The state House's budget leader says South Carolina farmers devastated by last fall's flooding shouldn't have to wait until the Legislature passes a budget to get some help.
Ways and Means Chairman Brian White says legislators can go ahead and designate some of the state's surplus money to help farmers survive last year's losses. But he's not yet proposing an amount.
Legislation that would distribute aid advanced Thursday to White's full committee. The question is how much.
Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers says farmers need help quickly so they can pay down last year's loans and plant for the next harvest season. He says last fall's torrential rains wiped out $330 million worth of crops at harvest time. An additional $45 million was lost because farmers couldn't plant winter crops.