COLUMBIA, SC — The South Carolina Senate on Tuesday, January 8, held the first legislative session of the new year 2019. As tradition, the first day of the new legislative session — the 123rd legislative session of the General Assembly — the Senate holds an organizational session to elect leadership, officers of the Senate, select committees and seat assignments.
Listed below are the current leadership and committee chairs for the 123rd Senate.
President of the Senate: Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee)
Majority Leader: Shane Massey (R-Edgefield)
Agriculture and Natural Resources: Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley)
Banking and Insurance: Ronnie Cromer (R-Newberry)
Corrections and Penology: Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg)
Education: Greg Hembree (R-Horry)
Ethics: Sean Bennett (R-Dorchester)
Family and Veterans Services: Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington)
Finance: Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence)
Fish, Game and Forestry: Chip Campsen (R-Charleston)
Judiciary: Luke Rankin (R-Horry)
Labor, Commerce and Industry: Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee)
Legislative Oversight: Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee)
Medical Affairs: Danny Verdin (R-Laurens)
Rules: Shane Massey (R-Edgefield)
Transportation: Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley)
Included in leadership changes were Senator Harvey Peeler who unanimously selected by the full Senate body to serve as the first elected ‘President of the Senate’ in the history of South Carolina.
“Thank you for this high honor. I wish I could capture the words to express what this means to me. To be chosen the very first President and Presiding Officer of the Senate from within the membership of the body is both historic and futuristic…It’s been said that a Body takes on the personality of its Leader. If that is true – if this body takes on the personality of its Leader – Then we will laugh a lot. We will cry a little. And we will love and respect each member and this institution — every day for the rest of our lives…Members of the Senate – we are standing on Holy Ground. There are Angels all around. And I expect us to act accordingly. Now, we have work to do. You chose me to be your leader. And so help me God — lead you I will!” ~Senator Harvey Peeler, 1/8/19
Additionally, Senator Greg Hembree (R-Horry) will serve as the new Chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Senator Greg Hembree said,
“Providing the opportunity for a world class education to every citizen is one of the most important functions of state government and it is critical time for education in South Carolina. I am honored, excited and ready to serve as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
We have a committee comprised of smart, hardworking men and women that are determined to make real improvements in K-12 and higher education. Improving working conditions and raising salaries for teachers, recruiting and retaining high quality educators and leaders, and reigning in the ever rising costs of higher education are goals we can achieve in 2019. Our committee is getting to work immediately.”