The Conference Committee considering the FY 2018-19 state budget finished its work late Tuesday night (June 26), and the House is prepared to begin debate on the committee’s recommendations on Thursday, June 28.
Higher education funding recommendations from the Conference Committee include the following:
- Tuition Grants – Increase of $1,169,992 over previous year (FY 2017-18) funding
- Commission on Higher Education’s need-based grant program – Net additional increase of $1,612,922 over previous fiscal year funding
- PASCAL (Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries) – $1,500,000
- SC Merit Scholarship program – Full-funding
If the Conference Committee budget is adopted, the Tuition Grants Commission will determine how an additional $1.44 million in FY 2019 can help students attending South Carolina’s independent colleges and universities. Presently, the maximum Tuition Grant award is $3,200 per year.
The House and the Senate still must agree on a FY 2018-19 budget to send to Governor McMaster. The Governor will have 10 days to approve the budget or return it to the House with line-item vetoes. The House and Senate separately will review the vetoes. Both chambers must achieve a two-thirds majority to override each veto. If the budget legislative process extends beyond July 1, the state will continue to operate under the spending levels in the FY 2017-18 budget until the FY 2018-19 budget is ratified.
SCICU staff is confident that the hard-fought budget increases will survive the final votes and vetoes. A more complete report will be provided to the SCICU Public Policy Committee once the General Assembly adjourns for the year.