This will be a hectic and confusing week for the Senate budget process. No one knows what will happen as the Senate tries to find a solution to the state’s budget mess. That is why it is so important for you to contact as many Senators as you can to make two points very clear.

First, lottery money will be allocated and small businesses need $34 million to go for technical college tuition assistance. This is the same budget as last year for this vital program that enabled about 18,000 South Carolinians to have 78% of their tuition covered. These are the high school graduates and current workers who small businesses desperately need to be well trained and technically skilled.

Second, income tax reduction for small business must be a part of any plan to increase revenue for the state through additional taxes. Numerous plans to raise revenue will be under discussion. Several of these include reducing income tax on small businesses from7% to 5%. Of course, we encourage this small business tax relief effort to be included in any plan.

Governor Mark Sanford has proposed an Economic Recovery Tax Relief Act that achieves our targeted small business tax relief over approximately 15 years. His plan would also generate needed funds for the state’s Medicaid program through a 53-cent tax increase on a pack of cigarettes. Adequate funding for Medicaid is important to avoid cost shifting that contributes to increases in health insurance premiums for small businesses.

Please contact our state Senators immediately and ask them to:

1. Fund technical college tuition assistance with $34 million in lottery money.

2. Support the Governor’s Economic Recovery Tax Relief Act, which will reduce income tax on small businesses from 7% to 5% and provide needed money for Medicaid.

Glenn McConnell 803-212-6230

Hugh Leatherman 803-212-6640

John Drummond 803-212-6455

J. Verne Smith 803-212-6350

John Land 803-212-6180

Nikki Setzler 803-212-6140

Phil Leventis 803-212-6000

Harvey Peeler 803-212-6430

Warren Giese 803-212-6250

David Thomas 803-212-6240

Kay Patterson 803-212-6048

Yancey McGill 803-212-6132

John Matthews 803-212-6056

William O’Dell 803-212-6100

Robert W. Hays 803-212-6410

Greg Ryberg 803-212-6400

Linda Short 803-212-6100

Thomas Alexander 803-212-6040

Arthur Ravenel 803-212-6016

Bill Branton 803-21206032

Larry Grooms 803-212-6024

Clementa Pinckney 803-212-6056

Donald Holland NONE 803-212-6148

Thomas Moore 803-212-6156

Robert Ford 803-212-6124

Maggie Glover 803-212-6116

Darrell Jackson 803-212-6048

William Mescher 803-212-6320

Luke Rankin 803-212-6132

Dick Elliott 803-212-6000

Robert Waldrep 803-212-6230

Michael Fair 803-212-6420

Brad Hutto 803-212-6140

Ralph Anderson 803-212-6108

Scott Richardson 803-212-6040

John Hawkins 803-212-6024

Jim Richie 803-212-6008

Danny Verdin 803-212-6016

Gerald Malloy 803-212-6148

John Courson 803-212-6220

Greg Gregory 803-212-6330

Ronnie Cromer 803-212-6124

Jake Knotts 803-212-6032

John Kuhn 803-212-6008

Larry Martin 803-212-6340

Glenn Reese 803-212-6108

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