The Weekly Rewind

Am I the only one who loves DVR on Time Warner? Ever since our little ones were born, it’s been the only way to really be sure we never missed anything because we might have been busy doing something else instead of staying glued to the TV.

Likewise, if you don’t have time to come to Columbia or watch SC ETV when we’re in session, you might miss a few things going on in state government.

Set your recorder to NathansNews and I’ll try to recap each week with information that may have made mainstream media and some that may not have made its way to your papers or TV.

***

The Republican caucus unveiled our 2009 Agenda as well as named the following members to caucus leadership positions:

Finance Chairman – Tracy Edge
Floor Leaders – Annette Young, Jim Merrill, Murrell Smith
Majority Chief Whip – Bill Herbkersman
Assistant Majority Whips – Eric Bedingfield, Ted Pitts, Alan Clemmons

The House also elected Joan Brady (R-Richland) to the Ethics Committee and also saw the appeal of former Rep. Wallace Scarborough withdrawn. This withdrawal means that Rep. Anne Peterson-Hutto (D-Charleston) can finally enjoy a victory and means the Democrats picked up (net) two seats this past November. This also means freshman Rep. Mark Willis (R-Greenville) can now finally move into the office vacated by Mr. Scarborough.

This event (as well as the passing of Rep. Olin Phillips ) set in motion several committee moves in the House: Kris Crawford (R-Florence) moved from Judiciary Committee to LCI (filling the seat vacated by Wallace Scarborough). Freshman Mike Sottile (R-Charleston) moved from Agriculture to Judiciary (to fill Crawfords spot). Mike’s Ag spot is vacant, presumably to be filled by the winner in the special election to replace Olin Phillips House seat. Jackie Hayes (D-Dillon) moved from 3M to LCI (filling the seat left by the death of fellow Democrat Olin Phillips). Anne Petterson Hutto (D-Charleston) filed the seat on 3M vacated by fellow Democrat Jackie Hayes. (Did you follow all that?)

The House also strengthened the rule we previously passed at December’s Reorganization Session dealing with “Roll Call Voting”. The resolution (H 3138), sponsored by Rep. Nikki Haley (R-Lexington), me and Bill Wylie (R-Greenville), passed 115-0. Many of us still believe a law needs to be passed but are pleased to at least see the House (and Senate) make steps towards more transparency.

The week also saw the debut of “Tweeting” from the House Floor. Rep. Dan Hamilton (R-Greenville) has developed a website, SCTWEETS.COM , where the public can see live messages from House Members from the floor. Presently, many more Republican officials are “tweeting” than are the Democrats. I expect that to change as we move throughout the session.

Wednesday evening saw the seventh State of the State address for Governor Mark Sanford. The governor mentioned several individuals during his speech and laid out his agenda for this first year of a two-year session. Senator Vincent Sheehen (D-Kershaw) delivered the Democratic response immediately afterwards.

As far as legislation passed this week, the House unanimously (113-0) approved Rep. Tracy Edge’s (R-Horry) Resolution (H 2381) that will require the Department of Health and Services to maintain hospice services for our citizens.

Thursday saw the ogligatory recognitions of a few sports teams in our state (state champions or national champions) before we adjourned for the week.

Next week? We’re on the first of four furlough weeks this year but we’ll be back January 27th!