South Carolina Representative Tim Scott of District 117 has just completed his first year in the legislature, where he was also the chair of the Freshman Caucus.”I think it really well, we certainly have lots of challenges in our state right now, but that’s a great time to get started in a new position when you have the opportunity to delineate the difference between a need and a want, and in South Carolina we are having to do that,” says Scott.
Scott is the first African American Republican to serve in the Statehouse since Reconstruction. After 13 years on the Charleston County Council, Scott says he was ready for his position, and knew what he was getting into.
“Politics is typically good people trying to do the right thing with different approaches, and so this is no different than that. The biggest challenge is recognizing that when the House passes something, it’s not over. It has to go to the Senate, then it has to go to the governor’s desk. I know that’s our democracy, but watching it in action sometimes is like watching paint dry on a wall,” says Scott.
Scott has his own opinion about his fellow Republicans and Governor Sanford battling it out in court over stimulus funds.
“It’s very unfortunate from my perspective when a state sues the state, it’s somewhat counterproductive. But, I certainly understand what motivates our individuals. We have good people trying to figure out the difference between the better road and the best road, and frankly, I think the governor and the General Assembly are both working to help the citizens of South Carolina long-term, we just may see it differently,” says Scott.
“I ultimately think the stimulus package, or stimulus money, should be in South Carolina. If we have to pay it back, we should get it. I do, however, believe the governor is accurate that we should find a way to pay down state debt if we’re going to have more resources available,” says Scott.
This next year, Scott plans on focusing more on unemployment, payday lending, state taxation, education, and healthcare over the cigarette tax.