I was disappointed by the state Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss the Abbeville v. South Carolina school funding case. The court’s previous decision mandated that the General Assembly address the funding inequities in our public education system. I believe all S.C. students deserve a high-quality public education, regardless of their ZIP code.
In the 2018 legislative session, we must bring all stakeholder groups together to find permanent solutions for public school funding. The court may have ended its oversight of the case, but that doesn’t mean politicians in Columbia are off the hook on this critical issue.
That’s not the only issue that I and my fellow members of the Legislative Black Caucus will be working to address in the upcoming session.
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I consider health care a right, not a privilege, but thanks to the Trump tax law, millions of Americans will lose health care, and millions more will receive an increase in the cost of their premiums. This is shameful and irresponsible. Providing accessible and affordable health options for our citizens is the conservative and compassionate thing to do. I will continue my efforts to ensure that every South Carolinian has access to high-quality, affordable health care.
During the caucus’ annual retreat last month, we heard from representatives and stakeholder groups involved in the crisis at the V.C. Summer nuclear station. After listening and speaking with these representatives, I want all South Carolinians to know that we will remain steadfast in our dedication to protect ratepayers and energy customers.
I believe we must have diverse regulatory bodies and a transparent process for regulating utilities. Gov. Henry McMaster’s decision to fill the one seat on the Public Service Commission that had been occupied by a minority with a non-minority was immensely disappointing. His decision to ignore the voices of minority communities was a missed opportunity to establish a commission representative of the diversity within our state and ultimately does not reflect the diversity of energy consumers. I am asking all South Carolinians to join me in demanding Gov. McMaster add diversity to the Public Service Commission.
While I will not waiver from holding those involved in this debacle accountable, I am also sensitive to the thousands of workers who labor every day in our communities to make sure our energy needs are met. Neither these individuals nor the 25,000 South Carolinians who own SCANA stock should be harmed because of failures of corporate executives and lawmakers in Columbia. Efforts by Columbia politicians who choose to politicize this issue for self-gain and consequently jeopardize thousands of South Carolinians’ jobs are totally unacceptable.
Rep. John R. King
Chairman, S.C. Legislative Black Caucus