COMMUNITY UPDATE: November 2008

If you have events you’d like me to share on the website, please contact me directly through NathansNews and I’ll be happy to see how I can help pass along the news.

STATE HOUSE

In less than an hour, the House Republican Caucus will meet in Columbia to further discuss issues and ideas for next session. I’m hoping my colleagues have been listenting to their constituents and will bring those ideas with them. What I’ve been hearing from you (and also folks around the state) are spending priorities/limits, accountability/transparency , comprehensive look at our tax structure (reassessments, 4% v 6% rates, sales tax on autos, income, cigarette ), educational improvements , infrastructure improvements , and economic development/jobs.

When we return in January there will be two less Republicans than last session in the House. Democrat Anton Gunn won the vacant seat left open by the retirement of Rep. Bill Cotty and Democrat Anne Petterson Hutto won the race against incumbent Wallace Scarborough.

In addition to those Repbulican/Democrat changes, there are going to be several new Republicans who won primaries in June. As I posted earlier this year, change is indeed in the air .

Before I move on, let me say THANK YOU to the voters of House District 71 for sending me back for my third term as your Representative! I was humbled to receive the most votes of any House member in Richland County and this is a testament to our community’s involvement in the political process by turning out in masses.

YOUR MONEY

Last month, I mentioned the Board of Economic Advisors meeting to share revisions to our state revenue projections. Simply put – those revisions weren’t good and just a few weeks ago, the General Assembly returned to Columbia to cut almost a half billion dollars from the budget.

Recently I spoke with a local blogger about those cuts. For an easy to understand perspective, you can click here to see that un-edited interview.

Next session (January – June), I will once again continue to push for more restraint and better stewardship of your tax dollars. I firmly believe elected officials should carefully make decisions where to spend your tax dollars just like we do our own budgets at home. When needed, cut and make sacrifices. But cut by starting with the most non-essential items. At home, we don’t cut groceries before we cut going to the movies. Makes sense, right?

COMMUNITY

This month I wanted to provide several links to you to visit so you can stay in touch with the happenings in our area. If you’d like your group link posted next month, please let me know!

Ballentine-Dutch Fork Civic Association
Capital City Lake Murray Country
Lake Murray Association
Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce
Greater Chapin Chamber of Commerce
The Link – Ballentine (Richland County Public Library)
St. Andrews Rotary Club
Rotary Club of Lake Murray – Irmo
Chapin Sunrise Rotary Club
American Legion Post 193 Chapin

SCHOOLS

Congratulations to Robert Gantt (Richland) for his re-election to the School Board and also Beth Burn and Jan Hammond (both from Lexington) on their election! To learn more about these community leaders, click here .

In other important educational news, the District Five Bond Referrendum finally passed on the third attempt in four years. Look for rennovations and new facilties over the upcoming months and years.

While buildings are nice to have, we all know that it’s our parental involvement, district teachers/staff that prepare our students to be leaders of tomorrow! Please get involved and stay involved!

THANK YOU

Thanks again for staying informed by visiting the site! Please let your friends and neighbors know about it so that they can stay as informed as possible, too. As you can see, I try to write often and regularly update photos from our community as well as videos.

Again, I THANK YOU for giving me the continued honor to represent you in the South Carolina House of Representatives. I remain as committed as ever to staying in touch! Please know I am just a phone call or email away. If you have a civic organization, church or homeowners’ association meeting or event – I would love to attend and hear from your members.

Please contact my office, 734-2969, or email me at BallentineN@scstatehouse.net anytime I can be of service to you or your family. Please put the word CONSTITUENT in the subject line so that I can respond to the emails from members of our community first!

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