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A Call to Action: The Priorities of the People

We, the Executive Committee of the Lexington County GOP, humbly present the following proposals as priorities for the 2018 legislative session. The proposals listed below reflect the results of an issues survey conducted in June 2017 of the Lexington County GOP Executive Committee membership. The order in which each proposal appears indicates the weight the Committee gave to each issue. We call upon our legislative delegation to sponsor, or co-sponsor, legislation within the first 45 days of the 2018 session to address each issue for the betterment of our lives, our hopes, and our futures.

First, streamline the state tax code to promote greater efficiency and accountability in government spending. True tax reform calls for the creation of a single consolidated tax code across South Carolina that reduces or eliminates our state income tax. And should include the review of sales tax exemptions. Eliminating those exemptions that cater to single interest groups leading to a lower overall sales tax rate would serve the common good by enhancing the fair application of sales taxes. The success of all other policy endeavors is dependent on the creation of a fair, efficient and effective revenue system.

Second, establish quality educational opportunities for ALL children in South Carolina, regardless of zip code, by making a commitment to meet the state’s obligation to fully fund EFA by 2023, initiating the creation of an inter district public school choice program, and by consolidating the current 86 school districts into a structure that promotes greater efficiency and effectiveness of function and finance. The 2014 ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court on the Abbeville case has made clear that dramatic and consequential action is needed from the General Assembly to rectify our state’s failure to provide a quality education to ALL of our children.

Third, protect our successful pro business environment in South Carolina by adopting sunset regulation legislation and a uniform business license fee process. Sunset regulation legislation would call for the periodic review and required elimination of ineffective or outdated regulations that serve as impediments to sustaining and expanding economic growth in South Carolina. Additionally, there should be the creation of a uniform business license fee process. There are over 230 municipalities and numerous counties that impose these fees. This has led to a situation that is confusing to business owners and the burdensome cost of compliance.

Finally, efforts must be made to strengthen state ethics laws to improve oversight and enforcement of all actions that violate the principle of a public office is a public trust. Both legislative houses should be required to submit to an independent agency for both investigation and redress of any ethical improprieties. Further, provisions should be made for the temporary filling of any vacancy created by the suspension of any member of either house. People in a democracy should never want for representation in the legislature and to have a number of citizens in our state without said voice is unacceptable.

Our laws and institutions must be in lock step with the progress of the time in which we live. We elect our public officials to solve public problems and promote progress. Therefore, we, the Executive Committee of the Lexington County GOP, call upon our legislative delegation to assume the mantle of leadership in the General Assembly and enact these reforms in the name of the people of South Carolina.

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