WANTED: Chapin Chamber of Commerce Member Services

Outside the State House: Movement Mortgage

Want to continue to give y’all a behind the scenes look at your Representative. Over the years, we’ve had thousands of new residents in Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo, and I want to let you see a side of me in 2021 you may not see normally. These clips will be about a minute long. No idea what the next one will be. Just thought might be good to see the “normal” side of me. I’m not all suit/tie and State House 24/7/365.

Earlier videos:

Outside the State House: White Tail Deer Hunting

Covid-19 Vaccination Information

From SCDHEC website

Immunization with a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is a critical component of the United States’ strategy to reduce COVID-19-related illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths and to help put an end to the pandemic. The federal government has stated its goal is to have enough COVID-19 vaccine for all people who wish to be vaccinated. However, in the initial stages of the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there is limited supply of the vaccine.

From December 14-16, 2020, South Carolina received its first allocation of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The state received 42,900 doses. Health care facilities received allocations directly from the federal government and have begun vaccinating their front-line medical workers in accordance with phase 1a vaccination guidance. The state is expected to receive between 200,000 to 300,000 doses by the end of the year, however, those amounts are subject to change.

This webpage is a key resource for providing COVID-19 vaccine information in South Carolina and is updated regularly to provide the most current and factual information available.

SC historians settle on new Palmetto State flag

NOTE: The group includes a member of our community….(from the article) The group, which included acclaimed historian Walter Edgar and Department of Archives and History Director Eric Emerson, sought the help of archeologists and several museums to track down the earliest editions of the state flag.


COLUMBIA — A high-powered team of historians has done the research and determined what South Carolina’s state flag should look like once and for all.

Rest assured, not much is changing.

The flag will still feature a white Palmetto tree and crescent against an indigo blue backdrop, a combination of historically significant elements that makes South Carolina’s flag one of the most iconic banners in the country — and, arguably, one of the good ones.

But next year, lawmakers will have a chance to nail down details of the design that have been in flux since the last official flag specifications were repealed in 1940.

The height and shape of the tree in the flag’s center. The shade of indigo that colors the background. The thickness and angle of the crescent in the upper left hand corner — note: the crescent is not a moon, historians say.

All have been left to the creative imagination of individual designers in lieu of specifications set out in state law.

That’s why the Palmetto tree design on your ballcap might look skinnier than the one on your beer koozie. It’s why the crescent on the flag atop the Statehouse dome might point a different direction than the one on your front porch flag.

But no more.

To read more from the Post and Courier

Outside of the State House: White Tail Deer Hunting

Want to give y’all a behind the scenes look at your Representative. Over the years, we’ve had thousands of new residents in Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo, and I want to let you see a side of me in 2021 you may not see normally. These clips will be about a minute long. No idea what the next one will be. Just thought might be good to see the “normal” side of me. I’m not all suit/tie and State House 24/7/365.

Merry Christmas!

Covid-19 may have changed the world; but hopefully it didn’t change your love for family, friends and faith.

Merry Christmas from our family!


Another 100 bills prefiled in House

Last week, more than 800 bills were pre-filed by the House and Senate.

This week, House members filed another 100+ bills. You can see this recent group by clicking here .

These bills have a two-year life-cycle and must either become law before we adjourn the upcoming two-year session – or they die. Most of these bills may never get a hearing at any level or in any chamber.

If one (or more) are important to you, let your elected official know.

Here’s a post several years ago to compare the number of legislation filed then – as well as watch a “classic” from my childhood that actually does a good job explaining the process of how a bill becomes a law.

Dutch Fork High has SCASA Principal of the year for 2020

From Distict 5 webpage

School District Five school leader named SC Secondary Principal of the Year

IRMO – A Lexington-Richland School District Five school leader has been named among the top principals in the state by the South Carolina Administrators Association (SCASA).

Dr. Gerald Gary, principal of Dutch Fork High School, was named the 2021 South Carolina Secondary Level Principal of the Year, during a surprise announcement at his school on December 10. Gary has served as the principal of Dutch Fork High School since July 2017.

“We are excited to announce that Dr. Gerald Gary has been named the SCASA Secondary Principal of the Year,” said Beth Phibbs, Executive Director of the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. “He is an extraordinary leader who sets high academic standards for all students at Dutch Fork High School and has created a supportive family environment for students, parents, faculty, and staff.”

School District Five Superintendent, Dr. Christina Melton, said, “Educational researcher Dr. John Hattie challenges us to Know Thy Impact, and Dr. Gary is a proven leader who has made an impact on Dutch Fork High School and School District Five. Under his leadership, Dutch Fork High School has gained state and national recognition for academics, state awards in athletics and honors for both his students and staff. We have #PrideIn5 for all that Dr. Gary has done and will continue to do for the District Five community. Congratulations, Dr. Gary.”

Prior to his role at the award-winning high school, he served as principal of Dutch Fork Middle School for four years. He earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Francis Marion University in 1998, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of South Carolina in 2004 and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2007.

Gary began his career in education teaching eighth grade language arts at Blythewood Middle School in 1999. After three years there, Gary spent a year as lead teacher at Blythewood Academy and three years at Summit Parkway Middle School as an assistant principal. Before becoming principal at Dutch Fork Middle, Gary spent eight years as an elementary school principal in Kershaw County and at Leaphart Elementary in School District Five.

Under the leadership of Gary, Dutch Fork High School was named a Palmetto’s Finest School in May 2020. Gary was also named South Carolina’s 2017 Middle Level Principal of the Year by SC Association of School Administrators (SCASA).

“I am absolutely honored by this recognition,” Principal Dr. Gerald Gary said. “For me this is a testament to what we have here at Dutch Fork, and there are no words to describe the absolute pride in our Fox Family. I am thankful for the wonderful support of our entire community, and proud to represent them and principals across the entire state!”

Gary was selected from an outstanding field of administrator candidates by a veteran panel of judges, SCASA officials said.

SCASA, the professional organization for school leaders in South Carolina, has more than 4,200 members. From professional development opportunities and research, to publications and legislative advocacy, SCASA’s focus is to support school leaders in providing the best possible education for South Carolina’s young people. As a state affiliate of three national associations for school leaders, SCASA also works on the national level.

Day one for pre-filing yields 800+ bills

With the start of 1st session of the 124th SC General Assembly one month away, legislators are able to pre-file bills and jockey for position in hopes of being given a hearing at the sub-committee level, full committee level, and hopefully debated and passed on the chamber floor…..only to go through the same process in the other chamber.

The good news is that these bills have 2 years to become law – or die.

Find any interesting to you? Let your legislator know and follow progress in the months ahead!

Chairman of Economic Development Subcommittee

Today I was notified I would again chair the Economic Development subcommittee for Ways and Means. In addition, I will serve on the Criminal Justice subcommittee which gets first shot at appropriating dollars in the state budget for various agencies.

As always, I believe being a good steward of your tax dollars is the number one job for elected officials. I’m honored to have moved to Ways and Means in 2016.

During my time in office I have served on 5 of the 6 standing committees in addition to serving on the House Ethics Committee and Legislative Oversight Committee. Equally important to learning and being able to serve you better, I’ve also served on numerous ad-hoc committees as well as serving as a Majority Whip and Co-Chairman on the SC Energy Caucus.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office anytime I can be of service to you or anytime you have advice or opinions to share!

Home: 803-834-4613
108 Tapp Pointe, Chapin, SC 29036

Office: 803-734-2969
320B Blatt Building, Columbia, SC 29201