Governor McMaster talks about masks and ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits

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Spartanburg, SC (WSPA) – During his visit the governor defended his decision to stop accepting pandemic related unemployment benefits.

Siemens is one of many companies in South Carolina with employees who worked through the pandemic, by following protocols, like wearing masks that are still in place.

In recent weeks the governor has made several important decisions about the pandemic and the economic recovery.

“It really is time to be wrapping up these restrictions have on people.” South Carolina, Governor, Henry McMaster said.   

Last week he signed an executive order that effectively ended most mask mandates in the state.

He says the decision to wear a mask, especially for kids in schools should not be up to the government.

“That’s inconsistent with what we’ve been saying, that is let the parents make the choice of whether they want their child to wear a mask or not.” McMaster said.

According to McMaster, South Carolina’s economy is strong and says it’s time to get people back to work. 

“It’s been hard cause we can’t find nobody to work, everybody says they want to work, they come and work a day or so and then they quit.” Owner, Charlene’s Home Cooking, Charlene Davis said.

Charlene’s Home Cooking serves fresh vegetables, homemade desserts and fried ribs. Some businesses including, including this one…have had trouble reopening because a shortage of employees.

“Now you can get stimulus money , you can get this, it’s too much free stuff given to you, why come to work when you can sit at home and do just as well.” Davis said.

Although the chairs are stacked because they don’t have servers, there’s always a seat available for law enforcement at Charlene’s.

“They’re always allowed to come and eat if they want to and today, they got lucky, because one of my customers paid for their food.” Davis said.

On this day it’s only Davis and her husband. He’s cooking and she does everything else and that’s why the governor says those added unemployment benefits will stop on June 26th to help fill open positions.

“We literally have people who are simply not going back to their jobs even when their employer is asking them to come back and the reason we believe is because of those benefits, which in some cases were paying people more than they were making in their jobs, that’s a counterproductive policy and it’s time to end it.” McMaster said.

Once the pandemic unemployment stops, the governor is hoping people will start looking for jobs. Charlene’s home cooking is looking for at least 3 new employees.

The latest extensions of federal programs by the governor happened on March 19th of this year.

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