PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A state Senate committee has passed a bill that could bring more scholarship money to South Dakota's private and parochial schools.

The Senate Education Committee voted 6-1 Tuesday to advance the bill that would provide tax credits to insurance companies that contribute scholarship money to the state's non-public schools.

The bill's supporters say it would provide low-income South Dakotans more options in educating their children.

Opponents say the bill could be the first step toward creating a voucher program in South Dakota.

The bill would allow insurance companies to contribute up to $2 million to a newly established non-profit agency, which would then disperse funds to low-income families.

Insurance companies would receive a tax credit for 80 percent of the funds they contribute.

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