School Choice in South Carolina budget

schoolchoice1For the first time in my 9 years of service in the South Carolina Senate I voted for a conference report on an appropriations bill. Here’s why. For the first time in our state’s history, some South Carolina students will have school choice. I sponsored and amendment allowing for South Carolina taxpayers to receive a tax credit matching a contribution to a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO’s). These SGO’s will offer scholarships to special needs children for up to $10,000 per year. The credit is capped at 60% of their tax liability. The tax credits are capped at $8 million.

All would agree that special needs children’s education must be individualized and this is very expensive. I would like to extend tax credits for school choice to all children in South Carolina. I am confident that when we hear the success stories from children and their parents, we will get the momentum to expand school choice in South Carolina.

Also, the budget commits $141 million to our dilapidated roads and crumbling bridges. I supported several amendments that would send hundreds of millions of dollars on hand, however, as you saw yesterday, the rinocrat majority would rather in-debt future generations and fund warm and fuzzy programs that show zero results.

There’s a ton of junk in this budget, as a matter of fact, its been said that “there’s not much punch in the bowl”. For example there’s $24 million going to a program that has shown zero results like First Steps.