Gov. Henry McMaster issues synopsis of his State of the State address
Summary of the State of the State address from the office of S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster
Wednesday night, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster delivered his vision for the future of South Carolina.
He outlined a multi-pronged plan for growth that includes across-the-board tax cuts. He said tax cuts would let South Carolinians keep more of their money and make the state increasingly attractive for new businesses to create good-paying jobs, and improve education outcomes so students in all 46 counties can compete in an ever-changing workforce.
McMaster also said he is committed to protecting the prosperity of the state with unwavering support for law enforcement and assurance that funds will be allocated to guarantee there are no sanctuary cities in South Carolina.
He reiterated that he will uphold and preserve South Carolina values by fighting for the most vulnerable, from the unborn to the elderly. And he will preserve the vitality of the state by saying no to offshore drilling. He said it would kill the tourism industry and tarnish the beauty of our coastline.
“Today, we stand at the dawn of a new prosperity. In the history of our great country, this is our time.”
“We must act. We must heed the lessons of history. We must respect the right of the people to their own money, for their own purposes, according to their own priorities.”
“We must encourage the spirits of charity and volunteerism among our people, organizations and institutions, including our houses of worship, because government cannot and should not attempt to be all things to all people. We must promote and celebrate excellence wherever we find it, whether in academics, industry, athletics or art, because excellence in one thing begets excellence in another. And we must approach our duties not with the goal of managing scarcity but of creating abundance.
“But, above all, I ask that we reaffirm our commitment to being smart, innovative and doing more with less. Let the taxpayers keep more and more of their money. Let us build a state government which is efficient, transparent and accountable, and let our service be distinguished by wisdom, vision and steady hands.”
Governor McMaster on…
“But newcomers all tell us the same thing: it’s our people who make the biggest difference. South Carolina is a ‘handshake state.’ When someone from South Carolina gives you their word, they keep it. My word to you, the people of South Carolina, is that I will do whatever it takes to continue the success we see today, to keep and enhance our competitive edge and build for an even better tomorrow.”
“I recently unveiled my executive budget, which proposes a $2.2 billion dollar tax cut for every South Carolinian. The first year’s cut amounts to $139 million dollars. To all the South Carolinians listening tonight: that’s $139 million dollars that would have gone to government, and will stay with you instead.”
“Under my plan, retired veterans, first responders and law officers will never pay state income taxes on their retirement pay again – ever… It reaffirms the unwavering commitment of South Carolinians to the people who have chosen to serve. We thank you for your service.”
“We must act. We must heed the lessons of history. We must respect the right of the people to their own money, for their own purposes, according to their own priorities.
“I’m calling for the creation of the South Carolina Workforce Partnership. This new initiative will connect businesses with high schools and technical colleges to collaborate on internships, dual credit, and certificate programs for students interested in the skilled trades – focused on rural areas of our state.”
“Just as we cannot have a thriving economy without an educated workforce, we cannot have a productive educational system without economic growth. When a school district prospers, the schools in that district prosper.”
“We want a multifaceted system anchored by traditional public schools boasting the best teachers, principals and technologies. We want charter schools – all public – to flourish, including those for children with special needs. Parents want vigorous, accountable, innovative school choice.”
“Teachers cannot teach and students cannot learn when distracted or threatened. Too often we have seen crime and violence find their way into our classrooms… My budget provides $5 million dollars for a need-based grant program to place these officers in schools.”
“Prosperity requires law and order. We cannot tolerate lawlessness. That means we must say ‘no’ to ‘sanctuary cities.'”
“This legislation will make our position clear. I ask the General Assembly to pass it immediately. We will keep our people safe, and send a message across the nation that there will be no ‘sanctuary cities’ in South Carolina.”
“For the last three years, we had more opioid-related deaths in South Carolina than homicides and drunk driving deaths combined… We must take a bold new approach to this unprecedented threat. It consists of a ‘full court press’ including awareness, information and treatment.”
“Last month I declared a statewide public health emergency in South Carolina… Our task force is scouring the country for ideas that work, and we will produce results.”
Protecting All Life
“The most important function of government is providing for the safety and security of the people. That extends to all life – born and unborn, young and old.
“I believe that human life begins at conception. That’s why in August I directed state agencies to stop providing state funds to abortion clinics.”
“This right to life is the most precious of rights – and the most fragile. We must never let it be taken for granted.”
“You send me the bills to strengthen the public’s trust in government, and I will sign them.”
“Here’s the point: let’s let the taxpayers keep their money.”
“It is plainly irresponsible to allow SCANA or any prospective purchasers to continue collecting money from customers for this project. Send me a bill that replaces the Base Load Review Act and prevents ratepayers from being charged in the future for the abandoned reactors and I will sign it. Send me a bill that continues to place the financial burden of this corporate failure on South Carolina ratepayers and I will veto it. The interest of the customers must come first.”
“As you know, I have been meeting with several companies which have expressed serious interest in buying Santee Cooper… I have informed all of these interested purchasers that the State will not consider any proposal which saddles the customers or taxpayers with Santee Cooper’s debt.