Ethics reform cuts to the heart of good government. Citizens must have confidence in those they elect at every level. The Ethics Reform Act isn't just about the legislature; changes cover every elected official in South Carolina from county and city councils, school boards to water district commissioners.
Election reform legislation passed in 2014 that outlined reforms in filing procedures, made information easier to understand, and ensured that incumbents and challengers are treated identically. Candidate filing papers will be turned into the county election commissions rather than political parties.
Unfortunately we did not accomplish an important goal this year: providing enough funding to repair our aging roadways. Fixing our roads must be a top priority in the next legislative session.
This issue is one I am involved in on a personal and professional level. Our legislation provides funding for STEM and Technical Education. These are areas of high growth in our state and having qualified graduates will boost South Carolina's economy.
We successfully passed legislation providing that it is unlawful for a person to use a wireless electronic communication device to compose, send, or read a text-based communication while operating a motor vehicle on the public streets and highways of this state.
In addition to providing ID fraud protection to all South Carolinians, we approved legislation making it easy to put a freeze on your credit report to prevent thieves from stealing your identity to take out loans, apply for credit cards, or anything else that requires a credit check.
The House approved legislation that prevents the state, or law enforcement, from eavesdropping on any smartphone and/or searching any smartphone without a warrant. These are vital protections that the federal courts have not given us, but are necessary as many of us carry sensitive personal information on our phones.