February 6 - City of Fountain Inn

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Message from the SC House
Offered by State Representative Mark N. Willis-District 16
Greenville and Laurens Counties
326B Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29201
Blatt number: 803-212-6882
EMail: [email protected]
Fax: 803-734-3104
[email protected]
Transparency, Ethics, & Protecting our Citizens
This week the work of the Republicans in the House of Representatives was described by House
Republican Majority Leader Bruce Bannister as a “sprint in the midst of a legislative marathon.”
We made significant strides toward increasing transparency in government, ensuring our state is
adequately prepared to deal with natural disasters, and adding significant protections for the
unborn – a busy week.
As part of our larger series of highly-focused ethics legislation, this week the House passed three
more important reforms. The first strengthens campaign finance reporting laws, while the second
clarifies how campaign funds should be attributed to primaries and primary run-off campaigns.
The third provides certain exemptions to encourage state-funded university employees to develop
intellectual property that benefits institutions of higher learning, making South Carolina more
competitive in the effort to attract and retain top quality researchers.
On Wednesday, a House Judiciary panel gave initial approval to several more pieces of “sunshine
legislation” aimed at increasing transparency while simultaneously decreasing the amount of time
and red tape associated with obtaining public records. It sets an important precedent by adding
more sunshine to the processes of government.
We also took preemptive action this week by giving initial approval to a bill that would guarantee
the State of South Carolina is adequately equipped to deal with emergency situations.
Preparation for emergency scenarios is a vital aspect of protecting South Carolinians for decades
to come, which we can ensure by giving our state law enforcement agencies the ability to obtain
necessary resources in our times of greatest need. It has been said that an ounce of prevention
is worth a pound of cure, and emergency arrangements should not be made in the midst of a
crisis.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act once again made its way through the committee
approval process. Providing statutory protections for the unborn remains a top priority for House
Republicans, and we will begin debate on this important issue next week on the House Floor.
This was also the last week of budget hearings, and the House Ways and Means Committee now
begins the mammoth task of writing the state budget. Unlike Congress, we produce a balanced
budget in South Carolina each year. I’ll be sharing more on that with you in the coming weeks.
I want to thank the many citizens who have shared their ideas with me on how we should proceed
as a state on fixing our roads and bridges. Your feedback is valuable and necessary as part of
our democratic process, and I look forward to continuing these conversations as I carefully
examine the best path forward.
As always, thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia. If I can ever be of assistance
to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly,
please don’t hesitate to contact me.
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