Gov. McMaster talks school safety, Pres. Trump’s budget and transforming rural towns while in Aiken Monday


Aiken, SC (WJBF)—A distinguished visitor at a local rotary club meeting on Monday.

South Carolina’s Governor Henry McMaster was a guest at the Aiken Rotary Club luncheon. NewsChannel 6 was there as he delivered his speech. Afterwards, we asked Governor McMaster about a list of national and local topics.

Aiken County Sheriff Mike Hunt greeted Governor McMaster in downtown Aiken on Monday. In his speech, the Governor referenced the sheriff when talking about the lack of sanctuary cities in South Carolina. Another public safety topic the Governor addressed was safety in schools.

“I would like in just a few years to have a security officer in every school so that the children don’t have to worry and the parents don’t have to worry about sending their children to school,” Gov. McMaster said from the podium.

When we asked him how he plans to do this, Gov. McMaster says it starts with encouraging local municipalities to dedicate the money necessary. He also says they will need to make the job more enticing.

“I have asked the legislature to pass a law allowing the retirement pay of deputies to be totally non-taxed,” Gov. McMaster told NewsChannel 6 reporter Ashley Osborne.

Gov. McMaster also focused a portion of his speech to highlighting the amount of industry beginning and thriving in South Carolina. He emphasized utilizing rural areas in the state to continue this economic growth.

“Companies all over this world are looking at South Carolina,” Gov. McMaster said to the crowd. “Economic development, education, public safety, all very important issues, but economic development is the one that builds the core and upon which all else depend.”

The Governor’s visit comes on the same day that President Donald Trump announces the details of his budget plan. In one of the points, President Trump proposed $200 billion to improve infrastructure. We asked Gov. McMaster if South Carolina expects to see any of that, and if so—where?

“We hope to,” Gov. McMaster responds. “We’ve been discussing that with the administration for some time now. The approach that they’re taking is that the administration is interested in providing money, but they always want the state to provide part of it…We’re perfectly willing to work that way.”

We asked the Governor about another aspect of the President’s spending plan that concentrates on boosting our national defense. Gov. McMaster says he supports spending federal dollars on places like the Savannah River Site.

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