Here are the highlights from last week’s action in the Senate –
Resistance to Obamacare – The Senate continued debate on H.3101, a bill designed to fight Obamacare in South Carolina. I expect the debate to last a few weeks.
State Budget – The House of Representatives debated and passed the state budget last week. The Senate Finance Committee has already begun its subcommittee work, and I expect the full Senate will debate the budget in late April or early May
Common Core – On Thursday the Senate Education Committee passed out two bills on Common Core State Standards. The education standards, initiated by the National Governor’s Association, are designed to make K-12 students across the country more competitive in the global marketplace. However, the standards have met with significant opposition in South Carolina and many other states. To read more about the bills headed to the Senate floor, go here.
Last Week’s Meetings
On Thursday night, I attended the McCormick County Republican Women’s annual dinner. As usual, SC’s smallest county produced a large turn-out for the event!
On Saturday, I stopped by the Edgefield County Agriculture Day festivities at Strom Thurmond High School. The FFA at Strom Thurmond High School do a great job of hosting the fun day!
Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter to receive Congressional Medal of Honor – We learned recently that Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter of Gilbert has been designated to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor. LCpl. Carpenter was severely injured in Afghanistan in 2010 when he jumped onto a grenade to save a fellow Marine. He will be the first South Carolinian to receive the award since the Vietnam War. You can read a story about LCpl. Carpenter here.
Aiken and Edgefield recognized for industrial development – Southern Business and Development Magazine recently recognized Aiken and Edgefield counties in its “Ten Exceptional Southern Markets to Locate Your Reshored Industry.”
Aiken, Edgefield, Saluda eligible for federal emergency aid – Last week President Obama designated 21 SC Counties as National Disaster areas following the recent ice and snow storms. That designation makes those counties eligible for federal emergency assistance. Aiken, Edgefield, and Saluda counties are included in the list of eligible counties. You can learn more about the declaration here.
Credit Monitoring –The State has contracted with CSIdentify Corporation (CSID) for the purpose of continuing credit monitoring/ID protection services to South Carolinians and businesses affected by the October 2012 security breach at the Department of Revenue. CSID’s services provided under the contract are available to eligible individual taxpayers (including minors and adult dependents) and eligible business taxpayers through October 31, 2014 (although it will almost certainly be extended).
You can sign up with CSID for the offered service by doing one of the following:
1. Go to www.scidprotection.com and follow the steps to enroll
2. Call (855)-880-2743 to enroll.
The State will pay $8.5 Million for the first year of the CSID contract with the option to renew for four additional one year periods at the state’s sole discretion. You do not have to pay anything to sign up. The Experian contract for the past year was a $12 Million contract.
If you choose to purchase your own protection service, you can deduct a portion of that cost from your state income taxes. Talk with your accountant/tax preparer for more information.
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.