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The South Carolina General Assembly

It’s no secret that South Carolina has the best pro-business climate in the Southeast. We’ve worked hard to recruit high-paying employers to our state, employers who expect us to ensure the next generation of workers is adequately prepared to fill these jobs. As part of that preparation, and in preparation for an increasingly competitive international marketplace, my colleagues and I passed legislation instituting computer science training beginning in the K-12 system. The earlier we introduce advanced technology to our students, the less we have to do on the back-end to prepare them for a high-paying job.

Fort Mill Proud

There are many responsibilities of serving as your representative in the General Assembly; one of the most rewarding is the opportunity to see Fort Mill leaders visit the Statehouse.  It was my honor to recognize Mr. Ross Lordo at the Statehouse as the Student Body President at the University of South Carolina.

 

 

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Road Funding

Just under 1,000 people died on our roads last year. Due to the current state of our roads, it costs the average SC motorist an additional $1,300 – $1,800 annually to operate a vehicle. Each day, the average Palmetto State driver wastes an average of 34 minutes stuck in traffic. These facts and figures are unacceptable and saddening. In the House, we passed a pay-as-you-go road funding solution with DOT reforms and increased accountability. The governor suggested a borrow-it-all approach for fixing our infrastructure woes, and the Senate has passed a plan minus reforms and including many other items funded by gasoline user fees. I remain committed to addressing our infrastructure needs this year and will keep you updated on the matter. We have work to do!

Public Employee Benefit Pension Plan

 
It was no surprise the state retirement system suffered during the Great Recession. The market decline coupled with poor management decisions resulted in unprecedented losses to the retirement system which had to be addressed. I am pleased to report that  the House and the Senate passed legislation Governor McMaster signed into law. This brings solvency to the system nearly every public employee depends upon. Our public employees are the backbone of everything we do in South Carolina, and the promises made to them concerning their retirement will be kept. There is more work to be done, the funding alone is not the only issue.

Education Funding

For too long, we did not adequately address the needs of our poor rural school districts. In a 2014 decision, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled we must do more to address the inadequacies that exist from county to county. This year, the House budget appropriated $100 million for poor school districts to maintain and improve the environments in which children learn. We also increased per-student payments by $38 million, a $50 per student increase, placing the total base student cost at $2,400. These per-student dollars go to each school district to cover the state portion of public education funding.
High Growth districts like Fort Mill need relief from the funding formula to compensate for the rapid enrollment we are facing.

As always, thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia.  If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don’t hesitate to contact me at RayeFelder@SCHouse.gov.

Paid for by Campaign to Elect Raye
116 Mary Mack Lane
Fort Mill SC 29715

 

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