Here are the highlights from the ninth week of 2016 legislative session in the Senate –
UPDATE ON ROADS AND BRIDGES – The Senate passed H. 3579, a bill to reform our transportation agencies and provide additional funding for roads and bridges. Here are the details:
- The governor would appoint all eight members of the SCDOT Commission – one from each of the seven congressional districts and one at-large – with confirmation by the Senate.
- The Commission, after consultation with the governor, would appoint the Secretary of SCDOT who would have to be confirmed by the Senate.
- All projects proposed by the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank would have to be approved by the new SCDOT Commission before those projections could be put into effect.
- • There will be no increase in the state’s gas tax or any fees. Instead, the General Assembly will direct $400 million each year from the state’s General Fund to SCDOT for roads and bridges.
The bill now returns to the House of Representatives for consideration. I will continue to keep you updated.
TRANSPORTING INMATES FOR FUNERAL OR HOSPITAL VISITATIONS – The Senate approved S. 238, a bill that would allow prisoners to visit immediate family members who are terminally ill or to attend funeral services for immediate family members if the Department of Corrections determines there is no security risk and the Department provides the transportation and security. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives.
BAN ON ABORTIONS AFTER 19 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY – The Senate agreed to a conference committee’s report on H. 3114, a bill that would prohibit all abortions after the 19th week of pregnancy unless the abortion is necessary for the life or health of the mother. The bill failed by one vote in the House, but I expect the House to vote again this week and pass the legislation.
Last Week’s Meetings
On Monday night, I attended Lexington County GOP’s monthly meeting.
On Tuesday morning, I attended Lexington Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast.
On Tuesday night, I held a town hall meeting at Lexington High School.
On Thursday night, I held a town hall meeting at Gilbert High School.
On Friday, I participated in a legislative panel discussion at the annual meeting of the South Carolina Association of Registration and Election Officials.
TOWN HALL MEETINGS – I completed my initial list of 8 town hall meetings last week. So far this year, I have held meetings at Savannah Lakes Village in McCormick, Edgefield County Council Chambers, Circle Fire Department in Saluda, Merriwether Middle School, Midland Valley High School, Gloverville Elementary School, Lexington High School, and Gilbert High School. I really appreciate everyone who came out and participated. If you would like for me to schedule a town hall meeting in another location, please let me know.
VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICERS – Each county has a Veterans Affairs Officer whose purpose is to assist veterans and their families with filing, presenting, and prosecuting all claims which they have for money compensation, hospitalization, training, and insurance benefits under federal law. If you have questions about veterans’ benefits or the services these officers provide, you can contact the officers at:
304 Gray Street
PO Box 236
Edgefield, SC 29824
Donald D. Moss
610 South Mine Street
P.O. Box 276
McCormick, SC 29835
108 South Rudolph Street
Saluda, SC 29138
Phone: (864) 445-4500 Ext. 2268
Fax: (864) 445-2808
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.
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.