School buses

After casting over 700 votes, my first session as a member of the House of Representatives is likely over for this year after the House approved the state budget on June 6th on a 100 to 9 vote.

Gov. McMaster vetoed a little over $56 million in spending from the budget, of which $20.5 million was for new school buses. While I may vote to sustain some of the Governor’s vetoes when the House returns in January, I can’t support his veto of the school bus funding in light of the fire hazard of our aging bus fleet.

According to a recent report in The State, “Seventeen buses have caught fire or dangerously overheated since August 2015…some with children aboard.” We’ve got to fix this problem.

On June 9th, the S.C. Business and Industry Political Education Committee, a statewide pro-business group, issued their scorecard on how each House member voted on business related legislation for the session. I’m pleased to report I scored in the top 25 percent of the House.

Speaking of business, last week I sent a letter to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council in opposition to their proposal to limit the number of charter and head boats that can participate in the snapper-grouper fishery. There simply isn’t any scientific justification for this action and it’s clear the overwhelming majority of fishermen oppose this.

Click here for the letter.

In my youth, I worked as a deckhand on numerous charter and head boats out of Murrells Inlet, so I’m very familiar with the business and its economic importance to the inlet and the district as a whole.

And finally, congratulations to Dr. Gerald Harmon for his election last week as chairman of the American Medical Association, the largest physicians group in the country. Dr. Harmon has practiced medicine in Georgetown County for over 30 years and will do a great job at the national level leading the AMA.

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

Rep. Lee Hewitt