Curbing Anti-Semitism, Promoting Life, Constitutional Carry & Budget Completion

Wednesday of this past week marked the midway period for the legislative session, and what a whirlwind of activity it has been. With this years’ shortened legislative session, the crossover date for legislation has been adjusted and will now take place in about a month on April 10th. This simply means my House colleagues and I must pass any legislation to the Senate by that date in order for the bill to pass this year. We made good progress on that front this week.

Last year, our nation saw a drastic increase in anti-Semitic behavior among college students at institutions of higher learning. The nonprofit AMCHA Initiative, which tracks incidents of anti-Semitism on college campuses, reported 618 incidents of anti-Semitism for 2016 alone; a rise of over 30% in a one-year period. This past week, we took bipartisan action to give our state-owned institutions of higher learning the tools they need to combat bigotry and hate while protecting freedom of speech. This legislation sends a strong message that South Carolina opposes bigotry wherever it rears its ugly head.

Two key bills also cleared the initial subcommittee process in the House Judiciary Committee. First, the South Carolina Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act cleared a key initial subcommittee with a unanimous vote. It now heads to full committee where Democrats are expected to viciously challenge the bill through all manner of legislative maneuvers. I will never waver in my support for the unborn and I look forward to voting in support of this important legislation.

The second bill of importance also clearing a key House Judiciary subcommittee this week was the Constitutional Carry bill. The measure put forth by retired law enforcement officer and pro-Second Amendment icon, Rep. Mike Pitts (R-Laurens), would eliminate the need to get a concealed weapons permit to carry a firearm in our state. However, this bill would also protect the existing CWP reciprocity agreements already in place with many other states. The measure now heads to full committee where, if approved, it will go to the House floor for a full vote.

This next week will not slow down with so many important pieces of legislation that will appear on the calendar for floor debate.

“Early this morning, the South Carolina House of Representatives once again passed a fiscally responsible budget that provides for the core functions of government and basic needs of our citizens. Although new revenue is scare in comparison to years past, the House successfully appropriated additional educational resources for South Carolina students, provided a pathway to solvency for our state’s retirement system, and assisted struggling families with Hurricane Matthew recovery. Ways and Means Chairman Brian White and the subcommittee chairman worked tremendously hard on this budget package and I am proud of the product this body has adopted as the financial blueprint for the next fiscal year.”

— Speaker of the House Rep. Jay Lucas

Please go to to update yourself on legislation to be debated and also to view the House Budget that is now sent to the Senate for review and debate.

Please know I am here to serve when needed. Your concerns, ideas and needs are welcome. YOU are why I serve.

Because I care,