Stop SC gerrymandering
Electoral districts must be redrawn after each U.S. Census to account for population changes so each district has about the same number of people. This affects districts for Congress and the state House and Senate, whose members draw the districts. Sixty-eight percent of the respondents to the poll released Wednesday supported the creation of an independent redistricting commission to do this work in South Carolina.
The flawed current system relies on the party in power to do the right thing, and it’s clear the honor system doesn’t cut it. Lawmakers must heed this repudiation from their constituents and stop dragging their feet on a bill that calls for creating an independent commission.
The power in South Carolina lies in the Legislature, so persuading lawmakers to give up some of that leverage will be difficult. State Sen. Sandy Senn, R-Charleston, has tried to do just that for more than a year, seeking support for a bipartisan bill that would ask voters to decide if they want a commission.…
Gerrymandered districts have insidious impacts beyond the obvious. For instance, one of the unfortunate results is that too often the party primaries are where the winners really are chosen, rendering much of the general election a foregone conclusion.
Support Dominion-SCANA merger
Lawmakers are not shy in expressing their distaste for the way the proposal by Dominion Energy of Virginia to purchase SCANA Corp. has been presented.
Dominion has a team of lobbyists working directly to convince legislators the deal is a good thing for South Carolina, and the company has an ad campaign aimed at having citizens tell their lawmakers to stand in support of the Dominion-SCANA.
Lawmakers see the approach as pressuring them to go along with a provision of the merger that will allow Dominion to continue charging the electric customers of SCANA subsidiary S.C. Electric & Gas Co. for the failed nuclear project in Fairfield County.…
Our hope is the elected officials will put aside their distaste for the lobbying and high-profile PR campaign and look at the Dominion-SCANA merger plan through an unbiased lens. That means making a difficult decision during an election year when it is far easier to tell SCE&G customers they will not have to pay further for the nuclear debacle than to persuade them that the Dominion-SCANA merger reducing the payments to 20 years is a good thing, which it is.
Don’t arm SC teachers
There are many reasons why teachers — even those willing to do so — should not have the added responsibility of having a firearm in their classrooms.
Educators should not have to worry about how they would respond in a crisis; their chief responsibility should be educating students — a tall order given that some have classrooms filled to capacity. In an active shooter situation, could someone who isn’t a police officer effectively fire a weapon and halt a shooter, particularly one with an automatic weapon? If the gun is required to be locked in a safe place, would they have time to access it?
And what if a student were able to get access to a gun that was supposed to be in possession of a teacher?
The cost and liability of such a proposal could make it too expensive for some school districts. Further, law enforcement officials responding to an active shooter situation may mistake a school marshal for the shooter.
One of the more disturbing revelations from the Parkland, Florida, school shooting is that several school resource officers assigned to the school on Feb. 14 did not engage with the assailant.
If trained officers are hesitant to do so, teachers may be also.