Gov. Henry McMaster told legislators Wednesday that the state’s booming economy, billions of extra state revenue and federal aid money will allow the state to make bold steps toward transformation, especially when it comes to infrastructure. In his fifth State of the State address (see full text), McMaster pushed for more investment in mental health, education spending reform and tax cuts. In the Democratic rebuttal, state Rep. Spencer Wetmore, D-Charleston, called on legislators to curb political extremism and focus more on bipartisanship (see full text). More: AP News, The Post and Courier, The State, The Daily Gamecock, Spartanburg Herald-Journal
In other headlines:
North Charleston-raised U.S. senator releases memoir. Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina — one of only three Black senators — is one in a field of candidates seen as a potential foil to President Joe Biden in 2024. Now, he’s a released a new memoir entitled, America. The release comes on the heels of his recent talks on the floor, challenging Democrats over voting rights and their rhetoric of a new “Jim Crow.” More: The State
S.C. Senate moves closer to congressional map debate. Under the Senate’s version of the Congressional seats, the 1st Congressional District will lean more Republican. Richland Democratic Sen. Dick Harpootlian said he will make an amendment to replace the currently proposed map with a version he created, which will make the 1st Congressional District lean more Democratic, among other changes. Meanwhile, there appears to be a national effort among the GOP to push for redistricting in favor of Republicans. It’s not clear when the Senate will take up debate on the maps, however. More: AP News, The Post and Courier
Could Restaurant Week lead to bust instead of boom? Restaurant Week South Carolina kicked off Jan. 13 amid supply chain shortages, staffing woes and inflation. Some restaurant owners wondered whether participation in the 11-day event was worth it, despite it occurring in a slow time of year. More: Charleston Regional Business Journal
And of course: Milk and bread (and toilet paper) needed. Sleet, ice, freezing rain and a potential for rare Lowcountry snow are heading this way. Gov. Henry McMaster has already called for a state of emergency ahead of the Friday storm. Bad weather is expected Friday morning through early Saturday morning. Check your winter storm preparations (hint: you’ll likely need more than toilet paper). More: WLTX, The Post and Courier, WCSC, WYFF
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