New Year

I hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and have fared the ice and snow safely.

Another session of the General Assembly starts Tuesday and I’ll be making my weekly treks to Columbia for the next six months.

It’s a privilege to represent the citizens of District 108 in the House and I look forward to the session as I believe there is much to accomplish.

I’m working on legislation to change the process for how the beachfront jurisdictional lines are determined. These lines determine whether structures can be built or rebuilt according to where the lines are established and, in many cases, affect even second row properties.

Many property owners were unaware of proposed beachfront line changes last year and we were able to successfully get SCDHEC to delay line changes until the legislature had a chance to consider the issue.

I’m committed to cosponsoring bipartisan legislation with Rep. Russell Ott, D-Calhoun, that would oppose offshore oil and gas drilling and seismic testing off South Carolina. We cannot afford to risk harming our coastal economy and environment by effectively playing Russian roulette with oil rigs off our coast. Sooner or later our coast will catch a bullet in the form of a major oil spill disaster.

Last Wednesday, I was in Columbia for a House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee meeting, where we finalized our recommendations for combating the opioid addiction epidemic. While there is no silver bullet to end the addiction problem, I believe our recommendations are a big step in the right direction.

One of the committee recommendations is to pass a bill I have cosponsored and pre-filed, H. 4487, that would vastly expedite the regulation of synthetic opioids or “designer drugs” by SCDHEC.

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.

One of the biggest issues is the failed V.C. Summer nuclear reactor project involving SCANA and Santee-Cooper. In addition to supporting the protection of ratepayers in this spending disaster, I supported the House leadership in asking for a S.C. Law Enforcement Division investigation of SCANA.

On Wednesday I’ll participate in a meeting of the S.C. Energy Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators who are working to ensure our homes and businesses have access to affordable energy options and focusing on correcting institutional deficiencies that led to the nuclear project spending disaster.

It’s great to be able to serve the district. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

P.S. I’m up for reelection this year. I hate to ask for money, but my campaign needs to raise more money to help fend off challengers. Please help by clicking here today and donating the largest amount you can afford to my campaign. Thank you in advance!