Last week was the 5th week of the 2019 legislative session. There are 13 weeks remaining in the regular session.
Most of the Senate action last week was in committees. That is typical of the first couple months of a new legislative session after an election.
RELIEF FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES – The federal shutdown caused many federal employees in South Carolina to go without pay for several weeks in January. Since property tax bills are due on January 15, there was concern that federal employees would incur penalties if they could not pay those tax bills on time. Therefore, the Senate passed H.3630, a resolution that would give those unpaid federal employees additional time to pay their tax bills.
SANTEE COOPER – As I mentioned in last week’s email, a joint committee of House members, Senators, and Governor McMaster has focused on options to sell all or parts of Santee Cooper to a private utility or allow a private utility to manage Santee Cooper. To help with that effort, the joint committee hired a consulting firm to talk with interested private utilities and accept bids. The consulting firm released its initial report recently, and the joint committee held a meeting last week to discuss that report. You can see the report here.
JUDICIAL, COLLEGE BOARDS, AND PSC ELECTIONS – On Wednesday, the Senate and House of Representatives met in joint session to elect judges, a commissioner to the Public Service Commission, and several college boards of trustees. Here are the winners:
Court of Appeals, seat 1 – Blake Hewitt
Court of Appeals, seat 3 – John D. Geathers
Court of Appeals, seat 4 – Paula H. Thomas
Circuit Court, 5th circuit, seat 1 – DeAndrea Gist Benjamin
Circuit Court, 7th circuit, seat 1 – J. Derham Cole
Circuit Court, 9th circuit, seat 1 – Deadra L. Jefferson
Circuit Court, 9th circuit, seat 2 – Bentley D. Price
Circuit Court, 10th circuit, seat 1 – R. Lawton McIntosh
Circuit Court, at-large, seat 2 – Ryan Kirk Griffin
Circuit Court, at-large, seat 4 – R. Keith Kelly
Circuit Court, at-large, seat 15 – Maite Murphy
Circuit Court, at-large, seat 16 – Donald B. Hocker
Family Court, 1st circuit, seat 1 – Ann Gue Jones
Family Court, 2nd circuit, seat 2 – Angela W. Abstance
Family Court, 3rd circuit, seat 2 – Angela R. Taylor
Family Court, 3rd circuit, seat 3 – Gordon B. Jenkinson
Family Court, 4th circuit, seat 2 – Salley Huggins McIntyre
Family Court, 5th circuit, seat 2 – Michelle M. Hurley
Family Court, 5th circuit, seat 3 – M. Scott Rankin
Family Court, 6th circuit, seat 1 – Coreen B. Khoury
Family Court, 7th circuit, seat 1 – Phillip Kendall Sinclair
Family Court, 7th circuit, seat 2 – Michael Todd Thigpen
Family Court, 8th circuit, seat 1 – Matthew P. Turner
Family Court, 8th circuit, seat 3 – Joseph C. Smithdeal
Family Court, 9th circuit, seat 2 – Alice Anne Richter
Family Court, 9th circuit, seat 4 – Wayne M. Creech
Family Court, 10th circuit, seat 1 – Edgar Henderson Long, Jr.
Family Court, 11th circuit, seat 2 – Huntley S. Crouch
Family Court, 11th circuit, seat 3 – Robert E. Newton
Family Court, 12th circuit, seat 1 – Timothy H. Pogue
Family Court, 12th circuit, seat 2 – FitzLee Howard McEachin
Family Court, 13th circuit, seat 1 – Rochelle Y. Conits
Family Court, 13th circuit, seat 2 – W. Marsh Robertson
Family Court, 13th circuit, seat 6 – Jessica A. Salvini
Family Court, 14th circuit, seat 1 – Gerald C. Smoak, Jr.
Family Court, 14th circuit, seat 3 – Deborah Ann Malphrus
Family Court, 15th circuit, seat 1 – Jan B. Bromell Holmes
Family Court, 16th circuit, seat 2 – David G. Guyton
Family Court, at-large, seat 2 – Tony M. Jones
Family Court, at-large, seat 3 – James G. McGee, III
Family Court, at-large, seat 4 – Monet S. Pincus
Family Court, at-large, seat 5 – Randall E. McGee
Family Court, at-large, seat 6 – David Earl Phillips
Administrative Law Court, seat 1 – Ralph King (Tripp) Anderson, III
Citadel Board of Visitors, at-large – James E. Nicholson, Jr.
College of Charleston, 5th district, seat 10 – R. McLaurin Burch
Public Service Commission, seat 2 – Florence P. Belser
LAST WEEK’S MEETINGS
On Monday afternoon, I attended a meeting between the legislative delegation and county council in McCormick County.
On Wednesday morning, I attended Lexington County Farm Bureau’s annual legislative breakfast.
Also on Wednesday morning, I attended a ceremony naming the Batesburg-Leesville DMV office in honor of Cpl. Kyle Carpenter of Gilbert. You may remember that Cpl. Carpenter was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor after diving on a grenade to shield a fellow Marine in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday night, I made a brief stop at a reception at the Governor’s Mansion in honor of Dominion Energy. As you know, I was not and am not a fan of Dominion’s purchase of SCANA, but I do think it is important for me to stay informed of their plans and be able to speak with Dominion leadership when you share concerns with me.
On Friday morning, I spoke at the West Metro Rotary Club’s weekly breakfast. I really enjoyed the conversation.
SCDOT ROAD PROJECTS – SCDOT now has an interactive map to allow citizens to see the road and bridge projects going on around the state. You can see that map here.
HOW IS THE GAS TAX BEING USED? – SCDOT’s website allows you to view a detailed revenue statement and project list that is funded by the Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund (IMTF). SCDOT updates this site monthly as the revenue comes in. You can see that report here.
DO YOU NEED A REAL ID? – SCDMV is now issuing Real ID licenses and identification cards. If you intend to get a Real ID, DMV encourages you to avoid long lines and get the new ID before the September 30, 2020 deadline. See below for frequent questions with answers:
WHY WOULD YOU NEED A REAL ID? – To board any commercial airline flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation on and after October 1, 2020, you must have a REAL ID or another federally approved identification such as a valid US Passport or military ID.
DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR CURRENT ID SOON? – There is no need to rush to DMV now. In fact, unless your driver’s license or ID card is expiring, there is really no reason to wait in line to change your card right now. If you do decide to get a Real ID, make sure you take the correct documentation to change your current license or ID card to a Real ID.
To see the documentation you will need for a Real ID or get more information, please see SCDMV’s Real ID page here.
WANT TO SEE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACTION? – The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 2:00, Wednesdays at 12:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet Tuesday mornings, 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.
P.O. Box 551
Edgefield, SC 29824
Cell Phone: (803) 480-0419