The Beaufort County Republican Party Convention was held a few weeks ago. We had a tremendous turnout and were honored to have my friends, Rep. Jay Lucas, Speaker of the House, and Rep. Tommy Pope, the Speaker Pro Tem, as our special guests.

Aside from remarks by our guests, we also elected a new slate of officers for the next two years, headed by my friend Jim Riordan, from Seabrook, as chairman. There were also 29 delegates and 29 alternates elected to attend the South Carolina Republican Convention that was held May 2 in Columbia.

Also, Ken George was again elected as Republican of the Year. Ken and his lovely wife, Martha, have been close personal friends of ours for many years.

As Ken moves to emeritus status, I want to publicly recognize him for his enormous contribution to the modernization and administrative overhaul of our party.

His skill set, character and energy have taken us, as a party, far beyond where many of us ever thought we would be.

Personally, Ken’s advice and counsel have made me a better public servant, and according to some, have helped me to become, if not a better politician, at least a more comfortable politician. I am grateful.

Since its creation in December of 2014, the Legislative Oversight Committee (LOC) has added a great deal to my commitments at the statehouse. During our three organizational meetings, we have been hard at work developing committee rules, standard practices, and hearing from entities such as the Legislative Audit Council, that may provide assistance as we conduct our studies.

As chairman, I am acutely aware that the administrative structure we create will have much to do with whether we are efficient enough to do the massive amount of work in reviewing the 200 plus agencies, or earn the perceived integrity to be taken seriously by both the public and private sectors.

In my view, we have built a strong foundation, which is manned by 20 of the best and brightest of my legislative colleagues.

The task of conducting a programmatic review of each of the state’s many agencies every seven years is not only a mammoth undertaking, it also has the potential to literally reinvent much of how the state government does its business.

If there is any tool that can help to increase our efficiency and allow us to wring every unit of value out of each of your tax dollars, the LOC is it. We have talked for years about having a smaller, less costly, more capable state government. This process, if pursued with vigor and transparency, can turn that talk into reality.

To make the LOC process more transparent, we broadcast all our meetings on SCETV. To give the interested electorate a better grasp of how LOC does its business, the Speaker and I produced a webinar a few weeks ago that was surprisingly well attended, and garnered some pretty good reviews as well.

There is a video linked to the LOC web page. To get there, go to www.state, click “Citizen’s Interest,” then LOC link.

Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives.