• Featured News

    Hewitt Report: NIL law, heathcare cost efficency, safeguarding 2nd Amendment rights

    Good morning.

    It was a pleasure to meet Dallas Cowboy star and NFL Hall of Famer Randy White at the State House. Randy testified before our Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee for more funding for opioid addiction treatment.

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    He spearheads a prevention program called “Coaches versus Overdoses,” designed to reduce overdoses through education and empowerment. Randy told the committee about the tragedy of his son-in-law, Jesse Dempsey, a professional snowboarder, who died in 2018 at age 42 after ingesting a single pill a friend gave him that he thought was an approved painkiller, but was laced with fentanyl.

    I was honored to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony at Brookgreen Gardens for the new welcome center and conservatory called The Purdy Center. I appreciate the cultural and educational resources and conservation efforts that Brookgreen Gardens brings to our community.

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    On Wednesday, I was proud to support and ultimately pass H.4957, a landmark bill designed to empower college athletes in South Carolina with the ability to profit from their name, image, and likeness -- NIL.

    This move, strongly supported by coaches from our state's top universities, promotes fair and equitable opportunities for student athletes, ensuring our state aligns with national standards in collegiate sports.

    Also, on Wednesday, the Judiciary Committee passed H.4927, a bill that would merge the Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services and the Dept. of Mental Health, creating the Executive Office of Health and Policy. This legislation would eliminate healthcare fragmentation, gain cost efficiency, and enhance care quality and accessibility.

    The House Republican Caucus remains unified in our commitment to the Constitutional Carry/Second Amendment Preservation Act. On Tuesday, we sent a clean version of the bill back to the Senate, underscoring our dedication to safeguarding the Second Amendment rights of South Carolinians.

    Although the House will be on furlough next week, the Ways and Means Committee will meet on Tuesday. We’ll be working on the state budget bill, after conducting numerous subcommittee hearings over the last month to gather information for budget deliberations.

    I’m honored to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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    Hewitt Report: Beachfront lines, unemployment benefits, support for veterans

    I hope you had a good weekend.

    In 2018 my bill for fixing the process for determining beachfront jurisdictional lines by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management was signed into law by Gov. McMaster. The bill improved property owner notification, expanded the public comment period and allowed owners one year from the date of line implementation to appeal.

    Determined every seven to ten years, these lines affect 20,000 property owners statewide and impact first, and in many cases, second row properties regarding the structures that can be built or rebuilt.

    Last week, I made the news when I questioned when OCRM can start the process of resetting the beachfront jurisdictional lines. The agency is wanting to start the process this year, however the law controlling where the lines are set requires OCRM to delay data collection for 18 months if the beaches have been impacted by a storm system. I’m working to ensure OCRM follows the law and delays the current review because the coast has been impacted by significant storm systems including Hurricane Ian within the last 18 months.

    On Wednesday and Thursday, two important bills I cosponsored were overwhelmingly passed by the House.

    H.4710 passed 113 to 1 on Wednesday and indexes our state’s unemployment benefits to seasonal adjusted statewide unemployment rates. By modifying the duration of unemployment benefits to reflect current job market realities, this legislation actively promotes re-engagement with the 161,000 job opportunities currently available across our state. Moreover, this reform will lead to savings for small businesses on their unemployment taxes. The bill now heads to the Senate.

    The Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption bill passed 112 to 0 and came out of the Ways and Means Property Tax Subcommittee I chair. I had the privilege Thursday of presenting the bill and the Senate amendments from the House well. The bill extends property tax exemptions to permanently and totally disabled veterans and their surviving spouses. I believe it’s important that we honor and support our veterans and their families. The bill now heads to Gov. McMaster’s desk for his signature.

    I hope you’ll visit my official House webpage, where you can find bills that I’ve either sponsored or cosponsored, view my voting record, search for bills, and access video feeds of the House sessions and committee meetings.

    Have a good week. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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  • Featured News

    SC House focuses on child safety

    I wanted you to know that the focus in the House this week was on child safety.

    After years of trying to get a bill outlawing child luring passed, it was a great victory for child safety for my bill, H.4825, to pass the House unanimously 113 to 0 on Tuesday.

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    My thanks for the overwhelming support from my colleagues and for the grassroots support that generated over 17,000 petition signatures in support of this important legislation that will help protect the young from luring and kidnapping.

    On Wednesday, we achieved a significant milestone with the passage of the “SC Social Media Regulation Act.” I was glad to support this vital piece of legislation that gives us more control over our children's use of social media. By mandating age verification and requiring parental consent for minors’ accounts, we’re taking proactive steps to shield our youth from potentially harmful online content.

    Similarly, we passed the “Child Online Safety Act.” This legislation will protect our children from inappropriate online content, particularly pornographic material. I’m proud to have voted for a law that places a crucial responsibility on commercial entities to implement robust age verification methods, ensuring a safer online environment for children.

    The "SC Telehealth and Telemedicine Modernization Act," which I cosponsored, passed the House and Senate on Wednesday and is headed to Gov. McMaster for his signature. This bill will improve access to healthcare services for all South Carolinians, especially those in remote or underserved areas, and ensure telehealth services are provided within the same rigorous standards as in-person care.

    On Wednesday, Rep. Carl Anderson, D-Georgetown, and I met with Georgetown County Library Director Dwight McInvaill and members of the Friends of the Georgetown Library -- Bob Willey, Jackie Hoelscher, Rachael Jobin, Vennie Deas Moore, and Pam Toemmes – to discuss statewide public library funding.

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    I welcome visits to my office in the State House and to attend House sessions and committee meetings. We’re usually in session Tuesday through Thursday. Groups are welcome. Please contact me to schedule a visit.

    I’m honored to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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    Gov. McMaster's State of the State address, progress on bills in the House

    I hope you’re doing well.

    On Wednesday I had the honor of attending Gov. McMaster’s State of the State address.

    He praised South Carolina's economic growth, focusing on advanced manufacturing and tourism, and outlined a significant plan to modernize our healthcare system by consolidating key agencies.

    I commend the Governor’s emphasis on the importance of education and infrastructure, and addressing our commitment to public safety.

    A big focus in the House this week was the safety and well-being of our children in the digital age.

    The “Child Online Safety Act," passed the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. This bill sets stringent guidelines for website and online application operators, designed to ensure that minors are not exposed to inappropriate content on the internet.

    Another important bill, the “Social Media Regulation Act,” aims to require parental consent for minors to create social media accounts and places restrictions on access during certain hours. It will soon be debated on the House floor.

    On Thursday I voted in favor of H.3523, which establishes a "Fallen First Responder Survivor Advocate" to assist families of deceased first responders in accessing benefits and support.

    The Ways and Means Committee met on Wednesday and we passed a bill I cosponsored, H.4710, which would index our state’s unemployment benefits on seasonal adjusted statewide unemployment rates, which would be a win for our state’s people, businesses, and economy.

    On Tuesday I welcomed Dr. Gerald Harmon of Tidelands Heath to serve as “Doctor of the Day” for the House of Representatives. For Dr. Harmon, who is the past president of the American Medical Association, this was his 32nd year serving as Doctor of the Day.

    Have a good week. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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  • Featured News

    Rep. Lee Hewitt will seek reelection to state House 108 seat

    Endorsed by House Speaker Murrell Smith

    MURRELLS INLET – Republican Rep. Lee Hewitt Monday announced that he will seek reelection to the S.C. House District 108 seat and that he has the backing of House Speaker Murrell Smith.

    “It’s been a real privilege to serve in the state House of Representatives and I’m hopeful district voters will send me back for another term,” Hewitt said. “I’ve been blessed with an outpouring of support and will continue working hard in Columbia representing the district.”

    “I will continue to fight for low taxes, better roads, the best education for our children, more jobs, and to protect our natural resources,” Hewitt said. “I share the conservative values of the district and will continue working hard to earn the support of Georgetown and Charleston County voters.”

    "Lee Hewitt has a proven record of conservative leadership and has brought real results home to the people of District 108,” House Speaker Murrell Smith said. “Lee brings experience and expertise to the Ways and Means Committee, the Republican Caucus and the House as a whole. I wholeheartedly support Lee’s continued service and believe he’s a vital voice for District 108.”

    “I’m honored and grateful to have the full support of Speaker Smith,” Hewitt said.

    “We’re on target to fund a very good campaign. I’m grateful for all of our campaign donors who have given very generously,” Hewitt said.

    Hewitt, 63, was first elected in 2016. He serves on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee and is a House Majority Whip.

    This year he also serves as the chair of the Georgetown County Legislative Delegation and the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study Policy Committee.

    The past two years Hewitt has been awarded the "Champion of Business" award from the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

    Last year he was named “Legislator of Year” by the S.C. Farm Bureau.

    Hewitt has lived in Murrells Inlet for over 40 years. He is owner of Garden City Realty and has served as President of the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors and on the board of the state Association of Realtors.

    In 2014, Hewitt was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Board of Directors.

    Hewitt has served as chairman of the Georgetown County Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals and on the Georgetown County Comprehensive Land Use Plan
    Committee, and the Southern Evacuation Lifeline Road Task Force.

    Hewitt is a charter member of the Murrells Inlet Rotary Club and a founder and current chair of the Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade.

    He is a 1982 graduate of the University of South Carolina - Coastal with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

    Hewitt is an active member of Belin Memorial United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Whitney, have two sons.

    Hewitt’s campaign website is HewittForHouse.com.

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  • Featured News

    A new legislative session

    Happy New Year! I hope you’re doing well.

    The House of Representatives session began last Tuesday and I wanted to give you an update.

    I’m honored to again serve on the coveted Ways and Means Committee, as chair of its Property Tax Subcommittee and as a member of its Healthcare Budget Subcommittee.

    I’m also honored to again serve in the House leadership as a Majority Whip.

    This year, I also serve as the chair of the Georgetown County Legislative Delegation and the Grand Strand Area Transportation Study Policy Committee.

    On Tuesday, the House Criminal Laws Subcommittee held a hearing on my bill, H. 3015, that would outlaw child luring. This is a bill supported by over 17,000 petition signatures and resolutions of support by the cities of Mt. Pleasant and Charleston.

    The hearing resulted in the crafting of a new compromise bill on luring, H. 4825, of which I’m the sponsor. I’m optimistic the bill will pass the House.

    Luring children should be illegal in South Carolina. Last fall there was another incident in Mt. Pleasant of child luring, where an adult attempted to get a child to go with him in a car, with the promise of taking the child fishing. Over the years, there have been other luring attempts promising candy and visits with puppies.

    On Friday, I participated in the annual Georgetown County Legislative Delegation Breakfast, hosted by the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the Coastal Carolina Association of Realtors. Senators Stephen Goldfinch and Ronnie Sabb and Rep. Carl Anderson and I answered a lot of great questions from a packed house.

    I believe it’s important to focus on these key issues in 2024:

    Further expanding parental choice in education.
    Focusing on children's health and safety.
    Improving the judicial selection process.
    Continuing to enhance our economic momentum.
    Developing comprehensive energy policies and investing in modern, efficient power generation to meet our state's growing needs.

    I’m thankful for the opportunity to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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  • Featured News

    Video interview with Quintin Washington

    Last week I did a video interview with Charleston journalist Quintin Washington where we talked about the impacts of area growth and infrastructure needs.


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  • Featured News

    Dredging Murrells Inlet

    Hope you’re doing well.

    I wanted to make you aware of some important Murrells Inlet dredging projects.

    Georgetown County is seeking a permit from the US Army Corp of Engineers for the most extensive dredging project ever for Murrells Inlet and it’s very important that the USACE receive comments about the extreme need for dredging so a permit will be issued.

    The project encompasses all of the channels and basins that are used by boaters throughout the inlet. Nearly 16.5 miles of channels would be dredged and 755,000 cubic yards of sediment removed and discharged to a nearshore disposal site off Huntington Beach State Park.

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    If permitted, this $35 million project would be funded by the state and could start as early as 2025.

    Click here then click on “Public Notice and Drawings” to view the permit application.

    Not only is inlet dredging badly needed for boating and inlet access, dredging is a recommendation in the Murrells Inlet Watershed Plan as a way to improve marsh and shellfish habitat.

    The watershed plan says dredging will “Improve salt water exchange in areas of Murrells Inlet, which have become silted over time. An adequate salt water/freshwater balance can help moderate fecal coliform.”

    The deadline for comments on the application is Nov. 30th. Please send comments to Project Manager Nat Ball at [email protected] and reference Permit Application SAC-2020-00449.

    I urge you to get comments in as soon as possible.

    Additionally, the Murrells Inlet navigation channel maintenance dredging project is set to begin soon. This is a $6.2 million US Army Corp of Engineers project.

    A little over 500,000 cubic yards of sand will be removed from the navigation channel and pumped onto the south end of Garden City Beach and the northern part of Huntington Beach State Park.

    This map shows in red with cross hatching the areas that will be dredged. The beach areas outlined in green and blue will be re-nourished with the sand.

    Murrells_Inlet_Dredging_Project_map_-_Sept._2023.png

    I hope this information is helpful.

    Have a good week. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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  • Featured News

    Hewitt: $10 million secured for Murrells Inlet dredging

    Last week I joined my colleagues in Columbia for what will likely be the last House session until we reconvene in January 2024.

    In the budget bill I was able to gain the support of my colleagues and the Governor for funding a number of important District needs.

    One of those is the dredging of Murrells Inlet channels, many of which are no longer navigable and impede the water flow needed for a healthy estuary.

    The budget bill appropriates $10 million for inlet dredging which, combined with prior budget bill appropriations, means that over $14 million is now available for the dredging project.

    Here are some of the other appropriations for the District included in the budget:

    *$6 million for Horry-Georgetown Technical College’s boat building and outboard marine technology facility on the Georgetown campus.

    *$2.5 million to Georgetown County to fix port facilities on the state ports property in Georgetown that was transferred to the county.

    *$250,000 for Town of Pawleys Island drainage work.

    *$250,000 for the nonprofit Smith Medical Clinic in Pawleys Island to help fund medical care for over 2,000 low-income, uninsured, Georgetown County residents.

    *$190,000 for Murrells Inlet bike path parking, which brings total state budget funding for the parking to $515,000.

    We set an ambitious agenda for the session that included improving statewide economic development, reforming our education system, implementing fiscal discipline, increasing personal freedom, and prioritizing public safety and made meaningful progress towards achieving our goals.

    On June 14th, I was honored to be appointed by House Speaker Murrell Smith to the Land Development Study Committee, which is tasked with examining current and prospective ways to manage land development.

    As chair of the Murrells Inlet Boat Parade, just a reminder that the 40th annual parade is on Tuesday, July 4th, starting at 6 pm. This year’s theme is “Made in the USA.”

    I’m honored to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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    Progress on legislative goals as House session ends

    Good morning. Hope you had a good weekend.

    The first year of the 2023-2024 Legislative Session ended on Thursday. This final week was a flurry of activity.

    In 2014, I was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley as the 7th Congressional District Representative to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Board of Directors and served until my election to the House.

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    So last week with my knowledge of DHEC operations, it was a privilege to be appointed by House Speaker Murrell Smith to serve on the conference committee to iron out the differences between the House and Senate on S. 399, a bill that restructures and modernizes DHEC to create the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Services.

    Both the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Services will become cabinet agencies with their directors being appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate.

    I’m pleased that on Wednesday the House unanimously passed a bill I sponsored, H. 3072, that protects the four percent property tax assessment rate after a property owner dies until the decedent's estate is closed, upon the recording of a deed or deed of distribution out of the estate, or after December 31st of the year following the date of death, whichever occurs first, which I think is only fair.

    We set an ambitious agenda for the session that included improving statewide economic development, reforming our education system, implementing fiscal discipline, increasing personal freedom, and prioritizing public safety and made meaningful progress towards achieving our goals.

    Although the session officially wrapped up on Thursday, Gov. McMaster called a special session for next week to finish our work on the state budget, bond reform to stop the revolving door for repeat criminals, and increasing the penalties for fentanyl trafficking.

    Have a good week. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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