The South Carolina House Republicans will have a supermajority (more than 66%) in the state legislature for the upcoming 2023-24 session after turning eight seats from Democrat to Republican in last month’s mid-term election.
This marks the first time since the 1870s – nearly 150 years – that House Republicans have held such a margin.
Republicans yielded only one district to the Democrats to achieve their new 88-36 advantage (71%).
This provides a clear mandate for those of us in the Republican Party to move forward our conservative agenda in the months ahead. In addition to our success in the House, Gov. Henry McMaster won his re-election handily while all Republican statewide Constitutional officers were victorious.
The election of Ellen Weaver as state school superintendent was especially important. I believe she is the needed agent of change to lead improvements aimed at raising student achievement levels while empowering parents the access to have a more active voice in their children’s education.
Moving forward into this 2023-2024, the Republican Caucus has already established an agenda of goals aimed at introducing and supporting legislation that we believe will elevate South Carolina’s success by focusing on five key pillars – economic prosperity, education reform, limited government, personal freedom and law and order.
These five objectives include:
1. Improvement of statewide economic development to ensure prosperity for all South Carolinians.
Increase workforce development through job training and placement. Support better workforce housing initiatives.
Remove barriers to the workplace, including cutting red tape in occupation licensing, eliminating unnecessary permit requirements, reforming licensing and regulations, and terminating unnecessary mandates that could stifle industry.
Improving roads, bridges and other infrastructure, increasing broadband, providing future site development opportunities with water and sewer.
2. Reform our education system so students are better prepared for work opportunities.
Enact true parental choice through open enrollment, charter schools, and education savings accounts.
Require transparency in curriculum and end Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Increase accountability of local school boards.
3. Limit government by implementing fiscal discipline and responsibility.
Fewer government programs and more accountability.
Lower tax burden for working families.
Increase our financial reserves by operating state government with less debt and more savings.
Push back on federal inflationary policies
Remove liberal agendas from business and industry.
4. Increase personal freedom and encourage conservative values.
Defend the Second Amendment and ensure we remain a Second Amendment Sanctuary state.
Defend Life: ban abortions on demand, make contraception more available.
Streamline the adoption process.
5. Prioritize public safety and make “law and order” a top priority.
Strengthen penalties for fentanyl-related crimes.
Provide more resources to hire and train officers. Provide better equipment and cutting-edge training tools. Remove limits to allow retired officers to return to work. Enhance funding.
Mandate cash bail and eliminate personal recognizance bonds for violent offenders.
The remaining question in the 24 months ahead is whether we Republicans in the House can unify rather than dissolve into interparty conflicting factions to pass the kind of conservative agenda that will benefit all of South Carolina.
Jeff Bradley is the representative for District 123 in the State House of Representatives