The Senate spent much of its time last week tending to committee work and debating gun legislation. Here are the highlights –
Concealed Weapons Permits – The Senate spent several hours on Wednesday and Thursday debating S. 308, a bill that would allow Concealed Weapons Permit holders to carry their concealed weapons in restaurants that sell alcohol as long as (1) the restaurant does not prohibit the carrying of weapons and (2) the CWP holder does not consume alcohol while carrying the weapon. We are wading through roughly 50 amendments – many of them creative attempts to derail the bill. The Senate will resume debate on the bill on Tuesday. I hope we can get a final vote this week.
Raffles – I reported in February that the Senate passed a constitutional amendment and legislation to authorize non-profits to hold raffles for fundraising purposes. The House passed both measures last week. That means the constitutional amendment, S. 239, will go before voters for approval in next year’s general election. The bill that provides how the amendment would be implemented, S. 213, now goes to Governor Haley for consideration.
Ethics Reform – The Senate and House of Representatives have been considering legislation to update laws that govern the ethics of public officials. I serve on the Senate subcommittee that has been looking at the issue. The comprehensive proposal would, among other things, require legislators to disclose the source of all income – private and public – and require an independent organization to investigate ethics complaints against legislators. The full House should debate its version of the bill this week. I will provide more details later as the bill takes shape.
Government Restructuring – I’ve written a good bit about attempts to restructure South Carolina’s antiquated state government. In late February, the Senate passed S. 22, the bill that would abolish the Budget & Control Board; create a new, cabinet-level Department of Administration; prohibit agencies from running deficits without General Assembly approval; and, probably most importantly, require the legislature to conduct oversight of executive agencies. Last week, a subcommittee in the House pushed forward a similar bill, and the full House Judiciary Committee should take it up this week. I expect the full House will vote on the bill next week, allowing House and Senate negotiators to begin work to resolve differences in the two versions.
Last Week’s Meetings
- On Tuesday night, I attended the Edgefield County GOP convention.
- On Wednesday morning, I participated in the “Real Men Read” program at Gloverville Elementary School. This great program encourages elementary school students to read by bringing in male leaders in the community to read books to the classes. The program was a huge success: each class at the school had at least one person read a book!
- On Thursday night, I attended the Saluda County GOP convention.
- On Friday afternoon, I met with the new CEO of the Edgefield County Hospital, Brandon Clary, to discuss the importance of the hospital to the local community.
- On Saturday morning, I attended the Aiken County GOP convention.
Town Hall Meetings – Thanks to everyone who came and participated in my town hall meetings this Spring. I held 9 meetings across our 5-county district. In the past 6 years, I’ve held 85 town hall meetings throughout our district, and I really appreciate the hundreds of folks who have participated. These town hall meetings give me a chance to keep you updated about what’s going on in Columbia and, more importantly, allow me to hear what’s on your mind. I will do another round of meetings in the Fall.
Our Senate District – Senate district 25 consists of all of Edgefield County and parts of Aiken, Lexington, McCormick, and Saluda Counties. If you’d like to see the district map, go here.
Speaking with Groups – Several groups, clubs, and classes around our Senate district have invited me to attend their meetings and provide legislative updates. If you would like for me to come speak with your group, please let me know.
Email updates – If you know of people in or around District 25 who do not receive my updates but would like to get them, please email their names and email addresses to me. You can also forward this email to them and encourage them to sign up for the updates at www.senatormassey.com.
P.O. Box 551
Edgefield, SC 29824
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell Phone – (803) 480-0419