Need for Education Reform

I was honored to be in attendance for Gov. McMaster’s State of the State address on Wednesday and pleased with what he said.

In particular, I stand with the Governor on the critical need to reform and improve our education system, lower taxes by returning a portion of the budget surplus to taxpayers in the form of a tax rebate, and protect our coastal economy and environment from offshore oil drilling.

The need for education reform was the main topic in Columbia this week, not only in Gov. McMaster’s address, but in the House where House Speaker Jay Lucas introduced an 84-page comprehensive education reform bill, H. 3759, that I support.

The Speaker’s bill would substantially increase teachers’ salaries, dissolve failing school districts, consolidate small school districts, improve job-training and encourage innovations. The bill includes a Student Bill of Rights that ensures every student has highly qualified teachers, excellent principal leadership and a system that puts their successes first. I am hopeful for its passage.

As a lead sponsor, I filed two bills this week. One is a re-filed bill, H. 3731, from the last session that would vastly expedite the regulation of synthetic opioids or “designer drugs” by the S.C. Dept. of Health and Environmental Control.

Currently, when a new unregulated synthetic opioid shows up on the market it takes at least four weeks to be able to list it as a controlled substance. My bill would allow the SCDHEC Director to immediately list it, allowing law enforcement to immediately crack down on its sale.

The other bill, H. 3750, affects deer hunters by changing two of the doe tags from Saturday use only to any day use, which I think is fairer to hunters.

Yesterday, I was honored to take part in the annual Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Breakfast with Rep. Carl Anderson and Senators Stephen Goldfinch and Ronnie Sabb. It was great to talk with constituents and answer questions.

It’s a privilege to serve as a state Representative. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt