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January 2009 Legislative Update

January 19, 2009

January 2009 Legislative Update

Dear Friends,

The 2009 legislative session is now officially underway and I wanted to let you know about a few of the items we will be focusing on this year.

Also, I would greatly appreciate any feedback you have on these issues or any other topics you would like to see the General Assembly address. Your opinions on these issues are extremely helpful. Please feel free to write me anytime at

With growing economic concerns continuing to grip our nation and with South Carolina’s unemployment at an all-time high for our generation, our economy should be top priority. Returning to the proven job-creation philosophies of former Governor Carroll Campbell will be a major focus for South Carolina in the years to come.
Our approach should encompass all areas. From eliminating much of the bureaucratic “Red Tape” hindering our small businesses to restructuring inefficient areas of state government, we need to take action to improve our state’s business climate, keep the jobs we have from leaving South Carolina and attract businesses that will bring new higher-paying jobs our citizens are ready to fill.

The deep budget cuts lawmakers had to make due to the poor economic conditions felt nationwide would be less painful if we stopped the “Peak & Valley” approach of spending to which governments are prone. Now is the time to enact the spending limit measures that have passed the House 5 times in the past decade.

Our state’s tax code is overly complicated and not even fully understood by experts and Ph.D.’s who have studied it for a lifetime. We need to review our tax structure to cut waste, stabilize our government and eliminate the many outdated political promises tying our hands.

Untouched for over 30-years, the jumble of formulas and calculations used to determine education funding has grown outdated, become inefficient and is hindering the success our students should be achieving. Better utilization of our resources and making sure our tax dollars make it into the classroom will result in a better educational system for all children in our state. The House’s Education Funding Study Committee is planning to make recommendations to reform this 30-year-old funding system.

The House has always been a leader when it comes to transparency and accountability in government. Last year, we eliminated the practice of Hidden Earmark Spending in the state budget and this year – with added roll call voting and reforming campaign finance disclosure laws – we will further our open government efforts.

By requiring more on the record votes, we will enable taxpayers to see exactly how their legislator voted on important issues. Taxpayers have a right to know where their legislators stand on all issues, particularly issues that affect spending of state money and salary/benefits of elected officials.

These are just a few of the many items the House will be addressing this session.

The House Republican Caucus will soon be announcing an agenda of major items it will be focused on passing. You’ll find the complete House Republican Caucus Agenda at Please let us know your thoughts on these issues and any other ideas you have on how we can improve our state.

A better South Carolina is something we can only achieve together. This is your government. Legislative seats, our votes, and our actions belong to the people. I hope you will take an active role in shaping our state’s future.


Bobby Harrell
Speaker, S.C. House of Representatives
Contact Information
8316 Rivers Avenue
Charleston, SC 29406

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