Since I was elected to the State Senate, one of my priorities has been to work toward meaningful education reform. Serving on the Senate Education Committee, I have been engaged each step of the way in seeking solutions to ensure money is better spent, directly impacting the classroom, and provide teachers with adequate resources to do their jobs well. Click here to watch a quick video update about where education reform stands right now.
A new bill I have authored will require all state funds and expenditures to be available online for all to see. Sounds like something that the state should already be doing, right? The Taxpayer Transparency Act will create a searchable online database so the public can see where every dollar is sent and for what purpose. I believe this will provide greater transparency in government and it will hold officials more accountable. Taxpayers have a right to see where every single dollar that is spent goes.
Because of the recently passed roads bill, Greenville and Spartanburg will receive the first and second most new funds to fix roads. Without this bill, Upstate road funding would continue to languish behind other regions of the state. Now, Upstate residents will see increased funding for roads in the years ahead. Click on the image below to see an enlarged chart.
Fixing our roads has been a priority for several years. As I stated last year during the campaign and in updates and media this session, I would only vote for a bill that contained a tax increase dedicated to roads if it also included meaningful reform. This bill includes the following reform: – Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the Governor as he or she can now remove them at will, which is an amendment I introduced. – Increased transparency by mandating that reports and audits must be published online – Lists of contractors used and money dispersed must be reported online – Increase in the number of at-large appointments by the Governor to two – Commissioners must not […]
MY POSITION HAS BEEN CONSISTENT Several folks have questioned my vote for the roads bill last week claiming that I broke a promise made during my campaign or during a recent interview on WORD. First, from the start of my campaign (please see my February 2016 FB post) and for the months leading up to the June primary, I was very clear that the number one issue I wanted to address was our state’s infrastructure. Our mailings and posts repeatedly said that we must address our roads and bridges. In this radio interview just a week before the roads bill vote, I stated multiple times that I would vote for a bill that included a gas tax increase if it […]
Last night, I voted in favor of a roads bill that raises revenue for roads through an increased gas tax and that includes important DOT reform. While no bill is perfect, I feel we achieved the level of reform needed to make DOT accountable, transparent, and more efficient, while also providing badly needed funds to fix our crumbling roads and bridges. To add transparency, the bill states that all audit reports will be published on DOT’s website and the State Auditor’s website so that everyone can see how the money is being spent. To add accountability, I proposed and added an amendment that gives the Governor control of the commission, in that the Governor can remove commissioners at will. My […]
GOPAC announces 2017 Class of Emerging Leaders Today, GOPAC announced its 2017 Class of Emerging Leaders, a list of promising legislators selected for their potential and ability to impact their state and the Republican Party. “As we grow the roster of Republicans who are ready to lead in their state legislatures and run for higher office, our 2017 Class of Emerging Leaders exemplifies men and women focused on boosting their state’s efforts to create jobs and protect their communities. This year’s honorees join the members of Congress, statewide elected officials and state legislative leaders who have benefitted from our mission and programs. We welcome their involvement and are excited to help foster their success,” said GOPAC Chairman David Avella. The […]
SC Senator Scott Talley Introduces Bill to Shorten Legislative Session and Move to Two-Year Budget SPARTANBURG, SC – Upstate Republican Senator Scott Talley today introduced a bill, S. 578, in the State Senate to shorten session and to move the state to a two-year budget. In a statement, Talley said, “The bill I introduced today will save taxpayer dollars, force legislators to be more efficient with their time in Columbia, and it will force legislators to plan ahead. Voters have made it clear that fixing our roads is a top priority, yet, we are years into the roads debate with currently nothing to show for it. South Carolinians should demand more progress from their representatives in government and I believe […]
Greenville News By Laird Minor The appointment of judges may not seem very exciting, but it is vitally important. In South Carolina, the General Assembly controls every aspect of the judicial appointment process; the Governor plays no role at all. The legislature selects judges, controls their reappointment, and sets their budgets. Because many legislators are lawyers who practice in the state courts, this process presents obvious conflicts of interest for them and creates serious ethical dilemmas for the judges. The Judicial Merit Selection Commission is responsible for vetting prospective judges. It is dominated by the three powerful politicians who appoint its 10 members, six of whom must be sitting legislators. The process is so obviously flawed that only one other […]
WLTX Freshman Senator Scott Talley introduced a new ethics bill before the Senate adjourned Thursday. It would address the process by which the ethics committees handles cases with probable cause, by requiring a public hearing before taking any action. “What we did is look at the ethics bill that was passed last session, and we’re trying to clean that up a little bit to provide more transparency in the process,” Talley said. “Also to clearly define that there is an independent investigation that is going to be done on any complaint like those that fall under the act.” To avoid ‘self policing,’ lawmakers passed an independent investigations ethics bill last session, which will go into effect this April. That bill […]