Are you satisfied with the accomplishments of this year's legislative session? I'm not. The session did little to resolve important issues in our state, due in large part to the wrangling between the General Assembly and the Governor over the budget and stimulus money. Where was the leadership?
Once again, legislators missed a chance to pass laws to provide our citizens with better health care, repair our infrastructure and improve our quality of life. The cigarette tax is a glaring example. A 50 cent tax hike could have been applied to health care costs, enabling more small businesses to cover their employees. Like several other bills, this one passed the House, but stalled in the Senate.
Payday lending restrictions have a chance of passing this year. The Governor vetoed the bill, but the General Assembly returns next week and could put curbs on this predatory lending practice.
Do we as citizens have to settle for this kind of legislative stagnation? No. Our elected officials work for us, so we should hold them accountable when election day rolls around again. In a state suffering from budget woes and record high unemployment, we should expect our legislators to accomplish more in 2010, so South Carolina can move forward and enjoy the success we deserve.