- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley says she opposed a $500 million borrowing proposal in the state House in part because additional revenue due to an improving economy could pay for the projects outright.

Her budget proposal for 2015-16, however, didn’t do that. Only a portion of the $400 million in new revenue she references is available for one-time expenses.

Her proposal for spending the $128 million that’s surplus includes none of the specific projects that were in the borrowing package. It did, however, collectively distribute $40 million for unspecified, deferred maintenance across state government. That included:

-$30 million collectively at public universities.

-$3.2 million at technical colleges.

-$2.1 million at National Guard armories.

-$2 million at the Department of Mental Health.

-$1.8 million at prisons.

In those areas, the $500 million borrowing plan she helped defeat would have provided:

-$146 million for 15 university projects, including $50 million for the Medical University of South Carolina’s new Children’s Hospital.

-$108 million for 14 technical college projects, including $35 million for an aeronautical training center at Trident Tech near Boeing.

-$15 million for unspecified armory maintenance.

-$5 million for unspecified mental health maintenance.

-$5 million for prison maintenance.

During the House budget debate, Haley railed against the borrowing package as funding “wish list” items. A week later, she told a group of technical college presidents that her opposition was not about the items on the list, but rather how the House Ways and Means Committee advanced the proposal.

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