Legislative Update - January 24, 2020
Governor Henry McMaster declared the "roaring 20’s" in his State of the State address on Wednesday night and outlined a bright future for the 5 million+ people who call our state home. The Governor laid out a sincere plan to move South Carolina forward and I am ready to work with the entire General Assembly to turn it into reality.
The State of the State Governor McMaster’s agenda prioritizes public education and returning money to taxpayers. On education, the House looks forward to working with the Governor and we are hopeful that the Senate will soon pass its own comprehensive education reform bill like the House passed last year. Additionally, I also support the Governor’s plan to expand 4-year-old kindergarten programs, increase teacher pay again and freeze higher education tuition rates for in-state students and universities. Other highlights from his speech include sending part of budget surplus back to taxpayers, upgrading our prison systems, raising pay for law enforcement and state employees and passing the Heartbeat Bill.
Letting Teachers Teach I am very pleased to say that Speaker Jay Lucas has proposed H. 4760, which will continue our education reforms efforts by reducing the number of state-mandated tests and assessments. This will allow more time in the classrooms for teachers to teach. The bill successfully passed subcommittee and full committee this week.
Wildlife The State House and Senate are jointly taking action on an issue that hits close to home. Last year, law enforcement captured the leader of a national reptile and amphibian smuggling ring right here in Chester County. In response, I have proudly co-sponsored a bill (H. 4831) that will increase protections for native wildlife like the Eastern Box turtle. The Senate has filed its own version of the bill, and I'm hopeful leaders in both chambers will move quickly on it.
Special Guest Speaker Jay Lucas is hosting the Mississippi Superintendent of Education, Dr. Carey Wright, this Thursday, January 30th. Mississippi has taken big strides in education reform in recent years and I am excited to hear more about Dr. Wright's experience. She will be addressing the full education committee in Blatt Room 110 at 1:30pm. The public is encouraged to attend or you can watch Dr. Wright’s testimony at https://www.scstatehouse.gov.
Gov. Henry McMaster has named my friend State Rep. Bobby Cox (District 21-Greenville) to lead South Carolina’s new Veterans’ Affairs Department. Rep. Cox is a former Army Ranger who was elected to the General Assembly with me in 2018. The Senate will have their hearing on Wednesday to begin the confirmation process.
Quote of the Week “This year let us roar into the twenties with renewed purpose. Let us be bold. Let us act on behalf of the sons and daughters of South Carolina, so that they may receive a state as bright with promise as that which we were blessed to inherit.” – Governor Henry McMaster, 2020 State of the State Address
Photo of the Week Bringing good news to Great Falls, where I recently hand-delivered a check for $100,000, a SCPRT Tourism Grant, to restore and renovate their historic downtown park.