Over the past few months, I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of encouragement for me to run for re-election for the South Carolina House of Representatives, District 39. After many weeks of prayerful consideration and discussions with family and friends, I have decided to seek re-election.
As many of you know, I suffered a traumatic injury 15 years ago at the age of 24. That accident left me paralyzed and had a profound effect on my outlook on life. Make no mistake, the days and weeks that I laid in the hospital bed, unable to move my legs, were the darkest days of my life. Yet faith, and support from so many of you, allowed me to overcome the physical limitations and emotional scars left that day. That life changing event taught me about the fragility of our existence, the resolve of the human spirit, and the necessity to live without regret – to give everything in all we do, to speak with sincerity in our hearts, and to live for the betterment of the people around us.
It is from these experiences in which I view our small corner of our state and see a need for a legislator who will fight to lower our taxes, limit the size and scope of government, eliminate wasteful spending, protect our second amendment rights, end the burdensome regulations on our small business owners, and, most importantly, bring meaningful representation to the citizens of Lexington and Saluda Counties.
Achieving these goals will not be easy, yet it can be done. It will require the dedication, steadfastness, and perseverance of a fighter; not a politician. I am that fighter capable of bringing about the conservative change we need.
I ask for your support and prayers in this great challenge.
Overview of the week:
This week, legislative committee meetings were held virtually. This was able to happen due to a rule change passed last week. Although this change presented a unique set of challenges, we were happy that we were able to continue working. In particular, I am the Vice Chair of the Rules committee and I also serve on the Ag Committee and wildlife sub committee. This week I had my first virtual committee meeting. It was a very different experience for me to say the least. I guess this is the way many meetings will be held in the near future, but I am looking forward to the day when we can get back to "normal" meetings. You can watch a recorded version of committee meetings at the statehouse with the following link. : https://www.
Overview of the week:
This week, we began the 1st regular session of the 124th General Assembly. I was ready to be back in our state capital and am hopeful for a productive 2021! After the rollercoaster ride of 2020, this year is the perfect year for reform, transparency, and accountability. This week, we hit the ground running. So far, over 900 bills have been prefiled and many were introduced this week. Although there is a lot of excellent conservative legislation this session, I am most excited about the items below, which help further our Conservative Republican agenda:
The past week we have all had to adapt to the “new normal” of social distancing, working from home, school closures, empty grocery stores, and new changes being implemented every day. I want to commend everyone for how you are handling these changes, the way our community is looking out for one another is one of the positives I have seen come out of this situation. Our executive branch, state agencies, and the legislature are working in sync to make the best decisions for the citizens of South Carolina. I have provided many state agency resources below to keep you up to date on important information.
After months of working with Gov. McMaster, building consensus, and many hours of debate I joined my House colleagues to pass the 2020-2021 fiscal year General Appropriation Bill by a vote of 120-2—an overwhelming bi-partisan consensus. This year, we focused our budget on the 4 R’s: relief for taxpayers, building up our reserves, expediting our road projects, and giving raises to those who need it most.
We worked closely with Gov. McMaster to include 325 of his recommendations in our budget process—an all-time record. This includes expanding 4-K education, providing permanent tax reform and relief, and investing in our state’s teachers.
When we began assembling this budget, it was important to me that it be built on the foundation of protecting taxpayers, a renewed commitment to being resourceful and efficient, funding only core functions of state government, and providing value for every dollar we spend.
The week began with a huge development for the future of our state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
Other pieces of legislation making big strides this week are the Convention of States resolution that puts constitutional limits on the federal government and a bill that would close a current loophole for inmates on death row. Currently, state law allows death-row inmates to pick lethal injection or electrocution but mandates using lethal injection if inmates do not make a choice. Manufacturers that make lethal injection drugs have stopped selling them to prisons so this bill fixes the loophole by making the electric chair the default method.
Next week, my colleagues and I will be working on the state budget. I will update you soon on how the budget worked out for us all.