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October 2, 2008

From the Office of Senator Harvey S. Peeler, Jr. – Majority Leader –

South Carolina Senate



For Immediate Release

October 2, 2008


Peeler: “when the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there”

Columbia, SC – South Carolina Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler today released the following statement on roll call voting legislation:

“There’s an old hymn we sing in church that goes ‘when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.’ That’s the tune I’ll be singing next session and I’ll be passing song sheets around the Senate Republican Caucus so that my colleagues can sing with me.

South Carolinians are angry…and they should be. Although the current national financial crisis is stealing many of the headlines, South Carolina is facing a $70 million budget shortfall and the highest unemployment levels in fifteen years. Individual accountability and more government transparency highlight almost every conversation I have with constituents.

Editorials, press releases and blogs are great for bringing attention to an issue, but it takes real work to bring about change. It is time we start doing the work South Carolinians elected us to do. It might create more work. It might require us to work longer. It might even make us sit in a room with people we don’t particularly like. As leaders we must put petty political arguments and partisanship aside and focus on what is best for South Carolina, not the next election.

It starts with roll call voting. We will not fix South Carolina’s economy until legislators can be held accountable for their votes on government spending. Roll call voting will shine a light on the entire system, creating the transparency needed by legislators and deserved by taxpayers. There are two ways to accomplish this mission in the State Senate. The first is through a rules change on the first day of session, which I will be rallying our Caucus members around. A rules change is the easiest and quickest way to ensure transparency.

In addition to the rules change, I will file companion Senate legislation to Representative Nikki Haley’s House bill, which requires a roll call vote on spending bills and all other bills other than resolutions and recognitions.

Critics have two complaints. Many say that roll call voting will slow the Senate down. My response…so be it. We need to slow our work down and deliberate more on legislation. Far too often wasteful spending is inserted into bills and passed quickly without debate.

Other critics say that we already have roll call voting. All we need are five Senators to call for it. Well, we already have standardized business practices, but that did not stop the financial crises on Wall Street, and our current rules have not stopped wasteful spending in South Carolina.

Putting our state back on a course that leads to job creation and economic growth must be top priority for the General Assembly next year.

And, I think it begins by joining hands and singing a song of transparency and responsible spending.”


2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2008 10:21 pm

    Senator Harvey…

    Good move in the correct direction by calling for a roll call vote; this is the kind of action the people recognize that’ll lead to a broader base for the Republican Party.

    Gordie the Citizen


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