About Karen Martin

Working as an editor in the management training industry for over 2 decades, Karen organized the Spartanburg Tea Party in 2010. She saw a need for a vehicle to provide local information about candidates, legislation, county council meetings and put up a website. Since that time, Karen has volunteered on a dozen campaigns, helped facilitate the 2012 Presidential Preference Primary debate held at Wofford College, has been appointed to serve on the SCGOP Convention Committee, and the SCGOP Platform Committee, was appointed by Governor Nikki Haley as a District Commission to the SCETV Board. Karen has spoke with several Republican Women’s clubs across the state on precinct strategy and party growth, and facilitated many events (ex: school choice forums, local candidate debates, Constitution classes), trips to Columbia for legislative committees, recently helped beat a $71M tax increase in local school district. Her main responsibility as the tea party organizer is to empower people through information to become more involved in county and state level politics.

Brenda Stewart from Laurens Tea Party ask “Who Does Lindsey Really Represent?

Great article, published in Politichicks by Brenda Stewart:

On the one-year anniversary of the inauguration of President Donald Trump, we awake to find the government in shutdown mode. Thanks, in most part, to the Democrats and a few others.

As we watched this playout over the course of the last two weeks Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was front and center (a place he likes to be if you have every watched him work the Sunday morning show circuit). But he is not on the side you would think for a Republican senator.

The question conservative voters in South Carolina have been asking for years resonates even louder today: Who do you really represent, Senator Graham?

This shutdown of the Federal government did NOT have to happen. The Schumer Shutdown as it is appropriately being called was a desperate attempt by the Democrats and very left leaning Republicans like Lindsey Graham to force a deal on DACA.

A deal is a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.

But a deal on DACA is not really what they wanted. The President was ready to compromise and negotiate a deal that both sides could agree to. He said just that in an unprecedented live televised meeting with members of both parties on January 9th.

In yet another attempt to be relevant and in the spotlight, Senator Graham partnered with Schumer and others to bring the President a proposal on immigration reform that looked more like a platform for someone running on the Democratic ticket. It included everything that Democrats wanted related to DACA.

What it did not include is anything that the President and conservative Republicans are interested in; border security, the end of chain migration, funding for the wall, just to name a few.

The proposal was rejected outright with the President saying no deal. Good for him!

What followed was a deliberate campaign launched by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham (and featured on every nightly newscast) to convince the people of this country that our President was not being true to his word. This after bringing the President a “deal” that included everything the Democrats want and nothing the Republicans want.

No deal indeed.

Then in an attempt to punish the President for not agreeing to their one-sided deal, Graham and his cronies attach DACA provisions to the budget bill thus forcing a shutdown of the Federal government.

DACA is an important issue but one that has time to be worked out with true compromise. This week, in an interview, Senator Graham said he supports the “dreamers” and will fight for amnesty for all of them.

At some point in this process Graham was quoted to say that “this whole thing has turned into a sh**show.” He’s right about that and we need to give him full credit for creating such a mess.

Senator Graham, when will you start fighting for the values and issues of concern to the people you are supposed to represent? You clearly care more about the illegals than Americans.

South Carolina constituents are tired of your theatrics and support of the liberal agenda.

By |January 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

We ARE still talking about mold at the Courthouse.

The terrible situation with mold at the courthouse continues. Recently an employee collapsed and had to be taken by ambulance for medical attention, judge continue to cancel sessions, employees are sick with visible issues (red eyes, rashes) and Jeff Horton’s response is to tell everyone that Chloraseptic is no more dangerous than the chemicals used to clean the building. No kidding. Watch this video.

http://wspa.com/2017/12/19/council-chairman-responds-to-mold-remediation-complaints/

Tomorrow, Hope Blackley will again speak at the County Council meeting – the published agenda says the general meeting will begin at 4:45, which is unusual and there are no committee meetings tomorrow.

Please share this information with your friends who you know keep up with this issue and might want to attend to support Hope. She will likely speak during the public comments section.  Anyone can sign up to speak during that time, if you have a mind to.

By |January 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Sheriff Chuck Wright proposing state work program for inmates

Last year a group of Spartanburg citizens met with Sheriff Chuck Wright a few times to discuss this bill.  Folks like me, Doug Cobb, Rep. Chumley … it was a great networking opportunity and we all  learned a lot and everyone had some great input.  I’m glad to see it will finally be introduced in Columbia!

FROM SHJ:

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright has helped craft a bill that would allow non-violent offenders to receive a reduced prison sentence in exchange for working a full-time job maintaining state and county roads under supervision.

The 40-hour-per-week jobs would involve picking up trash, mowing grass, repairing potholes and doing other roadway maintenance work. So instead of an offender being sentenced to 15 years in prison, he or she might be granted a three- to five-year sentence in the state work program.

Wright, who said he has worked on the bill for quite some time with state Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Reidville, plans to announce details of the proposed legislation at a Sunday afternoon news conference.

“I’m very proud about this, because I prayed about it more than two years ago but it wasn’t right, the timing wasn’t good,” Wright said. “I want to be able to tell the people, ‘Look, we’re tired of raising our taxes to build prisons.’ This will help us save so much money and teach people a good work ethic.”

Chumley is expected to introduce the bill in Columbia this week. The two said after working on the bill for several years, they have bipartisan support and more than 40 co-sponsors.

“This could improve someone’s feeling of their own self and self-worth,” Chumley said. “If we can reduce that sentence and work that off, they would be contributing to the cause, too, plus they would be able to go back to their families sooner.”

Many S.C. Department of Corrections facilities are at or over capacity and are dealing with a staffing shortage and struggling to retain new officers.

Tyger River Correctional Institution in Spartanburg County is one of the most over-populated prisons in the state. As of Friday, Tyger River had 1,164 inmates in general population, though the facility is designed for a maximum of 1,025. More than 160 prisoners were in cells with three beds.

Recidivism, or the rate at which offenders return to prison after being released, is about 23 percent in South Carolina. That means about 9,500 prison inmates who are released from prison return there within three years.

 Getting inmates out of prison sooner has the potential to ease the burden on South Carolina taxpayers, Wright said.

 Chumley said it cost the state about $20,000 each year to house an inmate in prison.“This is not the chain gang. The chain gang was inhumane and brutal. It didn’t want to teach, it just wanted to punish,” Wright said. “If we put crews out there, this will give the judge another tool.”

Supervisors who mistreat or abuse inmates could be charged with a misdemeanor under the proposed legislation. Inmates working on roadways would wear GPS monitors and could only be in groups of five.

Wright said this is the most involved he has been in crafting a piece of legislation since taking office in 2005.

A second news conference will be held in Columbia on Tuesday to recognize the bill’s co-sponsors.

“The people have wanted something like this for a while,” Chumley said. “We’re trying to solve a problem with a new way of thinking.”

By |January 21st, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Justin Bradley announces he will not run again for Council

Boiling Springs folks! You have some work to do … up to you to ensure your community moves forward, not backward in selecting a new County Council representative!

Four years ago, on Feb. 6, 2014, Ronald Reagan’s birthday, I announced with my family that I would campaign for County Council. Together, we launched a hard-fought race for council. Outspent 5 to 1, I was told by almost everyone that I didn’t stand a chance. Only through hard work, steadfast faith, and the commitment of a few hard-working volunteers (my family and friends), I won the race that June by 78 votes, 51% to 49%. At 26, I was the youngest councilman elected, and the first Republican millennial elected in Spartanburg County. It was a campaign for the history books, and one that helped opened the door for other millennial candidate office-holders to step up to serve our community.
District 2 is my home. As a native of Boiling Springs who has lived here my entire life, I knew I wanted to raise my family here. That’s why I wanted to ask my neighbors in District 2 for the chance to serve them – to make it a place where future generations want to call home.
It has been one of the greatest honors in my life to serve these last three years on council. I’ve had to make tough votes – decisions that will impact generations in Spartanburg County. I’ve also had some of my greatest joys in serving my friends in District 2 – from volunteering with the Carolina Miracle League to recognizing so many great students in our county to raising awareness for issues like human trafficking. This burden of public service is one that I never have taken lightly.
At this current season in my life, as a husband and a father of three wonderful children, I have made the decision not to be a candidate for elected office in 2018, including re-election to County Council. This decision did not come easy, but after much thoughtful consideration and prayer with my family, I know this is the right decision at this moment – allowing me to devote more of my time and attention to being present for my kids in this important stage of their lives.
I decided to make this announcement now to allow other candidates who may be interested to step up and begin campaigning. It is my sincere hope that our next councilman will be someone who represents a new generation and continues to look forward rather than backward.
This decision does not mean that I will be stepping away from being vocal about the important issues facing our county and our state. Spartanburg County has made significant progress, and many of my campaign promises have been met over the last three years. You will be hearing about those promises kept over the next year. I’m committed to the promise I made to my constituents to serve this final year of my term fully. We still have work to do to keep Spartanburg County the best place for this generation and those to come to live, work, learn, play and invest. Thank you all for the chance to play a part in that work for four years of my life. Let’s all do our part to keep Spartanburg County moving forward!
By |January 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

I LOVE this Mick Mulvaney story!

Washington Examiner reports:

President Trump’s frugal budget director, in his latest bow to taxpayers, is skipping the usual ask for millions of dollars to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau he is temporarily running.

The reason for Mick Mulvaney’s extraordinary move: The agency has enough money to pay its bills.

In a letter to Federal Reserve Chair Janet L. Yellen, who funds the special consumer board, Mulvaney simply said, “I have been assured that the funds currently in the bureau fund are sufficient for the bureau to carry out its statutory mandates for the next fiscal quarter while striving to be efficient, effective and accountable.”

Mulvaney, the acting director of the embattled agency created by President Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, normally would be asking for about $145 million each quarter to turn the lights on.

But in a deep dive review of the agency that aims to punish financial groups that take advantage of Americans, he discovered that it has $177.1 million on hand.

“This letter is to inform you,” he wrote to Yellen in the letter obtained by Secrets, “that for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, the bureau is requesting $0.” The letter is posted below.

It is unknown if the move is unprecedented, but is surely rare and just the latest one by Mulvaney to lead the administration’s efforts to cut spending, trim waste, reduce regulations and slim down the federal workforce.

While it will likely be attacked by liberals as a signal the administration plans to kill off CFPB, there are no plans to end the agency, just stop collecting money it doesn’t need.

Mulvaney said CFPB has been keeping a “reserve fund.” But, he said, “I know of no specific statutory authority requiring the establishment or maintenance of such a fund. Moreover, I see no practical reason for such a large reserve, since I am informed that the [Fed] has never denied a bureau request for funding and has always delivered requested funds in a timely fashion. It is my intent to spend down the reserve until it is of a much smaller size, while still allowing the bureau to successfully perform its functions, before making an additional financial request,” he added.

Mulvaney said the amount may be small but the significance isn’t.

“While this approximately $145 million may not make much of a dent in the deficit, the men and women at the bureau are proud to do their part to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars,” he concluded in the letter.

By |January 18th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

So SC CAN propose an ALL ACCESS conceal carry bill – just not for ordinary folks

Take a look at S.324. 

“Notwithstanding any other provision contained in this article, the following persons who possess a valid permit pursuant to this article may carry a concealable weapon anywhere within this State, when carrying out the duties of their office:”

and then the list … which is judges, magistrates, justices, judges, solicitors, public defenders, clerk of courts.

and RETIRED judges, magistrates, justices, judges, solicitors, public defenders, clerk of courts.

So it is possible to propose a bill that allows SC citizens to concealed carry anywhere in the state.  You just have to be a member of the judicial system to have that privilege.

hmmmmmm…

By |January 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Tommy Dimsdale’s Campaign Announcement

GOOD to see!  If you would like to see Eddie Tallon have the opportunity to spend more time with his family, please visit Tommy’s website and make a donation.  For all the gas tax and school choice votes Eddie has taken in opposition to the will of the voter and the GOP Platform – and you know the angst of an elected official who refuses to acknowledge those who voted for him with his votes in Columbia – please channel your energy into a donation. It is the best thing you can do in January 2018 to ensure this seat changes hands! And then sign up for Tommy’s emails, like him on Facebook, and visit his website to volunteer for the campaign!

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DimsdaleForStatehouse/

Website http://www.tommydimsdale.com/

Donation Link: http://www.tommydimsdale.com/donate/

 

Tommy Dimsdale Announces Run for District 33 House Seat

Please take the time to go to our website at www.tommydimsdale.com and donate to our cause! Together we will help quell the corruption in Columbia and together we will win!

Posted by Dimsdale for Statehouse on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

By |January 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Rep. Garry Smith’s H4491 – causing a ruckus among the left

From Garry Smith’s FB page – you can see he’s taking some heat for this bill.  Please have a chat with YOUR house member about H4491 – make sure he or she knows about it and signs on!

The Legislative session has begun! Dozens of legislative bills are being introduced and sent to committee where the real work of the legislature takes place.

I wanted to alert you about a particular bill that sparked an angry outrage today.

Back in December I pre-filed House Bill 4491 and just this week the bill was sent to committee.

HB 4491 says that DHEC CANNOT contract with any organization that performs abortions or affiliates with organizations that perform abortions.

This bill puts into permanent law what the Governor already did by executive order.

The basis of this law is that we don’t want state tax dollars going to groups that perform abortions.

Well, it looks like I’ve stirred up a hornets nest with the local Planned Parenthood chapter. I’ve gotten all manner of threatening emails accusing me of denying healthcare for poor women and babies

That’s simply not the case and I wanted you to know I always look for ways to provide healthcare safety nets for those who are less fortunate.

If you receive angry robo calls or nasty email-grams, please let me know so I can correct the record as necessary. My email address is garry@garrysmith.com or my phone number is 963-0337.

Thanks for the opportunity to serve as your Representative at the Statehouse!

Sincerely,

Garry Smith

maryellenraphael@gmail.com

On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 5:28 PM Mary Ellen Raphael <maryellenraphael@gmail.com> wrote:
Hospitals perform abortions. Executive Order is a lot different than a bill that becomes law. You are denying poor women access to health care, pure and simple. I am an officer of CWMO, a group of 150 women who will resist your agenda. We will be calling your constituents beginning on Friday if this bill is not withdrawn.

On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 5:02 PM, Garry Smith <garry@garrysmith.org> wrote:
Thank you, Mary Ellen for your email and concern.

Actually the bill prohibits DHEC from contracting with entities that perform or promotes abortion with certain exception, as has already been implemented by Executive Order.

Nothing in the bill denies anyone health care or access to it.

Garry

On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 12:04 PM Mary Ellen Raphael <maryellenraphael@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear Rep. Smith

It is my understanding that H.4491 would deny Medicaid patients from using Planned Parenthood. It would also prohibit state agencies from working with hospitals. Is this true? Can you tell me the reason that you would deny poor women health care? I am not being sarcastic. I just don’t understand. I am a concerned citizen of South Carolina.

Mary Ellen Raphael
843-849-0334

By |January 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

What’s happening in Columbia this week?

SC Policy Council provides this Columbia update:

This week the House will begin debating the six energy “solution” bills passed out of committee prior to session (analysis here), and the Senate and House special energy committees are holding meetings to hear from Dominion Energy regarding the proposed merger with SCANA. Finally, the governor will deliver his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly at 7:00pm on Wednesday evening.
Who’s feeding your lawmakers this week?

  • Lexington County
  • South Carolina Recyclers’ Association
  • South Carolina Athletic Trainers’ Association
  • South Carolina Bar Association
  • South Carolina Aviators’ Association

Wednesday

State of the State address by governor (7:00pm)

House floor session

  • 4378 – renames the PURC
  • 4377 – Tweaks the PSC
  • 4379 – Consumer advocate under attorney general
  • 4376 – Santee Cooper “reform”
  • 4375 – Amends BLRA
  • 4380 – Ratepayer relief
  • 3722 – Bond bill

Senate floor session

  • Budget vetoes
  • 3867 – Nonprofit property tax exemptions if it houses low-income residents
  • S.137 – Making superintendent of eduation appointed by governor (constitutional amendment)
  • S.160 – Reestablishes sentencing reform oversight committee
  • S.323, 3653 – Manufacturing & industrial facilities exempt from nuisance suits
  • S.534 – Creating pilot district accountability models (standards for kids to meet Profile of the SC Graduate)
  • S.324 – Retired officials can carry concealed anywhere
  • H.3886 – Additional regulations for homeowners associations
  • S.148 – Additional fee for magistrate court civil filings
  • H.3885 – Additional regulations for health care practitioners
  • S.681 – Approving regulations of the workers compensation commission
  • H.3055 – New study committee and pilot program regarding criminal justice

House committee meetings

  • House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee (testimony by Dominion Energy)
  • House budget subcommittees (Higher Education & Technical Colleges; Public Education & Special Schools; Economic Development & Natural Resources; Healthcare)
  • House Education & Public Works Committee (two new education study committees, etc.)

Senate committee meetings

  • Banking and Insurance subcommittee (S.785 – Revises membership of Consumer Affairs Commission)
  • Finance K-12 Education School Equity Subcommittee (SDE Summary of Recommendations from the Committee on Educator Retention and Recruitment pursuant to Proviso 1.92)
  • General subcommittee (794 – Creates Department of Children’s Services)

Thursday

House committee meetings

  • LCI Business and Commerce Subcommittee (S.185 – Prohibiting third-party funeral service)
  • House budget subcommittee (Transportation & Regulatory)

Senate committee meetings

Regulations Subcommittee of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee (S. 712 – Allows offshore drilling)

By |January 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Update from Rep. Josiah Magnuson

Rep. Magnuson sent this out.  Please note his upcoming town hall – February 8 at Lake Bowen Fish Camp at 6:30

An action for gun rights I took as your voice was featured last week on a statewide news site.  This summer, I made an inquiry on behalf of a constituent who was lawfully carrying an authentic Revolutionary War-era weapon and was accosted by the City of Greenville.  In response, the SC Attorney General’s office issued a statement that under state law, towns and cities may not make ordinances to restrict the carrying of rifles.  The Minutemen would be proud!

This official statement will go a long way to restore your right to keep and bear arms in local municipalities.  It’s a big win for the Second Amendment!  You can read the story here.

We have a lot more work to do to make sure your gun rights are recognized.  South Carolina has some of the most restrictive laws on handguns in the country – standing alongside only California, Florida, New York, and Illinois which still prohibit any form of open handgun carry.

Gun violence continues to decrease across America everywhere people are being allowed to defend each other.  In contrast, it’s those liberal states that restrict guns where homicides remain rampant.  I believe we need to do the sensible thing and stop hanging on to the past.  We need to stop intimidating people from carrying guns, and instead protect liberty!

You can count on me to uphold your rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment as long as you allow me to represent you.

Here’s some other ways I represented you as the House went back into session this week.  The first set of issues we took up had to do with the Governor’s vetoes from last summer:

Budget Vetoes: I voted to sustain the majority of Governor McMaster’s budget vetoes.  I believe we are already spending too much money and agree with the Governor that there are many ways state government should be cut.

School Bus Veto: I voted to override this veto because school bus safety involves the safety of children and is a key concern.  I initially had questions about whether the money would be spent prudently but felt those questions were satisfactorily answered.  This was a stopgap measure and I would support privatization of the state school bus fleet as a permanent solution for this issue.

Orangeburg School Consolidation Veto: I voted to sustain this veto because I believe in local control of education, rather than moving toward big government.  When the education system is closer to our communities I believe it better reflects our values and is better able to be held accountable.  Consolidation of Orangeburg from local districts to a county-wide district could set a precedent for other districts across the state (such as here in Spartanburg County), and I don’t think we should start that process.

You can always access my full voting record here by clicking on “Find Votes” at the bottom right-hand corner of the page.  I want to correctly represent your values, so please let me know your thoughts on how I’m voting!

I spent quite a bit of time this week with other House Republicans participating in the discussion on the V.C. Summer nuclear power plant scandal and looking at how to enact true utilities reform.  I also worked with members of the new Family Caucus, getting organized for the new year.  There’s a lot to do and I’ll keep updating you through the session.

Next week will begin the annual judicial election season – in SC the legislature elects judges – so please pray that I will have wisdom and guidance in selecting candidates and casting the right votes.

Thank you so much for your support!  Please feel free to contact me anytime.  Remember our next townhall event is February 8 at Lake Bowen Fish Camp at 6:30 so I look forward to seeing you then!

Your servant,

Josiah

P.S. If you want to see me keep standing for gun rights, please make a generous contribution toward my re-election today!  https://causes.anedot.com/magnusonsc

Josiah Magnuson

South Carolina Representative, District 38

Landrum – Campobello – N. Inman – Chesnee

By |January 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Rep. Jonathan Hill on Failed Nuclear Site and what’s next

Rep. Hill sent this out:

State lawmakers have been working overtime to make sure you don’t blame them for losing billions of dollars and more than 5,000 jobs in the process.

This is after hiking power rates nine times to pay for the failed expansion of the V.C. Summer nuclear site.

It’s an election year, so when the lawmakers charged with regulating the state power monopolies were caught with their pants down last summer, they started running for cover like so many cockroaches.

Don’t be fooled: these very legislators created this mess to begin with by passing the Base Load Review Act back in 2007. Rather than admit their mistake, they are making the bureaucrats they appointed and the power utility executives they supervised their scapegoats—while exempting themselves from investigation.

Furthermore, if they really wanted to be Your Friend and Hero, they could have stopped this abuse of your power rates years ago—but they did nothing.

Here are four lies you’ll hear during the House debate this week:

  1. “It was a good idea, for 2007”

    It was never a good idea to guarantee Wall Street investors a risk-free utility company investment by using your utility payments to shift the burden of risk from the investors to the customers. This is exactly what the Base Load Review Act of 2007 did, and it was a bad idea.

  2. “We didn’t know this would happen”

    What did they think would happen!? As one lawmaker put it this past week, “we gave the power companies a shovel, and they went and dug a hole with it.” Duh!

  3. “It wasn’t our fault”

    The V.C. Summer reactors were only possible because the legislature’s help in 2007. Throughout the course of the project, the legislators on the Public Utilities Regulatory Committee ignored the red flags and did nothing while electric customers endured nine rate increases (a total of $1.9 billion).

  4. “We’re gonna fix it”

    It’s illegal to make retroactive laws, but that’s exactly what House lawmakers are trying to do with the BLRA to force the utility companies to return the rate increases they got from their customers. It won’t hold up in court (but that’s okay, because the elections will be over by then). There really isn’t any way to un-spend $1.9 billion dollars.

Don’t let them get away with it.

At the end of an hours-long briefing on these issues last week, the Speaker of the House urged everyone to “stick together, we have to stick together this year more than any year since I’ve been Speaker.” That’s politician-speak for “look out: angry voters ahead.”

No amount of wiggling around the issues can hide the fact that as usual, the legislature created the problem, and now instead of fixing it by making government more transparent and more accountable to the people, they want to use the opportunity to grab even more power.

It’s gonna be an interesting week!
Sincerely,

Rep. Jonathon Hill
SC House District 8
http://votehill.com
P.S. This week, the House is set to debate the “ratepayer protection package” which in reality protects the regulators more than the ratepayers. Don’t fall for their tricks. Read the SC Policy Council’s analysis here.

By |January 15th, 2018|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Steve Haynie writes a Letter to the Editor

Steve Haynie wrote a letter to the editor re: the Local Government Fund.

http://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/opinion/readers/2018/01/13/letter-editor-doubling-tax/1025635001/

If a grocery store clerk accidentally scanned a product twice, costing you double, you would be right to politely complain. Have you ever wanted to pay double for your taxes? Well, you already do, and you should politely complain to your state legislators.

South Carolina requires counties to provide certain government functions on behalf of the state such as magistrates and circuit courts, voter registration and elections, libraries, storm water management, jails, victim services, public defenders, and many more. To offset the cost of these mandated services, state law requires the state to provide an amount equal to 4.5 percent of its previous year’s general fund budget to be distributed to the counties and municipalities in South Carolina. This is the Local Government Fund (LGF). For the last decade, our S.C. Legislature has passed a budget proviso each year to cut the amount set aside for the LGF, circumventing state law.

Because of shortfalls in LGF payments, county taxes collected to pave county owned roads or build and maintain county owned sewers have been diverted to pay for state mandated services. Taxpayers have paid both county and state taxes, but county taxes were used for state services. County taxpayers have paid twice to receive the same government service once. You have been paying double taxes.

Taxpayers should politely discuss the LGF with their state legislators. Resist any suggestion to lower the amount of the state’s obligated LGF payments. Local governments will still have the same mandated costs to deal with.

Steve Haynie,

Easley

By |January 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Here’s a handful of bills to look at

Stacy Shea is a great resource for information about what’s what in Columbia.  Here are a few bills she wants to bring to our attention:

GHS Reorganization:

4528 was introduced on January 9, 2018, in the State House to ratify the GHS reorganization. The sponsors were Bannister, Bedingfield, Hamilton, Putnam, Dillard, Elliott and Henderson. The bill has been referred to the Greenville County delegation. This bill would retroactively authorize the GHS reorganization from a public charity (subject to citizen control, through our legislative delegation) into a private one which is entirely outside of our control and with a self-selecting board of directors which answers to no one.
http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/4528.htm

Stopping Sanctuary Cities in South Carolina:

776 was introduced in the Senate, sponsored by Sens Rice, Campbell, Gambrell, Goldfinch, Turner and Verdin and states in part: SLED to maintain an “Immigration Compliance Report” for each political subdivision and certify compliance with federal immigration laws; State Treasurer is prohibited from disbursing state funds to any subdivision not in compliance. (Judiciary)

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/776.htm

DACA:

4435, “Dreamers Act”, was introduced in the house by Rep Neal Collins and co-sponsored by Reps. Wheeler, Robinson-Simpson, Thigpen, Bernstein and Erickson.

Such persons as defined by DACA would receive in-state tuition and qualify for state scholarships and grants, and be eligible for occupational or professional licenses. (Judiciary)

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/4435.htm

Concealed Weapons Permits:

769, introduced by Sen. Cash: Permits concealed weapons permit holder to carry on school property leased to a church for church services or other official activities, with consent of the church’s governing body. (Judiciary)

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/769.htm

H. 4409, introduced by reps Clemmons and Fry: Provides civil and criminal immunity for any church which permits its members to carry concealed weapons.  (Judiciary)

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/4409.htm

History of Legislative Actions:

765, Sponsored by Sens Timmons and Climer: Adds “indirect communication” with public officials to the definition of “Lobbyist” to provide that “Lobbyist” means any person who is employed, appointed, or retained, with or without compensation, by another person to influence certain official actions by direct or indirect communication with public officials or public employees.

http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess122_2017-2018/bills/765.htm

 

 

By |January 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

SC Lawmakers – GUILTY! Yet still receiving taxpayer money

As reported by TheState.com:

Three S.C. lawmakers who have pleaded guilty to public corruption charges still are picking up a major retirement perk after leaving office – paid for by state taxpayers.

Those same retirement benefits cover three other lawmakers – a suspended state senator and two retired House representatives – who now face trial as part of the same State House corruption investigation, led by special prosecutor David Pascoe.

In total, retirement benefits for the six legislators will cost S.C. taxpayers about $200,000 a year, according to the state’s pension agency.

Taxpayers pay the state’s part-time lawmakers about $22,400 a year – $10,400 in salary and $12,000 for expenses, including mileage, food and hotel costs.

 After retiring, legislators often fare far better – making far more – because of the generous pension system for S.C. lawmakers. That system covers three state representatives who have entered guilty pleas to charges in the ongoing State House corruption probe and a state senator who faces trial, along with two other former state representatives.

The formula used by the state retirement agency suggests the six lawmakers thus far implicated in the State House corruption probe stand to take home almost $200,000 a year in retirement pay.

▪  Former House Speaker Harrell, 61, was elected a state representative in 1992, eventually holding several leadership positions until he resigned in 2014. Harrell received about $41,000 in legislative pay in 2014, according to his last income filing for his House seat. That would make him eligible for more than $41,000 a year in retirement benefits, according to the state retirement agency’s formula.

▪  Former state Rep. Rick Quinn, 52, R-Lexington. Quinn, once House majority leader, was elected in 1988 and served until 2004 and, then, was elected again to the House in 2010. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of misconduct in office in December and resigned from office the same day.

Quinn was paid a legislative salary of $34,289 in 2016, according to his latest income filing. That would make him eligible for more than $38,000 a year in retirement benefits, based on the retirement agency’s formula.

▪  Former state Rep. Jim Merrill, 50, R-Berkeley. Merrill was elected in 2001 and formerly was the House majority leader. He resigned from office in August and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of misconduct in office in September.

Merrill was paid a salary of $22,400 in 2016, according to his latest income disclosure. He would receive more than $16,000 a year in retirement benefits, according to the state formula.

▪  Former state Rep. Jim Harrison, 66, R-Richland. Harrison was elected in 1988 but did not seek re-election in 2012. He was indicted last month on charges of criminal conspiracy, common law misconduct in office and statutory misconduct in office.

Harrison received $28,000 in legislative pay in 2012, according to the last income disclosure to list his House salary. He would make about $31,000 a year in retirement pay based on his years in the House, according to the state formula.

▪  Former S.C. House Rep. Tracy Edge, 50, R-Horry. Edge was elected in 1996 and did not seek re-election in 2014. He was indicted last month on charges of criminal conspiracy, common law misconduct in office, statutory misconduct in office and perjury.

Edge received $22,400 in legislative pay in 2013, according to his last income disclosure to list his S.C. House salary. He would receive more than $18,000 a year in retirement pay, according to the state formula.

▪  Suspended state Sen. John Courson, 72, R-Richland. Courson was elected in 1984. He was suspended in March after being charged with converting campaign money for his personal use and common law misconduct in office. Like Harrison and Edge, Courson is awaiting trial.

Courson received $25,426 in legislative pay in 2015, according to his latest income disclosure. He would be paid close to $40,000 a year in retirement benefits, according to the state formula.

Click the link above to read more. You will see there are at least three proposals in Columbia to try to begin to remedy this situation.  Have a conversation with YOUR legislators in House and Senate about signing on to those bills and fighting for them.

By |January 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Spartanburg Campaign School! February 17

We are pleased to announce Campaign School in Spartanburg on Saturday February 17!

CLICK HERE for details and to sign up.

This class is FREE and open to everyone.

Are you considering running for office in 2018? Do you want to be a more effective worker on your local campaigns? Campaign School will take place Saturday, February 17, 2018 in Spartanburg SC at SCC Downtown campus, Room 162. Attendance is FREE. Please attend if you are considering running for office, if you would like to learn how to manage campaigns and create a winning campaign strategy, if you are interested in using your talents as a campaign volunteer. We’ll provide practical training (paperwork, ethics reports, finance reporting, voter list usage) as well as sharing local examples of winning strategies, and helping you plan for a successful primary campaign.

NOTE: Bring a bagged lunch with you, we will have a break for lunch, but it will be brief.

Class topics include:

01 – Campaign Structure

02 – Skeletons (dealing with things in your past)

03 – Strategy

04 – Raising Money

05 – Creating a Campaign Budget

06 – Campaign Marketing

07 – Social Media

08 – General Consultants (AKA Political Consultants)

09 – Polling

10 – Campaign Speeches

11 – Volunteers

12 – Crashing the Parties (using other events)

13 – Mainstream Media

14 – Stress

Instructor Kerry Wood is a South Carolina Native and Air Force Veteran with excellent technology experience. He is the former CEO of Dark Horse Strategy Group – a political consulting firm with a reputation for taking on conservative candidates and has won 80% of races he actively managed in Republican primaries.

By |January 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Tommy Dimsdale “Courageous” series

Tommy Dimsdale also shared with us last night his series of discussions with local church youth – “Courageous” – the intersection of faith and politics.  It has been well received and he has been asked to visit other area churches to share with them. Take a look … and contact Tommy if you’d like to invite him to share at your church. Email him at dimsdaledebate@aol.com

By |January 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Christian Healthcare Ministries

Great meeting last night, we had six new folks attending! Dave Chisholm gave us lots of information on health insurance alternatives.  The website for Christian Healthcare Ministries is:

www.chministries.org

You can visit and read about the plans discussed.  Dave urges you to contact him directly if you have more questions, you can reach him here:

david@bfgbenefits.com

864.877.7171

and friend him on Facebook!

As discussed, if you do sign up for a plan, please fill in Dave’s information (name and account # 239941) as a thank you for him visiting us.

Thanks to Kerry Wood for doing a live stream of Dave’s presentation, you can see that by clicking here.

One other site we discussed was GoodRX.com where you can find the best prescription pricing – which varies WIDELY! – at your local stores.

By |January 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Instate tuition in SC for DACA? Pickens Rep. Neal Collins sponsors a bill…

From TheState.com:

An estimated 6,400 young people in South Carolina are living in limbo after President Donald Trump threatened to end a federal program that shields them from deportation.

But even with that uncertainty, one South Carolina lawmaker is introducing a bill that would treat them like South Carolina residents, at least when it comes to pay for college.

Rep. Neal Collins, R-Pickens, has introduced legislation that would allow participants in the DACA program to pay in-state tuition at South Carolina colleges, apply for state-sponsored scholarships and receive professional licenses from state boards.

Immigrants are eligible for DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – if they were brought into the country as children and currently lack legal immigration status, but are working, enrolled in school or serving in the military and don’t have a criminal record.

Thousands of so-called “Dreamers” have signed up for the program in South Carolina, but colleges and universities still charge them higher out-of-state tuition rates. Even if they graduate, many jobs that require state licensing remain closed to them.

“South Carolina is one of just a handful of states penalizing Dreamers in the above fashion,” Collins said in a Facebook post. “(W)e have thousands of children and young adults in SC wanting to live the American Dream. To deny children that have only known SC as their home the same rights as their classmates serves little purpose in the face of our American ideals.”

Collins credits the bill to a series of hearings a State House children’s panel, where more than 30 Dreamers told their stories about the handicaps their DACA status puts on their ability to live, study and work in the Palmetto State.

More of this story at the link above. Perhaps this is a bill you want to discuss with YOUR house member.

By |January 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|4 Comments

Here are your links to watch the legislators in Columbia

SCETV does a great service to South Carolina by live streaming all the activities on the floor of the House and Senate in Columbia.  Many times committee hearings are also streamed.  Here are your links to bookmark to watch your legislators on the floor this session.  Session begins today.

Livestream SC Senate

Livestream SC House

You will always find these links at our website www.spartanburgteaparty.org as well.  This would be a good time to sign up for the Spartanburg Tea Party email list to keep up with what’s happening in Columbia and take action.  Fill in the “Join our email list” window on the right side of the page.

Also, here are two handy tools – Dashboard – for both House and Senate.

SC Senate Dashboard

SC House Dashboard

The Dashboard will give you quick insight into what bills are currently being debated on the floor, what amendments are currently being debated, the Journal, the Calendar, and a list of meetings (topic, time, location).

An informed voter is the best defense for liberty!

 

By |January 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

William Herlong launches GOP campaign for South Carolina attorney general

Reported at Post and Courier:

Greenville lawyer William Herlong kicked off his campaign for South Carolina attorney general Monday, accusing incumbent Alan Wilson of lacking the honesty and independence to aggressively confront corruption in state government.

“South Carolina is a spectacular state, we all know this,” Herlong said in a news conference at the Statehouse. “But we also all know that the level of corruption inside the four walls of this building threatens us all, threatens our reputation, our pocketbooks, our way of life. The first antidote to corruption is to elect a new attorney general.”

The announcement creates a three-way GOP primary race between Herlong, Wilson and state Rep. Todd Atwater, R-Lexington, who announced his candidacy last month.

Herlong, 59, has been practicing law for more than three decades since graduating from Northwestern Law School, trying around 100 cases in court and assisting in many more. He served two terms on the Greenville County School Board.

Like Atwater, Herlong acutely focused his pitch on Wilson’s connections to Richard Quinn, a longtime GOP consultant in South Carolina whose political empire came crashing down amid allegations of improperly using lawmakers to advance his clients’ business interests in the Statehouse.

After tapping 1st Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe to handle the investigation into Statehouse corruption, Wilson later sought to remove Pascoe when the investigation zeroed in on Quinn, eventually prompting the S.C. Supreme Court to reinforce Pascoe’s authority in the matter.

Herlong described politicians who abuse their public office for personal gain as “leeches” and said he relishes the prospect of rooting them out from office.

“The first priority will be corruption. The second priority will be corruption. The third priority will be corruption,” Herlong said. “We are going to take names.”

The Post and Courier first reported Herlong’s interest in the job in October, when he said he would be willing to spend as much as $500,000 of his own money to make the race competitive.

Wilson, the son of Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, held more than $1 million in his campaign coffers as of the last campaign filing deadline in October.

Alan Wilson’s campaign spokesman responded to Herlong’s comments with a statement saying the attorney general “has a record of upholding the rule of law and protecting South Carolina families.”

“It is offensive that Herlong would impugn the integrity of the men and women he says he wants to lead,” continued  consultant Mark Knoop. “The Attorney General’s office is held to a higher standard than that.”

Herlong said Wilson has “really aggravated a lot of people” and argued the incumbent’s base of support is already dwindling.

“It might end up requiring a lot less than we think, but I’m prepared to put my money where my mouth is,” Herlong said.

By |January 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Five Principles of Freedom: Achieving Prosperity in South Carolina

SC Policy Council published this in November, it is a good blueprint for making SC the freest state in the nation.

Here are the key points, please visit the link above for a very comprehensive read of what it will take for SC citizens to have the government we need, including some history, explanation of govt structure in SC, and what are the greatest barriers to accomplishing.

(1) South Carolina’s politicians should have less power and more accountability than the politicians of any other state.

Checks and balances are one of the strongest protections for individual liberty because they prevent any one branch of government from becoming too powerful. Unaccountability and lack of transparency breed corruption and tyranny. Unfortunately, both are typical of South Carolina government by design, as shown by the examples below.

(2) South Carolina should offer more choice – in education, health care, and energy – than any other state.

Freedom of choice is a fundamental pillar of individual liberty. As with all goods and services, competition in education, healthcare and energy incentivizes innovation, lowered costs, and greater quality. But when the vast majority of citizens are limited to only one product, the producers have no incentive to improve it. In South Carolina, the state is heavily involved in choices that should be left to citizens. This is why education performance is poor, energy costs are high, and healthcare options are so detached from the needs of consumers.

(3) South Carolina should protect the rights of its citizens more effectively than any other state.

The protection of individual rights are the foundation of the rule of law and the primary purpose of government. In a free society, the life, liberty and property of individuals cannot be taken except by due process. This security enables citizens to pursue prosperity. Unfortunately, South Carolina’s politicians are frequently more eager to violate rights than to protect them, and several egregious examples are built into state law.

(4) South Carolina should offer the most opportunity to prosper.

Protecting the opportunity to prosper is one of the basic roles of government. It is not government’s job to ensure prosperity or create jobs, and government’s attempts to do so often result in less prosperity for many individuals. Government should, however, provide an even playing field by removing the barriers to prosperity. Citizens should be able to earn money, spend their money, and enjoy the fruits of their labor without the interference of government. However, this is not the case in South Carolina. Below are the three primary barriers to economic prosperity in this state.

(5) South Carolina should be more independent – from state debt, from dependency on federal financing of government services – than any other state.

A free state is not simply one in which individuals are able to prosper; it is also a state that controls its own policies under the direction of its citizens. Two things hinder this in South Carolina: the billions of dollars of debt owed by many state agencies, and lawmakers’ reliance on federal dollars, both of which wield a disproportionate amount of influence in state policy decisions.

 

By |January 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Greenville Gun Ordinance Opined Invalid by Attorney General

SC Carry is a citizen activist group here in SC, which focuses solely on 2nd Amendment issues.  If you would like some great information and direction for action, please join them – and once you join them, DO STUFF! They have tables at local gun shows all the time and they need you to volunteer for that, and they put out information on bills in Columbia for you to express your opinion to your legislators.

Join them on Facebook here.

Visit their website here and sign up for their email list.

Okay, so now that you’ve done that, here is an example of what they work on…

In an opinion released last week, the Attorney General determined that a Greenville City ordinance purporting to regulate the possession of firearms is most likely invalid. The ordinance (Sec. 24-264 of Greenville City Ordinances) prohibits the carrying of loaded or assembled rifles and shotguns within the city limits of Greenville.

South Carolina Carry worked with Rep. Josiah Magnuson to bring this request to the Attorney General. Fortunately, the Attorney General agreed with SC Carry that a South Carolina court would strike the Greenville City Ordinance as invalid. Specifically, the ordinance is preempted by S.C. Code Ann. Sec 23-31-510 among other violations.

Unfortunately, only a Court can actually strike down this law. In an attempt to prevent costly litigation and the potential destruction such would bring on a defendant and the city, South Carolina Carry will make a request to the City of Greenville that the ordinance be repealed as invalid as opined by the Attorney General’s Office. All residents of Greenville City are asked to join in this effort.

South Carolina Carry is encouraged by the Attorney General’s findings, and sees this step as another victory for the citizens of the City of Greenville, and the State of South Carolina. Please help us continue to defend the Second Amendment rights of South Carolinians by joining or donating today.

South Carolina Carry Inc.
http://www.southcarolinacarry.org/

 

By |January 5th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Trump opens up offshore oil & gas program- will SC take advantage?

Hopefully this will be good news – depending on if we can get rid of Gov. Henry …

From Jeff Duncan’s Facebook page:

Fantastic news: The Trump Administration has reopened the draft proposed plan for the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil & Gas Leasing Program, and it’s a sharp contrast from what the Obama Administration was proposing.

The announcement is tremendous news for American energy independence, economic development, and job creation. The Obama Administration’s shortsighted offshore plan set the U.S. behind our competitors around the world and trampled efforts to move toward energy independence. It’s great to see President Trump correct this misguided policy and replace it with an aggressive, bold agenda to ensure the U.S. is the leading nation for energy security which is critical in our increasingly volatile world. Opening up U.S. waters for drilling, including off the coast of South Carolina, will expand access to critical resources which will greatly benefit South Carolinians and our nation as a whole. As a longtime advocate for offshore energy and a former member of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Outer Continental Shelf’s Five Year Planning Subcommittee, I know this decision will move the U.S. to the forefront of global energy security and closer to achieving the goal of energy independence.

Background: Currently, 94% of Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) acreage is off limits to energy development under the Obama Administration’s 2017-2022 plan. The 6% of OCS that is available for use produces 18% of our nation’s crude oil. Previously, the Obama Administration’s restrictive 2012-2017 plan contained only 15 lease sales. In contrast, the Reagan Administration’s bold plan contained 42 lease sales. This shows a steep decline in offshore energy development over the course of time. The Trump Administration’s aggressive draft proposal contains 47 potential lease sales (a historic proposal) and would make over 90% of total OCS acreage available for exploration and development. This plan will move our national offshore energy policy away from a restrictive and misguided approach and towards energy independence.

By |January 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Bill could wipe away nonviolent drug offenses

Take a look at a bill supported by (at least) two Spartanburg House members. Reported at SHJ:

A state Senate bill could help nonviolent drug offenders find work.

The bill, which received support in the state House last year but wasn’t taken up by the Senate during the legislative session, would expunge certain crimes, like low-level drug offenses, from the records of nonviolent offenders.

Recently, the bill has earned support from chambers of commerce across the state because of the effects it could have on growing the state’s workforce.

“That is what I would argue is our top priority for the year,” said Jason Zacher, executive director of the Upstate Chamber Coalition. “We want to get these people out in the workforce.”

If the bill becomes law, nonviolent offenses, mostly drug-related, wouldn’t appear on employment background checks.

Domestic violence incidents, DUIs and other violent crimes would not be eligible for expungement.

“This is something that would help a good bit of people,” said Rep. Josiah Magnuson, R-District 38.

Magnuson was one of many co-sponsors signing on to the bill that was initially put forth in the House in January.

Under the proposal, offenders would have to avoid any subsequent convictions for three years to be eligible for the expungements process.

Rep. Steven Long, R-District 37, said the bill would help many looking for a break find just that.

“I know a lot of young people who have just made young, dumb decisions,” he said. “At that point, once that’s on their record, it’s a lot harder for them to get a job, and we have a shortage in the labor market right now. We need people to be working.”

Magnuson said his support of the bill is a start to what will hopefully be a series of criminal justice reform legislation.

“I support criminal justice reform and would like to see more opportunity for people who haven’t really done wrong against our state, they’ve just made mistakes,” he said. “They deserve a second chance.”

Supporters of the bill agree it could be a boost to the state’s workforce number, allowing more people to confidently look for employment.

Long said the proposal would serve as a reward of sorts for those who made mistakes but aren’t repeat offenders.

“One of the biggest things I hear from companies right now is they need good workers. Whether you’re talking about chambers of commerce or businesses individually, they’re having a tough time finding workers,” he said. “If they show they’ve turned their life around and aren’t involved in criminal activity, I think it’s a great idea to get that off their record so they can move forward with their careers.”

By |January 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

2018 Bills in Columbia, Part 3

The Post and Courier recently published its own list of 2018 bills in Columbia.  This is what will be on the agenda when session begins January 9.  Discussions on these bills will be held in committees, committees will vote, and some of these bills will be brought to the floor for up or down votes.  If these issues intrigue you, if the substance of these bills will impact you, your family, your community, your business, now is the time to learn about them, speak to your legislators and even plan to travel to Columbia for hearings and discussion.  There has been too much “I didn’t know…” lately from folks who do a lot of complaining after the fact.  HERE’S YOUR CHANCE to get up to speed ahead of the votes!  If you would like to speak to the legislators who have been listed as bill sponsor visit www.scstatehouse.gov to find contact info.

Here’s a sampling of what’s in the hopper and the lead sponsor:

Child protection/government

  • Create a Department of Children’s Services for emotionally disturbed children (Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden).
  • Create the Department of Children’s Advocacy to see that children receive adequate protection and care from various state agencies, and create a child-abuse hotline (Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington).
  • Create the Department of Early Development and Education to provide care for infants (Sen. Scott Talley, R-Spartanburg).
  • Study the benefits and cost of economic development tax incentives every two years (Sheheen and Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston).
  • Have the governor appoint the secretary of state (Rep. Gary Clary, R-Clemson).

Public Safety/Guns

  • Develop a registry of vulnerable adult offenders (Rep. Garry Smith, R-Greenville).
  • Issue fines for operating an unlicensed tattoo or body piercing parlor (Rep. Phyllis Henderson, R-Greenville).
  • Protect churches from punishment for actions of a concealed-weapons holder allowed to carry a gun on the grounds (Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach).
  • Allow retired law enforcement officers with concealed weapons permits to carry guns into places where weapons are prohibited (Rep. Tommy Pope, R-Rock Hill).
  • Permit doctors responding to emergencies to have a green flashing light atop their own cars (Rep. Greg Duckworth, R-North Myrtle Beach).
  • Establish fines of $25 to $50 for driving a golf cart on a road at night (Rep. Brandon Newton, R-Lancaster).
  • Use clearly visible purple-painted boundaries as an alternative way to post no trespassing notices (Pope).
  • Add cigarette butts and dead animals to state litter laws (Rep. Jeff Johnson, R-Conway).
  • Require a berm or barrier when firing a gun in unincorporated areas for target practice (Rep. Kit Spires, R-Pelion).
  • Add fines to blocking a funeral procession (Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens).
  • Background checks for summer camp operators and employees (Shealy).
  • Require a human trafficking prevention course before issuing a commercial driver’s license (Shealy).

Schools, colleges, sports and religion

  • Have school districts screen students in kindergarten through second grade for dyslexia (Clary).
  • Privatize the state school bus system by 2022 (Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston).
  • Install walk-through metal detectors at public elementary, middle and high schools (Gilliard).
  • Formalize rules at public colleges to avoid prohibiting events by students and student groups (House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Hartsville, among others).
  • Display the mottos of the United States and South Carolina in all public school classrooms (Rep. Mike Burns, R-Taylors).
  • Create “Religious Viewpoints Antidiscrimination Act” that would allow students to wear clothing and jewelry that display religious messages or symbols; allow religious activities before, during and after school; allow school employees to participate in religious activities on school grounds; and allow religious group access to the school facilities (Burns).
  • Require public schools to allow private school students to participate in sports not offered at their campus (Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia).
  • Stop recruiting of student athletes by public schools (Sen. Mike Fanning, D-Great Falls).
  • Allow schools to open as early as the second Monday in August (Fanning).

Monuments and observances

  • Erect a memorial on the Statehouse grounds to honor the Rev. Joseph Armstrong de Laine (Rep. Joseph Jefferson, D-Pineville).

  • Repeal The Heritage Act that prohibits relocation, removal or renaming of historic monuments and memorials on public property (Gilliard and Sen. John Scott, D-Columbia).

  • Establish an African-American Confederate Veterans Monument Commission (Burns and Rep. Bill Chumley, R-Woodruff).

  • Observe the sestercentennial (250th anniversary) of the American Revolution in 2026 and establish a commission (Sheheen).

By |January 4th, 2018|Uncategorized|2 Comments
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