I support our law enforcement, firefighters, Corrections, EMS and emergency room people. They deserve our full support and admiration. They sacrifice their nights, weekends and holidays to serve us in the most dangerous and adverse conditions we can imagine. I recently finished my campaign to honor those first responders who have served 20 years or more in my district. (Lakelands Connector 8-22-17).
Transparency in government is vital. The government should serve its’ citizens and those citizens should be able to access information when their tax money is spent. I have consistently supported strengthening our Freedom of Information Act laws including reform that makes access to public documents easier and faster. (Index Journal Editorial 2-17-17 and 3/17/17).
In our state, the legislature elects judges. Activist judges hurt us when they go beyond their constitutional mandate to interpret the laws and try to make their own laws. I have voted for and supported outstanding conservative judges like George “Buck” James who was recently elected to the South Carolina Supreme Court. (State Newspaper, 2017)
I have supported ethics in Government and the avoidance of conflicts of interest when voting. For example, I have publicly opposed the practice of a judicial candidate or the candidate’s family contributing to the campaign of a legislator who will vote in their race. Currently incumbent judges are prohibited from contributing to a political campaign while judge candidates are not. I proposed legislation to end this appearance of impropriety. (Index Journal 1-1-17; The State 1-1-17).
Government needs to learn to do more with less. High taxes are choking out small business in my district and our nation. While most taxes are local or federal, we must do what we can on a state level to hold taxes to a bare minimum. For example, while I am all for harnessing solar energy, I voted against government subsidy of solar energy, because it should stand on its own without our tax money subsidizing it. (Index Journal 4-12-18).
Utility Rate Reform
Consumers should not be forced to pay for bad decisions by Utility Companies, while their executives receive bonuses of $20 million or more. I voted to repeal the unconstitutional “Base Load Review Act” and to stop ratepayer subsidy of Utilities. (Index Journal 11-25-17). While the majority of power company workers are good people, the people at the top can lose sight of the reality of people paying rising utility rates. I have not been hesitant to challenge the power companies when their practices are not in the public’s interest. (Index Journal 11-22-17).
Compliance with the law and respect for the law are fundamental values that give order to our society. When liberal leaning mayors release illegal aliens on bail after they commit a crime, they thwart the efforts of the federal government to remove these people from our society. Preventing this kind of lawlessness is the reason I co-sponsored a bill that would ban sanctuary cities in our state. (Index Journal 3-14-18)
Superior education of our children is one of the most important issues facing us with the future of our state hanging in the balance. I believe in choice and opportunity for families, children and young adults. I will continue to encourage programs that partner with local industry, as well as traditional higher education. I will continue to support our public schools and charter schools while affording parents the equal opportunity to choose home school, Christian school and private school. Our public school teachers should receive a fair wage, and they need to be freed from unnecessary programs and paperwork. While some testing is essential, excessive student testing currently takes up too much valuable teacher time. Parents who choose home school, private school and Christian school should never be penalized for making that choice and should be afforded the same opportunities that public school children enjoy. I believe education is best when decisions are made locally and not mandated by state and federal authorities.
Our schools should always be safe. Ever since our own Oakland tragedy, I have been an advocate for an armed school resource officer in every school. I co-signed a bill encouraging local school districts to do just that. I voted for a measure in our budget that would allocate substantial money toward this effort, and for legislation removing the cap on retirement for retired law enforcement who serve as SROs.
I am 100% pro-life. I believe the unborn have an inherent right to life, that should not be taken away from them and I stand as their tireless defender. I strongly supported and voted for the Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Act that passed the House in 2017. I co-sponsored the “Fetal Personhood” bill that would grant human being status to the unborn. (Index Journal 1-22-17). In the face of strong opposition, I successfully introduced an amendment to the budget that effectively defunds Planned Parenthood in our state. (Index Journal 5-4-18).
I believe we must continue to compete for economic development. It is the engine that drives our quality of life by providing jobs and a greater standard of living. I voted to maintain a strong Commerce Department and was pleased to welcome our new fiber optic manufacturer to Greenwood.
Finally, our community is important to the well-being of the family. We are blessed to have strong benevolent community organizations in Greenwood. Among others, I have publicly recognized the Burton Center, Connie Maxwell Children’s Home, Faith Home, Volunteers in Medical Missions, Greater Greenwood United Ministry, Beckman Mental Health and Crossroads Pregnancy Center for their contributions to the Lakelands community.
I believe that a strong family is the fabric that holds our society together and I want to do all I can to support traditional family values. I believe that marriage is a God-ordained union between a man and a woman, which is how it is defined by S. C. law. Based on these convictions I have encouraged these values by helping to organize the first Family Caucus in the General Assembly. (Index Journal 8-25-17). This caucus has defended the family, life, marriage, Gender and religious freedom. (Lakelands Connector 8-29-17). Opioid addiction and abuse destroys families and I have supported efforts to combat the Opioid Crisis. (Index Journal 3-18-18). I have supported strengthening our obscenity laws as well. (Index Journal 12-15-17). The abhorrent crime of Human Trafficking has also entered our state and I have supported our Attorney General in the fight to eradicate this blight on our state. (Index Journal 1-11-18).
The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees our right to own and carry firearms at our pleasure for personal protection, hunting, target shooting etc. I have opposed laws that would restrict our rights by limiting use (or putting a special tax on firearms as was recently proposed in the House). I will continue to put a priority on protecting this freedom.
I believe in Religious Liberty. When the liberal American Bar Association tried to push “new societal norms” on attorneys in our state, I requested an opinion from our Attorney General on the constitutionality of requiring attorneys to advocate causes that violated their religious beliefs. That opinion agreed that such an attempt by the ABA is unconstitutional.
Our Veterans fought for our freedom and I support legislation to make their retirement free from SC taxes. It is our way of saying thank you for the many sacrifices they have made for our country.