The latest session of the legislature went into double overtime, but we finally passed a budget and cleaned up the bulk of what needed our attention. That said, those of us in leadership will still be making the trip to the Statehouse with some regularity.
As the founding and current chairman of the Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC), it is one of my jobs to keep the momentum of our committee apparatus moving forward year-round.
The LOC is tasked with completing a programmatic study of each agency of the state at least once every seven years. Given the number of agencies and entities we will study, a leisurely pace is out of the question.
The next group of study subjects are: Aeronautics Commission; Department of Corrections; Department of Mental Health; Department of Motor Vehicles; and The Wil Lou Gray Opportunity School.
Input and observations from people who interact with these agencies is important, as they might help direct the LOC to potential areas for improvement with these agencies.
The LOC's vision is for South Carolina agencies to become, and continuously remain, the most effective state agencies in the country through processes that eliminate waste and efficiently deploy resources, thereby creating greater confidence in state government.
In our relatively short tenure, we have become convinced that public input is one of our most effective tools in accomplishing our mission. To that end, we ask that those of you with ideas, concerns, comments, or suggestions, use the following link to aid in helping us guide these agencies to better compliance with the LOC's mandate. The link is: research.net/r/PublicSurveyJuly2018.
To those who might be interested in the LOC, and how we have managed to become such an agent of change in our relatively short time in business, here is a linkage to easily arrive at our web site: Google "South Carolina Legislature Online," click on "Committee Postings and Reports," then scroll and click on "Legislative Oversight."
Spend a little time on the site. You will be able to see minutes and video of every meeting. You will see a record of every instance of public input and how we responded. You will see what has become the de facto model for each committee.
We designed the committee to be completely transparent, without needing your grandchildren to navigate the site. If I have any say about it, you will be looking at the future of our state government: absolutely transparent; easy to use; and full of the information that will help you have a say in how things work.
On the home front, we are starting to reassemble our family as we gather children from various summer camps. I retrieved William from Falling Creek Camp, where he was continuing his whitewater kayaking studies.
And, we are now reunited with our Greystone girls. Our youngest made her theatrical debut this year, and sadly, our oldest will be in college next summer, aging out of Greystone.
It might sound like progress, but for Rose and me, it's just another incremental step toward the empty nest. Sadly.
Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives.