McMaster Removing $2.3 Million from South Carolina’s 2024-25 Budget

Henry McMaster
by T.A. DeFeo


South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced 21 budget vetoes totaling nearly $2.3 million from the Palmetto State’s fiscal 2024-25 budget.

The Republican governor announced his vetoes during a Wednesday media briefing, calling on state lawmakers to replace earmarks with merit-based and competitive grants. The budget includes more than 500 earmarks totaling $424.7 million.

South Carolina’s $40.2 billion spending plan is built around $12.4 billion in general funds, $13.6 billion in federal funds and $14.1 billion in other funds.

“After decades of overriding the gubernatorial vetoes of innocuous sounding appropriation titles inside of which the earmarks were hidden, the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives now disclose the sponsors and recipients of earmarked appropriations, as well as the activity, function, or project for which each earmark is intended,” McMaster wrote in his veto message.

“Many of these earmarks are investments in local governments for the purchase of new patrol cars, body armor, firetrucks, upgraded weaponry, and even K9 officers,” the governor added. “There are earmarks for infrastructure, buildings, roads, bridges, wastewater and sewer projects, recreational parks, walking trails, and traffic improvements.”

The state’s budget increases teacher salaries by $4,500, making the new minimum starting teacher salary $47,000. McMaster has set a goal of increasing the minimum starting salary to $50,000 by 2026.

It also freezes college tuition for in-state students for the fifth consecutive year. Lawmakers also allocated $2 million to add school resource officers in the 175 schools without an assigned officer.

The spending plan also lowers the personal income tax to 6.2%, and the governor said he intends to keep lowering the state’s tax rate.

“If future revenues allow, we should continue cutting the personal income tax rate each year until we are well below the 6% rate,” the governor said in his message to lawmakers.

Lawmakers also included $200 million for emergency bridge replacement and repairs, lower than the $500 million McMaster’s executive budget proposed.

– – –

T.A. DeFeo is a contributor for The Center Square.
Photo “Henry McMaster” by Henry McMaster. Background Photo “South Carolina Capitol” by Runner1928 CC BY-SA 3.0.



Related posts