The South Carolina House organized for its 123rd session this week. Organizing means that on Tuesday we elected a Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore, in this case re-elected Rep. Jay Lucas and Rep. Tommy Pope, along with other officers such Clerk of the House, Reading Clerk, Sergeant at Arms and Chaplain.
We then observed the ancient ceremony of choosing where each county delegation sits in the chamber. The Greenville delegation, through the casting of favorable lots, remained in the seats we had occupied last session.
The next day each member received his committee assignment from the Speaker. I had requested to remain a member of the Education & Public Works Committee and I did. I also remain a member of the Legislative Oversight Committee. I enjoy the work of both committees so I am satisfied.
Under Speaker Lucas guidance, the House has moved more into a policy-oriented chamber than a purely political chamber closely divided by party. This was a natural move since Republicans have gained 80 of the 124 seats. Republicans have enough majority votes to develop and enact viable conservative governmental policy that solves problems instead of maintaining the status quo.
In particular this coming session, I am looking forward to a viable discussion about simplifying K-12 educational funding and addressing the ever-lingering question mark over our educational policies. I also hear rumors of another tax reform effort. More on that touchy subject later.