Last week started with members of the Berkeley County Legislative Delegation meeting with South Carolina Secretary of Commerce Robert M. Hitt III to explore ways to improve job opportunities for the citizens of Berkeley County.
The Secretary shared with us that Berkeley County has grown by 1,500 jobs with a corresponding $750 billion in investment by new and expanding companies this past year.
He explained the process of finding the right property or building for a new industry wanting to locate in the state. He also emphasized that we are competing with all 50 states to attract industry but especially North Carolina and Georgia.
There was a delegation meeting composed of State House and Senate members from the First Congressional District. Sen. Campsen was elected temporary chair, and the only order of business was to recommend to the Governor the appointment of Candice Pratt to the Real Estate Commission.
On the House floor, we debated S-3, which deals with electronic gambling machines. There are loopholes in the current law that allow certain types of these machines.
S-3 would close the loophole. The bill was heavily debated by both sides of the issue; debate was adjourned until March 19.
The Freedom of Information (FOIA) Bill was once again put on hold by the sponsor.
We held a full Education and Public Works Committee meeting and I am happy to report that my Veterans Tuition Bill passed unanimously. The bill will now go to the House Floor for debate.
A similar bill that I sponsored last year passed the House unanimously but died in the Senate. Since next week is Budget Week, we will probably not get to this bill until the following week.
We received the budget this week for review. The Ways and Means Chair has been holding meetings with members explaining the bill and answering questions.
As always, thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia.† If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don't hesitate to contact me at 553-9288, at the State House at (803) 734-2951, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.