Today is the first day of the 2024 Legislative session. This is the second year of a two-year session, which means we already have a lot on our plate and will hit the ground running on the issues that were carried over from last year. 

Our focus will continue to be on Education, Workforce Development, Infrastructure, and reforming our state government so it can better respond to our needs. In the Senate, we are swearing in two new members who are replacing Senator Marlon Kimpson (Charleston) who resigned to serve on a committee for President Biden, and Senator John Scott (Richland), who passed away last fall.


You will see us continue to push for more choices for parents, increases in teacher salaries, and more money to keep our schools safe. We also need to work on the teacher pipeline. We have a bill (S305) that would reduce the barriers to attract career changers to teaching. Typically, someone coming from another field would take a significant salary cut. This bill will allow them to receive “work” credit based on the number of years they are in the field that they will be teaching.

Workforce Development

Workforce development goes hand in hand with education, but we also need to address the barriers that keep people from working. South Carolina’s workforce participation rate is at 57%, while the national average is 63%.  I am currently co-chairing a Joint House and Senate committee studying childcare as a barrier to adults working. We will have our second meeting on Thursday to continue gathering information for a report we will present to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.


Infrastructure continues to be an emphasis with the growth we are seeing in South Carolina. We are still playing catch up from going 30 years without addressing it before we passed the roads bill in 2017. We have used General Funds money for the first time in the last two years to double down on roads and bridges. If you have driven around the state, you see plenty of road construction, but we still have a long way to go.

We will continue the discussion on tax cuts vs. tax reform due to the surplus budgets we have enjoyed the last few years. I believe overall tax reform is needed, but individual income tax cuts and sales tax cuts are easier to explain and get passed. The hangover for those members that passed Act 388 and then got hit with the recession the following year makes true tax reform harder to get passed.

We obviously have a lot on our plate (including plenty I have not mentioned here). But as I have said before, I would rather be in South Carolina than anywhere else working on these issues. We are not Washington, DC, and we will all continue to work together to make sure we don’t become that way.

As always, thank you for the opportunity to represent District 8 in the SC Senate. It is an honor and privilege that I do not take lightly. 

If there is anything I can do to help you navigate state government or if you just want to share your thoughts and concerns, please call my Columbia office at (803) 212-6148 and my assistant, Ja’vell Bynoe, will be happy to help you!