Dear friends and neighbors,
Week 5 was a very busy and successful week in the South Carolina House. We worked on the Floor, and spent time in committees and subcommittees on matters regarding election uniformity throughout the state, school choice, and reserve funds.
As we work our way through February, we are approaching one of the busiest weeks of the year: budget week. The budget will be on the Floor for debate the week of March 14th. In addition to the budget subcommittees meeting, we were joined by Governor McMaster and Secretary Hall from SCDOT for our weekly caucus meeting. The Governor spoke on some of his executive budget priorities (many of which are already in the works), including expansion of roads, bridges, interstates and sewer. Secretary Hall then spoke to us about the Department’s achievements in the past 10 years, as well as their requests for this year’s budgets, much of which prioritized the same infrastructure improvements and expansions as the Governor.
Election Uniformity Bill Passes the House!
An election uniformity and protection bill was sent back to the House this week, where we amended it to include important reforms to our state election system. I believe that a vote in York County should be cast, processed, and counted the same way as a vote in Charleston County, Anderson County, or any other county in our state. This bill provides a process to streamline the process and provide necessary oversight. Also included in the amendment are necessary provisions to secure our elections, including outlawing the use of drop boxes, banning County Board of Elections from accepting private money, providing a process for auditing state elections (when deemed necessary), and ensuring that people can ONLY vote in the place that they are registered.
I hope that the Senate will accept our amendment to ensure these protections become law, and I look forward to exploring and working on future legislation that safeguards the democratic process.
A Voice & A Choice in Your Children’s Education
My colleagues and I are on the right track to embodying school choice in South Carolina. This week, legislation advanced out of House Ways and Means that goes to give parents the two things they have been desperately asking for when it comes to their children’s education: a voice and a choice. This has become even more evident during pandemic times, as education was one of the areas that felt the brunt.
This bill will provide parents up to $5,000 a year towards the cost of private school, which would be funded by $75 million of the state surplus funds. This 3-year pilot program is a necessary first step in incorporating more parental involvement in our education system. I look forward to supporting this bill on the Floor. Read more about this bill here.
‘Rainy-Day Funds’ on the Rise
As we prepare to take up the state budget next month, committees and subcommittee members have been hard at work. The House Ways and Means committee gave a favorable report to H. 3346 on Thursday, which will gradually increase our state’s reserve funds and would take effect upon ratification of an amendment to our State Constitution. This type of conservative planning and budgeting is fundamental in ensuring our economy is prepared for adversity or unexpected circumstances (such as a pandemic) down the road.
Military Retirement State Income Tax Elimination
I previously updated you on a bill in Ways and Means that eliminates state income taxes on military retirement. This week, the House Ways and Means committee advanced this bill and it is headed to the floor. I look forward to voting ‘YEA’.
I’m at your service!
It is my honor to be of service to you and to serve District 83. If you need assistance navigating state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me!
District 83 – SC House of Representatives
For more information or have questions or comments on what I am doing in Columbia? Give me a call!
Home Phone: (803) 278-0892
Business Phone: (803) 279-8855
Columbia Phone: (803) 212-6898
Contact your Representatives
United States Congressman Joe Wilson — (202) 225-2452
United States Congressman Jeff Duncan — (202) 225-5301
SC Senator Shane Massey — (803) 480- 0419
SC Senator Tom Young — (803) 212-6000
SC House of Representative Bill Hixon — (803) 279-8855
Follow these links for more information about your state and national level representatives.
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