Legislative Update: Week 9, 2020
After months of working with Gov. McMaster, building consensus, and many hours of debate I joined my House colleagues to pass the 2020-2021 fiscal year General Appropriation Bill by a vote of 120-2—an overwhelming bi-partisan consensus. This year, we focused our budget on the 4 R’s: relief for taxpayers, building up our reserves, expediting our road projects, and giving raises to those who need it most.
We worked closely with Gov. McMaster to include 325 of his recommendations in our budget process—an all-time record. This includes expanding 4-K education, providing permanent tax reform and relief, and investing in our state’s teachers.
When we began assembling this budget, it was important to me that it be built on the foundation of protecting taxpayers, a renewed commitment to being resourceful and efficient, funding only core functions of state government, and providing value for every dollar we spend.
The 4 R’s:
Speaker Jay Lucas and Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith quickly responded to Governor McMaster’s request for the General Assembly to pass a joint resolution making $45 million from the 2019-2020 Contingency Reserve Fund immediately available to SCDHEC. These funds will be used for DHEC’s coordination of the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 virus. Governor McMaster and healthcare authorities in South Carolina are carefully monitoring the coronavirus situation and encourage you to visit www.scdhec.gov/COVID19 for more information.
MUSC Health has added COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, to the list of conditions you can be screened through virtual care. Anyone in South Carolina who has COVID-19-like symptoms can use the online system for free by using the promo code COVID19.
Helpful Tip (for your friends)
S.C. drivers with a suspended license may be able to reduce or clear their suspension during Amnesty Week from March 16-20. To participate, eligible drivers must bring a completed application to an SCDMV location during the week. Check your eligibility and find the application here.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve you in Columbia. If you need help navigating state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me.