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S.C. Senate working quickly for you

April 8, 2013 

Harvey Peeler

Something you don’t see often is articles called “S.C. Senate Cranking Out Bills.” The story was about how the Senate has been much more efficient this year, due in part to our work to get more conservative Republican senators in the Senate as some of the longtime obstructionist Democrats have retired.

It’s been a good change and is letting us get a whole lot more done for you.

Recently, I introduced the South Carolina Read to Succeed Act. If you still remember the old “Reading, writing, arithmetic,” there’s a reason reading comes first. Reading is the foundation of all later school success, so we need to make sure all our kids are reading like they should be before moving past third grade.

The bill would require third-graders who do not read on grade level to be held back for a year of reading-intensive instruction. The same thing worked for Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida, and I think it can work here, too.

Under the Obama Administration, we’ve become all too familiar with federal overreach, watching the federal government intrude more and more in our daily lives. The worst example is Obamacare. One you may not have heard of is the National Defense Authorization Act, part of which lets the federal government detain American citizens for an unlimited amount of time if they’re suspected of terrorism.

As we’re fighting the war on terror, we can’t lose sight of what we’re fighting for being the American way of life and our rights, and one of those is the right to due process. So the Senate acted to nullify the part of the NDAA that would have let the federal government detain citizens for an unlimited amount of time.

Along the same lines of protecting our constitutional rights, as the federal government is looking to take away gun rights, in South Carolina we’re looking to expand those rights. We set for special order a bill expanding gun rights for CWP holders. It will for the first time allow CWP holders to carry their firearms into restaurants, something I think had been an unreasonable restriction before.

Finally, it’s not all good news as the Democrats did manage to temporarily defeat a bill letting the governor appoint the state’s superintendent of education. The bill was rejected by Senate democrats, but Sen. Larry Martin, who supports the measure, changed his vote at the last minute in an effort to keep it alive, once he saw it would fail. Martin’s procedural move will allow us to get another vote in coming weeks. Allowing the governor to appoint the state’s schools chief would bring more accountability and greater focus on education issues in the governor’s office.

I look forward to returning refreshed and ready to continue improving the state this week. I hope to see you around the district.

S.C. Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler represents District 14, which includes parts of Lake Wylie.

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