05 Dec Organizational Session
The South Carolina House of Representatives convened this week beginning the 121st Legislative Session. The Organizational Session ushered in big changes in how business will be conducted. Representative Jay Lucas (R-Hartsville) was elected as our new Speaker of the House and Representative Tommy Pope (R-York) was elected new Speaker Pro Tempore.
We should have nothing to fear from sunlight, but the public has much to fear from the darkness of secrecy.
“It’s going to be a new, brighter day,” Lucas said after being sworn in. “No more surprises, no more last-minute drafts.” Lucas plans to break from tradition and share power with his colleagues, saying so much power shouldn’t amass to a single person. He also promised to create more leadership opportunities within the House.
“Putting politics aside, and with renewed vigor, we focused our efforts on the issues that matter most to the folks in the State of South Carolina,” said Lucas. Speaker Lucas pointed to ethics reform legislation that has been crafted with much public input. Instead of one massive bill that could be doomed in the legislative process, 15 easy-to-understand bills will deal with ethics, disclosure, campaign finance and FOIA reform.
For the first time in history, Lucas, with a unanimous vote of the House, formed a permanent House Legislative Oversight Committee to inject true accountability into state agencies and be proactive in spotting potential problems before they rise to crisis. This committee will meet year-round to maximize government efficiencies, insure there is no overlap in programs and services and assure that taxpayers are getting the greatest value for their tax dollars.