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Gov. Henry McMaster Requests Surplus Funds Be Made Immediately Available to SCDHEC for COVID-19 Response

March 12, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster today requested that the South Carolina General Assembly pass a joint resolution for the purpose of making $45 million from the 2019-2020 Contingency Reserve Fund immediately available to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for its coordination of the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 virus. 

The governor made the request in a letter to members of House and Senate leadership. Any funds not utilized by DHEC would be returned to the Contingency Reserve Fund upon completion of the department’s efforts.

“DHEC protocols and procedures require the agency to prepare for a variety of contingencies and situations,” Governor McMaster wrote. “This requires that the agency identify and secure - in advance - the necessary resources, equipment and personnel to successfully address these contingencies.”

“The $45 million amount may be deducted from the $128 million one-time taxpayer credit contained in the FY 2020-21 General Appropriations Act passed by the House of Representatives. This credit would not be available to state taxpayers until they file their taxes in 2021. At this time, I believe these one-time surplus dollars should be utilized now to provide DHEC with funds, to the extent necessary, to address COVID-19 in South Carolina.”