The 2020 Presidential Election is right around the corner and the candidates are making their way to all the big stops along the campaign trail. As a key state in the race, South Carolinians can expect to see many of the presidential hopefuls in the Palmetto State.
And, while there are obvious national issues that the candidates are likely to address, there are a few key topics South Carolina residents should be asking the candidates about. Below, are ten questions that matter to South Carolinians.
1. Do you support offshore drilling off of the coasts of states like South Carolina?
Offshore drilling is a hot topic amongst many South Carolinians. Earlier this year, U.S. Representative Joe Cunningham caused a stir after he blew an air horn during a House subcommittee hearing to call attention to how loud and disturbing seismic blast-testing is to marine life.
2. Do you believe the private sector is best suited to meet our country’s energy needs?
A major topic of conversation over the past year was and continues to be the future of Santee Cooper. The state-owned utility found itself billions of dollars in debt after abandoning its V.C. Summer project, creating the largest financial disaster in our state’s history. Now, the question is whether or not to sell to a private utility. In the case that it’s not sold the debt would fall onto the millions of Santee Cooper direct serve and electric cooperative customers living in South Carolina.
3. What are your thoughts on teachers’ pay in South Carolina?
Teachers in South Carolina are fed up with the current education system and it’s showing. With experiencing a statewide shortage, South Carolina ranks in the top 10 worst states for teachers. In May, many teachers protested and demanded higher wages and many other changes to their current working conditions.
4. What are your views on the legalization of marijuana?
With the legalization of marijuana happening in many states across the country, whether medicinal or recreational, the topic made it to the top of the list in the 2018-2019 South Carolina legislative session. However, it wasn’t passed through which means it will most likely be brought back up in the next legislative session and South Carolinians are paying attention.
5. What is your plan for affordable housing?
The cost of living in the Lowcountry and surrounding areas continues to rise significantly as people from around the country pour into our state. Affordable housing in South Carolina is a major issue and one that many residents are worried about.
6. Do you believe the minimum wage should be increased?
Many feel that while the cost of living in our state is increasing, pay is not. During the previous legislative session, a bill was introduced to increase the minimum wage from $7.25 to $17 per hour in the state of South Carolina. Many South Carolinians are hoping to see an increase in pay to balance out the higher cost of living.
7. What are your views on the use of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar?
As climate change becomes an ever alarming issue not only in the United States but around the globe, renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are becoming more essential to our future. Incentives such as the solar investment tax credit (ITC) allow more people to afford the high costs of installing solar panels onto their home.
8. As president, how would you help to relieve the high costs of healthcare?
Healthcare continues to not only be a hot-button issue but is also a detrimental one for so many South Carolina citizens. In 2013 alone, 56 million Americans struggled to pay healthcare-related costs, that’s one out of five adults.
9. Student debt burdens millions in the United States and South Carolina is not immune, how do you plan on helping to relieve this pressure from young people?
Student debt has topped $1.5 trillion in the United States and the amount continues to rise. This debt burdens and weighs down young people looking to start their careers and adult lives. The rising student debt is an issue many South Carolinians worry about every day.
10. America’s infrastructure is crumbling. How would you fund expand funding to fix our roads and bridges across the country and in South Carolina?
Our country’s infrastructure is in major need of repair. As roads and bridges crumble, our daily commutes and school bus routes become more dangerous. While funding infrastructure is expensive it is essential to the well-being of our state and its residents.