Template:South Carolina budget process

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The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[1][2]

  1. In July and August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year, the governor sends budget instructions to state agencies.
  2. In September, agencies submit their budget requests to the governor.
  3. Budget hearings are held with state agencies in September and October.
  4. In January the governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature.
  5. Both the House and the Senate pass a budget. If these versions do not match, a conference committee consisting of both House and Senate members is assembled to reconcile the differences.
  6. The legislature must pass a budget with a simple majority by the beginning of the fiscal year, which is July 1. The governor may exercise line item veto power on the enacted budget.

The governor is constitutionally required to submit a balanced budget to the legislature. In turn, the legislature must pass a balanced budget, and any budget signed into law by the governor must be balanced.[2]

A rainy day fund, the General Reserve Fund, must maintain a balance equaling three percent of General Fund revenue. Rainy day funds may be withdrawn only for the purpose of covering operating deficits.[3]

South Carolina is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[2]