Legislative Report: April 7

Crossover Deadline and Upcoming Elections

Nathan Ballentine

March 23rd – March 25th the House was not in session in Columbia, giving me time back to meet with local groups and constituents and catch up on time with the family. (As well as focus on the job that pays the bills: Movement Mortgage). We returned to Columbia March 29- March 31st, and began aggressively dealing with a number of bills before the April 10 “crossover deadline”, the deadline we have to send bills to the State Senate to have them considered this session. 

What “crossover” deadline means is that if a bill important to you has not passed at least one body (House or Senate) by that date, there is basically zero chance it will become law this year. If the Senate has already passed a bill (ex: Medicinal Marijuana), the House won’t take up debate on that bill until after crossover deadline so that we can focus on sending any House bills to the Senate before that important cut-off date. Vice versa, you won’t see the Senate debate any bills the House has sent them already until after that same date.

With a few weeks left in the session (we adjourn sine die on May 12th), here are a few bills that have been getting at lot of attention in the media as well as bills that I’ve been hearing your input about: Medicinal Marijuana, Save Women’s Sports, DHEC restructuring, Certificate of Need, and Critical Race Theory. I posted a video as well as some blog posts on my website asking for your input. Please visit www.nathansnews.com if you aren’t a regular visitor and let me know your thoughts on those bills or any other of interest.

Last week was also the filing deadline for the 124 seats in the SC House of Representatives. I filed on the first day (March 16th) eager to earn your continued support to represent you (House District 71) and your family again in Columbia. Two weeks later, with just 30 minutes left before the deadline of noon, another individual filed for the seat as well. I always look forward to campaigning and never take anything for granted. I will work just as hard as I’ve done with every election and hope the results will be the same. In a few weeks, the area will be cluttered with political signs. I’m sorry. That’s just how it is. Please know that wherever you see my large signs, the business owner has given me permission to place there. Likewise with the yards signs you will see in neighborhoods that allow them.

Our community will also see a campaign for the seat currently held by my good friend (and friend to many) Representative Chip Huggins (House District 85). Chip is retiring this year to spend more time with family (especially his new granddaughter Rory Ann.) Words can’t express how much I will personally miss him at the State House as well as the other 123 members of the SC House. Chip has served our area and state well for 23 years. During my time in office, I’ve worked with many elected officials and have seen no one work harder for his constituents than Chip does. Our community will miss him tremendously. I won’t get involved in that campaign as you know I never endorse in local elections. There is plenty of time for each local candidate to get his/her message to the voters and work to earn your support. You don’t need me choosing for you.

Speaking of campaigns. We won’t see one this year for our local Richland County Council seat. After 16 years, Councilman Bill Malinowski is retiring and only one individual filed for that seat. Jason Branham will be unopposed and should represent our area well. I met Jason years ago and wish him the best with many local zoning ordinance issues as well as the county budget and other issues that impact our daily lives.

It’s an honor to serve you in Columbia and I hope on June 14th you’ll show your support again and send me back to the State House. If you’re still reading this, please take a minute to send a THANK YOU to Chip by calling or texting him at 803-331-8468. Let him know how much you appreciate him and give him any advice if you’re a grandparent.