It’s hard to believe that it is February and we have already been in session for the first month. Preparations for this year’s session actually started back in the fall when I was appointed by Majority Leader Harvey Peeler to the First Steps Study Committee and appointed to the Domestic Violence Subcommittee by Chairman Larry Martin (Pickens).
The first few weeks have been very productive. The Senate Judiciary Committee has already sent to the floor an Ethics Bill and a Domestic Violence Bill among others. The Ethics bill was debated on the floor, and we ended yesterday with the President Pro-tem assigning five Senators to a committee to iron out some of the differences. Hopefully we can come up with an ethics bill that we can get passed out and over to the House.
I also served on the Fish, Game and Forestry Subcommittee that passed out the Turkey Bill that would change hunting season statewide to March 20th – May 5th and change the limit from 5 to 3 by gun with 1 more by bow.
In addition to our regular legislative duties, my Senate colleagues and I participated in the official events for Governor Haley’s inauguration. Later in the month, we also attended the State of the State Address where the Governor highlighted many South Carolina achievements during her first term but also indicated that we still have a few significant challenges to overcome.
Her first priority as Governor is one we in the Senate share — South Carolina’s deteriorating Roads and Infrastructure. The Governor laid out her proposal, and both the Senate and the House are now considering legislation to address this problem. We will keep you informed in the coming weeks about our progress.
The Governor also considers Workforce Development a priority because South Carolina has more technically-oriented jobs than qualified applicants to fill them. Addressing this shortfall is an important focus of this year’s session.
I hope you find this update helpful and informative. Remember, if you ever want to see updated information on bills or see the agendas of the meetings taking place, the information is available at www.scstatehouse.gov. You can go there to watch the legislature, as well as some of the committee meetings, live-streamed.
Your perspective and input on issues is extremely valuable; please don’t hesitate to share them with me. If I can ever be of assistance, please let me know. It is an honor to represent you in the South Carolina Senate and an obligation I take very seriously. Thank you for the opportunity to serve!