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Panel advances tax hike for teacher pay to Senate floor

PIERRE (AP) -- A Senate committee has advanced Gov. Dennis Daugaard's proposed half-cent sales tax hike to help increase teacher pay to the chamber's floor.

PIERRE (AP) - A Senate committee has advanced Gov. Dennis Daugaard's proposed half-cent sales tax hike to help increase teacher pay to the chamber's floor.

The Senate Committee on Appropriations voted 7-2 for the plan. If passed by the full Senate, the bill would head to the supportive governor.

It takes two-thirds support in each chamber to pass a tax hike. The House hit the exact number of required votes earlier this week.

Advocates for the tax increase say the state needs a sustainable funding source to boost teacher pay. Opponents argue that education could be prioritized in existing tax dollars.

Most of the proposed tax increase would go toward teacher salaries, but a large chunk would go to property tax relief. A small portion would go toward salaries at technical schools.

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