These resources can help you better understand the state's budgeting practices.
State law requires each state agency to submit an annual accountability report to the governor and General Assembly that must contain the agency’s mission, objectives to accomplish the mission and performance measures that show the degree to which objectives are being met. The information contained in each agency’s report is used to aid decision-makers in their analysis of each agency’s budget.
The budget process culminates in the creation of the annual Appropriations Act which establishes the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
The budget process begins in late summer when the Executive Budget Office (EBO) sends budget guidelines and forms to agencies. The requests are due to EBO in September. In October, agencies meet with the Governor’s Office to review the requests. The Governor publishes the Executive Budget in January.
The House Ways and Means Committee creates a budget in February which is sent to the full House of Representatives. In April, the Senate Finance Committee creates a budget which is sent to the full Senate. After the Senate, the House has an additional opportunity to amend or adopt the Senate Budget.
If the two bodies do not agree on a budget, a conference committee is appointed with three members from the Senate and three members from the House. The conference committee decides between both versions of the budget, and the conference budget must be approved by both bodies. The Governor then has the opportunity for a line-item veto. The House and Senate can sustain or override the Governor’s vetoes. Finally, the EBO loads the adopted Appropriations Act into the accounting system for the start of the fiscal year on July 1.
If a budget is not approved in time for the July 1 date, either a budget is not available or a temporary budget is loaded based on separate legislation. As soon as the final appropriations are complete, EBO reverses the temporary budget and loads the final appropriations.
What is the total amount of South Carolina's state budget?
For Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-2024, the total state budget is $38.8 billion, of which $11.6 billion is from General Funds:
General Funds $11,636,468,009
Federal Funds $13,204,898,519
Other Funds $13,999,313,058
Does South Carolina have a rainy-day fund?
Yes. The Constitution of the State of South Carolina requires two "rainy day" funds:
General Reserve Fund (S.C. Constitution, Article III, Section 36(A)).
Capital Reserve Fund (S.C. Constitution, Article III, Section 36(B)).
For FY 2023-2024, the General Reserve Fund (GRF) is required to be 5.5% of the General Fund revenues of the most recently completed fiscal year. The GRF may be used to cover a year-end shortfall in General Fund revenue collections. The GRF formula is fully funded for FY 2023-2024 at $715,241,566.
The Capital Reserve Fund (CRF) is a recurring appropriation that must equal 3% of the most recently completed fiscal year’s General Fund revenue. If the GRF is used to cover a year-end General Fund revenue shortfall, then the CRF must be used to replenish the GRF. If no year-end deficit occurs, then CRF may be appropriated by the General Assembly for capital improvements or other nonrecurring (one-time) items in the succeeding fiscal year. For FY 2023-2024, $390,131,763 is set aside for the Capital Reserve Fund.
How many state employees are there?
Full-time equivalent (FTE) positions are appropriated to state agencies in the annual Appropriations Act in the same manner as funds. Below is a summary of the number of authorized FTEs included in the FY 2023-2024 Appropriations Act. Note: Data is as of July 2023 and includes authorized positions which is different than filled positions.
General Funds 37,246.33
Federal Funds 9,109.94
Other Funds 26,501.23
How much of the General Fund is spent on education?
The K-12 education General Fund appropriation is $3,901,452,587 for FY 2023-2024. In addition to the General Fund appropriation, 1% of South Carolina's sale tax (or $1,177,407,000) is earmarked for K-12 education.
The FY 2023-2024 General Fund appropriation for South Carolina's colleges and universities totals $1,038,745,818.
In addition to the General Fund, appropriations from South Carolina's Education Lottery Account total $608,642,985 for FY 2023-2024. Of this amount, $8,400,000 is earmarked for K-12 education, $600,142,985 is earmarked for higher education and $100,000 is earmarked for other agencies.
Good stewardship of state resources is vital to ensuring South Carolina’s state agencies can effectively and efficiently serve citizens. The Inside SC: Data Dashboards are designed to promote transparency and accountability by providing the public an inside look as to how state government carries out its core functions. Dashboards are visual representations of information that can be filtered by the user.