End of session

The final week of the legislative session began with the first meeting of the House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee on Tuesday morning. House Speaker Jay Lucas gave us our marching orders: find legislative ways to help fight addiction and curb the hundreds of opioid-related overdose deaths in the state. The 16-member bipartisan committee will be working through the summer and fall to find solutions. Click here for media coverage.

The gas tax road infrastructure bill dominated the week.

I voted for the bill negotiated by the House and Senate conference committee because it significantly increases funding for County Transportation Committees. When fully implemented, Georgetown and Charleston counties will receive an additional $1.2 million and $5.8 million respectively per year for local roads. Additionally, the bill reforms the DOT commission, makes commissioners accountable to the governor and provides some tax relief. We’ll also get the benefit of visitors to the state generating about a third of the tax revenues annually.

I’m pleased to report that the flounder sustainability bill, H. 3665, I cosponsored unanimously passed the Senate on Tuesday and now heads to Gov. McMaster for his signature as law. The bill 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. My thanks to all the fishermen who helped get this bill passed to maintain a healthy flounder stock.

On Wednesday, as part of the freshman House caucus, I got a chance to meet with S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Beatty and tour the court. It was a great learning experience to hear Justice Beatty discuss the court system and its funding, caseloads and important qualifications to consider of judicial candidates.

While the legislative session ended last week, a special three day session May 23-25 will take place to approve a state budget and consider any vetoes from the governor.

Today, Monday, May 15th, I’ll be a part of a road infrastructure discussion panel at the East Cooper Republican Club luncheon meeting at noon at the Holiday Inn, 250 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., in Mount Pleasant. I hope you can attend. Please click here for more details.

I’m privileged to serve in the House and represent the citizens of District 108! Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt