COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Firefighters with the state Forestry Commission would be the only South Carolina state employees to receive a cost-of-living increase under Gov. Nikki Haley's budget proposal.
Haley's says her 2014-15 plan released Monday gives state firefighters a 2 percent boost because they were left out of the last round specifically for law enforcement.
In the current year's budget, only officers in maximum-security prisons received a cost-of-living increase, of 3 percent.
State employees last received across-the-board increases in 2012-13. It marked their first such salary increase in four years. Most received a 3 percent boost then, though state law enforcement officers who made less than $50,000 got a 5 percent boost.
Haley's proposal provides $57 million to cover expected increases in state employees' health insurance premiums, but co-payments would go up again.
Haley's budget would hire more law enforcement
Gov. Nikki Haley wants legislators to again increase spending on state law enforcement.
Her budget proposal for 2014-15 would provide five additional prosecutors in the attorney general's office, 10 officers at the Department of Public Safety and 25 people at the State Law Enforcement Division.
The request continues increases to law enforcement over the last few years, after the Great Recession decimated their ranks. Even with Haley's latest proposal, the number of officers at SLED and public safety would still be below 2007-08 levels.
Haley again wants to provide all troopers wireless access in their vehicles. Legislators did not follow that suggestion last year.
Her budget would put $720,000 toward prosecuting violent crime by hiring more prosecutors and investigators. It would spend more than $1 million on prison security.
Haley says 'money tree' can fund SC roadwork
Gov. Nikki Haley wants to fund road and bridge construction in South Carolina through tax collections that aren't yet projected.
Haley again Monday rejected the idea of raising taxes for roadwork, saying the state must live within its means.
Her plan for 2014-15 is based on state advisors' current predictions for tax collections. It includes no money for bridge and road construction. But legislators usually get more money to allocate when advisors' revise their estimate in the spring. The difference could top $100 million.
Haley says that "money tree" could provide more than $1.3 billion over the next decade through taxes and bonds.
The Department of Transportation has estimated it would cost $30 billion over 20 years to get all of South Carolina's roads and bridges to good conditions.