• Featured News

    Hewitt takes Police Pledge to oppose efforts to defund law enforcement

    On September 5th, Rep. Lee Hewitt took the Heritage Action Police Pledge that he stands with America’s Police and pledges to oppose any bill, resolution, or movement to "Defund the Police."

    The_Police_Pledge_copy.jpg

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    Legislative report

    I hope you’re doing well and staying safe during this COVID-19 crisis. I wanted to give you a legislative update.

    On Wednesday the House went back into session and approved a Senate plan for how to allocate $1.2 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds. About $500 million will be used to reimburse the unemployment benefits trust fund, $227 million to bolster K-12 educational efforts, $220 million to reimburse local governments for eligible COVID-19 expenditures, and $42 million for statewide testing and monitoring.

    Last month, I was privileged to be appointed by House Speaker Jay Lucas to the House COVID-19 Liability Protection Review Committee for the purpose of reviewing potential legislation for liability protections for businesses from COVID-19 claims. Based on information from the committee meeting, on Wednesday I cosponsored legislation, H. 5527, that would shield businesses from such liability claims.

    However, the legislation excludes protections for businesses that are “bad actors” if their conduct is intentional or reckless, and the business did not attempt to follow public health guidelines.

    Also, on Wednesday a resolution I sponsored, H. 5500, declaring August 31st as Drug Overdose Awareness Day in South Carolina, passed unanimously. The declaration is in conjunction with International Overdose Awareness Day – a day to stimulate discussion in order to educate communities about overdose prevention and provide information on the range of support services and resources that exist in our communities.

    This will be the first July 4th in 37 years without the Murrells Inlet Boat Parade. As a parade co-chair, it was a very difficult decision to cancel the parade as a safety precaution due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. Boaters, however, are still encouraged to show their patriotism while they practice social distancing and enjoy the inlet in celebration of Independence Day.

    To benefit the Belin United Methodist Church Boy Scout Troop 396, T-shirts are still available for purchase, $10 each, at the Conway National Bank (Murrells Inlet branch), Lee's Inlet Apothecary, and Murrells Inlet Moose Lodge.

    Stay safe from COVID-19: practice social distancing, and when possible, wear a mask in public spaces.

    It's a privilege to represent District 108 in the House. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

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    Unopposed for reelection

    Hewitt_-_well__large_FB_copy.pngI wanted you to know that the filing period for office ended at noon on Monday and I’m unopposed going into the November election. I’m so thankful for all of the supporters who made this possible!

    The campaign is far from over. Work still needs to be done to ensure a good turnout in November and there is always the possibility of petition or write-in candidates. I’m going to continue reaching out to voters and listening to their concerns.

    I ask for your continued support and prayers as the reelection campaign moves forward.

    The General Assembly remains out of session until it’s safe to meet again.

    The state's focus has turned from the budget, education reform, debt-ridden Santee Cooper and many other important issues to managing the spread and impact of a highly contagious virus. President Trump, Governor McMaster and their respective teams are working around the clock to respond to the nation's healthcare needs and to map out a plan to get us back to our jobs, schools, friends and families.

    The reality is that this situation is fluid and requires creativity, ingenuity, and an "all hands-on deck" approach that I have seen firsthand throughout this pandemic.

    I encourage you to visit this page on my website devoted to information on the COVID-19 response efforts: www.hewittforhouse.com/covid_19_resources

    Let’s thank the doctors and nurses on the front lines and practice social distancing by staying at home to limit the spread of this virus. Together, we will win this battle.

    I will continue to monitor this situation closely and will keep you informed as developments arise. If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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    Important COVID-19 Resources

    For the latest up-to-date information, visit:
    www.coronavirus.gov

    For general questions about COVID-19, call the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls from 8am to 6pm every day.

    For SCDHEC updates, visit:
    www.scdhec.gov/covid19

    For the latest news from the Governor including his executive orders, visit:
    www.governor.sc.gov

    Free Online COVID-19 Screenings (all use promo code “COVID19”):

    MUSC- https://campaigns.muschealth.org/virtual-care/index.html
    Prisma Health - https://www.prismahealth.org/virtual-visit/
    McLeod Health - https://www.mcleodhealth.org/services/care/telehealth/
    Roper St. Francis - https://www.rsfh.com/virtualcare/

    Department of Education – All public schools are closed through March 31st:
    https://ed.sc.gov/newsroom/covid-19-coronavirus-and-south-carolina-schools/

    Commission on Higher Education – Gov. McMaster recommended that all colleges and universities allow students to continue classes online for the duration of the semester:
    https://www.che.sc.gov/HOME/Coronavirus(COVID-19)Information.aspx

    Department of Revenue – Tax extensions because of COVID-19:
    https://dor.sc.gov/emergencies

    Small Business Association - Disaster assistance loans of up to $2 million for affected businesses:
    https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

    Department of Employment and Workforce – Collecting unemployment because of COVID-19:
    https://dew.sc.gov/covid-hub

    Information on avoiding Coronavirus scams from FTC:
    https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2020/02/coronavirus-scammers-follow-headlines

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  • Featured News

    Rep. Lee Hewitt files for reelection to state House 108 seat

    MURRELLS INLET – Republican Rep. Lee Hewitt Monday officially filed for reelection to the S.C. House District 108 seat.

    “Serving in the state House of Representatives is a real privilege 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.”

    The filing period for candidates opened Monday and will close at noon on March 30th.

    “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.”

    Hewitt, 59, was first elected in 2016. He is a House Majority Whip and serves on the Labor, Commerce and Industry, Legislative Oversight, and Opioid Abuse Prevention Study committees.

    Hewitt has lived in Murrells Inlet for 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, Grand Strand Area Transportation 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 Co-Chairman 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.

    House District 108 includes all of coastal Georgetown County, except for the city of Georgetown, and the northern coastal portion of Charleston County to Mt. Pleasant.

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    Weekly report: Coronavirus, Santee Cooper

    I wanted you to know that last night the SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control reported that two patients in South Carolina have been diagnosed with the coronavirus. The women are located in Charleston and Kershaw counties.

    Gov. McMaster held a news conference this morning about the outbreak. This is a time for concern, not panic. I urge you to learn more about the virus and its prevention by visiting this SCDHEC webpage.

    Additionally, MUSC Health is providing FREE telehealth coronavirus screening to ALL South Carolinians. If you are experiencing symptoms you can click here and be screened without having to leave your home. Just enter promo code COVID19.

    The week began with a huge development for the future of debt-ridden state-owned utility Santee Cooper. I encourage you to read House Speaker Jay Lucas's op-ed in the Post & Courier that summarizes how the House is working towards making the best decision for ratepayers and taxpayers.

    The House Ways and Means Committee voted 19-3 to go forward with the two parallel paths, one that includes negotiating with NextEra to purchase Santee Cooper, and one that includes significant governance reform for Santee Cooper. It's a move that would create more time for a sale to be negotiated and NextEra representatives said they are willing to negotiate a better deal.

    After eight weeks of debate and over 300 amendments, the Senate finally passed their education reform legislation. It addresses many of the same issues which were covered in the education reform legislation I voted for last year. I look forward to the upcoming debate on this bill in the House.

    We passed a bill that would close a current loophole for inmates on death row. Currently, state law allows death-row inmates to pick lethal injection or electrocution, but mandates using lethal injection if inmates don’t make a choice. Manufacturers of the lethal injection drugs have stopped selling them to prisons so this bill fixes the loophole by making the electric chair the default method.

    Next week is budget week in the House. We’ll be working hard to pass a fiscally conservative budget.

    It’s a privilege to serve District 108 in the House of Representatives! 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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    Budget

    It was another busy week at the State House with a lot of behind-the-scenes work as we debated in committees the state budget, Santee Cooper, education, opioid abuse, and a host of other important issues.

    The House Ways and Means Committee passed a proposed budget out of committee, which mirrored Gov. McMaster’s priorities.

    Here are some of the budget highlights:

    *$128 million will be refunded directly to taxpayers with an income tax credit

    *Funds to bring the total reserve fund to almost $800 million in case of recession or natural disaster

    *$120 million devoted to lowering the income tax rate below 7%

    *$213 million for an across-the-board pay raise for teachers, ranking SC in top 25 for teacher pay

    *$40 million to provide merit pay raises for state employees

    *$165 million to ensure college tuition rates are frozen so that college is more affordable for in-state students

    The full House will take up the budget the week of March 9th.

    The Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee unanimously passed the business license reform bill, H. 4431, I cosponsored that streamlines the process of obtaining business licenses from all the jurisdictions that require them.

    The bill establishes a standard application and renewal date, and a single website for payments.

    I was pleased to meet with Georgetown County Probate Judge Leigh Powers Boan at the State House where we had an opportunity to talk about issues affecting the court. I’m proud that Leigh has been elected president of the S.C. Association of Probate Judges in just her first term in office.

    Next week promises to be very busy with more committee meetings, including House Ways and Means Committee hearings on what to do with debt-ridden state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

    It’s an honor to represent District 108 in the House of Representatives! Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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    Santee Cooper

    I hope you’ve had a Happy Valentine’s Day!

    This week brought about one of the biggest decisions the General Assembly will ever face, the fate of debt-ridden state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

    On Tuesday, we received a report from the Dept. of Administration (DOA) detailing their recommendation of the three best options for Santee Cooper:

    1. Sell Santee Cooper to privately-owned utility NextEra.
    2. A management agreement with privately-owned Dominion Energy.
    3. Reform Santee Cooper while keeping state ownership and management.

    Now, the House and Senate must decide on the best option for ratepayers and taxpayers. Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith appointed an Ad-Hoc Committee to go through all of the information in the DOA report and bring their findings to the full House within 30 days.

    This is all in response to the billions in debt accumulated from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project that has resulted in lawsuits and higher rates for electric customers who are served by Santee Cooper as well as most Electric Co-ops.

    Yesterday, the Business License Fees Ad Hoc Subcommittee I serve on passed a much-needed bill, H. 4431, that would streamline the maddening process of obtaining business licenses for all the cities and counties that require them. The bill establishes a standard application and renewal date, and a single website for payments. The bill will be considered by the full Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee next week.

    I was privileged to serve on discussion panels at two conferences this week. On Monday, I was a panelist at the SC Beach Advocates’ annual conference in Myrtle Beach, discussing pending legislation affecting the coast.

    On Tuesday, I was a panelist at the SC Association of Realtors’ Capitol Conference where we discussed legislative issues affecting real estate and realtors, including an update on the status of the business license reform legislation.

    It’s an honor to represent District 108 in the House of Representatives! Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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    State House update

    I hope everyone stayed safe during the storms that spanned across our entire state yesterday.

    The bad weather did not stop the legislature from taking up some important legislation this week. On Tuesday I was proud to join my colleagues from the House and Senate to elect 34 judges and 10 new board members to state universities.

    Yesterday the House unanimously passed legislation ratifying the overwhelming annexation vote taken this past November by property owners affected by the Horry-Georgetown County border error. The bill now goes to the Senate.

    The Senate continued their debate on their education reform bill, S. 419, marking one month since they started debate. They are expected to finish debate by the end of next week, and will send the bill back to the House for our consideration.

    We passed two Senate bills affecting fishermen aimed at conserving fish stocks. S. 474 establishes catch and size limits for spadefish (Daily limit: 10 per person, 30 per boat; Minimum size: 14” total length) and S. 475 establishes catch and size limits for tripletail (Daily limit: 3 per person, 9 per boat; Minimum size: 18” total length).

    This week I was privileged to meet with a number of area officials visiting the State House: Georgetown County Treasurer Allison Peteet, Awendaw Mayor Miriam Green and Councilman Robert Causey, Georgetown Mayor Brenden Barber, Mt. Pleasant Mayor Will Haynie and members of town council, and Horry-Georgetown Technical College President Dr. Marilyn “Murph” Fore.

    I’m always glad to meet with groups and constituents, particularly at the State House.

    It’s an honor to represent District 108 in the House of Representatives! Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

    Rep. Lee Hewitt

    Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.

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    Rep. Lee Hewitt interview -- Quintin's Close-Ups

    Rep. Lee Hewitt was recently interviewed by Charleston journalist Quintin Washington on his Quintin’s Close-Ups show. Lee talks about a lot of important issues like education reform, the budget surplus, pension reform, the Port of Georgetown, and roads.

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