Today begins the second week of my sixth year in Columbia representing District 8 as your Senator. It is still a very humbling experience to walk into the Senate Chambers at the Statehouse and realize the responsibility given to me to serve you and our great state.
This is the second year of a 2 year session so we have a full calendar along with several other issues that will need to be addressed early – primarily the Base Load Review Act, which allowed SCANA and Santee Cooper to operate carte blanche while building the nuclear reactors that are now abandoned. My committees will remain the same this year: Judiciary, Education, Banking and Insurance, Corrections & Penology, and General (DSS and other issues).
The “off session” was very busy with my job that pays the bills, family, and serving as Chairman of two oversight committees: Department of Corrections and the Secretary of State’s office. Without going into details of those meetings and prison tours, the one thing that stood out to me is how blessed we are to have a lot of great leaders in this state – and not just at the top. There are leaders throughout both of these departments that are making a positive difference and making South Carolina a better state.
This session will also take place as the Governor’s race heats up for the June Primary. This is the first time that the Governor will choose his or her Lt. Governor running mate. (Governor McMaster has already done that.) What’s interesting is we have not passed the necessary bill that “defines” new responsibilities of the Lt. Governor – which will really be up to the Governor. We do know that this will be the last year that the Lt. Governor actually presides over the Senate. That duty will fall to the President Pro-Tem and we will probably be working through those details too.
My plan is to keep you informed of what’s really going on in Columbia and where I stand on the issues. Just like I have learned in business, I learn a whole lot more from listening than I do talking. So please feel free to contact me while I am in Columbia or try to catch me on Monday’s and Friday’s in Greenville. I have back my original assistant, Ja’vell Bynoe, that I originally shared with Senator Pinckney. Ja’vell will be working with myself and my suite mate, Senator Greg Gregory from Lancaster. Our phone number in Columbia is (803) 212-6148.
I look forward to doing everything I can to make South Carolina a state we can all be proud of for many generations. Thanks again for the honor to serve on your behalf!