I wanted you to know I’m honored to be named a 2018 Friend of the Coast by the South Carolina Beach Advocates for my efforts as primary sponsor to pass the 2018 Beachfront Management Reform Act, which resolved the issue of how beachfront jurisdictional lines will be set -- an issue that affects 20,000 property owners.

This week the budget was successfully passed out of the Ways and Means Committee. The budget is built on the foundation of protecting taxpayers, a renewed commitment to being resourceful and efficient, and funding only core functions of state government.

On Wednesday, Gov. Henry McMaster, House Speaker Jay Lucas, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, and Sen. Greg Hembree held a press conference in support of the comprehensive education reform bill, H. 3759. After hearing input and concerns from teachers, parents, students and the business community, the original legislation was amended, and the bill is now stronger.

Also, on Wednesday, it was my pleasure to speak to the S.C. Association of Probate Judges and to be with Georgetown County Probate Judge Leigh Powers Boan. Topics included an update on opioid legislation and mental health issues.

On Thursday, my bill requiring opioid abuse training as part of the continuing education requirements for veterinarians unanimously passed the House and is now in the Senate.

Yesterday, I attended the Georgetown County Republican Morning Club meeting in Litchfield. I got to hear Georgetown County Council Chairman John Thomas speak and enjoyed meeting constituents.

I made the news (click here) this week concerning the recently released report on offers to buy troubled utility Santee Cooper. Based on the report, there are offers to buy Santee Cooper that would pay off all the debt and lower rates for Santee Cooper and electric cooperative customers. I stand with House Speaker Lucas on the need to further evaluate the offers and to enter into negotiations with potential buyers to best evaluate the terms of a sale. We owe it to ratepayers and taxpayers to take these next steps.

I will only support the sale of Santee Cooper if it’s in the interest of the district.

On Monday night, I will be in Charleston attending a county legislative delegation meeting and then it’s off to Columbia again.

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

Rep. Lee Hewitt