As with everything else, state government has been impacted by COVID-19.
The General Assembly passed and the governor signed into law emergency funding legislation allocating an additional $45 million to DHEC for responding to COVID-19.
Following the vote House Speaker Jay Lucas announced that the House would not be in session for two weeks, and perhaps longer. President of the Senate Harvey Peeler announced the Senate would not be in session last week and did not return this week.
Also passed was a continuing resolution directing the state government to continue operating under the FY 2019-20 budget during the upcoming 2020-21 fiscal year, should the General Assembly be unable to pass a FY 2020-21 budget by June 30, the end of the current fiscal year.
Looking down a dark road, we have yet to see any projections how the many shutdowns during COVID-19 will affect state revenue. The worst case (though not out of the realm of possibility) scenario is similar to FY 2008-09 when the Board of Economic Advisors projected reductions in revenue and thus automatic comparable cuts to state agency budgets. That would include the Tuition Grants Commission.
For his part Governor McMaster has issued numerous Executive Orders including declaring a state of emergency, closing on-campus operations at K-12 schools, closing public universities and colleges until the end of April, directing state employees to work from home, prohibiting restaurants and bars from offering table service (they can provide takeout for food and alcohol), and ordering law enforcement officers to disperse at their discretion gatherings of three or more people.