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South Carolina ended budget year with $177 million surplus

COLUMBIA (AP) State officials say South Carolina ended the latest budget year with a surplus of $177 million.

South Carolina Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom said in a news release Aug. 14 that the state took in $542 million more last year than the previous year.

Eckstrom provided the calculations based on the fiscal year that ended June 30.

He called the 7 percent increase in revenue good news, but warned lawmakers about rushing to spend the extra money.

Eckstrom said the state spent more than $1 billion in extra revenue in 2007 and 2008, only to see the Great Recession lead to massive cuts for state agencies.

He says a good place to spend the money would be on the underfunded state retirement system and the retiree health plan.

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