A Mount Pleasant-based private think tank is sending the legislature a list of suggested state budget cuts its experts say can save the state 155-million dollars. Public Interest Institute research analyst David Hogberg says their first proposal is an across-the-board cut.He says they settled on a three-percent cut that would save the state 134-million dollars. Hogberg says the conservative organization looked at unnecessary items in the budget.He says getting rid of things like the Arts Council and arts funding would save the state about one-point-four million dollars, and cutting back increases in education grants would save about 15-million dollars. Hogberg says the legislature also needs to look at holding the line on the pay of state employees.He says state employees make about 46-percent more than public sector employees, so its’ hard top make a case that state employees need to be paid more. Hogberg says they also looked at eliminating duplication in state government.He says for example, there are several state boards or commissions that do the same thing and can be combined into one. Hogberg says the Institute’s plan could give the state some budget breathing room.Hogberg says they’re recommending the state look into contracting some services to create some competitive bidding that could result in budget savings.
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