Good morning. Hope you had a good weekend.
The first year of the 2023-2024 Legislative Session ended on Thursday. This final week was a flurry of activity.
In 2014, I was appointed by Gov. Nikki Haley as the 7th Congressional District Representative to the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control Board of Directors and served until my election to the House.
So last week with my knowledge of DHEC operations, it was a privilege to be appointed by House Speaker Murrell Smith to serve on the conference committee to iron out the differences between the House and Senate on S. 399, a bill that restructures and modernizes DHEC to create the Department of Health and the Department of Environmental Services.
Both the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Services will become cabinet agencies with their directors being appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate.
I’m pleased that on Wednesday the House unanimously passed a bill I sponsored, H. 3072, that protects the four percent property tax assessment rate after a property owner dies until the decedent's estate is closed, upon the recording of a deed or deed of distribution out of the estate, or after December 31st of the year following the date of death, whichever occurs first, which I think is only fair.
We set an ambitious agenda for the session that included improving statewide economic development, reforming our education system, implementing fiscal discipline, increasing personal freedom, and prioritizing public safety and made meaningful progress towards achieving our goals.
Although the session officially wrapped up on Thursday, Gov. McMaster called a special session for next week to finish our work on the state budget, bond reform to stop the revolving door for repeat criminals, and increasing the penalties for fentanyl trafficking.
Have a good week. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Rep. Lee Hewitt