Early Voting for the 2022 General Elections in South Carolina opened last week and will extend through tomorrow. The polls are open daily from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. To learn more about early voting, click here.

I have received a lot of questions about the two constitutional amendments on the ballot and yes, I agree – they can be very confusing.

The proposals would increase how much the state contributes to its “rainy day” accounts, more technically known as the General Reserve Fund (from 5% to 7%) and the Capital Reserve Fund (from 2% to 3%).

By law, the reserve funds act as a shield against year-end budget deficits. When a deficit occurs, funds are first drawn from the Capital Reserve Fund, and if more money is needed to cover the shortage, the General Reserve is tapped.

States with healthy reserve funds are in a better position to deal with financial downturns. As it stands, South Carolina’s current combined 7% reserve ratio is well below the roughly 12% national average. If the amendments are passed, it will bring our combined reserve up to 10%.

Preparing for a rainy day isn’t just hypothetical. The General Reserve Fund was exhausted four times and the Capital Reserve Funds nine times between 1987-2011. Both funds were depleted in 2008.

Voting “yes” for these amendments will not raise your taxes. Rather, this deals with revenue the state is already collecting and sets more aside. You, the voter, will be instructing lawmakers to save more money, not spend it. This will lead to a more financially responsible future for South Carolina.

I hope this helps clear up any questions you may have or heard. Please pass this on to anyone that might have a question about the amendments.

To view your sample ballot, click here.

If you have any questions for me and need any help navigating state government, please give my Columbia office a call at (803) 212-6148 or email me at rossturner@scsenate.gov.