COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster unveiled his Executive Budget and American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) recommendations Monday at the State House.

The General Assembly will decide how the federal relief funds are spent and will work on the budget in the coming months. Formal subcommittee deliberations begin this week.

State lawmakers have about $2.4 billion from ARPA to work with along with a nearly $3 billion surplus in this year’s budget.

The governor’s budget requests include $46 million for merit-based pay raises for state workers, $120 million for education funding reform, and $177 million for income tax cuts.

“The $2.4 billion in ARPA funds along with the almost $3 billion in surplus revenue generated by South Carolina’s booming economy – presents us with a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Gov. McMaster said. “An opportunity that we cannot afford to squander.”

The governor is also proposing $600 million in ARPA funds and $600 million from the budget to help SCDOT get to work on road and bridge improvements like widening I-26 between Charleston and Columbia.

“If we take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity – by making big, bold, and transformative investments in the areas of education, infrastructure, workforce, and economic development, South Carolina will prosper for generations to come,” said McMaster.

The governor also proposed using $20 million in education lottery funds for education savings account, pending a law change by the General Assembly.

A Senate Education subcommittee is meeting Wednesday morning to discuss this legislation.

You can watch the governor’s news conference by clicking or tapping here.