SC workers receive raises outside budget process

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The budget proposal heading for debate on the South Carolina House floor provides pay raises only to maximum-security prison officers - something advocates of state employees call unfair and shortsighted.

But while the pay raises for 1,350 corrections officers totaling $1.7 million represent the only raises in the budget, other state workers are sure to receive increases outside the budget process.

Nearly 3,800 employees in the state's 14 largest agencies received a pay boost between Aug. 1 and Feb. 5, according to information from the Budget and Control Board.

State law allows agency directors to give raises at their discretion, provided their budgets allow and salaries fall within a set range.

Promotions, added responsibilities and agency reshuffling amid declining employee numbers account for the bulk of the 3,785 salary boosts.