One of the axioms of good governance is "Do more of what works and less of what doesn't." Seems pretty simple, until you add the political component.
Often there is not complete agreement on what is working or not working. We assume we are all doing the "people's business," but there are sometimes lapses and gaps in that assumption.
The political process is one of compromise and consensus, which, while necessary, sometimes makes for law that is not entirely clear or coherent when put into practice. This is especially the case when applied to regulatory aspects of governance.
In response, the General Assembly passed Act #121 of 2014, thus creating the House Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC).
The Committee's vision is for South Carolina's agencies to become, and remain, the most effective state agencies in the country. This is accomplished through processes that eliminate waste and efficiently deploy resources, thereby creating greater confidence in state government. Comments from those citizens who choose to provide input are extremely important in that they help direct the LOC to additional areas for potential improvement.
The specific task of the LOC is to conduct programmatic studies of state agencies on a seven-year rotating basis. Each agency will undergo a study every seven years, at a minimum.
The studies will determine if the agency laws and programs are being implemented, and carried out in accordance with the intent of the General Assembly, and whether the agency should be continued, reduced, or eliminated. The studies, and the results, will also help to educate the public on what the agency does.
As chairman, I am pleased that the LOC and its recommendations are highly regarded by legislators, and are often the impetus for introducing legislation, or to provide supporting material for bills being debated.
In the spirit of "Do more of what works," I urge you to share your comments with the Committee, especially if you have direct interaction with an agency and can suggest improvements in its performance.
If you are a medical worker, and you have questions or concerns about DHEC regulations, we want to hear from you.
If you live on a state road, and have questions about how SCDOT prioritizes their maintenance scheduling, we want to hear from you.
You are our customers. Our service should be constantly improving.
Here's how to reach us: Visit www.scstatehouse.gov and click on the "Citizens Interest" tab on the top line, then click on the "Agency Oversight by House Legislative Oversight Committee" link. Before you will be a host of ways to share your insights, concerns, complaints or improvement suggestions.
If you wish to speak in person before the committee, regarding an agency under study, call 803-212-6810, or email hcommlegov @statehouse.gov.
You could also simply show up a few minutes before the meeting and sign up.
You may also view any of our hearings on video, through the website.
Our process is intentionally transparent to encourage easy and open communication with the public, in whichever way is most convenient or comfortable for you.
Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives.