Legislative Report

  • Thursday, February 13, 2014

I hope you had a chance to hear the Governor’s State of the State message, which focused on improving education and giving each student a fair chance to be successful in school. Reading Coaches in schools will help ensure that a student will be reading and writing at grade level by the time he/she reaches third grade.

My subcommittee recently addressed the issue of streamlining two bills on texting into one that is called “Distracted Driving”. South Carolina is one of a few states that has not adopted some form of comprehensive distracted driving legislation. I have heard from many constituents who want something on the books to stop texting while driving.

The bill on which we have compromised -- and please remember any bill is a work in progress until both Houses agree -- will define an “electronic communication device,” “electronic message,” texting as “manually inputting information” and the penalties from a misdemeanor to vehicular homicide. As I said, it is a bill in progress.

We also worked out a compromise on the four moped bills.

The new bill will require all operators and passengers to wear a reflective vest, keep the running lights on while in operation, and only allow mopeds on roadways with speed limits of 45 mph or less. The next step is to get both bills drafted and reviewed by the Sponsors (author) and submitted to the desk with first reading and assigned to the Education and Public Works Committee for public hearings.

The Berkeley County Legislative Delegation met to discuss several items. On the agenda was the re-election of the Berkeley County Election Commission, appointment of a House and a Senate member to the Charleston Area Transportation Study (CHATS) Policy Committee, and a presentation from Sherri Timmermann, Secretary and Certified Presenter, Greater Charleston Parents Involved in Education concerning Common Core (education).

The delegation unanimously reappointed the Election Commissioners. The list will now go to the Governor for her official appointment.

The Common Core presentation by Ms. Timmermann was in the form of a slide presentation and comprehensive handout. This organization is against any further adoption of Common Core objectives and wants us to rescind any legislation that enacted Common Core. There were several questions from Delegation members questioning the statistics and statements presented.

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 or at the State House (803) 734-2951 or email me at joedaning@schouse.gov.

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