Following Gov. Haley's State of the State Address, Brad Dean, president and CEO of the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce, issued the following reaction:

"Governor Haley reminded us tonight that we have much to be proud of as a state. We are well-served by brave South Carolinians both at home and abroad, our economic recovery is in full swing and our burgeoning tourism industry is well-positioned for solid growth in 2015 and beyond.

Nevertheless, we face big challenges that simply must be addressed. Despite successful industry recruitment, too many South Carolinians remain unemployed. The Governor's commitment to retraining workers for high-growth employment sectors and protecting our right-to-work status is spot on.

Finally, we have a Governor who is willing to address our infrastructure crisis! For too long, we have ignored the needs of our state's infrastructure and the situation has reached a crisis point. As promised, tonight Governor Haley presented a bold initiative to invest in our future. The Governor's call to marry an income tax cut with normalization of our gas tax can lead to more jobs, more tourists, better roads and safer bridges. While her plan may not be perfect, she has started a very important and long overdue discussion that will positively impact South Carolinians for many years to come. It's now up to the General Assembly to answer her call and turn promise into progress.

Governor Haley's vision for a better South Carolina is encouraging. We should embrace the challenges presented by the Chief Executive Officer of this state and work to ensure that the legislative response encompasses growing tourism, spurring job creation in small businesses, funding higher education and investing in infrastructure, including Interstate 73. "