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      State agencies spend $2M on membership fees

      South Carolina agencies have spent more than $2 million on association memberships and conference registration fees.

      South Carolina agencies have spent more than $2 million on association memberships and conference registration fees.

      The Greenville News reported Tuesday a review of records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act shows that most agencies have reduced spending on fees and conferences as the state struggles with budget cuts.

      The state budget has shrunk from about $7 billion in 2008 to $5 billion this year.

      Records show the state spent at least $2.4 million for registration fees over the past year, down from $3.8 million the previous year.

      Agency officials say the spending is necessary for training and sometimes is required by the federal government.

      Anderson Sen. Kevin Bryant says attending conferences should be almost obsolete, given current technology.

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