The first half of the 2013-14 session of the General Assembly is history and our local delegation did a good job, in my view, of protecting the interests of the local folks, as well as doing the essential business of the state at large.

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We fixed the electoral system so that another debacle, such as we experienced last election, will not happen again. Thanks to the energetic efforts of USCB Chancellor Jane Upshaw, Vice Chancellor Lynn McGee, and USC President Harris Pastides, we were able to secure funding for USCB, on a per student basis, at par with most other students in the USC system. In addition, the Waddell Mariculture Center had its operational funding appropriated as a line-item in the regular budget. The essential renovation dollars will be secured next year as the renovation is in progress, with funds currently in hand, with Al Stokes and his crew being made whole, fiscally speaking, in next year”s budget. It is a priority of your entire House delegation.

I learned much as a freshman legislator. The statehouse is a larger political pond than Beaufort County Council. That said, ten years as Chairman of county council was a huge benefit in the practical experience of creating law that is effective, but not inundated with unintended consequences. Also, as a practicing attorney, I routinely read and understand every word of applicable law, or Just one would be enough to get the job done, but when you have them both working in conjunction with each other, it’s almost too much of a good thing. ruling or judicial commentary on that law, so as to effectively and efficiently represent my clients. Not surprisingly, that habit is of great value in the creation of good law. Both attributes helped to make my contribution to the process more valuable, and more respected, than might be expected from a newcomer.

The one area of my legislative experience that required some adjustment had to do with my family time. Those who know me are aware that I am committed to community service, I am also committed to capably serve my legal clients and practice, but my chief responsibility is to my family. My role as husband and father trumps all else. Thus, when my legislative responsibilities came into conflict with my family commitments, we did what anyone would do, we made adjustments. Instead of a full week of dedicated family vacation time, we combined long weekends of professional obligations, such as Rose”s weekend at Kiawah for South Carolina Bankers Association seminars, with me taking the kids for countless hours on the bike paths or the water slides of Kiawah. Although it isn”t easy, it is important to balance the pressure of legislating or litigating and to focus on the needs of these young folks we have brought into this world. I want to know that when their heads hit the pillow, that we have left nothing undone that day.

Summer vacation is drawing to a close. School supplies stock the shelves and our little ones are amazed that school is just around the corner. As they get older, the life lessons we share will change, as will their questions and needs. Right now, the May River and Myrtle Island are the center of the universe for them. But soon, the larger world will begin to encroach, and adjustments will have to be made once again. Rose and I believe the circle of blessings begins at home, expanding by degree, one small gift at a time.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the State House. . Just because session is out doesn”t mean the work is over. I will be spending the next six months meeting with various civic groups and local citizens to talk about our area”s needs and working on the important legislation that awaits in January. Please don”t hesitate to call or email me with any constituent question or concern. If you would like to contact me or if you would like for me to speak to one of your local groups or clubs, please feel free to contact me at my office, 706-6111, or email me at

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