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Status report: House OKs 3 big pieces of legislation

Some say politicians never get anything done. Whoever said that missed recent events in the State House, where in just three days, the S.C. House tackled three major issues facing our state: Reforming highway funding and the S.C. Department of Transportation, fixing the state employees’ pension system, and modernizing state-issued identification cards to meet higher Homeland Security standards.

Road repairs


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Best idea for fighting corruption, and it’s catching on across country

Column: Take redistricting out of legislature’s hands

It’s a given that South Carolina’s State House politics is dysfunctional on a good day and thoroughly corrupt on most days.
There is a big reform idea that has surfaced that may be the single biggest thing we could do to reform this broken system – and it’s getting some traction.
The big reform idea is an independent reapportionment commission that would draw the lines for legislative districts.
OK, I can hear the yawns and the mumbles. “What kind of arcane policy wonk stuff is he talking about now?”


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Column: Not a huge deal, but does state need to meddle with an eclipse?

Last week the legislature passed a joint resolution that allows school districts to start the next school year on Thursday, Aug. 17. Without this resolution, schools could not start before the third Monday of that month, Aug. 21 – the day of a solar eclipse.


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Column: Trump inspires, Democrats sulk on the big stage

Tuesday night, America saw President Trump give what 76 percent of viewers thought was a great speech to Congress. But the Democrats saw it as only another chance to express their disbelief and demagoguery, which seems to be their only strategy.
Trump’s speech drew much praise for its positive dream of national unity. It offered real hope and promised true change, but if you were watching the Democratic side of the aisle, it looked like a funeral service, with an occasional exception for scattered applause.


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Column: Friends of Del Webb Library seeks support

Thank you to the Indian Land community from the Friends of the Del Webb Library for another wonderful year. Because of your support of the Friends, we were able to fulfill our mission to promote and support the literary, educational and community roles of the Del Webb Library.
The Friends ended 2016 with 381 members. In addition, we partnered with 42 businesses in the Indian Land community. These businesses support the Friends by offering discounts on goods and services to Friends members or through monetary donations. These business partnerships are ongoing and growing.


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Column: Will S.C. force doctors to join advocacy group?

Manufacturers such as Boeing are said to be drawn to South Carolina because it’s a right-to-work state, something state political leaders tout.
It’s spelled out in state law: “The right of persons to work must not be denied or abridged because of membership or non-membership in a labor union or labor organization.”


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Column: Innovation essential to our future

If we as a state make innovation a hallmark of who we are and what we do, we will grow and prosper. If we don’t, we will stagnate and die.
The choice is that clear and that stark. Am I being overly dramatic? I don’t think so.
◆ “Innovate or die.” Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft.
◆ “The only way to thrive is to innovate. It’s that simple.” Alex Tabarrok, Canadian economist.
◆ “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs, founder of Apple.


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Promise Neighborhood project unites us behind improving our community

Column: Come join ‘mission trip without a plane ticket’

Editor’s note: This message is from the chairs of the Lancaster Promise Neighborhood Advisory Team – Bruce Brumfield, chief executive of Founders Federal Credit Union, Lancaster County Council member Charlene McGriff, and Dr. Paul McKenzie, research director for the Lancaster County School District.


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Scott backs tax incentives for job-creating projects

Column: Encouraging investments in poorest communities

Restoring hope and opportunity is critical to lifting up our communities who feel like they have been left behind.
We have people all across the country living paycheck to paycheck who are forced to make choices no family should, like whether they should pay for heat in the winter or purchase necessary medications. Our country has witnessed under-employment rates soar, high school graduation rates drop, and poverty numbers remain stagnant.


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Column: Tommy Pope cares about people, gets my vote for 5th District seat

Billy Dale McCants, my son, was in a car wreck Nov. 12, 1988. I met the then-16th Circuit Solicitor Tommy Pope in 1995 for the trial of the two men that murdered my other son, Deputy James Brent McCants, killed in the line of duty Sept. 25, 1992.
Tommy and his wife, Kim, are the best people I know. They really care for people. You become their friends, and they are yours.
Tommy became speaker pro tem of the S.C. House in 2014. Now he is running for the 5th District congressional seat.


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