COLUMBIA, S.C. — Members of both the South Carolina Senate and House of Representatives gathered at the State House to listen to Governor Henry McMaster's State of the State address on Wednesday night.
They expected to hear his thoughts on education reform, the budget surplus, as well as economic development.
"He's probably going to spend a lot of time on talking about his proposed budget," says Senator Shane Massey, R-Edgefield, Senate Majority Leader. "There's a lot of things in that budget, a lot of money to be spent."
Senator Massey spoke to News 19 ahead of the Governor's speech.
Following the speech, we spoke to House Majority Leader Gary Simrill.
"It was really a profile in the success of South Carolina," says Rep. Simrill, R-York. "It deals with making sure that all parts of South Carolina rise at the same time, that that beautiful tide that we see coming up in economic development in South Carolina is enjoyed by all."
Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette says she's looking forward to lawmakers working on 4K education for low-income children.
"Early childhood education as you heard the governor say, is a passion of mine and so looking forward to see what we are going to do on that 4K education," says Lt. Gov. Evette. "It's really about getting our kids ready and set for kindergarten and set for the 21st century. we cant sit where we are and we are determined to change education around in South Carolina."
When it came to the budget surplus, Governor McMaster explained that he wants to give that away to taxpayers, through a rebate. However, that concerned some lawmakers.
"I heard from a lot of my constituents, when we spent more than $750,000 on postage last year sending a $50 rebate out," says Rep. Seth Rose, D-Richland. "I think it's a play on words when you say surplus when in actuality we've been neglecting state agencies for years, we have teachers walking out. When you have state agencies operating on a deficit and have been for many years, we don't have a lot of surplus we have needs that need to be addressed."