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to the Editor
Sen. Massey: "Our Work Begins in Columbia"
posted January 22, 2008
Many of you have asked me what the first week or two has been like for
a newly minted South Carolina Senator.
In the Senate, there’s no question that things move swiftly, and you
have to be able to juggle a lot of information, pay close attention to
what’s going on, and give careful consideration to every bill.
It’s a challenge, to be sure, but it’s a challenge that I am enjoying –
mainly because I can represent you.
On the opening day of the Legislative Session, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer
swore me in. (It’s actually my third swearing-in because the Senators
want to see you sworn in as well.) In my comments after the brief
ceremony, I told the Senators that the frustration voters have been
expressing in the country’s presidential primaries isn’t limited to
national elections. The citizens in South Carolina feel the same
frustration – that our state government is missing the mark in many
areas, as well.
When I talk with voters, I hear that frustration directly. It’s
time to fix it.
That’s why the first bill I introduced will ensure we all know which
Legislator wants to earmark money for a pet project back home.
Don’t misunderstand: Some projects in this category are needed and
necessary. However, under our current laws, we don’t know exactly
who is asking for funding and whether the project is worthwhile.
It’s called accountability. We need more of it in state
Also during the opening session, I was appointed to five committees:
Judiciary; Fish, Game, and Forestry; Corrections and Penology; Rules;
and the Senate’s General Committee. I told the committee chairmen
that I wanted to get to work, so they appointed me to several
The most significant appointment is the Judiciary subcommittee that is
considering new, tougher DUI legislation. Our law enforcement and
prosecutors do great work, but our DUI laws are among the weakest in
the nation. Current laws are full of legal loopholes, making it
extremely difficult to keep drunk drivers off our roadways. We
deserve better laws in this area, and I’m committed to doing my best to
make that happen.
There’s plenty of other legislation in front of us – immigration
reform, regulation of payday lenders, government spending
restrictions. We’ll talk about those and other issues in future
Speaking of communications, I know being a good representative requires
more than just getting involved in bills and committees; it also
requires being accessible and helping you when issues arise.
As I said during the campaign, I am scheduling regular town hall
meetings to stay in touch with you.
We’re working on dates and locations right now, but I plan to hold the
first of many town halls in the next few weeks. You’ll see plenty
of advertisements when I schedule these in your area, and I encourage
you to attend.
In the meantime, you can always contact me by telephone (803-480-0419),
email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or regular mail (P.O. Box 551,
Edgefield, SC 29824). Or just pull me aside when you see me.
Being your Senator is an honor. This position I hold is yours,
not mine. Together, we have an opportunity to create better
government for us all.
Our work has just begun.
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