COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Legislature has approved a roughly $8 billion spending plan for state taxes, despite opposition to a provision that strips South Carolina's higher education agency of its ability to review the bulk of public colleges' building plans.
The Senate on Tuesday initially rejected the budget clause suspending the agency's authority. That could have forced legislators to start over with budget negotiations.
Faced with the possibility of having no budget before the fiscal year begins, senators overturned their vote and approved the budget compromise 40-2.
The House voted 100-9 to approve the deal worked out last week by a six-member panel.
University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides argues removing the oversight agency from the review process provides relief from "overly burdensome bureaucracy." Critics contend it could lead to tuition hikes.
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