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.
Last week the House was not in session in Columbia, giving me time back home in the District to meet with local groups and constituents. We returned to Columbia this week, and began aggressively dealing with a number of bills before the April 10 “crossover” deadline, the deadline we have to send bills to the State Senate.
This week, my colleagues and I worked on some ‘big-ticket item’ bills in committee, including a bill that excludes biological men, who are now transgender women, from participating in K-12 women’s sports and a bill that excludes ‘Critical Race Theory’ from being taught in K-12 schools in South Carolina. It’s likely that both of these bills will be debated on the Floor next week. In addition, we worked on:
I am proud to report that I voted in favor of the House of Representatives’ State Budget on Monday, which passed by a vote of 108-7. Not only am I proud of the hard work and effort that went into creating this budget, but I am proud to report that the budget passed second reading in record timing of just one day. The ability of this budget to move through the House with few amendments is evidence of solid and sound fiscal policy that adequately funds the needs of our state while making South Carolina a better place to live, work, or own a business.
We are 9 weeks into the legislative session. The focus has been on enhancing several bills prior to them moving to the Floor of the House for debate. March 14 begins one of the busiest and most important weeks in the South Carolina House: The State Budget. The full House Ways and Means Committee held a budget briefing where the budget was explained and broken down in further detail. You can see the budget briefing online here. The theme of this year’s budget is 4 R’s: improving our roads, increasing our reserves, tax relief, and raises for teachers, state law enforcement, and state employees. I will work long and hard to ensure that the House budget allocates appropriate dollars to fund core state functions and improvements while ensuring South Carolinians have more money back in their pockets.
Week 8 - 1 Person, 1 Vote: Election Integrity in SC
Free, fair, and secure elections strengthen public confidence in electoral institutions and give efficacy and legitimacy to our democracy. Our democratic system is what makes America great, setting us apart from countries around the world. We recently learned about nonuniformity in elections around our state.
The South Carolina House is dedicated to combating all accounts of voter fraud and inconsistencies, which was our focus this week. I am proud to report that I voted in favor of a bill that drastically improves and fortifies the integrity of our election system here in South Carolina. There are several different safeguards and protections of this bill, but notably, this bill improves identity verification and addresses early voting and absentee voting.
For the past few weeks, my colleagues and I have dedicated an enormous amount of time and energy to lay the foundation for this year’s state budget. We have focused on finding the best ways to use our state’s surplus funds, the federal ARPA funding, and dollars we’ve received for infrastructure projects. Throughout this process, my goal has remained the same–to provide the best benefit for taxpayers while prioritizing resourcefulness and funding the core functions of state government. With significant surplus funds (thanks to years of conservative budgeting and spending), the core of this year's budget and fiscal policy as a whole relies on 4 basic pillars: Relief, Roads, Reserves and Raises.