COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Senate’s budget-writing committee has rejected an effort to punish two South Carolina universities for assigning gay-themed books to freshmen.
Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler on Wednesday recommended adopting the House’s proposed $70,000 cuts. But the Senate Finance Committee rejected that proposal by a vote of 7-11.
Senate President Pro Tem John Courson, said earlier this week that the Legislature shouldn’t micromanage universities’ curriculum.
“I think that should be up to the presidents of the institution and the board of trustees which the General Assembly elects,” said Courson, R-Columbia.
The House’s budget plan cut $17,162 from the University of South Carolina Upstate and $52,000 from the College of Charleston for their book selections.
Rep. Garry Smith (R), whose House subcommittee made the cuts, called the assignment the promotion of a lifestyle.
The issue will likely resurface next week as the full Senate debates the budget.