Behind the Scenes: State House Office

This week I stopped in my State House Office and realized I haven’t had many visitors due to Covid in the last year or so. Not much of a tour, but wanted you to share for any curious. We aren’t back in session until January, so looks like I won’t see anyone here until then – but, as always, call me (803-734-2969) or email me anytime at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov

I’ve shared a few behind the scenes before; but never here at the office. It hasn’t changed much (if any) over the years.

If you ever want to stop in, please call ahead of time. I’d hate for you to just show up and I not be there. Honestly, I’m rarely in that office. Between my paying job and family, I spend more time at my home office than my State House Office. I usually stop in before or after committee meetings; but that’s about it. Most the time I pull into the garage 15 minutes before session starts inside the Chamber and then head out right afterwards.

I used to stick around years ago for receptions and things like that; but living nearby – I prefer to be at home instead. If you work for any of the groups hosting a reception, always call me and I can meet you there – otherwise I pass.

Want you to also know that State House tours are open again. If your family/friends, church group, civic group would like to take a tour, please call my office (803-734-2969) and we can help arrange that as well. These tours are FREE.

Hopefully next year, we can have visitors again inside the chambers. I know many of our local state championship teams have missed not being able to come downtown for their special moment of recognition. Over the years, Rep Huggins and I have hosted many champions from Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo. #PrideIn5

Please call me (or June!) anytime 803-734-2969 OR you can email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov – but PLEASE put the word CONSTITUENT in the subject line. Those emails stand out over the thousands of others across the state we receive regularly.

Thanks again for the honor to serve you in Columbia!

Floor Debate: Protecting Taxpayers and Our Natural Resources

Apologies for the video and audio delay.

Sharing some debate from the house floor over a new industry looking to come into our state.

As you’ll see, I support the efforts of this industry but not at the expense of tax payers or our environment.

My amendment passed 61-51 and the bill was sent back to the Senate.

UPDATED: Just two days after this floor debate, one of these facilities had an issue . Like I shared during the debate “stuff happens” no matter how well intentioned or prepared they may think they are. This is another example of why the amendment was needed.

From the House Floor: Budget Debate

I briefly took the podium yesterday to honor my word by showing support for our state employees. Most times that I can recall throughout the year, it’s always Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, alone, speaking on behalf of this group during budget debate. Yesterday, she was not alone. After she and I spoke, the Ways and Means Chairman (aka Budget Chairman) spoke and affirmed his desire and intentions to join us in a pay increase this year.

The video speaks for itself, but for background, our state employees often are not on the top of any budget lists in the General Assembly. Frankly, many times the Senate increases their pay/benefits after the House send our budget to them. (To be fair, most times, the revenue estimates are much higher for the Senate to work with due to the timing of the process and the economic numbers being updated).

In any case, I will work to be sure our state employees receive a raise (and hopefully not just a bonus) when the House returns in the coming months to consider additional funding.

Road Work Continues: Exit 97 to Peak

Was asked tonight for an update on the (ongoing) issues with 176 (Broad River) and wanted to pass along what SCDOT shared with me earlier this evening:

“Good evening Nathan, we have started with asphalt repairs on Broad River Road. Based on recommendations from our Research & Materials, we h ave begun to tackle the 10 mile stretch up near the Chapin Rd to Newberry County line with our internal forces. The section from Chapin Rd to Ballentine (Chickfila) will require a more extensive reparid and we currently (are) seeking extensions to existing paving contracts in order to complete the repairs this year. We will keep you posted on this as we progress.”

When we finished a 10 hour budget debate today (no breaks), I came home on Exit 97 (which is the Exit I take everyday – but I go left across 26) and filmed the above video with similar comment as this post.

For background on this and other work in the area, you can search Nathans News or click here for a few posts.

Opening Day: Irmo Little League

From the House Floor: Wasting Time

Unbelievable!

We are more than 45 minutes into “debate” over a minor change in a House Rule.

Video explains it – but to reiterate, the change ONLY REQUIRES THE MEMBER who makes the motion to STAY IN THE CHAMBER at his/her desk while the bill is read.

Members can STILL delay the process by asking the “bill to be read across the desk” – but you would no longer be able to use that dilatory tactic and get to leave the chamber.

Wasting time discussing wasting time in Columbia. Go figure.

Read Across America 2021

I want to thank Mrs. Hinrichs at Riversprings Elementary for inviting me to Read Across America with the Navigators this week!

Outside the State House: Inside the Community

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. Just thought might be good to see the “normal” side of me as well as what we do when we’re not inside the State House.

Earlier videos:

Outside the State House: Home Office

Outside the State House: F3 Lake Murray

Outside the State House: Movement Mortgage

Outside the State House: White Tail Deer Hunting

Behind the Scenes: From the Floor of the State House

Outside the State House: Home Office

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: F3 Lake Murray

Outside the State House: Movement Mortgage

Outside the State House: White Tail Deer Hunting