We just received a huge economic boost for South Carolina. And it could not have come at a better time.
After months of negotiations, Boeing Airlines selected South Carolina as the site to develop a massive new aircraft assembly line. Boeing will make an investment of at least $750 million to build the plant and will create nearly 4,000 jobs within seven years.
The facility will be located in North Charleston, but the ripple effect will be felt across the state by the revenue the project will generate and the cluster of new businesses that will emerge to support the plant’s materials, employees, and infrastructure needs.
This huge success for South Carolina was made possible through a delegation of House and Senate members working hand-in-hand with the Department of Commerce. Instead of spending money for growing government, the time has come to take a unified, cooperative approach to economic development. The landing of Boeing here in South Carolina shows what we can do when we work together to gain positive results.
Once again, we passed a State budget without raising taxes. Since you elected me, I have consistently worked to cut taxes on homes, income, groceries and small businesses.
I’m not fighting for lower taxes because it’s good politics. Reducing the tax burden is the best way to stimulate our economy. It makes it easier for families and businesses to prosper.
We’ve made strides over the last few years to reduce the overall tax burden, but there’s a lot of work left to be done. With your help, I will continue to fight to empower the families and businesses of South Carolina to keep more of their hard earned dollars in their pockets. And as our people prosper, State government will also gain the revenue needed to provide essential services.
Thanks to the hard work of our students, parents and teachers, Lexington County’s public schools rank among the very best in our nation.
Before I was elected to the State Legislature, I was honored to serve chairman of our local School Board. Then and now, my goal is to make certain that our public education system has the resources it needs to succeed. At the same time, we must give parents and taxpayers more accountability and more choices – especially in parts of South Carolina where failing schools damage our State’s future. In my view, we have an economic challenge and a moral obligation to make sure every public school in South Carolina offers our children a world class education.
As a small business owner, I can personally attest to how difficult it is to keep up with a variety of ever-evolving government regulations. Bureaucratic red tape makes it difficult for small businesses to compete and prosper. When that happens, the entire economy suffers.
To address the problem, we met with small business owners from across the State to get their ideas on how to reform the system. Based on their feedback, we crafted legislation to help substantially cut through the unnecessary red tape. The bill helps reduce government bureaucracy and enhances the ability of businesses to succeed. The bill passed the House and hopefully will be approved by the State Senate during the 2010 legislative session.
We have limited funds to build and maintain our State’s roads, bridges and highways. Unfortunately, for years the buddy system was used to decide whose roads were improved and whose infrastructure projects were funded. Too often, the ability to get road maintenance in your area came down to who knew who, not what was needed.
I worked hard to fix this outrageous system by revising the funding formula used by the Department of Transportation during a massive reform of the agency a few years ago. Now, road funding decisions are being based on need not political influence. Today, we can see the positive results of this throughout our community, with many recently completed road maintenance and repaving projects completed with new ones underway.
If you can’t afford it, you don’t buy it. Families deal with that basic fact everyday. They make prudent decisions and live within their means. State Government should be no different.
Our government should not be allowed to grow at a rate faster than the economy. Unfortunately, that has not always been the case. We need to pass legislation to cap government spending based on an equation that calculates the growth rate of the economy. The passage of a comprehensive Spending Cap bill should be a priority for the 2010 legislative session.