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Senator Mia McLeod Releases Comment on Upcoming State of the State Address

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State Senator Mia McLeod, who is also a candidate for Governor, released the following statement regarding tonight’s State of the State Address

“I’m looking forward to Rep. Wetmore’s response to Governor McMaster’s address tonight because that means at least we’ll get the real deal from somebody. Sadly, it won’t be our Governor.

Truth is…the state of our state is—sick.

It has only been 1 year since the Governor’s last State of the State address and there have been at least 813,403 new COVID cases and 8,743 deaths.  Because of his inaction, virtually every South Carolinian knows someone who has had COVID or died as a result of it.

Governor McMaster has refused to exercise his authority to protect the people of South Carolina by enacting evidence-based preventative measures to save lives. In fact, he has used your tax dollars to legally ensure our citizens are not protected, even during an epic public health crisis. He says there’s a ‘better way’ to fight this pandemic. Yet, his way has been no action at all and if this is war, the coronavirus is winning.

On Sunday we reached a record high– over 20,000 new cases in a single day. 

Last year, as COVID cases continued to mount, I proposed a COVID-19 Response Plan that would’ve had a significant impact by now, if implemented. Meanwhile, Gov. McMaster continues to have no plan, no courage and no desire to protect the people of SC, but he and Republican lawmakers do care about their own safety. In fact, today is our first day back at the State House because they shut our legislature down after a one-day winter storm. Yet, they have pushed South Carolinians back to work and school for 2 years, knowing it’s not safe.

This is the true state of our state. Families are struggling. Workers aren’t protected or paid fairly. Rural hospitals are vanishing. Access to quality healthcare is diminishing.  And SC is losing our best and brightest to states with better jobs, higher pay and a greater quality of life.

Gov. McMaster’s idea of ‘success’ is pandering to his base, while leaving the majority of South Carolinians behind. He isn’t just satisfied with the status quo, he is the status quo. South Carolinians shouldn’t have to know somebody to be somebody (who matters) in this state. We deserve to live in a state where everybody thrives.

Yes, our economy is rebounding, and sadly, it’s on the backs of hard-working people who can least afford it.  Any perceived economic growth is not sustainable if it doesn’t include EVERY South Carolinian. Our state is finally reaping the benefits of federal assistance that Gov. McMaster slow-walked and rationed to our most vulnerable communities.  And while he enjoys taking credit, the federal American Rescue Plan Act ‘ARPA’ money was available to SC for months, but Gov. McMaster refused to act, denying our smallest cities and towns access to critical pandemic-recovery funds they desperately needed. In July 2021 I wrote a letter to demand that he request our state’s ARPA Funds, which he finally did after his inaction was exposed.

A thriving state is healthy, well-educated, skilled,  diverse, inclusive, active, engaged and protected.  It’s a state that fully and equitably funds public education, pays teachers competitive salaries that are above the southeastern and national averages, provides adequate workplace protections and safe working conditions that are conducive to learning. It promotes and prioritizes public health and public safety, as well as the general health and well-being of its residents.

As Governor,  I will continue to be fully committed to actions and policies that allow all South Carolinians to thrive.”

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