COLUMBIA ó A South Carolina legislative panel has approved giving state agency directors and college presidents their first state-provided raise in five years.


The Agency Head Salary Commission voted Tuesday to give directors and technical college presidents a 7 percent salary increase. The panel approved 8 percent raises for presidents of four-year public colleges.


Tom Hatfield, one of the panelís three non-lawmakers, voted against all three proposals. Republican Rep. Mike Pitts voted against the 8 percent raises.


Budget and Control Board spokeswoman Lindsey Krimlick said the raises are the first approved by the panel since 2007.


Legislators gave most state employees 3 percent raises in the current budget Ė 5 percent for state law enforcement officers earning less than $50,000. Those were the first raises in four years for state employees.