Senate Republican Caucus unveils jobs and reform agenda

Columbia, SC – January 8, 2013 – The Senate Republican Caucus today announced a six-point legislative agenda, centered on growing the economy and reforming government.

Jobs and the Economy:

Transportation Reform – The Caucus will support structural and funding changes to our state’s infrastructure maintenance and construction process to make sure every dollar is maximized and allocated based on merit. The Caucus will explore mechanisms for increasing funding to meet growing infrastructure needs without raising taxes.

Spending Caps – Congress’ recent inability to deal effectively with the Fiscal Cliff could have paralyzed the country’s economy. South Carolina needs a real spending cap to provide for sustainable and predictable growth in state spending. Doing so protects taxpayers, businesses and those served by government by helping guard against unexpected tax increases or cuts to services.

Cyber Security – It’s critical that taxpayers and businesses know their information is secure when they interact with government. The Caucus will make it a priority to enhance cyber security so that people can conduct business in South Carolina with confidence.

Government reform:

Ethics Reform – The Senate, the House, and the Governor’s Office are all in the process of reviewing our state’s antiquated Ethics laws and making recommendations to modernize them for the 21st Century. The Senate Caucus believes strongly that voters need more transparency and information about the people representing them in order to hold their elected leaders accountable for their decisions.

Ballot Reform – The Senate Caucus will act quickly to fix state law in regards to ballot access, to make sure candidates are not again denied access to the ballot as hundreds were this year. In addition, the Caucus plans to correct the disparity in filing requirements between incumbents and challengers.

Department of Administration – Last year, the Senate passed the first bill by either legislative chamber to completely eliminate the Budget and Control Board and create a Department of Administration. The Caucus believes that we need clear lines of accountability in state government.

Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler noted that with a one-seat GOP pickup in the Caucus that the agenda stands a good chance for passage this year:

“These are issues that all conservatives should be able to agree on, and they’re issues that the people of South Carolina clearly want us to move forward with,” Peeler said. “I am committed to making sure these items remain a priority throughout the session, and that we work with the House to move these bills to the Governor’s desk.”

In addition to announcing its agenda, the Caucus also re-elected Senator Peeler to the post of Senate Majority Leader. Peeler named Senators Danny Verdin and Shane Massey as Majority Whips.

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