We returned this week to finalized next year’s budget (which ultimately passed 84-28 in the House and passed 30-9 in the Senate). In the coming days, Governor McMaster will get to issue his vetoes – and I look forward to seeing many of those and hope we can sustain those that are not the best use of your tax dollars.

If you ever wanted to dive into the budget, here it is. Click and “enjoy”.

Below are some highlights for the areas most often asked about by constituents.


 $22 million to fully fund Constitutional Reserve Funds, which brings the
reserve fund total to $515 million ($364 million – General Reserve; $151 –
Capital Reserve)
 Reduced the total budget by $2.4 billion by removing double-booked funds
and items in higher education that are not state funds
 $599 million in direct tax relief for South Carolinians


 $32 million to fund the General Fund employer cost of Year 2 of the multiyear
plan to bring down the multi-billion pension liability
 $56.4 million to cover 100% of the state employee health and dental
insurance increases so employees will have no additional monthly
premium cost
 Expanded to cover Well Visits as a contractual service, which will require copays but
also count towards deductibles
 Small increases to patient liability in deductible and copays


Teacher Salary Increases
• $31 million for a statewide teacher salary increase of 1%
• $7.8 million to increase the statewide minimum starting salary for a
teacher with 0 and 1 year experience from $30,000 to $32,000
Increased School Funding
• $55.8 million to increase the Base Student Cost by $60 per pupil to
• $13 million for SC Public Charter Schools student growth
• $11 million for Technical Assistance for low-performing schools
School Buses
• $12 million in recurring, non-recurring, and lottery funding for new
school buses
• With this new funding, all 1995 fire-prone buses will be off the road
by the start of the school year
School Resource Officers
• $2 million recurring for hiring certified law enforcement officers to
serve as School Resource Officers
• Funds are available for school districts that otherwise would lack the
adequate resources to hire their own SROs, with districts of the
lowest index of taxpaying ability receiving priority consideration
• Allows any retired Class 1 law enforcement officer to return to
employment as an SRO without affecting the monthly retirement
School Safety Upgrades
• $15 million in the Lottery for School Safety and Critical Facility and
Equipment Improvements
• Funds are for life safety infrastructure for school facilities including
door locks, security cameras, metal detectors, lifesaving medical
equipment and SRO equipment


Scholarships and Tuition Aid
 $11 million for Workforce Scholarships to provide grants for tuition, fees, transportation,
or textbook expenses to SC residents enrolled in a career education program at a
technical school or professional certification program
 $3.9 million to create Palmetto Promise Scholarship Pilot program that awards
scholarships to students from the Abbeville plaintiff school districts
 For the third year in a row, fully funded LIFE, HOPE and Palmetto Fellows Scholarships
through the Lottery, including the increases from the 10-point grading scale
Technical Colleges
 $4 million in recurring increases for all technical colleges
 $9.4 million for the successful ReadySC job training program, which provides customized
training for new and expanding business and industry
 $11 million for High Demand Skill Training Equipment to be distributed to all technical
Colleges and Universities
 $20 million in recurring to help bring colleges and universities closer to pre-recession
funding levels
 $50 million non-recurring for capital projects and maintenance needs at colleges around
the state


Heath and Human Services – Medicaid Budget
 $26.4 million for the state Medicaid Maintenance of Effort and annualization to
continue current level of services without expending agency reserves
 Includes Increased revenue assumptions and lower targets for managed care rates
 Continued funding for the Healthy Outcomes Proviso, serving over 14,000 highutilizers
of emergency rooms and/or inpatient services through coordination with all
Medicaid-designated hospitals, 70 primary care safety net providers, and three
behavioral health clinics state-wide
Health and Human Services – Rural Health Initiative & Telemedicine
 $3.5 million in increased funding for the Rural Health Initiative. DHHS will continue
to partner with the USC School of Medicine in the development of a long term
strategic plan for addressing medically underserved communities in the rural areas
of the state through services such as the iCARED initiative.
 Aimed at supporting and developing medical education in rural areas through rural
residency placements and infrastructure improvements
 $5 million in non-recurring through Telemedicine Proviso for continued
infrastructure build out and $1 million increase in recurring funds for Telemedicine
operations – this brings total recurring dollars for the SC Telehealth Network to
$11.5 million in combined funding through DHHS and MUSC
Health and Human Services – Autism Spectrum Disorder
 $4.8 million increase in state recurring funds for increased rates for autism therapy and
service providers ($9.4 M in matching federal funds)
 Rates for ABA line therapists will increase from $17.38 to roughly $30/hour with
increases to the supervisor rate from $58/hour to $64/hour
 Agency has updated the rate methodology to reflect cost-driven structure and avoid
blending the supervision rate with line therapists
 Rates are indexed against national standard cost of employment information, and
proposal is being distributed to providers by the end of the month
 DHHS is continuing to explore opportunities to increase capacity in the workforce, so
that children are not placed on waiting lists – 20% increase in enrolled providers since
November 2017
DHHS, DAODAS and MUSC – Opioid Abuse Prevention
 Over $11 million in increased state funding specifically aimed at addressing the Opioid
Epidemic through DHHS and DAODAS
 $5 million in state funds for the MUSC Hospital Authority Health Innovations Program,
which includes funding to expand the Emergency Department MAT pilot established in
FY 17-18 to additional hospitals
 Proviso 117.142 will use these funds to implement many of the House Opioid Abuse
Prevention Study Committee recommendations
 $4 million in non-recurring through HOP proviso 33.20 for capital improvements to the
behavioral health facilities based on need as determined by DAODAS and DHHS
Other Health Agencies
 DSS – $23 million in recurring funds to address required components in
settlement agreement and continue child care match for $8.65 million in
federal funds, $25 million in non-recurring for the continued development of
the Child Support System
 DDSN – $11.3 million to increase the department’s direct care staff starting
salaries agency wide from $11/hour to $12/hour and a 3-4% increase to direct
care wages for employees working with the department for at least 5 years,
$500,000 increase to the Greenwood Genetic Center for Autism Research,
$650,000 for in-home Autism Support services
 DMH – $6.9 million to increase funding for Supported Community Housing,
Child and Adolescent Intensive Community and Residential Services, and
enhanced School Based Services
 DHEC – $2.4 million for the EMS Performance Improvement Center and the
Credentialing Information System, Enhanced Communicable Disease
Prevention and Treatment, including funding specific to HIV/AIDS, Breast and
Cervical Cancer, and Colorectal Cancer


Department of Corrections
 $5 million to increase the starting salary for correctional officers by $1,000 and
provide an increase for existing officers.
 $1.7 million for workforce and reentry services for Level II/III institutions
 $3 million for security system equipment and upgrades
 Proviso 65.25 (Cell Phone Interdiction) amended to give the department additional
flexibility within their budget for critical security upgrades.
 $500,000 recurring for vehicle rotation
 $956,131 for a pay increase for eligible Class 1 and 3 personnel
 $54 million for a new forensic laboratory
Criminal Justice Academy
 $212,980 to increase instructor salaries
Judicial Department
 $7 million for Phase I of 3 of Case Management Modernization
 $1.1 million for security upgrades to the Supreme Court building and parking lot
 $900,000 for building maintenance at Court Administration and the Supreme Court
Probation, Pardon and Parole Services
 $1.1 million for vehicle support, fully funding the agency’s lease program and
bringing the agent to vehicle ratio to 1:1
 $863,408 for expansion of the Offender Supervision Specialist Program to
eight additional counties bringing the total to 28 counties
Department of Natural Resources
 $403,934 for law enforcement step increases for eligible officers from 5% –
10% of base salary
 $415,600 for law enforcement vehicle rotation
 $3 million as state match for Pittman-Robertson and North American
Conservation funds
Conservation Bank

 $4 million recurring and $1.5 million non-recurring for Conservation Bank
Trust as well as $265,335 for operational expenses
Department of Juvenile Justice
 $3.6 million for development and implementation of a program for treatment
of the severely mentally ill population


Department of Commerce
 $4.2 million for the Deal Closing Fund to build on recent successes in recruiting
new jobs and industry
 $11 million for Locate SC to continue to develop depleted suitable inventory for
potential business relocation prospects
 $600,000 for the Military Base Task Force
Clemson PSA
 $2 million for Water Resource Research, Management & Technology and $3
million for facility renovation for water research
 $3 million for field facilities and equipment storage at Research and Education
Center facilities located throughout the state
 $500,000 for the Comprehensive Statewide Extension Program, which will help
support the Clementa Pinckney 4-H Leadership Program
Forestry Commission
 $1 million for firefighting equipment to assist in the replacement of
open-cab dozers with safer and more efficient closed-cab dozers
 $1 million for forester recruitment and retention
Department of Agriculture
 $1 million for statewide agribusiness infrastructure and site preparation for
agribusiness relocation prospects that do not qualify for Locate SC funds
 $100,000 for Agribusiness Development Grants that will help support the
production of fresh fruits and vegetables and thus increase healthy food equity
among the rural and/or underprivileged urban communities
Arts Commission
 $350,000 to be used as grants to support local art organizations around
the state
Archives and History
 $200,000 to conserve and preserve the seven South Carolina
Constitutions: 1776, 1778, 1790, 1861, 1865, 1868, and 1895
State Ports Authority
 $1.425 M for development of the Jasper Ocean Terminal Port


Department of Motor Vehicles
 $5.6 million non-recurring for customer service representatives, Saturday work
at branches, and State to State Help Desk IT creation associated with
implementation of the REAL ID program
 $379,122 recurring for 9 operators to run the federally-mandated State to State
Help Desk required to maintain compliance with the REAL ID program
 $428,000 recurring for staffing and materials costs associated with the Moped
Commission on Minority Affairs
 $231,360 for additional Statistical & Research Analysts and $75,000 for the
agency’s Small Business Program
Human Affairs Commission
 $80,000 for staff training to maintain federal funding levels
 $20,000 for additional administrative hearings due to an increase in caseloads
Division of Aeronautics
 $275,000 for facilities maintenance in the form of replacing windows and
painting the exterior of its headquarters


Department of Administration
 $3 million to support all state agencies as the agency continues to implement
the Statewide IT Strategic Plan
 $1 million for Guardian ad Litem to comply with national Court Appointed
Special Advocate standards and to replace funding they were previously
receiving from DSS
 4.5 million for State-Owned Building Maintenance
 $11 million for Beach Renourishment, which completes the program
 $5.4 million for State Park Maintenance Needs – the agency has over $25 million
in maintenance and upgrade needs for the state parks across the state
 $4.5 million for the Sports Marketing Grant Program
Adjutant General
 $1.55 million recurring and $3 million non-recurring for Armory Revitalizations
 $451,000 Emergency Preparedness Operations to address personnel costs and
various operating expenses such as IT, training exercises, and facility
maintenance needs
 $235,000 total for State Guard Operations to offset reductions from federal
Election Commission
 $250,000 for Security of Election Infrastructure which will ensure the security of
the state’s election infrastructure, which includes the statewide voter
registration system and the statewide voting system
 $600,000 Special Election Funds Recoupment to replenish election funds used
to pay for the numerous special primaries and elections over the last year
 $4 million for the refurbishment of the current statewide voting system
 $4 million for the new statewide voting system reserve fund to continue setting
funding aside for the purchase of a new system in future years which could cost
over $50 million total