It’s good to be home!
To whom much is given, much is expected!
This week’s highlights begin with Education.
Representative Huggins and I both met with leaders of the River Springs School Improvement Council to discuss their concerns with the “Education Bill” which is moving through the House. Both the House and Senate are working hard on this issues and it’s good to see both sides of the aisle work to make this comprehensive reform bill the best it can be for our students and teachers.
Presently, I’m not one of the 70+ Cosponsors of the bill. I’m wanting to hear more from our teachers and parents before taking that step. I do like many parts of the bill; but have concerns with others. Ultimately, I lean in favor of supporting the bill with the hope that we can amend on the floor to improve or correct some areas of concern. A few items that I’d like to clarify in the bill are:
–All teachers will get a raise. The base starting teacher pay will increase to $35,000. All other teachers will receive a raise that will bring them above the Southeastern average with a goal of moving teacher pay to the national average within 5 years. -The Zero-to-Twenty Committee is not another oversight committee. It will consist of a unique group of individuals – not bureaucrats – who will monitor our education system from pre-kindergarten to post-graduation and make suggestions to the General Assembly on how to improve the education-to-workforce pipeline. –This bill will eliminate 4 of the 6 mandated state assessment test…giving teachers more time for classroom instruction. We will eliminate the
Education Reform Meeting
Over 1,000 teachers, students and other members of the public had the opportunity to give their input on H. 3759 during the K-12 subcommittee meeting on Tuesday night. The subcommittee, and many other Representatives not on the Education
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation that would change the way civil forfeiture cases are handled. Right now, law enforcement can seize property from residents, sometimes without charging or convicting them of a crime, and then profit from the proceeds. H. 3968 ensures that no person can lose their property unless they are convicted of a crime.
Tucker Hipps Transparency Act
The House passed H. 3398 on Wednesday to make the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act permanent. This law requires public institutions of higher education to maintain a report of student misconduct investigations related to fraternity and sorority organizations.
DUI Driving Law
In an effort to crack down on drunk driving, the House passed a bill that will end a loophole in our current DUI law that allows those charged with drunk driving to get back on the road within days of their arrest. H. 3312 would force DUI offenders to have ignition-interlock devices (breathalyzers) in order to start the engine of their cars. The proposed law unanimously passed second reading and is supported by Governor McMaster and Attorney General Alan Wilson.
This week Representative Huggins and I will be busy finalizing the House version of the state budget. This is my second term on the budget committee (Ways and Means) and it’s an awesome responsibility to prioritize and invest your tax dollars each year. Once we pass the budget through the committee, it will head to the House floor for all to debate beginning Monday, March 11th.
Those are just some of the highlights from this week. If you don’t see legislation important to you listed above, please reach out to me so I can provide an update for you.
If you have suggestions or ideas on how to improve our state, please pass those along as well. This week, a Chapin High student came to visit and share his ideas for a 4 day school week. Did you know at least 1 district in 25 states currently operate using a 4 day school week? It’s certainly an interesting concept and one that this young man had done his research. I’m open to hearing any ideas you have. Who knows, maybe together we can change things for the better! This is exactly how you’ve helped me provide more transparency at the