State budget writer will help crisis panel's work

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The South Carolina House's top budget writer says he's spoken with Gov.-elect Nikki Haley and will help her fiscal crisis panel come up with ways to put the state's budget on track.

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Cooper said Wednesday he'd spoken with Haley and thinks they'll work together on a budget shortfall that could top $800 million.

Cooper says working with the House staff that writes the budget's first legislative draft is a positive step.

Haley rolled out the crisis task force nearly two weeks ago. The panel has been meeting quietly with staff from the comptroller general's office, the Legislative Audit Council and the South Carolina Policy Council.

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