SC Politics

South Carolina Governor Vetoes ‘Social Justice’ Budget Proviso

“Republican” supermajority strikes again …

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South Carolina governor Henry McMaster has announced his intent to veto – for the third consecutive year – a “social justice” proviso passed by legislators in the latest state budget.

Justice40” Logo (Via: Justice40)

The proviso (117.180) aims to statutorily support the implementation of U.S. president Joe Biden‘s “Justice40 Initiative,” a program dedicated to intersectionally implementing the administration’s climate change agenda.

The passage of Biden’s 2022 “Inflation Reduction Act” – which aimed to decrease inflation by spending $783 billion to fight climate change – created a large pot of funds for bureaucrats to disperse to their political allies.

How do the feds decide who gets the bucks? An executive order established the Justice40 initiative, which according to its website, aims to distribute 40 percent of the funds via a “framework centered on racial justice and equity.”

Putting aside the comedic notion that taking out $783 billion in new federal debt will reduce inflation … this program is a naked attempt to redistribute wealth along the lines of race under the guise of climate change, an issue Biden claims is “the only existential threat to humanity.”

The initiative isn’t only acting at the federal level – Justice40 has released reports on “planned Justice40 equivalents at the state level.”



Gilda Cobb-Hunter (Via: Facebook)

Heeding the call from D.C., former S.C. House minority leader Gilda Cobb-Hunter has thrice introduced budget provisos attempting to insert Biden’s climate-race-marxism in the Palmetto State budget.

While one would expect Cobb-Hunter, a progressive leader, to advocate for such measures, it’s baffling that Cobb-Hunter’s insertion of partisan Democrat policies have not once, not twice, but thrice been approved by the Republican-controlled House ways and means committee before being passed by the “Republican supermajority” and sent to the governor’s desk.

Cobb-Hunter’s service on the powerful ways and means committee is completely at the discretion of house speaker Murrell Smith. Smith also tapped notorious Democrat lawyer-legislators Leon Stavrinakis and Todd Rutherford to serve on the committee tasked with appropriating the state’s funds.

Smith’s chosen chairman, upstate attorney Bruce Bannister spoke highly of the budget his committee produced on the house floor.

“What I would submit to you is a very good budget” Bannister said, adding the spending plan “addresses those things that this body has identified as priorities.”

Murrell Smith (Via: S.C. House)

Members of the S.C. Freedom Caucus – a group of conservative lawmakers often at odds with House leadership – have argued they are intentionally relegated to less important committees while Republican leadership assign Democrats to powerful posts.

Freedom Caucus members are often chastised by their legislative colleagues – and liberal news outlets – for drawing out floor debates with “theatrical” objections to the legislation advanced through GOP controlled committees. Multiple members have argued to this news outlet that the GOP’s repeated passage of Cobb-Hunter’s “social justice” policy is illustrative of why their members cannot blindly support the bills advanced by house leadership.

“RINO (Republican in name only) House Leadership and the Republicans who voted for this budget should be ashamed of themselves” caucus vice chairman RJ May III told FITSNews.

“Year after year Murrell Smith and his band of faux Republicans appoint their Democrats allies, instead of conservatives, to key positions on ways and means, allowing them to fund the left’s radical agenda,” May continued. “But the problem doesn’t end there. Despite a Republican supermajority, Democrats still chair subcommittees across government, resulting it more spending, more regulations and less freedom.”


SCFC members Jordan Pace and R.J. May

May challenged Republicans to put an end to the practice of installing Democrats in prominent leadership positions within the GOP-controlled chamber.

“We challenge leadership to end Democrat sub-chairs and appoint true conservatives to key committee positions so that liberal provisos like this never make it to the governor’s desk again,” he said.

It should be noted there is recent precedent for reforming the way these key committee posts are awarded. For example, prior to the selection of Republican Sylleste Davis as chair of the House medical, military, public and municipal affairs (3M) committee, the top spot on this committee had always been awarded to a Democrat.

Once Republicans expanded their legislative majority into a supermajority – numerically speaking, at any rate – that concession was no longer granted.

Conservatives on both sides of the Freedom Caucus/GOP leadership split have expressed to this news outlet their support for ending the practice of giving subcommittee chair positions to Democrats.



This media outlet has previously reported on the tensions within the GOP caucus following a solid primary election night showing by the Freedom Caucus. In the June 2024 partisan primaries, Freedom Caucus candidates not only held onto all of their seats – they defeated two high-ranking establishment GOP leaders, labor, commerce and industry committee (LCI) chairman Bill Sandifer and assistant majority leader Jay West (who previously ran for office in South Carolina as a Democrat).

Pressure has been mounting on speaker Smith to take decisive action in the aftermath of the primary elections. One legislative insider previously told this news outlet “eomeone within the House GOP caucus will challenge him for the gavel.”

Other legislative sources have indicated the negative publicity surrounding Cobb-Hunter’s budget request – exacerbated by an article in the online outlet The Overton Report earlier this week – was enough to spur leadership to rethink committee appointments.

“Change is coming” the source told FITSNews.

As the old saying goes …

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time … oh shit, the media noticed, we’d better actually do something about it.”



(Via: Travis Bell)

Dylan Nolan is the director of special projects at FITSNews. He graduated from the Darla Moore school of business in 2021 with an accounting degree. Got a tip or story idea for Dylan? Email him here. You can also engage him socially @DNolan2000.



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Cranston Snord Top fan July 4, 2024 at 7:57 am

Mac has always been a hard core Save The Planet Guy
And he has no fear . Kicked Dems and Reps not just once but 3 times with veto

Heck – the Legislators knew damn well if it hit his deck he would veto it .

Sc citizens pay SC Legislators save money . Wonder how we paid them for sending this Damn bill to Govs desk not once , Not twice but 3 damn times !!!

Ben Carper Top fan July 7, 2024 at 10:54 pm

Lock down Henry endorsed the 17% RINO who ran for State Senate against me. His Conservative Credentials are weak at best, but even a broken clock is correct twice a day.


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