Monday, December 15, 2008

Local Legislators Gain Some Plumb Appointments

Last week, there was some discussion of my appointment to the House Ways and Means Committee. This is, in truth, a pretty big deal, especially for a member beginning his seventh year of tenure in the legislature. It’s also been some time since we had anyone from Beaufort County o­n this committee. The last time Beaufort County had representation o­n this all-important budgeting body was in 1992 when the highly respected Harriet Keyserling from Beaufort held a seat. I am humbled and gratified that both the speaker and chairman Dan Cooper (R-Anderson Co) expressed their confidence in me with this appointment.

There is further good news in that my good friend and hardworking ally; Representative Shannon Erickson from Beaufort has made the extraordinary step up to the Labor, Commerce and Industry (LCI) Committee. o­nce again, the Beaufort County delegation has been lifted up with a plum assignment. This is, no doubt, a recognition of the tremendous work ethic we have all seen in Representative Erickson. She is smart, tenacious, and creative, and is now well placed to help bring good jobs to Beaufort County. This is particularly important with our friend, Tom Davis, heading to the Senate. As many of you know, Tom was instrumental in working out many of the kinks in the process that brought the Jasper Port agreement to fruition.

The division of labor within the delegation is shaping up to give us a lot of coverage across the entire spectrum of legislative activity. This is made more plain as both Curtis Brantley from Jasper County and Richard Chalk from Hilton Head return to Medical, Military and Municipal Affairs (3M) and my friend Ken Hodges from Beaufort is tapped to serve o­n Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.

If the legislative session could be likened to a baseball game, Beaufort County scored some runs in the first inning.

Many of you called with congratulations after reading the press release from the South Carolina Chiropractic Association that named your representative the 2008 Legislator of the Year. I am a big believer in using all our tools, both traditional and non-traditional, in securing the best health outcomes for the fewest dollars. You may remember I was the National Legislator of the Year for the Oriental Medical Association in 2006.

Judging from all the activity as Carey Wandall’s Yoga Studio in Old Town Bluffton, I’m not the o­nly o­ne interested in a more holistic approach to good health. We are fortunate to have Carey in our community, as she is a rising star in the Yoga world. She is not o­nly an excellent teacher and practitioner; she is a teacher of teachers.

In closing, I want to remind you to visit the web site, Not o­nly will you get a sense of the issues coming up in the 2009 session, there are a raft of cool links and informational goodies. If they still taught civics in high school, it would also be an excellent resource for research papers and reports. As it is, surf by and take a look, you will be pleasantly surprised (and informed).