COMMUNITY UPDATE: April 2008

Here’s this month’s regular update to keep you informed of what’s going on in the State House and in our community!

If you have events you’d like me to share on the site, please email me at BallentineN@scstatehouse.net and be sure to put the word CONSTITUENT in the subject line so that I can reply to your email before the hundreds of others I receive daily.

STATEHOUSE

With the May 1st “crossover deadline” approaching, we’ll be spending several hours on the chamber floor, in subcommittees, and full committees debating bills in order for any of them to have a chance at becoming law this session. If a bill does not pass one chamber (House or Senate) and make it to the other chamber by this day, there is very little chance it will ever become law this session. With this being the second year of the two-year cycle, that means all bills that don’t become law will be “dead” and will have to start the process over again in January 2009. A simplified (but pretty accurate) recap of “How a Bill becomes Law” can be seen on You Tube from our SchoolHouse Rock friends. The clip is about Congress and Washington but the process works very similarly here in Columbia, SC.

As you know, I’ve been regularly posting on events inside and outside the State House here on the blog. So please check back often for a few updates each week.

YOUR MONEY

Reminders….if you have a mortgage payment that includes your taxes and insurance (commonly called “escrows”), you need to contact your mortgage company and ask them to perform an Escrow Analysis on your account. You will be pleased with the results! Because of the Property Tax Relief Act we passed, most primary residences taxes dropped – significantly. Because of that, you should actually be DUE money from your mortgage company. In addition, your new payment should be lower because the monthly taxes they need to collect have been reduced.

Also…be on the lookout for the Economic Stimulus Rebate checks which many will receive from our federal government over the next several weeks.

Iin case you don’t have a plan for those funds, I’d encourage you to contribute (at least a portion) to local charities, churches, or other civic organizations. Particularly a great cause mentioned below in our Community section.

COMMUNITY

In case you haven’t noticed, Plex Indoor Sports and Ice is full of activites everyday for “kids of all ages” (that means adults too). Columbia United FC is also in full swing at Ballentine Park. Both these locations offer great ways for children and adults to stay active!

The Irmo Little League has it’s Opening Day on April 5 at Friarsgate Park. The day begins with the annual “Parade of Teams”. Hope to see you there!

Blood Drive: Gateway Baptist Church is holding a Blood Drive on April 6th from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm. If you can find a few minutes to spare, you can help save lives in our state!

Many of you listen to Keven Cohen daily on WVOC AM560. (You may have also read about his son, Jacob, earlier this month in The State.) Keven and his wife, Laney, are great members of our community and are always giving back! On April 24th you have a chance to say “thank you” to Keven and also help the SC Leukemia and Lymphoma Society during the NINTH ANNUAL KEVEN COHEN RADIOTHON. I’m pleased to announce that in addition to Stivers Lincoln Mercury on Greystone being a dropoff site that day…so will the Harbison Walmart in our community. Thank you Walmart for your generous contribution! I would ask each of you to please donate today – or anytime – or stop by Walmart and personally deliver your contribution! (3pm to 6pm at Harbison Walmart)

Midlands Tomorrow 2035 Long Range Transportation Plan will hold public input meetings in our area this month: April 5th from 12pm-2pm at Irmo Regional Branch Library (6251 St. Andrews Road, Columbia) and also April 9th from 6pm-8pm at Crooked Creek Park Recreation Center (1098 Old Lexington Hwy,Chapin). For more information contact Aaron Bell at 376-5390 or email abell@centralmidlands.org. The meetings will have a drop-in format.

Irmo Chamber News: The Annual Irmo Chamber Golf Tournament is April 24 – all day – at Golden Hills Country Club. Call 749-9355 or email welcome@greaterirmochamber.com to be a sponsor, sign up a team or for more information!

Chapin Chamber News: April 5th is Community Service Day! Start at 9:00 am and donate 3 to 4 hours of your time in service to our community!Sign up and Crooked Creek Park or call Dolly Montgomery at 345-1957.

Chapin Woman’s Club: 2008 Flamingo Fling Silent and LIve Auctions, April 5th, 6:30 pm $10. Proceeds Benefit Local Scholarships and Charities. Held at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. Call 345-0242 for more information.

SCHOOLS

TODAY is the deadline for applications for any of the 2008 Ballentine Scholarships. Please have your high school senior contact his guidance counselor if he/she has not already applied!

You may have noticed that because of all the great events going on at our schools, it’s tough for me to single out just a few in this small space.

Once again this month, I’ll be visiting our local schools and I am always amazed at how bright our children are and how involved our teachers and administration are in the teaching and learning.

To catch up on all the district news, please visit the district website.

THANK YOU

Thanks again for visiting the site! Please let your friends and neighbors know about it so that they can stay as informed as possible.

As you can see, I try to write often and regularly update photos from our community as well as videos.

You have given me a great honor by choosing me to represent you in the South Carolina House of Representatives and I remain as committed as ever to staying in touch. Please contact my office, 734-2969, or email me at BallentineN@scstatehouse.net anytime I can be of service to you or your family.

Nathan Ballentine
www.nathansnews.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320A Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29221