Changes ahead….

Debate from the House Floor : Protecting Life

As I shared from the House Floor, I didn’t wake up Tuesday expecting to take the podium during this debate. But when I saw how the debate was going and how, once again, the chance to do something (ie, our job) was about to lose out to doing nothing (bill being defeated) – I had to speak up.

On the way to the State House , I wanted to thank y’all for responding to this year’s Legislative Survey and let you know: I heard you and I would be there for you. Overwhelmingly whether you identified as a “Trump Republican”, “Republican” or “Independent”, you wanted exceptions placed into the abortion bill for rape and incest. That’s how I voted and, ultimately, that’s what got into the bill that now heads to the Senate.

In the past few weeks, word was that there were going to be thousands of amendments placed on the desk and that this debate could go days, even into the weekend. That turned out not to be the case as we only had 20-25 amendments and debate was over by 7pm Tuesday night.

Early in debate two amendments to place exceptions were defeated… first only 25 supported , later 41 supported (we picked up more support when the reporting piece regarding rape was added to the earlier amendment). Ultimately after a 2 hour recess from the house floor, the House agreed to placing exceptions into the bill and the bill passed 67-38.

What was surprising (and I explain in video above) was that the Democrats voted against adding exceptions into the bill. Anyone in politics knows that the Democrats vote was not their true beliefs, instead it was their way to help accomplish their ultimate goal – defeating the bill . If the Democrats had kept exceptions off the bill, that bill would have never passed the Senate. If you’re confused, that happens sometimes in politics. You use the tools you’re given and the strategies you can to get the ultimate outcome you want. UNFORTUNATELY in this day and age of politics, is those votes that are used by opponents (usually primary opponents) to try to paint the official as “out of touch” or “not one of us”. What do I mean? A citizen wanting to run for office in a Democratic primary could take that vote and say “See. Representative Smith is out of touch. He voted to force women who were raped to have a baby”. (And that is not what most Democrats would believe).

I’m getting way into the weeds here, but that’s stuff you voters need to know. Don’t look at ONE vote from an official (especially when it’s highlighted on a campaign mail piece from opponent) and assume that’s the whole story.

Long story short, what was accomplished yesterday was this: saving a bill from dying ( it actually WAS defeated when it had no exceptions in it ) and sending a stronger bill than we had passed in 2021 with the SC Fetal Heartbeat Bill.

In layman’s terms:

The SC Fetal Heartbeat bill 2021 – banned abortions after 6 weeks except for rape or incest (allowed up to 20 weeks) or life of the mother

Recently that law had been “stayed” by the SC courts. That meant, Roe v. Wade was still law of the land.

So….do we pass nothing or do we pass something? Something that actually does more than what we did in 2021?

This bill which finally passed – bans abortions after Day One except for rate or incest (allowed now up to 12 weeks).

While some wanted NO EXCEPTIONS, that bill was never going to become law – much less pass the House . And had some Republicans not had the courage to “vote for exceptions” (against immense pressure from outside the chamber), the outcome would be WORSE in Republican eyes since we would have lost an opportunity to do something – even better than we did in 2021 – to protect life.

In the end, to those who said if you add exceptions, you are not pro-life, you now see that is far from reality. You now can see how this new bill is the strongest pro-life bill ever passed in South Carolina.

The end justifies the means and, again, cooler heads prevailed in the Republican Caucus. For those in SC who consider themselves pro-life, you now have an even stronger bill than you did in 2021.

Back to Columbia: Protecting Life

Behind the scenes: State House Office

House Floor: Rep. Chip Huggins says goodbye!

House Floor: Save Women’s Sports

End of Session – Major Legislation Pending

With just a few weeks left in this final year of the 2 year session, there are bills that either will become law or they will die.

Would love your feedback on any that interest you.

The ones mentioned in the video are some that are getting the most attention.

Chapin student cleaning up around town

If you’re like me, you may have missed this story recently about a local high school student pitching in to clean up the roads and neighborhoods in our community.

Last night, I just happened to see her and her mom on the side of the road; so I stopped to learn what they were doing.

I’m donating to her today and hope you will, too (click here)!

Here’s more on her story from WLTX:

CHAPIN, S.C. — Morgan Murphy is a sophomore at Chapin High School, raising money to go to Europe by cleaning up her community.

“I thought that it would be a good idea to have a fundraiser… I could pick up the trash, help the community and hopefully get a few dollars,” Murphy said.

The teen is raising money for a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) field trip that her high school takes annually during Spring Break.

Next year, the school plans to travel to Europe to show students medical practices that were used in Scotland, France, and England. To raise enough money to go on the European trip, Murphy is cleaning up trash in exchange for donations to her travel funds.

“I’ve gotten a couple donations that were $100, some were $25,” Murphy said excitedly. “People are really into this.”

Residents in Chapin are keeping track of Murphy’s efforts on Facebook and donating money to her trip once trash is picked up from around their neighborhood.

Morgan’s mom, Rebecca Murphy, says her family has never seen this much litter before.

“Our family has actually moved four times. This is the first state that we’ve experienced this much trash on the sides of the roads,” her mother explained.

Morgan started collecting trash for her fundraiser two weeks ago, and so far, she has picked up 40 bags of trash along Three Dog, Dutch Fork, and Hiller Road. Murphy goes out and cleans up trash when she’s not at school or work, which isn’t a typical activity for teens her age.

“I’m super proud of her having the initiative,” her mother, Rebecca, said. “She didn’t come to us to ask us for money.”

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, South Carolina does not have a Bottle Bill that refunds the value of the container. However, it is free to sign up to become a ‘Litter Champion’ in Lexington County and you receive bags, gloves, a safety vest, and a trash grabber.

People, Not Politics (2022)

Later this month, I’ll file paperwork to run again in hopes of serving your family in Columbia. From the beginning our campaign, and how I serve, has been about People, Not Politics.

I can still remember the men, women, kids (and dogs!) I met during our first campaign in 2004. Knocking on more than 3,000 doors gave me a very good insight to what’s important to the people here in the Irmo/Chapin/Dutch Fork area. None of the “political insiders” gave us a chance back then – but y’all rallied around our message and on June 8, 2004 chose me as your Republican nominee for SC House District 71.

Since then, we’ve had two other primaries in 2016 (84%-16%) and again in 2018 (70%-25%-5%) . In 2020 we had a general election (65%-32%-3%).

I don’t take for granted your support and hopefully earn that daily with my service to our community.

In the weeks ahead, I’ll share some endorsements . The one that matters most though comes from y’all!

Thank you for the honor and privilege to serve in the South Carolina General Assembly! Anytime I can be of service to you or your family, email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov or call me at the office (803) 734-2969 or at home (803) 834-4613.

Infrastructure Improvements

By now, you’ve seen many projects in the works in and around our community.

If you follow Nathans News, you’ve read about many of these over the past several months and years.

If you have any questions, always give me a call 734-2969 or email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov

Please let me know if you are not receiving my regular COMMUNITY UPDATE email that goes out to our community almost every single month!