• Gov. Henry McMaster has signed legislation that revises rules that govern electric cooperatives, increasing transparency to co-op members and adding limited government oversight.
    Legislators did not set standards for who can be elected to cooperatives’ governing boards, or how often boards can meet or the compensation of board members.
    The legislatures left those decisions to cooperative members.

  • The House gaveled to a close last week after dozens of bills and the Sine Die Resolution passed the House and Senate.
    This was the first year of a two-year session that focused primarily on education reform, presenting a balanced and efficient budget, solutions for Santee Cooper, and the pro-life ‘Heartbeat’ legislation.
    Although regular session has ended, the legislature will continue to work over the next few weeks in conference committees.

  • The countdown is on as the final week of this legislative session approaches.
    Three legislative days remain. The good news is this is the first year of a two-year session and there is much more we hope to accomplish.
    Last week thousands of teachers from South Carolina visited the State House to express their concerns and offer input on South Carolina’s education system.

  • Pageland, or any other municipality that is trying to exist, should not have to meet an antiquated law.
    The law in question requires those who have retail liquor sales, or restaurants that offer on-premise, by-the-drink sales, be 300 feet from a church, playground or school.  
    That is generally 300 feet to the left, 300 feet to the right, 300 feet ahead, and 300 feet behind a commercial building.

  • “A retail liquor license or a possession and consumption license may not be granted if the place of business is within 300 feet of any church, school, or playground situated within a municipality, or within 500 feet of any church, school, or playground situated outside of a municipality....

  • Pageland’s desire to have a variety of firms interested in developing a master plan for downtown is understandable.
    We want to get the best possible plan with the largest amount of civic engagement.
    But in this case, Pageland may be starting the process without doing all its homework.
    Ads placed in the Progressive Journal stated the town was interested in a master plan for downtown.
    Why just downtown?
    Why not the entire town?

  • In the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul gives us an outline of Easter events.
    He mentions two of the final appearances of Jesus to the people following his death.
    One of those appearances is referred to this way, “He (Jesus) was seen by James.”
    Paul gives us no more details than those five words. Five words may not seem like much. These five words recorded by Paul have enormous weight and significance. They represent a new chapter in the journey of one of Jesus’ closest relatives.

  • Tremendous progress was made on the calendar this week, numerous bills were passed and have been sent to the Senate.
    This is an extremely busy time during legislative session because we are approaching the crossover deadline. Crossover is the last day for a bill to pass out of the House and move forward for consideration in the Senate. Among the bill passed are:
    ◆ H. 3759 – The S.C. Education, Career, Opportunity, and Access for All Act
    ◆ H. 4000 and H. 4001 – The General Appropriations Bill and Capital Reserve Fund (the budget)

  • A bridge over U.S. 1 outside McBee should shortly be named in honor of Chesterfield County lawman Sgt. Darryl Quick,
    Rep. Richie Yow introduced a bill honoring Quick. The House has passed the ball and it awaits action the state Senate.
    Quick, a Chesterfield County Sheriff’s sergeant, died in July 23, 2008 in an off-duty, head-on collision.

    Yow’s resolution to honor Quick

  • From the day I attended my first DECA state meeting in 2017, I knew I wanted to be a state officer.
    Last month, I reached that goal, being elected South Carolina DECA’s Vice President of Leadership.
    In 2017, Central participated in competitive DECA for the first time. I was appointed the Director of Competitions.
    At the 2017 Region II qualifying event, I placed tenth in the Individual Entrepreneurship Series. At the 2018 state competition, I switched to public speaking and placed seventh.

  • Last week was a big step forward in reducing income taxes in South Carolina.
    Several months ago, House Speaker Jay Lucas, who represents a portion of Chesterfield County, created a special legislative committee to focus on tax reform. The committee’s first bill proposes reducing income taxes. This bill, H.4334, would reduce income taxes from 7% to a flat rate of 4.5%, making South Carolina competitive with neighboring states.

    Waiting on the Senate

  • Carl Chapman loves his hometown of Pageland and the county he lives in.  However, there is one thing he hates about the area.  It is “all that litter.”
    Chapman and his wife, Elaine, retired to Pageland 13 years ago. He served in the Army Reserves and was an employment manager and human resource manager.
    “We’ve got beautiful scenery here in the county,” Chapman said.  “But the litter drastically distracts from it.”

  • Last week the House made historic progress toward protecting South Carolina ratepayers and taxpayers. With Senate and House joint resolutions, consensus is building to sell the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
    The House authorized the Public Service Authority Evaluation and Recommendation Committee to analyze bids to purchase state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
    A special legislative committee, comprised of four House members, four Senate members and the Governor, started researching the potential sale of Santee Cooper eight months ago.

  • Remember the August 2017 solar eclipse that sliced across South Carolina? Bright daylight gave way to shadows, which then gave way to total darkness. Within minutes, of course, a summer day was again put into the sun's bright light.
    Another eclipse seems to be taking place in the Palmetto state. In this case, it is what the public should be privy to that is being eclipsed.

  • Hospice of Chesterfield County was sold in December, but the mission of helping the terminally ill continues with the newly formed Hospice of Chesterfield County Foundation.
    There have been many questions about the change. Here are some of the answers.

    What is the Hospice of Chesterfield Foundation?
    The foundation was formed after the sale to carry on the original mission of helping the terminally ill.
    The foundation does not provide direct patient care.
    It is not a hospice organization.

  • It was another busy week in Columbia. Progress was made on the comprehensive education reform bill and the Ways and Means Committee passed this year's budget.
    The 2019-2020 budget is 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.

  • My four-year research project shows black people who live in Southern counties where more lynchings occurred were less likely to register to vote, or were less likely to indicate that they voted in recent elections, compared to their white counterparts.

  • We have been hard at work in Columbia this week in committees focusing on the 500 bills that crossed the desk the first day of session. There are more than 70 bills in education, and well more than 100 bills in judiciary alone.
    Speaker Jay Lucas has appointed me to serve this year on the Education and Public Works Committee, Invitations and resolutions, and the Speakers Ad Hoc OPIOID Committee and the South Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority.
    Governor McMaster has appointed me to serve on the South Carolina Flood Committee.

  • Madam/Mr. Speaker:
    I rise today to speak to how the tale of two Kings has brought us to this moment in history. 
    If he had been allowed to live, today (Jan. 15) would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 90th birthday. On this auspicious day, this august body stands ready to vote to disapprove of Representative Steve King's recent comments and condemn white nationalism and white supremacy.
    White supremacy and white nationalism are evil.  They are insidious and are clear and present dangers to our great Republic. 

  • Over the past two years, Republicans have focused on spreading opportunity, and it has paid dividends: From the creation of opportunity zones in some of our nation’s most distressed communities to amazing job-creation statistics and low unemployment rates, there’s no doubt that the future is brightening for many Americans.