SC House approves 2012-13 budget plan

      The House last approved a budget unanimously in 2008.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The South Carolina House has unanimously approved a $6.5 billion state spending plan that gives most employees a 2 percent raise, boosts state law enforcement and provides health coverage to more children.

      The House voted 115-0 on Wednesday to give its approval to the plan for state taxes. The chamber then voted 113-0 on a separate measure designating $105 million from a rainy-day fund.

      The measures face another vote in the House on Thursday before heading to the Senate.

      House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White thanked members for a civil debate that began Monday.

      The House last approved a budget unanimously in 2008.

      House Speaker Bobby Harrell notes the budget contains more than $625 million in tax relief. That's mostly property tax relief due to previously passed laws.

      (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)