SC House Budget should seek to address SC priorities; Job Creation, Education and Healthcare

Today, South Carolina House Democrats gather to call for action to meet South Carolina’s needs: job creation, education and healthcare.

This budget represents a continuation of the failed policies of the past decade, budgeting for the next election campaign rather than for the next generation. This budget shows a lack of understanding by the republican ruling majority of the challenges that hard working South Carolina families face each day. Jobs - education - healthcare. South Carolinans need our state’s leaders to focus on these core priorities. And today, Democrats have come together, as we have done in the past, to urge this general assembly to make the right choices for South Carolina’s future.

Job Creation: Employing Innovation and Technology for South Carolina’s Future.

Investing in Alternative Energy Sources.
Democrats will be offering amendments to the house budget that will provide increased tax credits for solar power and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Democrats will also be proposing a low interest loan program by cities and counties to support residential installation of solar power. These measures will not only help our environment, but help speed South Carolina down the path of energy independence. This is not just an environmental issue anymore. It is an issue of national security and South Carolina should take such action that would position our state as a leader in energy diversity. These measures will help to grow this market to establish a green economy with green jobs in the area of sales and installation.

Improving South Carolina’s Infrastructure.
Democrats will offer amendments to make it clear that South Carolina accepts the federal economic recovery support. South Carolina should make sure that the dollars received are leveraged to meet our state’s infrastructure needs and provide jobs.

Appropriate Use of Economic Recovery Package
Democrats have fought to reduce the cuts to local government which would have translated into increased property taxes and loss of essential services.

With unemployment expected to reach 14% by the end of this year, the economic recovery package is predicted to create 50,000 new jobs as long as it is spent properly.

Education: teaching for tomorrow, today.

Modernizing Public Schools for the 21st Century
All of South Carolina was proud to watch Ty’sheoma Bethea, an 8th grader from J.V. martin high school in Dillon, SC, tell the nation and the world she and her fellow students were not quitters. Democrats say South Carolina shall not quit on them. Democrats will support an amendment to provide an emergency school infrastructure bank. There is no place in South Carolina for a corridor of shame.

Early Childhood Education
Democrats believe at a minimum this budget should fully fund four-year-old kindergarten in the plaintiff’s counties. South Carolina can not afford, particularly in these challending times, to fail South Carolina’s children.

High Quality Education = Protecting Teacher’s Jobs
Democrats do not support republican efforts to retreat on the state’s commitment to high quality teachers by cutting the national board certification program. Democrats will fight to make sure that education remains a priority in South Carolina.

Health Care: Affordable and Accessible Care for Hard Working South Carolinans.

Medicaid Reform
Democrats will fight to reduce provider fraud for medicaid reform that holds accountable those providers that are scamming the system fraudulently inflating costs for everyone.

Small Business Incentives
Democrats will fight for a cigarette tax that will provide small business assistance to meet the challenge of increasing health care costs for their employees while also expanding schips to 250% of poverty. A cigarette tax will also provide jobs and expand employment opportunities in healthcare.

Better Access for Our Veterans
All South Carolinans appreciate the service of our veteran’s and SC House Democrats believe South Carolina should be ready to take care of returning veteran’s to ensure they have the mental and physical healthcare needed. Our state agencies are already working together to assess the current state of healthcare services for our veteran’s. Democrats will introduce a proviso to support this effort, highlight its importance and establish a plan for handling any recommendations for change. Our veteran’s have never forgotten us and we shall not forget them and their service.

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