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Good Ruling from the SC Supreme Court Yesterday

Good news from the South Carolina Supreme Court yesterday. This is concerning federal unemployment benefits here in South Carolina, which ended up hurting our state and economy.

To refresh your memory, during Covid, the federal government was supplementing state unemployment benefits with federal money. So those who were unemployed due to Covid had been receiving not only unemployment benefits from South Carolina, but also several hundred dollars more per week from Uncle Sam.

There was clearly a period during the height of the pandemic when countless thousands were unemployed with no viable job options. To help those households make ends meet, this federal supplement was perhaps appropriate at the time.

Yet as our economy started to rebound and companies were trying to hire, many able-bodied adults were receiving MORE on unemployment (with this federal supplement) than they would have earned by returning to suitable work.  So Gov. McMaster ended our state’s participation in the program early, and I believe that was the right decision.

To nobody’s surprise, a lawsuit was quickly filed against the Governor.  Back in August, a circuit court dismissed that lawsuit.  And yesterday, the State Supreme Court unanimously upheld that dismissal, which is good news.

Friends, nobody is opposed to the safety net of unemployment benefits. And yes, there are some people who legitimately cannot return to work right now and struggle with our state’s normal unemployment benefits. I get that, and we should have compassion where compassion is due.

But as a general statement, this federal supplement soon began doing more harm than good once South Carolina entered into its economic recovery. It was (and remains) the right decision by Gov. Henry McMaster to put an early end to that program.