Late last week, Gov. Henry McMaster released 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.