COLUMBIA -- The House budget-writing committee has advanced a $7 billion spending plan for state taxes that provides more money for public schools, hires more law enforcement officers and pays for the next round of cyber-security measures.
The Ways and Means Committee voted 20-1 to send its budget plan to the full House. It includes a separate bill that spends $117 million from this year's rainy day fund.
The proposal provides state employees a 1.5 percent cost-of-living raise. The measure continues Medicaid agency initiatives aimed at helping the state's most frequent emergency room visitors live healthier.
It puts more than $37 million in a Commerce fund used to help close economic development deals.
It also adds 31 people at the State Law Enforcement Division and several prosecutors at the attorney general's office.