SC economic advisers predicting more money

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina legislators will have to decide what to do with an additional $770 million.

The state's Board of Economic Advisors said Thursday more money is coming into state coffers than expected.

The additional money overall includes a $128 million surplus from the fiscal year that closed June 30, which increased the base for subsequent years. The four-member board predicts the state will collect nearly $229 million more this fiscal year than legislators designated in the current budget.

The board has a preliminary prediction of a 3.9 percent growth rate in 2012-13, putting an additional $414 million on the table for budget negotiations.

Board Chairman Chad Walldorf says he hopes legislators use the significant amount of new money to pay down debt in employees' retirement plans or cut taxes.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)