In today’s news out of Columbia comes word of something so incredibly obtuse that it almost sounds like something from The Onion. The State reports,
The state Comptroller General’s Office said Wednesday that the state ended the 2012 fiscal year with a $379.5 million surplus. But state lawmakers had planned for about a $397 million surplus.
The difference – $14.7 million (after $2.8 million in sustained budget vetoes) – means some things in this year’s state budget won’t get paid for.
I’d like to be able to explain that but for some reason the rational side of my brain has barricaded itself in a disused corner of my head and is crying softly. I’m sure that there’s probably some logical explanation for how the state government of South Carolina can simultaneously say, “We have a surplus” and “We don’t have money for everything in the budget” but I am not going to hold my breath for that explanation to come soon.
One of the casualties was $500,000 for the SC Arts Commission, whose funding was entirely vetoed by Governor Nikki Haley last month and later restored by overwhelming votes in the SC House and Senate.
I have not found a complete list of the unfunded items but I am certain there will be more than a few with a $15 million dollar budget deficit.
Oh, I’m sorry, make that a $15 million deficit inside the budget surplus.
South Carolina, and you wonder why people point at you and laugh.