After being swept out of office for binge spending, trading favors and turning a blind eye to moral and ethical concerns, Republicans in Congress got the message and reversed course. After taking back the US House in 2010, the GOP got right down to business on its mandate in 2011, cutting the federal budget, defending free enterprise and defunding Planned Parenthood.
Republican majority state legislatures around the nation are also moving in an aggressive fiscal and social conservative direction this year, passing reduced budgets and strengthening laws to give unborn children a fighting chance.
With solid majorities in the House and Senate and an electorate that installed a Republican into every statewide office in 2010, South Carolina should be far outpacing the US Congress, as well as nearly every other state legislature. The South Carolina General Assembly should be a model for the country legislatively, celebrating at this time of year the passage of a post-election budget that rolls back state expenditures and advances the causes of life and economic development.
But this is not the case.
The SC Senate has drifted into another week of deliberation on the state budget, but judging from its content, it doesn’t appear that word of the 2010 election made it to the Gressette Senate Office Building.
As it reads today, H.3700 includes no significant rollbacks in spending, no advances for the unborn, and no real reform. According to Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), it is the largest budget in state history and includes $600 more in general fund revenues. What’s more, liberal Democrats and their staff allies are playing puppet master to well-meaning but gullible Republican Senators in key fiscal areas. (Last week, Democrats fooled the GOP into believing that banning state taxpayer funded abortion in the state health plan would “endanger billions in federal Medicaid funds” until Americans United for Life and the Department of Health & Human Services set the record straight.)
When the Senate convenes today, the Majority Caucus has what may be their last chance to live up to the name “Republican.” A group of young conservative legislators is proposing a series of amendments that will provide the reforms the citizens of South Carolina expect from a conservative majority.
Ten (10) Senators have made it clear to the Senate leadership that without: 1) reform in the state employee early retirement (TERI) program, 2) a rollback in the huge Unemployment Tax increase, and 3) a defunding of taxpayer funded abortion, there won’t be a budget. As it is in their power, these seven plan to filibuster until these three reforms are included in H.3700.
We are proud to lend our support to their efforts of Senators Lee Bright, Kevin Bryant, Tom Davis, Larry Grooms, Shane Martin, Phil Shoopman, David Thomas, Mike Fair, Chip Campsen and Danny Verdin, and encourage all South Carolina conservatives to urge their Republican colleagues in the Senate to join them.
Call the legislative switchboard at 803-212-6200 and ask to speak to your Senator.
You can also send an email to your Senator (or to ALL Senators) from the Statehouse web site at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/html-pages/senateemail.html
If you’re not sure who your Senator is, use this link to find out: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/cgi-bin/zipcodesearch.exe
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