Legislators discuss House, Senate at local event
Four state legislators addressed a crowd of around 100 people Friday at the Legislative Luncheon, hosted by the Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce.
The speakers – State Sen. Sean Bennett and Reps. Chris Murphy, Jenny Horne and Joe Daning – all represent the immediate area.
Each gave a progress report to the group, speaking of his or her projects in the General Assembly and what they estimate the public can expect from their respective branches of the legislature in the coming year. The politicians also answered questions from attendees.
Sen. Bennett addressed ethics reform and the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. He said both issues are on “special order,” meaning they will be discussed first when the legislature convenes its second session on Jan. 14.
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Horne said her main focus has been on children and education. She has been working on creating an education funding bill that would create “uniform millage” so children across the state will receive equal amounts of funding.
Rep. Horne has also requested an audit of the Department of Social Services, which she hopes will bring light to problems in the department.
“There are other states that are taking care of their children more than we are,” she said. “As a mother I feel like it’s my duty to the children I represent that we need to pay close attention to how our most vulnerable children are being treated.”
Education was also a focus for Rep. Daning, who spoke of his plan to survey teachers about the national education program Common Core.
A member of the Transportation Committee, he also addressed texting and driving.
Rep. Murphy mostly spoke of the continual need for improved infrastructure, which he called a “moving target.” He also addressed the budget.
“I hate to say it, but I think we’re going to pass the budget and that’s it this year, with it being an election year,” he said.
The legislators answered more than half a dozen questions from the audience, which touched on topics such as college tuition caps, online safety and the recent Local Option Sales Tax for property tax relief referendum that did not pass in Dorchester County.