State House Update for Week of March 16-20, 2009

The House of Representatives did not meet this week because the House was on furlough. For each week that the House goes on furlough, the savings to the State Budget is about $50,000.00. The House also plans to furlough the week of April 6 and April 13. Previously, the House furloughed the week of January 19.

The uncertainty regarding the state budget continued this week as constitutional questions arose as to whether the Legislature can override any decision by the Governor not to accept the $350 Million in State Fiscal Stabilization money from the Federal Government.

During the furlough week, I was in the District attending several events including the Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness Breakfast; the Chamber of Commerce Board Meeting; the SRS Heritage Foundation special premiere of the movie “Displaced – The Unexpected Fallout from the Cold War” at USC Aiken; the Greater Aiken Board of Realtors Annual Luncheon; the Aiken Republican Club Luncheon; and the Aiken County Legislative Delegation meeting. In addition, I spoke to the Aiken Downtown Coffee Club and Dr. Harry Shealy’s Conservation class at USC Aiken, and I met with the staff at the Lower Savannah Council on Governments.

I also spent part of the week working on legislation for two new bills that I plan to file. The first is a bill to establish a committee whose purpose will be to study and make recommendations for improvements in the State Procurement Code. This Code has not been updated in nearly thirty years and several changes are needed to help the State save money. The second is a bill to address the language in the law that led to the closure of the SRP Federal Credit Union lot on Aiken’s south side for the public’s use in parking used vehicles over the weekend when the Credit Union is not open. This has been a practice in greater Aiken for nearly twenty years and the Department of Motor Vehicles shut it down two weeks ago citing language in a state statute.

I also spent part of the week working on ways to improve the Avondale Water System. I am hopeful that a solution for improving that system will be reached some time in the next couple of months.

Several constituents called or emailed me during the week regarding pending legislation and matters in the district including the cigarette tax; funding for our public schools; and the point of sale provision in the tax code. I appreciate all of the insight from folks in our district.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent and to serve you.

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