Communications from Elected Officials

image8

April 6, 2020: Coronavirus Updates, Protecting Our Seniors, United in Prayer, and Resources | Sen. T

In the event you have missed any of the daily White House Coronavirus Task Force briefings (or Governor McMaster’s briefings), I am posting summaries and updates of each one on my Facebook page. My office and I are committed to keep South Carolinians as informed and up-to-date as possible. The more we know about the current situation, the more we can do to protect one another and stop the spread of this virus. read more

April 6, 2020: Explaining the CARES Act's unemployment insurance benefit enhancements | Sen. Tom Dav

Explanation of enhanced UI (Unemployment Insurance) benefits, emphasizing how to facilitate interactions with the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW). read more

image9

March 31, 2020: Details about the coronavirus-relief payments to individuals

There are several parts to the CARES Act -- direct payments to individuals, loans/grants to small businesses and nonprofits, assistance to state governments, unemployment enhancements, and loans to larger businesses.

Click here for an explanation with bullet points the part of the act authorizing direct payments to individuals; in subsequent emails, I will break down the other parts of the act. read more

March 30, 2020: CARES Act, Aid for Families, and Resources | Sen. Tim Scott

"Not only will individuals and families receive relief through the CARES Act, but small businesses and charities will also reap the benefits, keeping our economy alive. Over the past month, I have spoken to countless small business owners who, through no fault of their own, are struggling to keep afloat." read more

March 26, 2020: Graham Supports CARES Act, Plans to Revisit Unemployment Provision

“The economic stabilization fund will leverage up to $4 trillion in private capital to sustain jobs and speed an economic recovery.  Grants to small business will help save millions from bankruptcy.  Direct payments to individuals and families, along with unemployment benefits, will keep peoples lights on and refrigerators stocked.  Help is on the way to the doctors and nurses who are in need of medical supplies, as this bill includes significant funding directed to help them." read more

March 26, 2020: Update on Beaufort County Delegations Efforts during Virus

Senator Tom Davis, along with Representatives – Jeff Bradley, Weston Newton, Bill Herbkersman and Shannon Erickson have been working with Gov. Henry McMaster and his staff to address our county’s concerns:

  1. Addressing the influx of people from states that have been hard-hit by COIVID-19 (e.g.New York)
  2. Developing hospital-space contingencies specific to our area (the Beaufort Naval Hospital as a possibility)
  3. Ensuring the sufficiency Of medical supplies/equipment; and
  4. Increasing the number of health care providers by temporarily relaxing the scope of practice rules for nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

March 26, 2020: CARES Act Passes Senate, Coronavirus Resources | Sen. Tim Scott

"After days of Democrats playing political games, relief is coming for families, workers, small businesses, and health care professionals across South Carolina and the country. Last night I voted for the CARES Act, a massive coronavirus relief package that would bring necessary assistance to so many Americans." read more

March 25, 2020: Scott Votes For Coronavirus Relief Package

“We must all come together, from every corner of our state and nation, to stop this coronavirus in its tracks. Listen to the guidance and warnings issued by Governor McMaster and our public health officials. Stay home. Wash your hands. These are steps we can all take, and that are necessary to stopping the spread of COVID-19.” Sen. Tim Scott, read more

March 23, 2020: More Updates on Coronavirus, Democrats Blocking Aid | Sen. Tim Scott

My message is simple: political games must play no role here. Democrats are demanding provisions such as lowering fuel emissions standards for airlines in order to move forward with the bill. This is not the time to try and staple the New Green Deal onto a bill; it is time for action. Our doctors and nurses, the sick, the unemployed, the small business owners struggling to keep their doors open, deserve it. read more

March 23, 2020: Important Links for COVID-19 Assistance | Rep. Jeff Bradley

This past week was a difficult, confusing and at times chaotic one for all of us. I know exactly how you feel – trying to keep your own world in order while reaching out to family, friends and other loved ones. read more

March 21, 2020: Update from Governor Henry McMaster

Gov. Henry McMaster urges donations, extends income tax deadline, allows curbside sale of beer and wine by restaurants. read more

March 21, 2020: An update on the Coronavirus Response | Sen. Lindsey Graham

I am working around the clock with my Senate colleagues and the Trump Administration to take unprecedented action that will save lives, support hard-working Americans, and revive our economy. In military terms, our ultimate goal is to starve this virus with containment, bomb it with modern medicine, and defend ourselves with a vaccine. read more

March 21, 2020: Legislative Update | Rep. Shannon Erickson

Updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19), tons of resources and other happenings. read more

March 18, 2020: Senator Scott Statement on Coronavirus Relief and Work Still To Do

“The COVID-19 package passed by the U.S. Senate today, while well-intentioned, could have disastrous effects for South Carolina’s small businesses and their employees. Over the past few days, I have talked with a wide variety of folks from across South Carolina, including small business owners from around the state, restaurant owners, and more. They have all shared their concerns with various pieces of this House bill, such as that it places mandates and burdens on our small businesses that they simply cannot afford." read more

DHEC, coronavirus, Beaufort County SC GOP Republican Party, Hilton Head, Bluffton, Okatie, Sun City

March 18, 2020: Solicitor’s Office to operate virtually during virus concerns

Due to the concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the Fourteenth Circuit Solicitor’s Office will operate as a virtual office for the foreseeable future, Solicitor Duffie Stone announced today. read more


For assistance, call 843-779-8477 or email info@scsolicitor14.org.

March 18, 2020: Combating coronavirus in SC | Sen. Lindsey Graham

I wanted to relay helpful information regarding the latest updates on COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. I hope these resources will equip you to make thoughtful, informed decisions that promote the health and safety of your family, friends, and community and stop the spread of the coronavirus and disinformation. read more

March 16, 2020: Updates on Coronavirus | Sen. Tim Scott

In this week’s newsletter, Sen. Tim Scott discusses COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, and its impact on South Carolina. read more

March 16, 2020: SC COVID-19 Update | Rep. Shannon Erickson

We are all in this together but must make smart individual choices for ourselves and our families. It is my honor to serve you. click here


If I can be of assistance, please contact me: repshannonerickson@gmail.com or 843-263-1867. Please consider sharing this newsletter with your friends & neighbors. 

March 9, 2020: Legislative Update Week #8 | Rep. Weston Newton

The week began with a huge development for the future of our state-owned utility Santee Cooper. I encourage you to read House Speaker Jay Lucas’s op-ed in the Post & Courier here that summarizes how the House came to the best decision for ratepayers and taxpayers.

Other pieces of legislation making big strides this week are the Convention of States resolution that puts constitutional limits on the federal government and a bill that would close a current loophole for inmates on death row. Currently, state law allows death-row inmates to pick lethal injection or electrocution but mandates using lethal injection if inmates do not make a choice. Since manufacturers that make lethal injection drugs have stopped selling them to prisons, this bill fixes the loophole by making the electric chair the default method. Read more...

March 9, 2020: Coronavirus, Expanding Americans’ Credit Access, and Supporting Women | Sen. Tim Scot

March 3, 2020: Abortion Survivors, HBCUs, Justice for Victims of Lynching Act | Sen. Tim Scott

March 3, 2020: Legislative Update Week #7 | Rep. Weston Newton

Hearings about the future of our state-owned utility Santee Cooper kicked off last week in the House with a special ad hoc committee of nine of my House colleagues.  The committee, chaired by Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith, heard from members of the Department of Administration, NextEra Energy, Dominion Energy, Santee Cooper and Central/Co-Ops.  Committee meetings will continue this week, and I remain committed to hearing more about this issue. Read more...

March 2, 2020: Ending February & Starting March | Rep. Shannon S. Erickson

Hearings about the future of our state-owned utility Santee Cooper kicked off last week in the House with a special ad hoc committee of nine of my House Ways & Means colleagues. There are many intricate details and I remain committed to hearing more about this issue and expect a full Ways & Means Committee meeting on Thursday to discuss options and possible solutions. read more 

Feb. 24, 2020: February 2020 Legislative Update | Rep. Shannon S. Erickson

We have been hard at work at the South Carolina State House with a lot of behind the-scenes meetings as we debated in committees on this year’s state budget, Santee Cooper, education, opioid abuse, and a host of other important issues. The Ways & Means Committee on which I serve passed out the House budget version this Thursday and while not perfect, it makes some great strides for our state.  Budget Floor Debate Week will start on March 10th so until then we will continue to spend more time in committees than we will on the floor. read more

Feb. 18, 2020: Legislative Update Week #5 | Rep. Weston Newton

Last week brought about one of the biggest decisions the General Assembly will ever face, the fate of our state-owned utility Santee Cooper. Much of the work in the State House over the next few weeks will focus on the Santee Cooper issue and drafting this year’s state budget. Between these two important issues, we plan to continue the work we started last session on education reform and streamlining the process of business license fees. read more

Feb. 11, 2020: Legislative Update Week #4 | Rep. Weston Newton

Helping farmers, the education debate in the Senate, and other legislative news. read more...

March 21, 2020: Sen. Lindsey Graham

March 21, 2020: Shannon Erickson

March 18, 2020: Update from the Solicitor's Office

March 16, 2020: Rep. Shannon Erickson

South Carolina COVID-19 Update

Download PDF

Jan. 28, 2020: 123rd SC General Assembly 2nd Session

Tax Cuts Highlight State of the State Address!

Friends and Neighbors in District 123

This past week was an uplifting one at the State House as Governor Henry McMaster presented his “State of the State” address and touted South Carolina’s nearly $2 billion surplus, its record-low unemployment rate, and $10 billion in recent business investments. In the Governor’s words: South Carolina is “in the midst of a stunning economic resurgence – with the opportunity to seize prosperity for generations to come.”


On a cautionary note, he also pointed to the State’s shortage of qualified workers by declaring: “We have around 70,000 jobs looking for people to fill them.”


Both the Governor and my fellow legislators have several solutions to deal with this dilemma. Most center around education initiatives, which I discussed in part in my previous email to you, as well as smart spending.


You will hear more about some of the new “education and training” ideas – like Rural Career Centers – in future emails, but today I want to touch on some other key issues that should be of interest to all of us which the Governor and our House members plan to work on over the next few months.


I am in full agreement with our Governor that the path to prosperity in South Carolina does go straight through the classroom, and I am extremely pleased that it has finally become a clear priority among our leadership.


Reducing State Taxes Across the Board

The Republican caucus believes meaningful tax cuts are a key component to sustaining continued growth through the coming decade. The Governor is currently recommending $425 million in tax cuts and rebates. How this is going to be achieved will be debated and dealt with as we move forward. It should be noted that South Carolina currently has the highest personal state income tax rate in the Southeast and 12th highest in the nation – which puts us at a disadvantage when trying to attract new businesses.


In his "State of the State" address, the Governor recommended we reduce South Carolina’s personal income taxes over the next five years by 15% across the board for all income brackets. If this is accomplished, the projections are for the cuts to stimulate economic growth and thereby make South Carolina more competitive with its immediate neighbors -- Georgia and North Carolina.


Part of this reduction is McMaster’s proposal to send $250 million from the surplus back to taxpayers in the form of a rebate check that averages $200 per taxpayer.


Addressing Safety and Security

Another important initiative that will be addressed in this legislative session is addressing safety and security issues across the State – from local schools to street crime and prisons. In particular, Governor McMaster wants to add 100 new state troopers and raise the pay scale for all state police. He hopes to put $6 million toward this specific initiative plus spend approximately $100 million for improvement at state prisons to upgrade electronic surveillance, make repairs to guard towers, and increase funding for investigations into gang violence.


Voting to support $100 million towards any issue is not something I take lightly. However, in today’s world, a functioning correctional system has become a core function of government, and as such, all components of that system are appropriately funded resources.


Protecting Waterways and Marshes

Importantly, the Governor took time to commend work by the recently formed South Carolina Floodwater Commission of which I am actively involved. Protection of our rivers and marshes is critical to the environment of our State, especially here in the Lowcountry. Four major floods in South Carolina since 2015 is cause for alarm.


Legislative action must be taken where necessary, and this includes providing needed funds to be allocated to address the state’s drainage systems, deter erosion as well as protect and replenish our Lowcountry marshes. 


Welcome General Robert L. Caslen- USC President

An especially heartwarming moment for me was during Governor McMaster’s admiring recognition of General Robert L. Caslen, the recently named president of The University of South Carolina. I had the honor of helping generate support for General Caslen last summer as the new USC president during his confirmation process last summer.


General Caslen was previously Superintendent of the United States Military Academy at West Point. I have known and greatly respected the general for several years because of my two sons who both were cadets at West Point during part of General Caslen’s tenure.


It's my honor to be of service to You. If you need assistance navigating State Government, or have any thoughts concerning what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me by clicking here!


Jeff Bradley

Republican, Jeff Bradley, Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie, Beaufort County, SC

District 123, SC Rep. Jeff Bradley

Jan. 14, 2020: 123rd SC General Assembly 2nd Session

January 14, 2020 - Update

Friends and Neighbors in District 123

The second regular session of the 123d South Carolina General Assembly convenes this week, and I am very excited to again be making my weekly trip to Columbia and to help bring successful closure to many of the initiatives that were started last Spring.


This is my third 2-year term as your State Representative. I’m most grateful to see that the experience I’ve gained together with the relationships I’ve developed are starting to really bear fruit.


I’ve been especially encouraged by significant progress made in the area of statewide education reform which was one of my primary goals when I first declared for office back in 2014. It was a year ago this month when our two-part legislative session was kicked off by Governor Henry McMaster’s “State of the State” address by proclaiming that the 123rd Session would be “the year of education.” 


And, so far, it has been just that, starting with our House passing a transformative education bill last Spring aimed at fundamentally reforming the way we educate our children, and then agreeing to spend $213 million in this year’s budget to raise teacher's starting pay to $38,000 – from $35,000 – and to give every teacher at least a 4% pay raise. It was a major effort to attract and retain teachers who have been fleeing the profession. However, it still is not confirmed until the Senate approves the final budget.


I was honored to be among the co-sponsors of the House Bill (#3759) titled: “The South Carolina Career Opportunity and Access for All Act.” Now, as our State Senators also return this month, we eagerly anticipate they will move forward quickly and endorse our House bill.


Retaining Strong Teachers is a Must!

Just last month Governor McMaster together with House Speaker Jay Lucas proposed the additional pay raises for all of our state’s 52,733 public school teachers as part of this year’s budget. The raise will boost South Carolina’s national ranking for average teacher pay from 41st into the top 25 states.


Quality teachers properly educating our young people will be the foundation for a strong state economy. An essential part of our budget investment must be attracting and retaining top-flight teachers so that we can remain competitive and recruit the best graduates from our state colleges to enter the field of education. I’m proud to be standing with our Governor and my colleagues in the House to put forth this new budget that prioritizes public education.


More About Kids!

Another new part of Governor McMaster’s budget that I am pleased about is his effort to expand state-funded, full-day pre-kindergarten for poor children to every South Carolina school district, which will put thousands more 4-year-olds on a path to success.


The Governor’s recent proposal earmarks $53 million to broaden access to the 17 school districts which heretofore had not been eligible for state aid. This includes our own Beaufort County School District and my House District 123 consisting of both Hilton Head Island and Daufuskie Island.


In Beaufort County, this budget initiative will positively impact more than 1,100 of our youngest children. Currently, more than half of South Carolina’s 3 and 4-year-olds are not in a pre-school program. This is near the lowest rank in the U.S.A. Hopefully this part of the budget will also be passed by both the House and Senate.


Other Priorities Awaiting the S.C. Legislature

Santee Cooper Resolution
The Legislature plans to vote soon on whether to sell Santee Cooper, hire another company to manage the utility or keep the business under its current management. This is all in the wake of the $9 billion debt accumulated from the failed VC Summer nuclear plant by the state-owned utility. 


The S.C. Department of Administration is seeking binding offers from companies interested in purchasing Santee Cooper as well as others interested in managing it. Proposals are to be considered this week. The objective is to eliminate or dramatically reduce all of the nuclear debt from Santee Cooper ratepayers. South Carolina’s electric cooperatives, which includes Palmetto Electric, will be paying more to the nuclear debt if a solution cannot be found.


Hate Crimes Law
Members of the Jewish, African-American and interfaith communities gathered at the State House this past week to call for legislators to pass a hate crimes law in South Carolina in the wake of anti-Semitic attacks nationwide. South Carolina is one of four states in the U.S. without a hate crimes law.


It's my honor to be of service to You. If you need assistance navigating State Government, or have any thoughts concerning what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me by clicking here!


Jeff Bradley

Republican, Jeff Bradley, Hilton Head Island, Daufuskie, Beaufort County, SC

District 123, SC Rep. Jeff Bradley

Jan. 13, 2020: Okatie Recycling Dump Update