Communique from SC House GOP Caucus
Overview of the week:
We have been hard at work in Columbia this week in committees focusing on the 500 bills that crossed the desk the first day of session. There are over 70 bills in education and well over 100 bills in judiciary alone. In the chamber this week, I joined my fellow house members in unanimously supporting legislation to exempt federal workers in SC from being penalized for not paying their property taxes on time while the federal government is shut down.
Spotlight on: What to do with a billion dollars.
Gov. McMaster released his executive budget this week which includes an extra $1 billion of one-time money and tax revenues the state can expect to collect this year. This gives the legislature $9 billion to address a string of important issues. The House and the Senate will ultimately decide what should be included in the budget, but many of the issues Gov. McMaster addresses in his proposal are aligned with our conservative values.
* Tax Relief: Just because we have extra money does not mean we have to spend it all. Having a surplus of funds gives legislators the opportunity to give money back to South Carolinians in the form of a tax rebate.
* Education: A 5% across-the-board salary increase for South Carolina teachers that brings up the average teacher salary above the southeastern average.
* Economic and Workforce Development: Funding scholarships and grants for students interested in attending technical schools and funding programs that focus on recruiting prospective businesses to SC.
* Ethics: New voting machines with hacker-resistant technology and a paper trail. We are only two years away from the next election and need to make sure we have adequate technology to handle a presidential election.
Make sure you remember to watch the State of the State next week on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7 pm. Governor McMaster will be laying out his legislative plans for the next year live from the House chamber.