Dec 27 2011
Monthly Archives: December 2011
Dec 20 2011
Today, I recieved a report from the director of Labor, Licensing, & Regulation. This report contains information on need for reform. The goals of the agency are reduce fees and decrease onerous regulations. In other words, get Government out of your wallet and our of your decision making process. Y’all know I’ve always been in favor of the open market drivin by consumers to be the regulator when possible.
Dec 20 2011
The Intelligent River technology will be implemented by Dr. Gene Eidson of Clemson University. Recently, The Other Funds Committee approved a transfer of private fund for this projectThe Intelligent River®, a research program of Clemson University’s Institute of Applied Ecology, seeks to transform the science and business of managing natural resources. The Intelligent River® software and hardware architecture provides 24/7 access to data from sensor networks measuring a wide variety of environmental parameters. The program web site, http://www.intelligentriver.org”
The Intelligent River®, developed by an interdisciplinary team, has the goal of creating a highly efficient and cost-effective real-time remote data acquisition system to observe unprecedented amounts of data. The most ambitious project is to create the world’s first “automated river”. In 2011, the National Science Foundation awarded the team a Major Research Instrumentation Award to deploy the Intelligent River® instrumentalong the 312-mile Savannah River — from the headwaters in North Carolina to the port in Savannah. The instrument will collect water quality and quantity data and aggregate data from many sources into one functional database that will populate river operational models. At the center of the Intelligent River® technology is a novel patent-pending networking platform called a “MoteStack” which collects, stores, and transmits data at a scale that until now was cost-prohibitive. The data is critically needed to improve water resources management as demand increases for drinking water, hydroelectric power, recreation and industrial production. The grant announcement on the NSF website reads: “It is evident that the growing mismatch between water supply and demand impacts us all: USA watersheds are in peril! This project does something about it with support from EPA and USACE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Within the reach of environmental science, this work explores the connections among land use, energy production, climate effects and water resources applying information and computing systems.” James D. Giattina, EPA Region 4 water protection division director, said, “The proposed watershed-scale monitoring instrument will directly enhance our efforts to monitor water quality and manage watershed factors that impact water quality in real time. This constitutes a critical innovation as our waters face increasing pressures from drought, development and emerging pollutants.” “The technologies being developed will enable us to more adaptively manage the river by optimizing water resource allocation while minimizing impacts on the environment,” said Col. Edward Kertis, former commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District. “We will be able to refine our releases based on changes in water quality, ecosystem functionality, habitat availability and human effects. The new generation of data-collection platforms could potentially be adopted by every Corps of Engineers water-management office across the country.”
Dec 19 2011
“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America ‘s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America ‘s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, “the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”
~ Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006
Dec 17 2011
A Shameful End to the Year
by Jim DeMint
The hard choice Democrats have given Republicans has paid off for the big-spenders again.
Refusing to work together to cut spending, Democrats demanded that Republicans compromise with them to increase spending, or shut down the government.
As a result, Congress rammed through a 1,000-page, trillion-dollar omnibus spending bill that lumped 9 different appropriations bills in a single package at the very last minute rather than debating, amending, and voting on these bills in a transparent manner.
Spend more and pass this bill, the Democrats said, or force the government to close its doors. They said the same thing this past summer when President Obama insisted on a $2 trillion increase to the debt ceiling and during the budget fight in the spring.
Sadly, it’s a tactic that keeps working. Witness the final votes members of Congress took this year.
Republicans have pledged to cut spending and quit passing legislation no one had read, but that’s exactly what members of Congress did before leaving for their Christmas vacations. The 2012 omnibus increased spending by more than $18 billion over 2011 levels. Once that bill is signed into law by the President, the total tab for all twelve 2012 appropriations bills will be more than $1.8 trillion, a nearly $21 billion increase over 2011 spending.
It’s become a cynical yearly tradition in Washington to delay the big-spending votes until just before Christmas. After all, it’s how Democrats in the Senate passed ObamaCare. Members of Congress are now hurrying home after the vote without much talk, but it should not be forgotten. It represents a shameful end to a year that began with many bold assurances.
After the 2010 midterm elections, Republican promised to cut $100 billion from the federal budget. House Republicans did pass several appropriations bills to cut spending, but they ultimately died in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
The cuts never came. In fact, spending went up! Under no circumstance can a spending increase above last year’s levels be considered a cut. That promise to cut spending has been broken.
Republicans also promised to post all legislation online at least 72 hours before a vote. This 1,000-page omnibus spending bill was posted online Thursday morning, without an official Congressional Budget Office Score showing what it would cost, and rushed to a vote on in the House on Friday afternoon. This wasn’t the only bill members of Congress voted on without knowing how much it would cost. The Senate voted on a package to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for another two months on Saturday morning. When it was sent to the floor for a vote, the CBO had still not scored it.
Moreover, the omnibus spending bill did nothing to defund ObamaCare, which continues to be rejected by the overwhelming majority of Americans. It continues to pay for the massive bureaucratic machinery that will ultimately takeover the healthcare system once the bill is fully enacted in 2014.
It also funds abortion in America and around the world, a practice Republicans pledged to stop. The omnibus appropriates $35 million to the United Nations Population Fund, $575 million for international family planning, and $297 million for Title X family planning, which is a direct funding source for America’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood. At one time, the bill defunded Planned Parenthood and reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits U.S. tax dollars from funding abortion overseas, but those provisions were removed from the final version of the spending bill.
An earlier version of the spending bill also contained protections for health care professionals who, as a matter of conscience, do not wish to participate in abortions. But, again, those protections were removed from the final version of the bill.
This is not what Americans voted for in the 2010 elections. The 2010 election was not a mandate to recklessly spend trillions on secret bills that fund offensive and immoral causes.
The simple fact of the matter is that Democrats will always push to spend more. It’s the Republicans’ job to make them stop. A party that refuses to engage in the very practice of writing and passing a budget, as the Democrats have neglected to do for years, cannot be rewarded with massive, year-end spending binges.
Republicans must find the nerve to put an end to such malpractice. Washington simply cannot continue to spend with impunity. If Congress does not reverse its disastrous course willingly, outside forces may ultimately cause a crash of epic proportions. Washington tested its limits during the financial meltdown of 2008 and instead of resolving the root causes of that crisis, politicians made almost everything worse.
The risk that Uncle Sam is now taking with taxpayer money makes Jon Corzine look cautious. Will those in office now be able to tell their children and grandchildren where the money went? The answer is no.
I opposed both of these bills. We don’t have a temporary economy and we can’t continue operating on temporary tax policies. We need permanent tax reform that eliminates special interest carve-outs and lowers rates for everyone. We cannot keep extending unemployment insurance for up to two years of benefits, which encourages chronic joblessness. And we will never balance the budget by passing bloated appropriations bills that keep spending more than the year before.
We, as elected politicians, must do what we say. Our country is rapidly approaching dire consequences and Republicans must be willing to do everything possible to save this country.
Dec 15 2011
S. 1050 is a bill that I’ve pre-filed co-sponsored by Senator Dick Elliot (D-Horry County). It calls for an applicant for unemployment benefits to pass a drug test. My logic? Those currently working are susceptible to a drug test to keep their job, why shouldn’t those seeking unemployment benefits have the same requirements?
The legislation below passed the US House last night. Congressman Mick Mulvaney was instrumental in its passage.
SEC. 2127. DRUG TESTING OF APPLICANTS.
Section 303 of the Social Security Act is amended by adding at the end the following:
`(k)(1) Nothing in this Act or any other provision of Federal law shall be considered to prevent a State from–
`(A) testing an applicant for unemployment compensation for the unlawful use of controlled substances as a condition for receiving such compensation; or
`(B) denying such compensation to such applicant on the basis of the result of such testing.
`(2) For purposes of this subsection–
`(A) the term `unemployment compensation’ has the meaning given such term in subsection (d)(2)(A); and
`(B) the term `controlled substance’ has the meaning given such term in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802).’.
Dec 12 2011
The Senate LCI sub-committee I chair recently learned of fraudulent activity within the Cosmetology Section of LLR. We asked the director for a written report. To view the report, click here
Dec 6 2011
Cross Country Home Services announces expansion in Anderson County
Investment expected to create more than 100 new jobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. – Cross Country Home Services (CCHS), a provider of home warranty services, today announced plans to expand its existing operations in Anderson County. The $140,000 investment is expected to generate more than 100 new jobs.
“We are proud to report we continue to hire locally, and we’re so pleased our company’s success has the important added benefit of helping to lower South Carolina’s unemployment rate,” said Joe Incandela, CEO of CCHS. “Our committed, talented team has made CCHS a great place to work, and in turn, we have experienced unprecedented growth which has such a positive ripple effect on the Anderson community.”
Cross Country Home Services operates a customer service center in Anderson County to support home warranty holders with claims or questions. The company will expand its call center operations.
“What we want everyone across this state to see is that we’re working everyday not only to recruit new businesses to South Carolina but also take care of the ones we already have here like Cross Country Home Services. Anderson County and our entire state have a real reason to celebrate – 100 new jobs – and we’ve only just begun,” said Gov. Nikki Haley.
Cross Country Home Services began its operations in Anderson County in 2008, locating in an old Winn Dixie building. The center began with 25 employees and has grown to about 250.
“South Carolina continues to be a great place to do business. Cross Country Home Services reinforces the fact that our business-friendly climate is helping create new jobs. We thank Cross Country Home Services for the company’s continued commitment to our state,” said Bobby Hitt, Secretary of Commerce.
The company has also worked to develop the local workforce. In 2011 alone, Cross Country Home Services associates completed 42,000 hours of new hire and recurrent training. The company’s Anderson staff also plays an active role in local community betterment programs by donating time and services to such organizations as Toys for Tots, Meals on Wheels, and the Salvation Army.
“Cross Country Home Services continues to deliver on their original promise to the City of Anderson,” said Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts. “That promise was to create new jobs in times of economic uncertainty for our community. We are pleased to have them here.”
“Anderson County is extremely proud of the relationship with Cross Country Home Services and the wonderful jobs they provide. We applaud their efforts and futuristic thinking especially in the current economy. We thank Cross Country and Mike Roneker, site director, and appreciate the addition of more than 100 jobs to our county and the multiplier effect of those jobs and growth it brings.”
The majority of new employees will be placed in the customer service department, and the additional new hires will be placed in the authorization department. Individuals interested in applying for a position at CCHS should apply online at www.cchs.com, or call 866.484.8172 for more information.
About Cross Country Home Services
Cross Country Home Services Inc. (CCHS) is a leader in helping companies drive revenue and customer loyalty through a comprehensive set of home warranty products, home service plans and homeowner emergency assistance programs. For more than 30 years, CCHS has provided programs to clients in the financial services, insurance, real estate and utility industries, as well as affinity groups. The company is focused on operational excellence—from client support, service network management and marketing, to customer service—to ensure its clients’ programs run smoothly and deliver results. Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., CCHS is a member of the Cross Country Group, one of the largest privately-held providers of customer service programs in the United States. To learn more about CCHS, please visit: www.cchs.com.
Dec 6 2011
South Carolina’s ports system is vital to our economic future. And today, we face an issue with our neighbor, Georgia, on the deepening of our shared border – the Savannah River.
That’s why I’ve now set up a new ports section of my website devoted to this issue, to keep you up-to-date. Take a moment to visit this page, and while you’re there, sign the online petition in support of our South Carolina ports.
Our ports are indispensable to our economy, facilitating nearly $46 billion in economic output and supporting 260,000 jobs across the state. While competition serves the marketplace well, no business owner would ever voluntarily give a competitor an unfair advantage. We must do all we can to protect the interests of our state and put our ports first.
Here are some recent stories that I know will be important to you, including my guest editorial that appeared in Thursday’s edition of The State and thePost and Courier editorial on this river dredging issue.
- Post and Courier: (Editorial) Savannah Dredging Debacle
- The State: Grooms: DHEC says ‘Godspeed’ to Georgia Ports
- WCBD: Senator Grooms expects lawsuit to be filed to stop DHEC permit for Savannah River dredging
- WCSC: Savannah River dredging permit dividing South Carolina
If you have any questions or would like more information, please let me know.