Speaker responds as House passes state budget

House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed their 2020-2021 appropriations bill Wednesday morning:

“This year’s budget process was a huge success, due in no small part to the incredible work of members and staff. The core of this budget was to bring relief to taxpayers, bolster our reserves, and give raises to teachers and state employees who need it most. Significant resources were devoted to education, roads, and public safety and corrections. The House was able to work closely with the Governor, and adhere to many of the priorities in the Governor’s executive budget proposal. The issues most important to the citizens and taxpayers of this state will continue to be prioritized by the House.”

Provisions included in the House budget:

  • Over $3 billion returned to taxpayers this year, including $128 million through an income tax credit
  • $120 million to provide permanent tax relief by lowering the income tax rate from 7% to 6.8%
  • $122 million added to our General Reserves, $14 million to our Capital Reserves and $50 million in special reserves for future natural disasters, bringing the total reserve fund to almost $800 million
  • $100 million total funds to be used on our state’s roads
  • $3,000 per teacher pay raise
  • $40 million to provide raises for state employees
  • Over $349 million for education, specifically to freeze college tuition rates, expand 4K to rural communities, and invest in School Resource Officers, Mental Health Counselors, textbooks, scholarships and more
  • $138 million for the Department of Corrections to fund safety upgrades, new infrastructure, and update key controls systems