A lot happening

I hope you and your family enjoyed the Memorial Day holiday.

A lot has happened since the adjournment of the House of Representatives.

Last week I was honored to be appointed to the House Offshore Drilling Ad-Hoc Committee that will consider the issue of oil and gas drilling off South Carolina.

I’ve been clear about my opposition to offshore oil drilling off our state based on what I’ve heard from constituents. All the municipalities in the district have gone on record opposing drilling. I’m glad to have a voice at the table and will work to ensure the committee is well aware of the concerns of the coastal area about an oil spill disaster that could greatly harm our beaches, marine life and tourism industry. Click here for the news release.

On May 19th, Gov. McMaster signed into law the flounder sustainability bill I cosponsored that unanimously passed the House and Senate. It increases the minimum size limit to 15” and reduces the per person limit to 10 fish per day and boat limit to 20 fish per day and will go into effect on July 1st.

The House was scheduled to go back in session last week to consider the state budget and any vetoes from the governor, but because the House and Senate conference committee has been unable to find a compromise on the budget bill, we’re now scheduled to go back in session next week, June 6-8.

Big differences remain between the House and Senate on how to bail out the underfunded pension system and on funding for education and aid to local governments. The Senate has passed a resolution funding state government at current levels in the event a compromise can’t be reached by the July 1st start of the fiscal year. While I’m hopeful a compromise can be reached next week, the House may have to sign off on the stopgap funding legislation.

On Monday, I’ll have the privilege of being in Charleston to tour the Boeing plant and Port of Charleston facilities – both big economic drivers for the district and state.

I was pleased the Army Corps of Engineers last week agreed to provide $17.5 million for the dredging of Charleston Harbor – the final piece of funding needed for the $525 million project to accommodate the very large neo-Panamax container ships and keep the port as a leader in tonnage on the East coast.

I hope this information is helpful.

It’s an honor to serve in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt