Good afternoon y’all. This week was set to be like any other. I worked on a real estate transaction; spent time in Columbia as we appointed judges, worked on legislation, voted on several bills and spoke on an election law panel.

But after Tuesday night’s State of the Union (SOTU) speech, I got on my iPhone and hammered out a few off-the-cuff thoughts about what I saw...

While I respect the views of male and female politicians of all ideological backgrounds, something about the “wear white” publicity stunt by AOC (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — D-New York) and her colleagues rubbed me the wrong way.

Having broken a few glass ceilings myself over the years, I intended to make the point that as women, our gender doesn’t define us. We are so much more than that. We don’t need someone to tell us how to dress or how to act, especially when the world is watching. I felt like I could offer, through life experience, a unique perspective.

The reaction of men and women, Republican and Democrat, alike, has been deeply humbling and inspiring. If we don’t speak up and speak out, our voices will never be heard.

While mainstream media mostly ignored my post, those on social media did not. Millions of people were reached through it, saw it, liked it, shared it — and whether their feedback was positive or negative (most of it was supportive), I embraced it all. The response that started here in District 99 spread nationwide. And has only encouraged me to continue speaking up when I see something I believe holds all of us back.

I am immensely hopeful and know that we can make great strides together.

Here is the original post:

“I’m a mom, a businesswoman and a state legislator serving South Carolina. At a young age, I was determined to forge my own path through life. And nearly 20 years ago I became the first female graduate of The Citadel after following in my father’s footsteps. I also have experience starting my own business and in 2017 ran for — and won — a seat in the state legislature, on my own terms.

“As women we make a fundamental mistake when we make our identity as women the WHOLE story.

“The point of breaking glass ceilings is so that, after they’re broken, it doesn’t matter anymore. The American experiment is built on the premise that if you set a goal, show up on time and work hard, then success is within reach. We can ALL achieve the American dream regardless of our gender.

“The identity politics being overplayed by liberal women in Washington, on display last night during the president’s State of the Union last night, further sets women back rather than advancing our futures. Acting like we just earned the right to vote and are held back strictly because of our gender is an enormous disservice to women everywhere.

“We don’t need to dress alike.

“We don’t need to think alike.

“We don’t need to act alike.

“We simply need to be present and be working for ALL of the people who elected us.

“#sotu #politics #women #stateoftheunion #southcarolina #scpol”

What Else Happened This Week

We are now over a month into the legislative session. In the next few weeks, I expect to see developments with the education reform bill, a plan for reforming the tax system and an outline for next year’s budget. I am excited and prepared to keep working hard for you and the best interests of all South Carolinians.

Santee Cooper Study Committee:

The legislative committee studying whether to sell Santee Cooper received a detailed report this week summarizing the top four (out of 10) offers to buy the state-owned utility. Three of the offers would ensure the 2 million customers who get power from Santee Cooper would pay no more for the failed nuclear plant. Currently, Santee Cooper customers are on the hook for roughly $6,200 more per household in higher rates over the next four decades to pay off the power plant debt. Customers of the twenty electric co-ops are obligated to pay about $4,200 per household because they get their power from Santee Cooper.

Judicial Elections:

On Wednesday, we held a joint assembly in order to elect judges for the Court of Appeals, Family Court and Circuit Court. We elected a diverse group of judges that represent SC’s judicial system in the highest regard. For a complete list of the elected judges click here and scroll down:

Tax Reform

The Tax Reform Committee, a bipartisan committee appointed by the speaker last year, met this week to discuss a reform bill. The committee is preparing to report a bold plan that will reduce income taxes and broaden the base of sales taxes resulting in much fairer tax rates across the board for all South Carolinians. The bill will also address business license fees and reduce the corporate tax rate. We are hoping the bill will be on the floor before budget week.

Education Meeting:

The K-12 subcommittee is holding another meeting next week to get public input on H. 3759, the education reform bill.

Nancy Mace South Carolina’s 99th District (Berkeley and Charleston counties). Contact her at 803-212-6717 or 843-580-6223; or Nancy Mace, 295 Seven Farms Dr., Suite C — 186, Charleston, SC 29492.