COMMUNITY UPDATE: August 2012

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STATE HOUSE
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In what seemed like one of the longest sessions since I was elected, the General Assembly finally adjourned for the year and the House is not scheduled to return until December for our customary House reorganization meeting every two years.

For a very easy to read review of the 2012 Legislative Session, please click here. As always, many feel we could have done more and the state’s budget consumed much of our time and deliberations.

While many constituents wait until January to be reactive about potential legislation they read about or hear about in the news, I’d encourage you to contact me or your House or Senate member over the next several months with issues, ideas, suggestions on what you feel could improve our quality of life, educational system, tax structure, government services or anything on your mind. The next several months allow elected officials and staff the time to research and craft legislation for the next legislative session that will begin in January.

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YOUR MONEY
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By now, you’ve seen what the House and Senate agreed upon for the current state budget. Many of my constituents also gave me feedback on the Governor’s vetoes which greatly helped me before casting those important votes.

As you’ve seen since then (and all session long), there’s always a constant battle between either the Executive Branch/Legislative Branch, the House/Senate, Republicans and Republicans or Democrats and Democrats. You expect Republicans and Democrats to not see eye-to-eye but the others you’d hope could work together and make effective use of our time in Columbia each year. Sadly, I don’t think it’ll ever go away. If we spent as much energy all working together instead of posturing or trying to score political points, it’s a wonder how much good would actually come out of state officials working together. Thing is, that’s politics and it seems it always will be like that – especially in South Carolina.

Closer to home, in the next several weeks you’ll start to see local taxation issues get more attention with potential tax increases on the November ballot for both Lexington and Richland Counties. The proposals are designed to improve our local infrastructure. Be sure you study the issues and get the information you need to make an informed decision this fall.

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COMMUNITY
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Chapin Labor Day Festival is just weeks away (September 1-3)! I hope to see you along the parade route and at other festival events that weekend.

7th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast is soon after the Chapin events! I can’t believe the vision Representative Huggins and I had years ago is still going strong each September! Here’s video from last year’s breakfast and we look forward to seeing the same sponsors and many new neighbors join us again on Tuesday, September 25th at Riverland Hills Baptist Church (site of the very first breakfast years ago)! To reserve your spot (FREE thanks to our many sponsors), please contact Elizabeth Donehue at Elizabeth@donehueagency.com

2012 Okra Strut is just days after the Prayer Breakfast! Be sure to sign your group/organization up for the annual parade and take the whole family out to the Irmo Town Park (new site for this year’s event)

Irmo Chamber of Commerce : To see a list of upcoming events (to include a special Purple Martin Cruise this Friday) click here.

Meet your neighbor : Please be sure to email me news of accomplishments of your friends and neighbors in the community! Previously I would regularly update the website with people I knew around town who were doing great things right here in Irmo, Chapin. I’m willing to help promote their work/cause and simply need you to let me know what’s going on!

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OUR SCHOOLS
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I don’t need to remind you; but I will. School starts back next week! Tuesday, August 21st is the First Day for students. Obviously, let’s be sure to slow down (and put down our phones) when we’re in school zones!

This year Karen and I plan to take the kids again to visit the area schools at least once under the Friday lights! We are fortunate to have such great athletic programs at Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo!

Speaking of athletic programs, I’m pleased to share that the Chapin Rugby Team (defending back-to-back state champions) has found a home this season thanks to the Irmo Chapin Recreation Commission and Crooked Creek Park! With the renovations at Chapin High School, it looked as though this club may be left out with no place to practice or hold their matches. I’m glad ICRC stepped up to help us out!

LACROSSE: This year will be the first year that each high school will field their own boys and girls lacrosse teams. As a relatively “new sport”, our district has previously only fielded a boys team at Irmo and a girls team at Chapin. I hear Irmo, Chapin and Dutch Fork have enough demand and talent to now compete on their own this year!

School Board Candidate Filings run through Wednesday. Richland County has one board spot on the November ballot and Lexington County will have two.

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THANK YOU
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Thanks again for the privilege you give me to represent the Irmo/Chapin/Ballentine/Dutch Fork community! If you have events or people you’d like me to share with our community right here through Nathan’s News, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help!

I’m always eager to spend time with you at your Homeowners Association Meetings, Churches, and other civic events in the community! Let me know dates and times and I’ll work to be there!

Nathan Ballentine
www.nathansnews.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320B Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29201