The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is asking legislators for $14.4 million to own a bigger share of the State Farmers Market.
Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers told a House panel Wednesday the agency wants to buy seven pieces of property totaling 30.5 acres. That would boost the state's ownership to 70 acres, or 51 percent of the market in West Columbia.
It's the second year Weathers has sought money for the market's next phase, though the cost is lower. Last year's request was $16.3 million.
The House last year said its budget writers hadn't studied the idea, as the request came later during the Senate's budget process. Representatives were especially uneasy about the bulk of the money going to a single person.
So legislators instead funded appraisals that Weathers presented Wednesday.