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Columns

  • South Carolina needs stronger Freedom of Information Act

    It’s probably fair to say that a lot of people in our society feel a healthy dose of skepticism toward many politicians.
    It’s not unreasonable to feel that way, either.
    After all, if you read the paper or watch the news, it’s not very hard to find reasons to raise your eyebrows, or even your voice, over decisions they make about spending your money.

  • S.C. salaries should be based on responsibilities

    In South Carolina, the number of state employees is established in relation to the state’s population. In 1994, the state’s population was about 3.7 million and the state appropriated funding for about 42,000 full-time employment (FTE) positions, nearly 95 percent of the annual limitation.

  • Educational choice is already working in S.C.

    There’s no question that people like having options. It’s simple, but true. In everything from smart phones to shoes, people take for granted the ability to choose products that fit their needs and personality.
    That same desire for choices applies to larger, more vital goods and services.

  • Honest government is essential to all of us

    The world has finally discovered South Carolina. Those of us who live here have known it all along: No other place has the beaches, mountains, salt marshes, temperate climate, forests, wildlife and fertile farmlands that we do.

  • S.C. schools seek the right formula

    We’ve heard the excuses about why South Carolina schools are so far behind others in the nation.
    And, to be honest, many of the excuses are valid.
    But that doesn’t take the sting out of the recent report that shows, despite all the effort and goal-setting to make South Carolina’s schools more accountable, we still are lagging way behind.
    The S.C. Education Oversight Committee reported that goals established for the year 2020 may not be met unless there are drastic changes in the way we educate our students.

  • Mulvaney explains his No Budget, No Pay vote

    Late last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the No Budget, No Pay Act, which, among other things, temporarily extended the nation’s debt ceiling. The Senate followed suit, and the president signed the bill into law. 
    I voted for the bill. Here’s why:
    For the past two years, many of us in the House (some more than others, unfortunately) have been trying to draw attention to the alarming condition of our nation’s debt, our record deficits and the out-of-control spending in Washington.

  • Stop teen dating violence

    It has been almost three years since 19-year-old Siobhan Russell was found brutally stabbed to death by her 17-year-old boyfriend in Oak Hill, Va.
    In 2010, Siobhan’s abuser was arrested and sentenced to 40 years in prison. After living through this horrific event, Siobhan’s mother was determined to do all that she could to prevent other acts of abuse and violence. She now runs an organization to raise awareness about teen dating violence, where she speaks to communities about the warning signs of dating violence. She is an example for us all.

  • Military-based communities need our support

    You probably haven’t heard much about it, but there’s an economic threat to South Carolina lurking on the horizon beyond the latest crises in Washington over the fiscal cliff and the federal debt.
    While this threat to our state hasn’t received much attention or publicity, it’s a threatened round of widespread military base closings throughout the nation.
    Military officials and other knowledgeable sources believe it’s likely to happen in the near future, possibly as soon as 2015.

  • Home and community based services provide valuable help

    Imagine doing everything by the book your entire life – working hard, making an honest living, providing for your family’s needs and planning responsibly for your retirement.
    This is a story I heard over and over again from numerous seniors while touring the state over the last few months. But oftentimes, what some of these seniors hadn’t prepared for was the unexpected – a sudden illness that claimed their independence and robbed them of their savings.

  • Spay/neuter clinic will save money, pets’ lives

    Recently, I was talking to Joel Hinson, director of Lancaster County Animal Control. Hinson said the time is near when the animal shelter’s needs become even more critical.
    Hinson said when children are out of school and bored, their minds turn to having pets, not realizing how much of a responsibility it is to own take care of a pet.