Memorial Day

memorial.dayIt is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who gave us the freedom to demonstrate

It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag.

And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protester to burn the flag. Father Dennis Edward O’Brien, USMC

opeb constitutional amendment hearing 2014.05.22

holeThe South Carolina Senate Finance Special Subcommittee to Review the Investment will have a public hearing on s.1251 on Thursday 2014.05.22 immediately upon adjournment.

s. 1251 is a constitutional Amendment to allow the diversification of an unfunded liability approaching $10 billion. opeb stands for other post employment benefits. This is healthcare expenses that South Carolina is contractually bound to provide for retired state employees. It is on a down hill course as the unfunded debt will grow even further unless we repair this fund.

Last year, the opeb gained a mere 1.9%. Compare to the SCRIS’s (South Carolina Retirement Investment Commission) investments gained 10%. OPEB is constitutionally bound to only be invested in bonds. When these healthcare costs for state retirees climb, and opeb is empty, guess who pays then? Every South Carolina Taxpayer.

This is a critical issue, and hopefully, we can pass it this year.

S 1251 Joint Resolution, By Bryant, Campsen, Lourie, Cleary, Leatherman, Bennett, Alexander, Cromer, Campbell, Grooms, Hembree, Young, Turner, S. Martin and Fair

Club for Growth Endorsements

club_for_growth_398Dear Friends,

Over the past decade, the SC Club for Growth PAC has worked hard to find, elect and hold accountable fiscally conservative lawmakers. Thanks to your support, we have played a crucial role helping elect solid conservatives, which has made us a “farm team” of sorts for the national Club for Growth. We are proud that several of our early-backed candidates are now representing us in both the United States House and Senate.

Our candidates have also made a big difference in Columbia including this year when they led the effort to pass a decades-long push to restructure state government.

We are making progress, but there is a long way to go – especially on the issues of expanded school choice and real ethics reform, both of which have stalled in the legislature. We need more fiscal conservatives in Columbia.

Every election cycle we ask for your support of candidates that we believe will make South Carolina a better place to work and live. For the 2014 Primary we are only asking you to contribute to one candidate; we feel that the Superintendent of Education race is that important.

Meka Childs

Meka has experience in South Carolina’s public schools as a student, teacher and policy maker. She is one of the many success stories, but has also seen first hand the shortcomings of our state’s public schools.

After graduating from Airport High School in West Columbia, Meka attended Duke University for undergraduate and graduate school. Upon completion of her Masters degree, she taught in the Richland County public school system and then went to work for Governor Sanford as an education policy advisor. Meka then went to serve on the SC Education Oversight Committee and work for Superintendent Mick Zais. She clearly has a passion for education reform.

Meka believes that just money – without enhanced competition and better policies – won’t help our schools. She believes that there should be increased accountability in classrooms and at the Department of Education. She supports parents choosing the best education for their child regardless of their economic situation or zip code.

One of her main opponents in the Republican primary is a former Democrat legislator currently working as a lobbyist for the school administrators. They work against most of the reforms we believe in. In case you think there is a typo above, I will repeat it.

A leading contender for the Republican nomination for Superintendent of Education is a lobbyist for the status quo and former Democrat lawmaker.

Another is a personal injury attorney who hasn’t taught in nearly three decades. Others are largely single-issue candidates. Current Superintendent Mick Zais has made some strides during his term but much more work needs to be done to improve our schools. We believe Meka Childs is the only one who can make this happen.

Conservatives from around the state are rallying around Meka’s campaign. Amongst others, Senator Kevin Bryant and Representative Eric Bedingfield (consistent Tax Payer Heroes on the SC Club for Growth Foundation’s Scorecard) have endorsed Meka as has noted upstate conservative activist Bob Castellani.

Meka is incredibly bright and hard working, and South Carolina needs her leading the education system. We ask that you please join us in generously supporting Meka Childs for Superintendent of Education.

SC Club for Growth Political Action Committee

The SC Club for Growth PAC targets races where status quo politicians are challenged by true fiscal conservatives. Below are candidates that we believe are in winnable races but will need some extra help in crossing the finish line. Contributions to the PAC will be used in these and other targeted races to defeat incumbents that campaign on fiscal responsibility and accountable government but forget these promises when they go to Columbia.

Jonathon Hill – House District 8:

Jonathon is running against Representative Don Bowen. While we endorsed Bowen eight years ago, he has continually voted for more spending and frivolous pork projects. These spending habits have garnered him a 50 on the SC Club for Growth Foundation’s 2013 Scorecard. Jonathon will bring his small business experience to the statehouse and watch after your tax dollars like they were his own.

Ed Harris – House District 3:

We endorsed Ed last cycle. However, after he defeated incumbent RINO Rep. Skelton in the primary, Ed’s victory was ruled invalid because of the same technicality that kicked hundreds of other candidates off the ballot. The good news is that Ed will take what he has learned about running a business and apply those same principles while in Columbia.

Gaye Holt – House District 34:

We endorsed Gaye in 2012 in her run as a petition candidate. She won more than 35 percent of the vote – an incredibly high number for a petition candidate. Her opponent, Rep. Mike Forrester, has voted against common sense reforms and for higher budgets for too long and has a 58 average on the Club’s Foundation scorecard for the last four years.

We are always very careful to only ask for your investment in races where our direct and PAC funds can make the difference. Meka’s race is very tight and can go either way depending on our help.

All investments in our PAC and races – no matter the size – help both the candidates and the entire reform movement.

Thank you in advance for any amount you can contribute.

Cordially,

Dave Ellison

Electrolux expanding in Anderson!

May 14, 2014, For immediate release, Contact: Doug Mayer, 803-360-3285

Electrolux Investing Additional $30 Million In Anderson County Refrigerator Facility

Expansion To Add Advanced Manufacturing, Enhance Capacity

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Electrolux is investing $30 million over the next two years in its Anderson, S.C. manufacturing facility, which provides top-freezer refrigerators as well as under-the-counter models. The investment will add advanced manufacturing capability and enhance capacity.

This new investment is in addition to the more than $30 million the company has invested in the Anderson facility since 2011, which included the Refrigeration Research and Development Center as well as other improvements.

The Electrolux plant in Anderson is 810,000 square feet and is situated on 225 acres. It employs 1,900 full-time and contract employees and produces one out of every two top-freezer refrigerators shipped in North America.

Electrolux is a global leader in home appliances, which it manufactures under brand names including Electrolux, AEG, Zanussi, Frigdaire and Electrolux Grand Cuisine. The Electrolux Group sells more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 markets every year.

QUOTES

“Our primary focus at Electrolux is on the development of new innovation, based on consumer insight that delivers high-quality products our consumers depend on. We make award-winning products at this plant and our investment will drive future growth while also positively impacting our local base of employees and the communities we call home here in South Carolina.” -Jack Truong, president & CEO of Electrolux Major Appliances North America

“Electrolux is a great employer and corporate citizen in South Carolina. We congratulate them on their additional $30 million investment in Anderson – a sure sign of their continuing commitment to our state.” -Gov. Nikki Haley

“It is always exciting to see one of our state’s long-standing companies continue to grow here. Electrolux’s presence in South Carolina – which spans a quarter of a century – adds to the list of globally respected, household names that call the Palmetto State home.” -Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt

“Anderson County is proud that Electrolux has been part of our community for the past 25 years. This new investment reflects the company’s commitment to making the highest quality products and to providing jobs in our community.” -Tommy Dunn, chairman of Anderson County Council

“Continued investment by Electrolux in their Anderson facility is testimony to the company’s confidence in our labor force and the county’s pro-business mindset. We offer congratulations, thanks and well wishes for many years of success in Anderson County.” -Eddie Moore, member of Anderson County Council (District 3)

FIVE FAST FACTS

• Electrolux is investing another $30 million over the next two years in it Anderson, S.C. manufacturing facility.

• The Anderson plant produces top-freezer refrigerators as well as under-the-counter models.

• The company employs 1,900 full-time and contract employees in Anderson.

• The company produces one out of every two top-freezer refrigerators shipped in North America.

• Since 2011, Electrolux has already invested more than $30 million in Anderson, including the Refrigeration Research and Development (R&D) Center.

About Electrolux:

Electrolux is a global leader in home appliances, based on deep consumer insight and developed in close collaboration with professional users. We offer thoughtfully designed, innovative solutions for households and businesses, with products such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, cookers, vacuum cleaners, air conditioners and small domestic appliances. Under esteemed brands including Electrolux, Frigidaire, AEG, Zanussi and Electrolux Grand Cuisine, the Group sells more than 50 million products to customers in more than 150 markets every year. In 2013, Electrolux had sales of $16.7 billion ($5.3 billion in North America) and 61,000 employees. The Electrolux North American headquarters is located at 10200 David Taylor Drive, Charlotte, N.C. 28262 in the University Research Park. For more information, go tohttp://newsroom.electrolux.com/us/.

Scholarship Funding Organizations choose best practices pledge

schoolchoice1SPIRIT OF THE LAW – The Scholarship Funding Organization (SFO) pledges to adhere to both the letter of the proviso, law and regulations that govern the tax credit funded scholarship program(s) of South Carolina, as well as the often broader legislative intent and spirit of those legal and regulatory requirements.

Read More

about those cuts

fun.home The SC House cut the budgets of the College of Charleston and USC Upstate as a protest to required participation. (Fun Home & How to Become a Lesbian in 10 Days) Here’s a sample of what I’m getting from constituents:

You are my representative in the SC senate. I respectfully ask that you represent me by opposing the use of public funds to continue an openly biased, pro-homosexual agenda and the required reading of pornographic material at the College of Charleston and USC Upstate. I regret that administrators at these schools desire to force-feed such repulsive material to college freshmen, giving them no alternative but to lose credit. And, I am frankly outraged to hear that these administrators act as if they are entitled to public funds with no accountability. The people of SC do not want to pay for this trash in the name of academic freedom (or for any other reason). Still, academic freedom may allow for these voices, viewpoints and material (as repugnant as they are), but academic freedom would not attempt to exclude alternative viewpoints and reading materials from the classroom. As a taxpayer, I consider myself to be their boss. As my senator I consider you to be my representative to them. Please send this message clearly on my behalf. Thank you for your service to the people of Anderson County.

Well said! I support the cuts for the above reasons and more. Our higher education institutions need to focus on one thing: educating our kids for a job. They’ve expanded this role to all kinds of things like economic development and in this case social indoctrination.

By the way, the amendment is not censorship as it bans nothing, it is a simple statement to protect the taxpayers of South Carolina from this kind of nonsense.

$206 million tax increase fails

H. 5108, is a bill to allow Anderson County School Boards to put forth a referendum to increase sales taxes for school construction. H. 5108 is a local bill. The members of the South Carolina House of Representatives and Senate that represent the particular county are the only ones that vote on local legislation. When the votes were cast on H. 5108 in the Senate, I voted no. I represent a larger portion of Anderson County than Sen. Billy O’dell, therefore because of the weighted vote (54.32%) it failed.
After a few cordial visits from district officials, I appreciate their sincerity and service to our students in Anderson County, however, I can’t imaging the devastating effects of taking $205 million dollars out of the pockets of Anderson County consumers.

SC Constitutional Amendment to diversity opep

debts. 1251 (http://scstatehouse.gov/sess120_2013-2014/bills/1251.html) is a constitutional Amendment to allow the diversification of an unfunded liability approaching $10 billion. opeb stands for other post employment benefits. This is healthcare expenses that South Carolina is contractually bound to provide for retired state employees. It is on a down hill course as the unfunded debt will grow even further unless we repair this fund.

Last year, the opeb gained a mere 1.9%. Compare to the SCRIS’s (South Carolina Retirement Investment Commission) investments gained 10%. OPEB is constitutionally bound to only be invested in bonds. When these healthcare costs for state retirees climb, and opeb is empty, guess who pays then? Every South Carolina Taxpayer.

This is a critical issue, and hopefully, we can pass it this year.

S 1251 Joint Resolution, By Bryant, Campsen, Lourie, Cleary, Leatherman, Bennett, Alexander, Cromer, Campbell, Grooms, Hembree, Young, Turner, S. Martin and Fair

government paying down debt…early?

Yes, this is not a typo, the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce is making another early payment to the Feds.
For Immediate Release
April 30, 2014, DEW Makes Early Unemployment Trust Fund Loan Repayment, Agency on track to repay entire loan in 2015

COLUMBIA—The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) today announced it made a voluntary payment of $60 million to the federal government for the agency’s unemployment trust fund loan.

“Making this $60 million early repayment and saving the taxpayers and businesses of South Carolina $1.4 million in interest is great news and exactly what is possible when a state sees the kind of economic growth and success that we have,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “With our unemployment rate at a six year low and more people working than ever before, it’s clear we are moving in the right direction and today’s announcement is further proof that it’s paying off for the people of our state.”

“For the past three years, South Carolina has made early, voluntary repayments to the trust fund loan, further saving the state, and ultimately its businesses’ interest costs,” said DEW Executive Director Cheryl M. Stanton. “Making this $60 million early loan payment could not be possible without the work of the state’s business community in improving South Carolina’s economy faster than expected. In fact, South Carolina has more than 77,000 additional people working today than when the 2014 tax rates were set.”

DEW set the 2014 tax rates in September 2013 when the federal government estimated that 1,968,209 South Carolinians were working (August 2013). In March 2014, the estimates are that 2,046,000 people are working in South Carolina, leading to additional, unanticipated tax collections by DEW.

Additionally, South Carolina has paid nearly $23 million less in unemployment insurance benefits from October 1, 2013 through April 2014 in relation to the corresponding time period from the prior year.
With today’s early $60 million loan repayment, the state’s outstanding loan balance falls below $400 million to $396 million. To date, South Carolina has repaid more than $580 million of the $977 million borrowed from the federal government. The state is scheduled to repay the entire loan amount by the end of 2015.

Since becoming a borrowing state, the Palmetto State has been the only state to receive a waiver to avoid higher federal unemployment taxes for businesses. In fact, South Carolina has been granted this waiver for three consecutive years.
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Meka Childs for Education Superintendent

I am proud to endorse Meka Childs for State Superintendent of Education. Meka, years before the outrage we see now, voted AGAINST the adoption of the Common Core Standards while she served on the Education Oversight Committee in 2010. She knew then and she knows now that education is an issue best addressed by parents, teachers, and local leadership, not bureaucrats in Washington. Her dedication to ensuring South Carolina standards for South Carolina students is unquestionable.

Meka’s steadfast commitment to empowering parents to make effective educational decisions for their children by allowing true educational freedom and real school choice is a voice of reason in this election that we desperately need. I have no doubt that with Meka leading the Department of Education, every child that receives a diploma in South Carolina will be ready for work or college, and citizenship.

Meka has my full support and I will do all I can to ensure her victory in the June 10th primary. Read more about Meka Child’s campaign here.