Issue

Economy

A Sustainable, Thriving Economy

Better protections and pay for the working people of South Carolina are paramount. I’m a small business owner whose family has been in business in South Carolina for over 107 years. I support a minimum wage of at least $15.00/hour because working people should be able to afford rent, food, healthcare and other basic living expenses. I believe South Carolina can be pro-business and pro-people; the two aren’t mutually exclusive. While Gov. McMaster has already taken approximately $600 million away from South Carolina’s working families and out of our economy, I’m fighting to ensure that every South Carolinian has a level playing field and a fighting chance.

Living Wages and Your “Right to Work”

South Carolina’s minimum wage hasn’t changed since 2008, when it increased to $7.25. For too many South Carolinians, working a full-time 40-hour week at minimum wage means not being able to afford even a 2-bedroom rental–proof that living in a “right to work” state basically means employers’ rights trump those of employees. Affordable Housing should be attainable for working people in SC, but too often it isn’t.

We should trust South Carolinians to make their own decisions about whether a collective bargaining process will significantly increase their wages and improve their working conditions. While our governor demonizes and vilifies labor unions, working people across our state continue to struggle to live on $7.25 per hour and between $42 and $326 per week in unemployment benefits. This presents a myriad of life-altering challenges that wealthy career politicians will never experience.

Governor McMaster boasts about giving employers unmerited tax breaks and immunity from legal liability for abandoning COVID-19 safety protocols while doing nothing to protect SC employees during the pandemic or pay fair, living wages. These hypocrisies reflect the types of gross imbalances that currently exist.

As Governor, I’ll bring balance back into the equation by focusing on the true drivers of our economy: working families, small businesses and 21 million acres of sustainable natural resources…all of which are essential ingredients for a thriving economy. I’ll roll back anti-union, anti-worker rhetoric and policies that further marginalize, dehumanize and dis-empower working people.

Pro-Business and Pro-Worker

Coming from a small business family in rural South Carolina, I know what it takes to sustain both a family and a business. A state with safe, well-compensated, and well-treated employees is a pro-business state.

Last year, I convinced the SC Ports Authority to increase its minority business participation goal by three times the original goal and now, small minority businesses have greater opportunities to do business with our ports.

My legislative record proves that I have the courage to lead on these important issues. As Governor, I’ll continue working across the aisle to raise the minimum wage, right systemic wrongs and promote balanced business, employee and family-friendly policies that give South Carolinians the dignity and decency of fair pay, good working conditions and safe workplaces.