Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin of Pickens recommends restoring $16 million to local government by taking it off a surplus funding list. To keep the budget balanced, money proposed for expanding full-day 4-year-old kindergarten would be put on that wish list. The swap would leave $8 million in additional money for at-risk 4-year-olds in the regular budget.
Martin thinks the state will collect enough money to eventually fund both. But he says the Legislature should fund its obligations before an expansion.
Democratic Sen. John Scott of Columbia says he wants to fund local governments too, but not at the expense of children's education.