Late last week, Gov. Henry McMasterreleased his Executive Budget for the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year, which outlines his ideas for the allocation of the state’s finances. The budget includes a total of $30.1 billion in recommendations. However, while it gives good insight into our state’s economic situation, this will likely not be the final version of the state’s budget.
The General Assembly(which is composed of the state House and Senate) returned to session this week + will review McMaster’s budget and create their own recommendations. First, the House will deliberate and pass the budget, then it will move to the Senate to be debated and passed.
Unlike the traditional calendar year, the new fiscal year begins on July 1 in South Carolina (and 45 other states), meaning we’re currently about halfway through the 2020-2021 Fiscal Year.
So, what does the proposed budget look like? Let’s break some of it down. 💰 $30.1 billion – the total recommendations 💰 $500 million reserve fund – a “rainy day” fund to aid the state in any future economic uncertainties 💰 $123 million in small business grants – these will be administered in the same manner as the federal CARES Act funds 💰 $80 million in need-based scholarships – broken down to $60 million in public university scholarships and $20 million in private university and HBCU scholarships 💰 $13 million in retention and recruitment funds for law enforcement, public safety + first responders – includes pay raises for some positions 💰 $48 million in 4K expansion – which would provide free full-day kindergarten for every lower income family with a four-year-old 💰 $35 million to funding classrooms – which would allow for the step salary increases for teachers to be resumed 💰 $5.6 million to hire school nurses – this would allow for the hiring of a full-time nurse in each public school in the state 💰 $25 million to public charter schools – which saw a 25% increase in enrollment last year 💰 $30 million for broadband expansion – to aid the effort to expand broadband access across the state 💰 $60 million for workforce training + development – which would support programs, such as ReadySC, to provide job skills training to high-demand jobs
Want to dive deeper into the numbers? Check out the full Executive Budget here.
Numbers are hard – send this to a friend to dig into the details together.
Weather ○ 56º | Partly cloudy | 10%chance of rain
Biz ○ Dominion Energyhas agreed to pause its requested 7.7% rate increase for at least six months due to financial constraints from the coronavirus. Dominion initially requested the increase in 2020 and was asked by the Office of Regulatory Staff to put the request on hold. The extra funds from the proposed increase would help the utility make improvements since it purchased SCANA two years ago. (WIS)
State ○ Gov. Henry McMaster will deliver the State of the State address tonight at 7 p.m. and Senator Mia McLeod will give the Democratic response immediately following Gov. McMaster. Both speeches will be aired on SC ETV here. (The State)
Coronavirus ○ Richland County School District Onewill continuevirtual learning through Friday, Jan. 29. The decision was made to maintain a consistent learning structure + avoid situations of staffing shortages due to COVID-19 concerns. (WLTX) ○ Prisma Health’s COVID-19 vaccine timeline, distribution updates and other frequently asked questions can be found on their website. Check back often for updates, which will be posted as they become available. Ⓟ
Gov ○ Yesterday, South Carolina State Senators changed a rule requiring information regarding earmarks made during the budget-making process must be made available upon request. The change follows Gov. Henry McMaster’s call to eliminate the use of undisclosed earmarks. (The State)
Number ○ 8. The number of awards the East Point Academy dance team won competing against 600+ performers at the virtual Taoli World Dance Competition in December. The team also has the opportunity to compete in the final round of the competition this summer in California. (Cola Daily)
SodaCitizens ○ Columbia Business Monthly’s 2020 50 Most Influential list of regional leaders is out + we recognize quite a few familiar faces. Five individuals were also added to Columbia Business Monthly’s Hall of Fame.
Apply ○ Lexington-Richland School District Five and Kershaw County School District are both soon holdingvirtual hiring events for certified teachers. The Kershaw County recruitment fair will take place Jan. 29 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. + applications should be filled out ahead of timehere. The Lex-Rich Five will take place Feb. 6 from 8:30-11 a.m. + candidates can register here. (WLTX)
WaterCooler ○ Yesterday, Augusta National Golf Club announced plans for a limited audience to attend the 85th Masters Tournament, which is scheduled for April 5-11. Those who are not chosen to attend will be issued a refund. (WSPA)
Trending ○ If you frequent social media, you may have noticedtacos de birria – tacos filled with a slow cooked protein which are then dipped in the stew and fried – have been trending on Instagram and TikTok. Want to get in on the trendy goodness, but don’t want to make them yourself? We hear Real Mexico(2421 Bush River Rd.), Tacos Nayarit(1531 Percival Rd.) and a few food trucks sell them around town. (Post and Courier)
TryThis ○ Stay strong, Columbia – spring is coming. And with it comes SOCO’s new and improved pet-friendly outdoor workspace at their BullStreet location, ft. blazing wifi, bottomless coffee, and all the Vitamin D you can handle. Stay tuned for their big announcement, or if you want a headstart on those new year’s goals, book a tour and check them out here.
Finance ○ Is financial wellness one of your 2021 goals? One easy step: Stop paying for a checking account. AllSouth’s Freedom Checking accounts have no minimum balance and no maintenance fees (*all other fees apply). Learn more. Ⓟ
TheBuy ○ Hey, meat lovers: Meet your new favorite delivery. With ButcherBox, you can spend less time searching for high-quality meat and more time cooking meals at home in the New Year. Bonus: Sign up and get up to 10 lbs of meatfor free. 🥩Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
701 Center for Contemporary Art’s newest exhibition, Feast & Foe, is opening tomorrow and will run through Feb. 28. The exhibition features work from artist in residence Lori Larusso and deals with food, domestic labor and giving care. The gallery will be open Wednesday-Sunday from 1-5 p.m. 🖌️
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Play ○ Mandalorian Trivia|Wed., Jan. 13 | 7 p.m. | Angry Fish Brewing Co. | Free | This is the way. Calling all Baby Yoda stans, it’s time to test your Mandalorian knowledge. ✨
Active ○ Spring Into Health: Virtual HIIT Workout|Wed., Jan. 13 | 5:30-6:30 p.m. | Virtual | Free | Get a jump start on those new year’s resolutions with this virtual fitness class followed by a wellness Q+A. Class hosted on Zoom. 💪
FeaturedEvent ○ Let’s Talk Influencer Marketing | Wed., Jan. 13 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Virtual | Free, Register | Presented by Infinity Marketing, this webinar focuses on the benefits of influencer marketing and how to identify potential influencers for your brand. Speakers include Shannon Kohn, Social Media Strategist, and Kendall Nicholson, Senior Media Specialist.Ⓟ
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.