State representative mulling run for state schools chief
State Rep. Andy Patrick, R-Beaufort, told The State Monday that he’s “exploring the idea” of running next year for state Superintendent of Education.
The two-term state representative made his comments before telling a news conference that he will introduce a bill on Tuesday proposing a teacher-evaluation system.
Patrick said his proposal would evaluate teachers based, in part, on how much students improve on test scores, paying quality teachers more. Patrick said he sought input from about 60 teachers in Bluffton, Greenville and Columbia on the proposal.
Patrick finished fifth out of 16 Republican primary candidates seeking the 1st District congressional seat in March. Former Gov. Mark Sanford won the post, vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate.
A former Secret Service agent who runs a security consulting firm, Patrick would face incumbent Republican Mick Zais if he decided to run for education superintendent.
State Rep. Mike Anthony of Union and Montrio Belton of Fort Mill have announced plans to run for the Democratic nomination for the post, the last statewide seat held by a Democrat.
Graham to sign up for Obamacare, not the subsidy
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham will enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s health-care exchange, foregoing a taxpayer subsidy that is available to members of Congress.
“I don’t think members of Congress should get a special deal,” Graham said in a news release Monday. “Obamacare is being pushed on the American people, and we should live under it just like everyone else.”
Graham faces four Republican challengers in June’s GOP primary.
The Seneca Republican said that he could have enrolled in the D.C. Health Link exchange, where the federal government would have continued to subsidize about 75 percent of his health-care premium.
“As a 58-year-old male living in Oconee County, my insurance costs are going up about $400 a month, more than 200 percent, under Obamacare,” Graham said. “In addition, my health-care coverage will be a fraction of what it used to be. Sadly, I’m not the only one who will feel the negative effects of Obamacare. It’s happening all over South Carolina. The worst is yet to come, but I will continue my fight to repeal, replace, defund and allow Americans to opt-out of this horrible government program,” he said.
Gov. Haley has one public event rest of the week
Gov. Nikki Haley only has one public event on her schedule this week after Monday’s Christmas open house at the Governor’s Mansion. Haley also attended the University of South Carolina’s economic forecast conference earlier Monday.
Her remaining public event is a state Budget and Control Board meeting at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
According to her staff, the governor’s activities last week included:
4 – Speaking engagements
2 each – News conferences on ethics reform, constituent meetings or calls, legislative meetings and economic development meetings
1 – Congressional delegation meeting in Washington, D.C.
Busiest day – Wednesday, with six activities
Slowest day – Friday, with one activity
Of note – Haley took in the 47th annual Governor’s Carolighting at the State House last Monday, and met with Rock Hill Mayor Doug Echols on Tuesday and U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. She also attended a S.C. Manufacturers Alliance dinner Thursday, where she received the 2013 Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award.