SC state accountant and treasurer questioned over the $1.8B in idle funds

SOUTH CAROLINA — Tensions have been flaring over a $1.8 billion question: How did money move through a South Carolina bank account over the past decade without anyone knowing where it came from or where it was supposed to go?

The state’s top accountant and banker were both asked to answer that very question in a heated marathon hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. Both officials said it was the other person’s job.

Channel 9′s Tina Terry spoke with a Rock Hill Senator on that committee, who said they are still trying to figure this out.

Senator Mike Fanning represents York and Chester counties. He said after initially asking the state’s account and treasurer about the money, he and his colleagues were told it was supposed to be in a flow-through account.

That means taxpayer dollars would go into the account and then immediately flow out to be invested in the stock market or bonds. But for some reason, that never happened.

“We asked questions about a line item in the budget, in their internal budget, that was 1.8 billion dollars, and we asked what the purpose of that line was,” Fanning explained. “An account that should be flow-through with 0 dollars has had 1.8 billion sitting in it since 2016.”

On Tuesday, subcommittee members spent hours pushing State Treasurer Curtis Loftis for answers.

Fanning said they are still trying to determine where the money came from, what should happen to it, and if any laws were broken.

“Anything that’s criminal is the fact that we have crumbling schools and have had the money for 7 years, and we did nothing for those 3rd graders who are now 10th graders in tumbling schools,” Fanning said.

Taxpayers like Hilda Wiliams said she was just as surprised to hear about the $1.8 billion. Williams, who’s a teacher, is hoping that the money may one day be invested in local schools.

“As a teacher, I could see that money going to education for teacher raises,” she explained.

Fanning said it’s likely too late for that money to go into the 2025 budget, and it may not be allocated back to the public until 2026.

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