I hope you’re doing well.
I wanted you to know that the House of Representatives convened for one of the final times this summer last Monday. We met to review and vote on a conference report from the joint Senate-House Budget Conference Committee, which met to iron out differences between the two chambers’ versions of the state budget for the next fiscal year.
We were able to pass the most conservative budget in South Carolina history. This budget funds only the essential functions of the state while protecting taxpayers and preparing for weather or health-related disasters.
Here are some of the budget highlights:
- $50 million in a Preparedness Relief Fund in the case of a natural disaster
- Investment in rebuilding tourism to recover the pandemic’s hardest-hit industry
- 75% expansion of the state’s 4-K program and $1,000 raise for every teacher (in addition to a STEP increase) bringing teacher pay in South Carolina above the Southeast average
- $36 million for the growth of South Carolina’s charter school system
- 2.5% pay raise for state employees
- STEP pay raise for law enforcement officers and PTSD treatment for law enforcement and firefighters
Additionally, I was successful in getting $2 million included in the budget for badly needed Murrells Inlet dredging. Many of the channels have silted in and are no longer navigable except at higher tides.
We’ll return to Columbia tomorrow to take up the Governor’s vetoes. We’ll also return in September to begin work on redistricting, which is required by law every 10 years in conjunction with the census.
It’s an honor to represent District 108 in the House. Thank you so much for your support!
Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Rep. Lee Hewitt