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2022 General Assembly session underway - Unprecedented amounts of money to work with

The S.C. State House
Ron Cogswell

This year’s session of the of the SC General Assembly got underway this week. Most of the anticipated bills dealing with vaccine mandates, medical marijuana, congressional redistricting, and an array of conservative social issues are awaiting action, but the issue that will hover over the Statehouse this session is money. How the state should spend an unprecedented amount of money that was unexpectedly generated by the COVID pandemic. Federal pandemic aid, and an economy that has continued to boom during the pandemic have generated more than $6 billion in additional revenue. Officials realize the new funding presents the state with an opportunity to invest in areas that until now it might not could have afforded.

In his budget message to the legislature this week, Gov. Henry McMaster called it "a once in a life-time opportunity that the state can’t afford to squander."

Legislative leaders appear to be on the same page with the Governor. They see an opportunity to enhance funding for the state’s chronically underfunded public school system, address critical infrastructure needs such as interstate highways and water and sewer projects, and the latest need now labeled as critical - broadband.

Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.