As governor, I’ll create an economy that gives every person in the Palmetto State the opportunity to succeed, in every part of the state–no matter who, no matter where. The number one job of a governor is to encourage economic development. I’ll work to develop the best workforce in the nation through education and job training for growing industries like advanced manufacturing, aerospace, automotive, and agribusiness. And I’ll work to fix our crumbling infrastructure, because businesses are demanding it.
As governor, I’ll also support comprehensive tax reform that benefits working South Carolinians and our businesses—instead of using the tax code as a way to provide favors for hundreds of special interests.
As governor, I’ll work to ensure women in South Carolina are financially independent — a cause I’ve dedicated much of my career to. Currently, women in South Carolina make 80 cents to every dollar a man makes, and it’s one of only four states without an equal pay law. South Carolina women with a high school degree make $600,000 less than men over their careers. South Carolina women with a college degree make $2 million less than over their careers. Equal pay is not only good for South Carolina women — it’s also good for men and families, and it brings more money into our state.
As governor, I’ll hold the General Assembly accountable for routinely failing to fund public education. South Carolina teachers are severely underpaid and our rural schools continue to struggle. I want to find ways to fix these problems, including looking at additional revenue sources like a lottery for K-12 education. Proposals that don’t increase revenue for schools and merely shift existing resources around will never work. If we’re going to address the funding disparity between districts, we must find other revenue sources to pay our teachers fair and equitable wages for taking care of and teaching our children. Taking resources from one region to pay another is not a realistic funding option. That’s unfair to South Carolina students.
As governor, I’ll do everything I can to reduce the cost of higher education for South Carolina students. The high price legislators ask South Carolina students to pay to attend our state’s colleges and universities is a direct result of their failure to better fund our schools. I’ll look at expanding the lottery and instituting other regulated gaming activities as possible sources of scholarship funds, and I’ll work to apply those funds first to those who need it the most.
As governor, I’ll expand Medicaid, because right now we’re paying for health care for other states instead of our own. My grandfather was a doctor in Greenville, and he would be appalled that today South Carolinians are denied care because of their income. Medicaid expansion would bring over $1.5 billion a year back into SC and would provide health care coverage for nearly half a million South Carolinians. However, the Trump Administration and Congress have already proposed cuts to “entitlements,” meaning Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. South Carolina must be prepared to meet the needs of its citizens in the event that the federal government breaks its promise to care for those most vulnerable. I will plan for that possibility with the help of health care experts. I’ll also focus on rural health care and on our growing mental health crisis.
As governor, I’ll work to institute responsible, common-sense gun safety measures. I neither need nor want support from the NRA. In the wake of the Parkland school shooting, I called for a ban on assault weapons, because we don’t need weapons of war on our streets or in our schools. I also support universal background checks and raising the legal age to purchase firearms to 21, except for firearms used in hunting. As governor, I’ll push federal law enforcement officials to close the Charleston loophole that allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun he used to kill and maim at Emanuel AME Church.
As governor, I’ll support offering medical marijuana as a prescribed medicine for the care of the chronically ill. I know the power of palliative care. Medical marijuana has proven safe and effective. The time for study has passed. It’s time to implement it.
As governor, I’ll ensure first responders and health care providers will have the tools they need to work effectively when responding to signs of addiction and overdose. No community is immune from the opioid epidemic, and this problem won’t be solved without a concerted effort from federal, state and local officials. I’ll also want to better educate South Carolinians about the dangers of opioid use and make sure that those who need help can access it.
As governor, I will work with businesses, community leaders and citizens to fix our ongoing energy issues. Reliable, affordable energy matters to all South Carolinians. Whether you are turning on a ceiling fan or lighting up a factory, we all need energy sources we can count on and pay for. In our state, our General Assembly has the responsibility for ratemaking. It delegated that responsibility to a commission and then passed a statute that allowed utilities to spend money without adequate supervision. Thanks to our General Assembly, we are now left with a $9 billion nuclear hole in the ground and a financial mess to clean up.
As governor, I’ll work to harness renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, hydropower and biomass to ensure South Carolina’s energy independence. And I do and will oppose offshore drilling. I would never support endangering our beloved natural resources or important our tourism economy.
As governor, I’ll work to root out politicians trying to profit from their “public service.” South Carolina’s legislature has a culture of corruption that neither party is immune from. I’ll also fight for term limits so that serving in the General Assembly doesn’t become a career. The only way to keep our government free from corruption is to remain diligent every single year in order to hold lawmakers accountable.
As governor, I will move South Carolina forward in the areas of women’s rights. I will fight to protect a woman’s right to choose, stand up to political efforts to undermine a woman’s access to health care and work to free women from the fear of domestic abuse and violence. And I’ll make the passage of an equal pay bill a top priority during my first year in office. From there I will implement an agenda for change aimed at South Carolina laws and regulatory structures that limit any woman’s access to educational opportunities, to business opportunities and to governmental assistance of any kind. Women make up 52% of the citizens of South Carolina. What is good for all women is good for all of us. No South Carolinian is less important, or less entitled to equal treatment, than another.