Governor Henry McMaster was sworn into his second full term on Wednesday morning during a ceremony at the Statehouse. At the end of this term, McMaster will be the longest-serving governor in the state’s history.
Governor McMaster released his Executive Budget last Friday afternoon, which calls for more infrastructure investments in FY23-24. Specifically, Governor McMaster has requested that the legislature allocate additional funds to SCDOT to address bridge projects, I-73, and litter.
- Bridges: The Governor recommends $550 million to bolster investment in bridges ($500 million in non-recurring funds and $50 million in recurring funds). These dollars will be focused on accelerating the repair and replacement of existing bridges on interstates and primary highways.
- I-73: The Governor again recommends a $300 million (non-recurring) allocation to begin construction on I-73. This investment would start work on phase 1 and is aimed at serving as a catalyst for local and federal government partners to finalize their own investment plans to complete the project.
- Litter: The Governor recommends $2 million (non-recurring) to fund SCDOT’s litter control efforts.
In addition to transportation infrastructure, the Executive Budget also recommends investments in economic development, water, and workforce.
- Economic Development: $500 million (non-recurring) to help the Department of Commerce to meet its obligations to previously committed economic development projects. These funds would support infrastructure needs, such as site preparation, roads, bridges, rail, water and sewer, and workforce training requirements for these large-scale developments. In addition, the budget also recommends $200 million (non-recurring) to acquire and develop land to be certified as mega sites to attract new businesses.
- Water: $380 million (non-recurring) to revitalize South Carolina’s water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure. Last year, the Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) received $800 million in ARPA funds for this purpose and received nearly $2 billion in requests.
- Workforce: $500,000 (recurring) allocation for the Be Pro Be Proud program. The budget also includes other lottery fund allocations to the technical college system to support scholarships and the purchase of high-demand job skill training equipment.
For a copy of the Governor’s executive budget, click here.
It is important to remember that the Executive Budget is a recommendation to the General Assembly. The House and Senate will ultimately determine how FY23-24 dollars will be allocated over the next few months as budget deliberations ramp up.
The budget is initiated in the House, and work is already underway. Ways & Means subcommittees will continue to hear budget requests from respective agencies and entities over the next few weeks before taking their recommendations to the full Ways & Means Committee to craft a budget. The House is expected to take up the budget on the floor the week of March 13.
We applaud Governor McMaster’s continued support of infrastructure and setting the stage for additional investments to improve roads and bridges. We look forward to working with the House and Senate to support infrastructure investments during this year’s budget process.