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Noted and passed - May 12, 2014

Posted: May 9, 2014 1:41 p.m.
Updated: May 12, 2014 5:00 a.m.

• Happy Mother’s Day (plus one) to all Kershaw County mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts and other ladies who help raise generation after generation of children. The recently formed Family Heritage Committee held a Mother’s Day festival on May 3, starting with a parade down Lyttleton Street from Camden City Hall followed by a celebration inside Zemp Stadium. Reports are that the event was not as well attended as some would have liked. That’s unfortunate, since mothers of all ages and kinds should be honored more often. We would suggest that not scheduling the event at the same time as Elgin’s PoDunk Festival might help. Luckily, those in attendance enjoyed themselves with singing (Mayor Scully!), dancing (Kershaw County Diamonds!) and straight talk from Sumter’s Dr. Brenda Williams. We’re especially glad to hear that there actually wasn’t a Mother of the Year, as organizers decided it more appropriate to honor all mothers and not single any one out.

• Recently, the S.C. Senate Finance Committee voted to expand the state’s 4K program -- an expansion that will cost $24 million. We support the expansion and would be willing to live with the price tag if it weren’t for the way the committee voted to pay for it: by cutting the amount of money going to local governments, including Kershaw County. The General Assembly -- by state law no less -- is required to give 4.5 percent of general revenue to counties and municipalities. Instead, the legislature has repeatedly used provisos to go around the law, cutting the amount it sends to local governments. At the same time, the state requires local governments to provide certain state services. If the committee’s recommendations stand through the full budget process, Kershaw County -- and likely Bethune, Camden and Elgin -- will have to make some tough decisions. Do councils vote to take away funding from other budget items, or do they vote to raise taxes or fees? Kershaw County is already looking at raising recreation fees; what else will have to be increased? By the way, we can’t help pointing out that the same committee voted to give all lawmakers a $12,000 salary raise. It’s time for such ridiculous maneuvers to end. Legislators need to balance the books, certainly, but not by passing the buck where it doesn’t belong.

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