Here are the highlights from the last week’s action in the Senate –
South Carolina State University – In light of the recent financial chaos at South Carolina State University, the Senate spent a good bit of time debating S. 475 , a resolution that would fire the entire Board of Trustees and create a new five-member board to govern the university through June 2018. The Senate passed that resolution Wednesday evening. The House of Representatives has also proposed replacing the university’s leadership, but their proposal is a little different. I will keep you updated.
Turkey Hunting Season and Bag Limit – I reported last week that the Senate passed H. 3118. The bill would set March 20 – May 5 as the hunting season for male wild turkeys. There would also be a bag limit of three turkeys per season plus the possibility of one additional turkey with bow and arrow. The House of Representatives made a few changes to the bill, so a conference committee will now try to work out the differences. I will let you know about the final language as soon as I can.
Bag limit for deer? – I have received several emails about S. 454, a bill that would limit hunters to 4 antlered deer and 4 anterless deer per season. I expect the Senate will take up this bill this week. Please let me know your thoughts.
Confirmations – On Thursday the Senate confirmed several of Governor Haley’s nominees for various positions. Here are a few of the confirmations:
- Rick Reames – Director of Department of Revenue
- Christian Soura – Director of Department of Health and Human Services (Medicaid)
- Sylvia Murray – Director of Department of Juvenile Justice
- Marcia Adams – Director of Department of Administration. The Department of Administration was created last year with our government restructuring legislation.
You can see the other confirmations in Thursday’s Senate Journal.
Convention of States – I have chaired two subcommittees considering resolutions calling for a convention of states to consider amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The resolutions focus primarily on limiting the power of the federal government and providing for a balanced national budget. Lots of people have testified for and against the various resolutions. We have another subcommittee meeting scheduled for this Wednesday, and I expect we will have votes on a couple of the resolutions.
Last Week’s Meetings
On Monday night, I attended a joint meeting between the Aiken County Legislative Delegation and Aiken County Council. We had a good discussion about state funding for local governments and challenges in funding our infrastructure needs.
On Tuesday morning, I attended a breakfast meeting at USC-Aiken with the student leaders at the university. I enjoy these meetings and the opportunity to hear from our state’s future leaders. USC-Aiken has a great group!
On Tuesday night, I participated in the dedication ceremony for the C.H. Williams Municipal Center in Burnettown. Mayor Williams loved Burnettown and worked hard as its mayor. Naming the new town hall after him is a fitting tribute.
On Thursday, I attended the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Sweetwater Community Center in Merriwether. The new Center is a beautiful facility and will provide additional recreational opportunities for folks in Merriwether.
On Thursday night, I attended the grand opening party for The General Store in Edgefield. The new store has an old-timey feel with a soda fountain, ice cream, and floats. The store also offers all sorts of merchandise. I encourage you to check it out!
Midland VAlley High School Boys’ Basketball – STATE CHAMPIONS!! – Congratulations to Midland Valley High School’s boys’ basketball team for winning Class AAA state championship! The Mustangs defeated A.C. Flora High School from Columbia, last year’s state champions.
Fox Creek High School Boys’ Basketball – Fox Creek High School’s boys’ basketball team finished an impressive 2014-2015 season as state runners up. The Predators fell in a tough game to Burke High School. But what a season! Congratulations, Predators!
Town Hall Meetings – I have held more than 100 town hall meetings across our district, and I have been working to schedule meetings for this Spring. These meetings are great opportunities for me to update you on what is happening in Columbia and, more importantly, for you to share your ideas and concerns with me. So far the following meetings have been confirmed:
Savannah Lakes Village
Recreation Center – McCormick Room
6:00 – 7:30
Lexington High School
6:00 – 7:30
Gilbert High School
6:00 – 7:30
Edgefield County Council Chambers
6:00 – 7:30
Merriwether Middle School
6:00 – 7:30
I am working on scheduling meetings in Aiken and Saluda counties. I hope to finalize those this week and give you the final list in next week’s update.
Want to see the General Assembly in Action? – The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 12:00, Wednesdays at 2:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday mornings, and Thursday mornings. You can watch live coverage of the Senate, House of Representatives, and committees here.
Taxpayer Hero – The South Carolina Club for Growth named me one of its Taxpayer Heroes for 2014. You can read the press release here, see the scorecard here, and see the explanation of scored votes here.
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.