for state workers and money to hire 40 troopers.
It also provides for 8,200 additional 4-year-olds living in poverty to attend full-day kindergarten.