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2002-2004, South Carolina Statehouse Report. Published weekly during the S.C. legislative session. South Carolina Statehouse Report is a media project of The Brack Group, Charleston, S.C.

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1.15: Lawmakers seek to boost indebtedness
(Week of April 16, 2002)

APRIL 12, 2002 - - A bill that would allow the state to borrow more money to land large economic development projects is on the fast track for approval.

On Wednesday, House members and senators introduced slightly differing companion bipartisan bills that would allow the state to borrow up to 5.5 percent or 6 percent of the previous year's state income through bonds. Currently, the state can borrow up to 5 percent.

The borrowing, however, would be limited in scope, supporters say. The funding could only be used for infrastructure projects - - roads, bridges, sewerage and water projects - - to prepare a site for industries that invest at least $400 million in the state and provide at least 400 jobs. The money can't, they say, be used for pet projects such as stadia, arenas or convention centers.

Supporters say the measure would help the state attract big projects, such as a much-talked-about $700 million DaimlerChrysler plant in the Lowcountry and a huge expansion of the BMW plant in Spartanburg County.

"It would give us the capital to land these big projects," one legislative leader said.

The bill, supported by Gov. Jim Hodges, needs 2/3 approval of both chambers and seems well on its way. In the Senate, 40 of 45 senators are co-sponsors. In the House 74 of 124 are co-sponsors.

The only opposition so far may be the Legislative Black Caucus in the House. Leaders say it may be unwise to borrow money for development while cutting health care for the poor.

11/3: Use your vote wisely: a lesson
10/27: SC GOP to keep control of House
10/20: Black voters may be secret weapon
10/13: Talk is cheap; action takes courage
10/6: Creating sunshine to dampen negative ads
9/29: SC Set to be world leader in news research
9/22: SC Senate shift could be around corner
9/15: Gov's race about barbs, ads, not people
9/8: Shorfall may cause look at prison alternatives
9/2: Revitalize your patriotism by participating
8/25: S.C.'s fiscal situation could be a lot worse
8/18: State wetlands policy needed
8/11: The bully vs. the whiner
8/4: Noah's Ark approach to tax reform
7/28: Two-party system could be political outcome
7/21: State budget woes loom for 2 more years
7/14: Agencies can do better job on Internet
7/5: Thank a guardsman today for service
6/28: Hodges-Sanford race will be wild ride
6/21: Sanford-Peeler race's impact on GOP
6/14: Ethics reform needed now

More done than you'd think(1.23)
More education $ also means cuts (1.22)
PSC reform to come, but when?(1.21)



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