Education, taxes and fetal heartbeat bill top priority for McMaster

COLUMBIA,SC (WOLO)-Governor Henry McMaster made education, taxes and the fetal heartbeat bill a top priority at this third state of the state address Wednesday night.

McMaster made it clear that he wants to kick off 2020 by helping teachers. His goal is to have South Carolina rank in the top 25 when it comes to teacher pay.

“Last year, we raised the salaries of all South Carolina teachers,”McMaster said. “This year, I ask you to give each teacher an additional $3,000 raise, which equates to an average 7% raise per teacher.

And he wants every four year old child to have an opportunity to attend full-day kindergarten no matter their families income.

“The Facts are clear: to change the path of a child’s future, to enhance the prosperity of our economy, to maximize the success of our state, we have to make sure that every student is ready to learn when he or she enters the classroom,” McMaster said.

McmMaster also wants to give back to taxpayers out of the states one point $8 billion surplus.

“I ask that we send $250 million from the surplus back to South Carolina taxpayers in the form of a rebate check , an average of $200 per taxpayer,” McMaster said. “It’s their money.”

But some lawmakers are convinced that’s not accurate

“We don’t have a surplus, we have critical needs that need to be addressed,” Rep. Seth Rose said. “I thought that was a play on words to say there was a surplus when we don’t have one.”

Another thing on his agenda is passing an abortion ban.

“And you are now considering two important pieces of legislation,” McMaster said. ” Both will protect the sanctity of life – through heartbeat or personhood.  It’s time to take a vote.Send them to me and I will immediately sign them into law.”

This topic did not sit well with some lawmakers.

“I didn’t find it well received when he talked about the fetal heartbeat bill,” Rose said. “When the senate majority leader is saying that they don’t have the votes to pass that. Even it’s supporters have to admit it violates roe v. wade. and is unconstitutional.”

McMaster said he is also increasing the pay of multiple law enforcement agencies in the state to help recruitment and retention.

“I ask that we dedicate at least $60 million in new dollars to law enforcement, public safety and first response agencies for recruitment and retention,” McMaster said. “This includes pay raises for troopers, SLED agents, wildlife officers, probation officers, firefighters, corrections officers, forestry and emergency services personnel.  This will also compete the placement of a school resource officer in every school in the state.”

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