Budget board expects more of the same

COLUMBIA -- State economists said Wednesday they expect S.C. revenues will grow little this year, leaving lawmakers to write a state spending plan for next year on a shoestring.

The Board of Economic Advisors said state revenues are right on target with earlier projections. The board is waiting on final January data and will issue an official projection Monday.

But John Rainey, chairman of the BEA, said he expected little to change. "Unless something comes up, we're going to stick right on it," Rainey said. In November, the BEA projected the state would take in about $230 million in additional money.

State budget writers said that will leave them little room for extras in next year's budget.

Much of that money will be needed to pay for programs funded last year with one-time money. In addition, education costs are expected to rise by about $90 million and health care by as much as $40 million.