This year's session began on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. This is the second year of the 121st session, so everything that was unfishined on the agenda when we left in July 2015 was here waiting for us when we returned.
Thus far, we've gotten off to a slow start. However, the general consensus is that the No. 1 priority for this year is the Rad Funding Bill. A committee of four Democrats and four Republicans that was appointed by Finance Chairman Sen. Hugh Leatherman at the end of session last year has been working to try and come up with a "consensus" on the bill before we begin debate on it. It appears that state Department of Transportation reform and some type of income tax reduction will also be considered as we attempted to address highway funding.
Prior to the session, I pre-filed bill S.933. This bill is to provide a two-year extension for high school diploma petitions for a person who is no longer enrolled in a public school and who previously failed to receive a high school diploma or was denied graduation solely for failing to meet the exit exam requirements.
At my request, the bill was assigned to the K-12 subcommittee and received unainmous and favorable consideration to forward the bill to the full Senate Education Committee, and I expect that it would bevoted out favorable t the Senate with no complications.
I fully expect this bill to pass the Senate and the House and be signed by the governor. If so, I am happy that these students will have more time to receive their high school diplomas, which will enhance their futures.
As I stated previously, in my opinoin the highway road funding bill, equity funding of public education, flood disaster assistance, healthcare, as well as the state budgetf for the next fiscal year, these will all be the major priorities for this legislative year. I look forward to keeping you informed on these and other issues as they arise. In addition, I will also be working hard to campaign for re-election.
Please remember to visit www.scsenate.gov to see the bills that I have sponsored and co-sponsored as well as to receive more information about the aforementioned bills. As always, please feel free to contact me at any time that I may be of service.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve.