Gov. McMaster extends state of emergency, praises “accelerateSC” for work

The committee held what could be its last in-person meeting Thursday

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– “accelerateSC”, a task force created by Gov. Henry McMaster (R-SC) to find ways to safely reopen the state economy held what might be its last in-person meeting Thursday.

The group came up with a list of recommendations that will help spur any recovery efforts as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ever since “accelerateSC” began holding meetings April 23, people have been able to go back to restaurants, visit their favorite stores, and enjoy a small slice of normalcy.

“We’ve been careful, we’ve been deliberate, and I think it has drawn the confidence of no less than Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, who said he wished he could clone what we did here and send to other places,” Gov. McMaster said after Thursday’s meeting.

Even though there won’t be any more committee meetings in the near future, one “accelerate SC” member says there’s still work to be done.

“If we don’t go out and get this state to running and setting a goal to get back to 4% unemployment or GDP of the state at $200 billion or whatever it might be, we haven’t achieved, in my opinion, what we were tasked to do,” said Henry Swink of McCall Farms. 

The South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce says 540 thousand South Carolinians have filed for unemployment benefits since March.

Gov. McMaster says one of his priorities is to use money coming in from the CARES Act to replenish hundreds of millions of dollars already used from the state’s unemployment insurance trust fund.

“At least bring it up to a reasonable level instead of taxing the very businesses that we’re trying to help,” Gov. McMaster said.

Some other recommendations from the task force include expanding broadband, increasing the state’s supply of personal protective equipment, and funding a statewide summer reading program.

“The effort that we are undergoing in South Carolina is strong, it is thorough, it is well-thought out, and it’s been acknowledged as such and we expect to have success, although these cases are going to continue, this virus is here to stay,” Gov. McMaster said.

Gov. McMaster says he plans on bringing the list of recommendations with comments to General Assembly leadership at some point next week.

South Carolina’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) says there have been 10,788 cases of coronavirus in South Carolina, with 470 deaths.

Categories: Local News, State