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Gov. Henry McMaster

  • South Carolina election officials are preparing for early voting for the first time in next month's primaries. It's a different approach in an era where many other states are passing laws to make it harder to cast ballots early. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster held a ceremonial bill signing Wednesday afternoon. He actually put his pen to the act on Friday so that local election officials could have as much time as possible to plan for the start of early voting on May 31. The bill allows for two weeks of early voting for the June 14 primaries. It also makes voting fraud a felony and restricts absentee ballots to mail-in only.
  • South Carolina's Republican governor has quietly signed into law a bill that would ban transgender students from playing girls' or women's sports in public schools and colleges. Gov. Henry McMaster's signature Monday means South Carolina joins about a dozen other states that have passed similar laws requiring transgender students to compete with the gender listed on their birth certificates. McMaster didn't issue a statement after signing the bill, but said earlier this month he thought "girls ought to play girls and the boys ought to play boys. That's the way we've always done it." Opponents of the law say it singles out students who aren't elite athletes but are just looking for a way to be a regular student.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster was put under anesthesia for about 10 minutes Wednesday to fix a minor irregular heartbeat. The governor's office says the problem was found when the 74-year-old governor was scheduled for arthroscopic knee surgery. McMaster had suffered a slight meniscus tear while playing tennis with his wife. McMaster's cardiologist says a pre-operation electrocardiogram Tuesday found the governor's heartbeat normal. But one final test before the knee procedure found his heartbeat was irregular. Doctors say McMaster was under for about 10 minutes and was back at the governor's mansion in two hours. Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette knew what was happening, but did not need to act as governor.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has raised more than $5 million in his pursuit of a second full term. His campaign said Monday that the Republican brought in more than $600,000 in the first fundraising quarter of this year. The incumbent faces two opponents in the June primary, although neither has undertaken significant fundraising. Former U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham is leading the Democratic fundraising field. He has raised $400,000 so far this year, for a total of $1.7 million. No Democrat has won the state's top office since 1998.
  • outh Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has vetoed a proposal that would have allowed candidates for school board in Lancaster County to run as members of political parties. In his veto message McMaster says he wasn't necessarily against partisan school board elections, just the Legislature's decision to only apply it to one county. Instead, McMaster suggested the General Assembly pass a proposal to change the rules for every school district in the state. Only two other districts — Horry and Lee counties — have partisan races. The South Carolina School Boards Association opposes the proposal, saying it would increase polarization.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is appointing an attorney who has temporarily steered the state's struggling Department of Juvenile Justice to be the agency's next permanent leader. McMaster announced Tuesday that he's naming Eden Hendrick as the agency's executive director. Hendrick has helmed the department in an acting role since September, when former director Freddie Pough stepped down. The end of Pough's tenure was marked by a scathing state audit and dissatisfaction from lawmakers. Hendrick says she's worked to turn the agency around by changing up the leadership structure, refining hiring and retention practices and modernizing agency facilities that hold incarcerated youths.
  • SC Gov. Henry McMaster used his fifth State of the State speech to the General Assembly this week to repeat calls for some long-time goals such as a tax cut, funding for infrastructure improvements, a police officer in every school, and a new funding formula for public schools.
  • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster says a booming economy and billions of dollars of extra revenue and federal COVID-19 relief money gives the state a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take bold steps to transform. The Republican governor used his fifth State of the State speech Wednesday to call for some longtime goals like an income tax cut. He also called for new objectives like more than $1 billion for roads and bridges. Democrats argued that if the governor really wants bold change, he should reach out to the other party about proposals like expanding Medicare or protecting public education.
  • Gov. Henry McMaster is expected to say South Carolina needs to be bold and seize opportunities created by billions of additional dollars in the budget in his State of the State speech on Wednesday. McMaster is set to speak to lawmakers at 7 p.m. The speech is a chance for the Republican governor to tout his accomplishments from last year and set out his 2022 goals like cutting taxes and setting aside more than a billion dollars for roads. The Democratic response to the governor's speech will be given by Rep. Spencer Wetmore, an attorney from Folly Beach.
  • Gov. Henry McMaster's suggestion for how South Carolina spends billions of extra dollars contains some familiar requests he hasn't got in his five years in office — like cutting income taxes. But the governor is sprinkling in some new proposals, such as $2,000 bonuses for school bus drivers, $3 million to expand election audits and $100 million to South Carolina's aging health lab. McMaster released his budget request Monday. The General Assembly controls what gets spent, but lawmakers have had a good relationship with the governor. At the top of McMaster's budget is cutting the income tax rate from 7% to 6% over five years, costing $177 million a year.