Henry McMaster in 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches


On Abortion: Stop providing state funds to abortion clinics

The most important function of government is providing for the safety and security of the people. That extends to all life--born and unborn, young and old. I believe that human life begins at conception. That's why I directed state agencies
Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Crime: Jam cellphone signals inside state prisons

We also face threats from inside our prisons. Today, cell phones are so concealable and available that they have revolutionized criminal activity. With cell phones smuggled inside the prison or secretly thrown over the wall, inmates and their conspirators on the outside can practice extortion, conduct blackmail, plan and execute "hits," operate drug rings and run any number of fraud schemes. It is as though they never got caught.

Our Department of Corrections is leading the national effort to repeal the federal law which prohibits us from jamming these phone signals. Until we accomplish that, we must take every action, try every idea and implement any law which will stop these criminals. I ask for your determined assistance.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Drugs: Opioids: awareness, information, treatment, & enforcement

The opioid epidemic is affecting every state in the country. 54% of the pills on the street come from your neighbor's medicine cabinet in an unused prescription of too many pills.

For the last three years, we had more opioid-related deaths in South Carolina than homicides and drunk driving deaths combined. In 2016, this "silent hurricane" killed 616 people.

And it's not just pills. Addictions intensify from one substance to another. From 2014 to 2016, heroin deaths increased 67%, plus a more than 700% increase in cases involving fentanyl.

We must take a bold new approach to this unprecedented threat. It consists of a "full court press," including awareness, information and treatment. Last month, I declared a statewide public health emergency. This allows us to bring the full power of the state's emergency management infrastructure, health care apparatus and law enforcement resources to bear--as a single team--upon the growing epidemic of opioid deaths, addiction and abuse.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Education: Invest in school choice & robust charter school program

On schools: What do we want? And what must we do?

We want a multifaceted system, anchored by traditional public schools boasting the best teachers, principals and technologies. We want charter schools--all public--to flourish, including those for children with special needs. Parents want vigorous, accountable, innovative school choice. So how do we accomplish this?

My executive budget increases per-pupil funding for charter schools, and establishes a transportation program to reduce barriers to access.
Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Energy & Oil: Oppose offshore drilling & onshore infrastructure

Every municipality along our coast has voted to oppose drilling. With offshore drilling comes the construction of onshore infrastructure--refineries, gas storage tanks, maintenance and operating facilities, trucks and traffic. We have no place to put it. It is incompatible with everything we have and do on our coast.

Oil spills, like hurricanes, can disrupt and damage a state's economy. We cannot stop hurricanes, but we can avoid oil spills. We cannot take a chance.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Environment: Oppose drilling and seismic testing along our coast

We cannot take for granted our precious natural resources which define and sustain us, from the mountains to the sea. Our economy and culture depend on a living, pristine coastline. Every municipality along our coast has voted to oppose drilling and seismic testing. They are right.

We must do whatever it takes to preserve this economic paradise we call "the beach, the marsh, the coast and the lowcountry." It is made of gold.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Immigration: Say "no" "sanctuary cities"; don't tolerate lawlessness

Prosperity requires law and order. We cannot tolerate lawlessness. That means we must say "no" to "sanctuary cities." Right now, there is no way for the people of South Carolina--or elsewhere--to know for sure whether our local governments are following state and federal immigration laws.

Experience shows that a refusal to enforce one law generally reflects a softness in enforcing other criminal laws, and attracts criminal behavior. Our rule is "trust, but verify." I support bills which would create an enforcement mechanism to register compliance.

We will keep our people safe, and send a message across the nation that there will be no "sanctuary cities" in South Carolina.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Jobs: S.C.Workforce Partnership: shift from toolboxes to tablets

Workers who previously carried tool boxes now carry tablets. In South Carolina, our workforce must keep pace with our own success. We must invest in our workforce development institutions. Fortunately, we have the talent, vision & means to do just that.

The South Carolina Technical College System is the engine of our economic and workforce development. We should use this magnificent system to the fullest extent. To that end, I'm calling for the creation of the South Carolina Workforce Partnership.

This new initiative will connect businesses with high schools and technical colleges to collaborate on internships, dual credit and certificate programs for students interested in the skilled trades--focused on rural areas of our state. My budget also increases funding for Workforce Scholarships and Grants--so that more students can access the financial resources to obtain certificates and associate's degrees at our technical colleges.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

On Tax Reform: Low taxes spur economic growth and prosperity

The recent tax reform bill signed by President Trump was a great victory for American taxpayers and our economy. But with the federal government cutting taxes, it is now more important than ever for us to do our part. My executive budget proposes a $2.2 billion tax cut for every South Carolinian.

The first year's cut amounts to $139 million. To all the South Carolinians listening tonight: that's $139 million that would have gone to government, and will stay with you instead.

Like Presidents Reagan, Kennedy and now Trump, I believe that low taxes spur economic growth and prosperity. Yet, South Carolina currently has the highest marginal income tax rate in the southeast--the 12th highest in the nation. Seven states have no income tax at all. Taxes of all kinds at all levels add up--little by little--to smother growth.

We must act. We must heed the lessons of history. We must respect the right of the people to their own money, for their own purposes, according to their own priorities.

Source: 2018 State of the State speech to South Carolina legislature Jan 24, 2018

The above quotations are from 2018 Governor's State of the State speeches.
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Page last updated: Apr 22, 2018