CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Gov. Henry McMaster will lay out his plans for the new year in his annual State of the State Wednesday night from the State House in Columbia.
McMaster will address a joint session of the General Assembly at 7 p.m. and is expected to cover a variety of topics including education, tax reform and workforce development.
McMaster has made education his priority in 2020. The governor submitted his executive budget plan last week and wants to set aside money to pay for teacher raises and expand full-day 4K statewide to all low-income families. McMaster has said before being weak in any part of the state in education is not good, but being perceived as not committed to fixing it is disastrous.
State senators continue their work on the education bill and McMaster has said that if an education reform bill makes it to his desk he will sign it into law. You can expect McMaster to urge senators to continue their work on that legislation.
McMaster’s plan also calls for using some of the $1.8 billion budget surplus for tax cuts and another rebate check for taxpayers.
McMaster is hoping to cut the state’s income tax rate from 7% to 6% over the next five years. He also wants to use $250 million for a taxpayer rebate. The governor’s office said unlike last year’s $50 checks, the new rebates would be pro-rated based on the taxpayer’s tax liability; the minimum rebate, they said would be $50, but the average check would be $204.
House Minority Leader Rep. Todd Rutherford of Richland County will give the Democratic response to the State of the State immediately after the governor’s speech.