State House Report

With the icy conditions, please stay safe on the roads this weekend. My thanks to our hardworking first responders and utility linemen who are out in this difficult weather.

Snow in the Upstate early this week caused the House Speaker to postpone the start of our session to Wednesday. We focused on budget hearings as various state agencies testified before subcommittees to make requests as deliberations begin over the state budget. The budget will make its way to the House floor in March.

The two bills I had up for hearings were passed out of subcommittee. H. 4504 would cap the sales tax on outboard motors and boat trailers at $500 and H. 3892 would prohibit mining or solid waste management facilities within a certain proximity to a public park or public natural area.

Gov. McMaster gave his State of the State speech on Wednesday evening and I was honored to be chosen to be on the Governor’s Escort Committee that accompanied him in his entrance to the House chambers.

Gov. McMaster illustrated the successes of South Carolina in the past year, indicative of what our state can accomplish when we work together. Then he laid out a bold plan for our state.

The Governor introduced many highlights from his executive budget. These are items that he would like to see the House and Senate include when we pass our state budget. I share many of these sentiments and will work hard to include many of the items the Governor suggested, including the expansion and improvement to roads, bridges, highways, and interstates, tax cuts on ALL income tax brackets, a “rainy day” fund for future economic uncertainties, pay raises for teachers, and fully funding law enforcement, public safety, and other first responders.

I share Gov. McMaster’s pride in our state’s booming economy and business-friendly environment, which makes South Carolina the 10th fastest-growing state in America. And thanks to conservative planning and budgeting, we have the largest budget surplus, the largest rainy-day reserve account balance, and the lowest debt in our state’s history.

Next week, the House will continue subcommittee hearings on the budget.

Unfortunately, the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce had to postpone yesterday’s Legislative Breakfast due to weather and the new date has not yet been set. This annual event features the county legislative delegation of Senators Stephen Goldfinch and Ronnie Sabb and Rep. Carl Anderson and myself talking about issues and legislation and answering questions.

Stay warm and safe. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

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