My legislative week started last Monday night with a Charleston County Legislative Delegation meeting on The Citadel campus. I was honored to meet Citadel President General Glenn Walters, United States Marine Corps. Prior to his arrival at The Citadel, General Walters served as the Marine Corps’ second-highest ranking officer.
Last week was dominated by joint sessions of the House and Senate to hear special speakers.
On Tuesday, the General Assembly honored the Clemson national football championship team and heard an inspiring speech by Coach Dabo Swinney on the importance of unity in order to get things done.
On Wednesday, we heard the State of the Judiciary address from S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Don Beatty. He said judicial branch’s top funding needs are infrastructure, technology and personnel, and asked to end the judiciary’s funding dependence on fines and fees.
Our education reform legislation, the S.C. Career Opportunity and Access for All Act, was reported out of the full education committee on a 15-1 vote and is expected to be debated on the House floor this week.
The bill includes needed reforms like raising teacher pay, testing less and teaching more, consolidating small school districts so they run more efficiently, and creating accountability for school boards.
Also, on Wednesday I was pleased to meet with Dwight McInvaill, Director of Georgetown County Library Services, and some of his staff. They were at the State House to support the House Ways and Means budget as written, which increased fiscal support for public libraries.
And finally, some good news for SC tourism. For the sixth consecutive year, tourism in SC has shown record growth. 2017 generated a record economic impact of $22.6 billion, an increase of $1.4 billion from 2016. Tourism growth in the state has increased 50 percent since 2010, according to the SC Parks and Recreation Division.
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