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          2012 Statehouse Report #2
            Thursday, June 28, 2012

                             Saving the State from Government Shutdown

The legislative session in Columbia is finally complete.

What should have ended weeks ago, this session was extended until today as the Senate fought tooth-and-nail to reject the small business tax cuts my colleagues and I passed in the House earlier this year. The Senate's intention was to spend every last dollar in the budget on special interest projects, which I adamantly opposed.

After much work, the members of the House and Senate on the budget conference committees fortunately reached a compromise and saved us from a looming state government shutdown.

I am proud that my peers in the House fought hard to provide tax relief for small businesses and the self-employed hit hard by the recession. By using $60 million of the budget to cut small business income taxes from 5 percent to 3 percent and using $77 million to relieve businesses of new, higher unemployment insurance rates -- we worked to create the environment for real job growth. And, fortunately, Governor Haley signed the legislation into law and ensured the tax cuts on Thursday.

We also were able to advance the potential for private sector job growth by fully funding the harbor deepening at the Port of Charleston. I am glad that my legislative peers agreed with one of my life's beliefs: "if it is to be, it is up to me." We will not have to wait for the federal government to dredge our port. We are now able to do it ourselves.

Lastly, we were able to provide teachers and law enforcement officers much deserved pay raises. We accomplished all of these goals, while coming in below the House's proposed spending cap.

Unfortunately, the Senate did stop some of the government reforms that I worked hard to advance including the Department of Administration bill. This bill would have streamlined government and saved taxpayers money. With your continued support and upon my re-election, I will continue my fight to make government smaller and more accountable to you.

As this session concludes, I want thank you again for your continued support and for your trust in me to serve our great state. I believe strongly that we can and will make South Carolina a better place to create jobs, improve education, and reform government by working hard together.

As always, if you ever have any questions, opinions or ideas to help our great state, I am available by phone (843-452-4722), email (, Facebook (, and Twitter (