A House measure that would slash $122 million from appropriations for local governments met with stern debate Thursday from mostly House Democrats angry at the prospects of small rural counties not being able to provide adequate fire, rescue, sanitation and other services for their citizens.
After admonishing G.O.P. House members for acting like “followers of the Rush Limbaugh-led Republican Party” Democratic Representative Kenneth Kennedy of tiny Williamsburg County implored the Republican House majority to rise up and help defeat the measure: “We need your help. please Republicans y’all rise to the occasion. get up and lets fight for the people of South Carolina. Let’s fight for these counties. Let’s fight to make sure that we do not cut services back home for our people. Get up! Fight! Let’s move!!!”
Saluda County Council Chairman Hardee Horne says cuts to local government funds means cuts to his county’s essential services.
“We would actually have to do away with services to our community,” says Horne. “And when you start jeopardizing people’s lives, this is a major issue for us and every other county in the state, not just the rural counties.”
In the Senate, subcommittees were busy this week. One bipartisan bill made it through from the Senate Transportation Committee: Richland Democrat Darrell Jackson’s measure to restrict smoking in cars –if there is a child under 10 years old inside the car.
Jackson says, “The great thing about this bill is that I do think that it will improve the life of children and it is something that I think is long overdue. There are four other states in the country who have passed this type of legislation and 10 other states who are considering it.”
Jackson expects the bill to be considered in the Senate Tuesday.