COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA)- Governor Henry McMaster delivered his third state of the state address Wednesday evening, touching on the highs and lows of the state.
The speech allows the governor to celebrate the state’s success while presenting proposals to address areas still in need.
Governor McMaster started his address paying homage to our fallen officers. He then moved on to the success the state has had in the last year, including more money than expected in the state’s budget. But as the governor got into his third state of the state address, McMaster outlined his blueprint for the state for 2020.
“Tonight I’m proud to tell you we are strong. South Carolina is winning,” said Governor McMaster to the General Assembly recapping the state’s victories in 2019.
McMaster continued, “More people are working in South Carolina ever before, unemployment is at a record low.
McMaster then quickly changed gears looking ahead, laying out his plans for the state’s education system. McMaster is proposing more money for higher education, raising teacher salaries, and offering fully funded pre-k for low income students.
“Our lower-income five-year-old children are increasingly entering kindergarten unprepared and lacking the necessary literacy and language skills. They are unlikely to ever catch up,” explained the governor.
The governor is also calling on the General Assembly to put money back in the taxpayers pocket.
“Money spent by the people who worked to earn it goes farther, more efficiently and produces more dividends for them and us than the same dollars spent by the government.”
McMaster rounded out his speech addressing public safety needs like more school resource officers, improving prison infrastructure and putting more troopers on the road.
Immediately after the governor’s address, House Democratic leader Representative Todd Rutherford addressed the crowd, criticizing the governor for current policies.
“The fact is republicans have been in charge for 20 years straight long enough to be responsible for the problems they claim to be solving. Year after year we see these problems go from bad to worse this year again our education is on public education and like they do every year republicans will pass a bill call it reform and call it a day,” said Rutherford.
In addition to education, taxes, and public safety, Governor McMaster also reiterated his commitment to sign any pro life legislation that makes it to his desk.
Governor McMaster also touched on the manufacturing industry and the available 70,000 jobs looking for employees right now.