On Wednesday, March 30, at 6:30 p.m., the redistricting committee will hold a public hearing for Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Newberry, Union and York counties at York Technical College in Rock Hill. On Thursday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m., the committee will hold a hearing for Abbeville, Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Greenwood, Laurens, Oconee, Pickens, Spartanburg and Union counties at Greenville County Council Chambers in Greenville. I urge anyone who has input on this issue to attend these meetings.
I have signed on as a cosponsor to a joint resolution requiring boards of trustees of local school districts to decide and notify, in writing, the teachers in their employ concerning their employment for the 2011-2012 school year by May 15, 2011. Any teacher who receives such notification must notify the board of trustees in writing of his acceptance of the contract for the 2011-2012 school year no later than 10 days following receipt of written notification. Failure on the part of the teacher to notify the board of acceptance within the specified time limit is conclusive evidence of the teacher’s rejection of the contract. School districts uniformly may negotiate salaries below the school district salary schedule for the 2011-2012 school year for retired teachers who are not participants in the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive Program. The purpose of this resolution is to allow districts to get our budget before they do renewal contracts.
I have joined many of my colleagues in introducing a change in Senate rules that would prevent senators from creating political action committees, better known as PACs. These are groups specifically designed to raise money for elected officials through donations of up to $3,500 each. Some use the PACs to raise additional money beyond what they’re limited to through their campaigns. This move is to stop a cancer that has really eaten away at our national government in Washington, DC. We’ve seen creatures like these leadership PACs develop, consolidate power in a few individuals, and lead to the ever-increasing money chase by political officials.
I was honored to be appointed to the escort committee from the Senate to lead South Carolina Chief Justice Toal of the Supreme County into a joint session of the General Assembly. She gave us her thoughts on how the South Carolina Judicial Branch looks at tough times as a challenge to concentrate on management techniques; how they will manage court business; business models and what are the ones they could use; processes and how they can modernize them; and technology and how they can use it to effect change. She plans to create a Docket Management Task Force whose charge is that nothing is off the table. She wants this task force to take an accelerated look at short-term improvements that could quickly be implemented by administrative orders from her office, as well as long-term improvements that may entail rules changes and statutory changes. She assured us our Judicial Branch views the current crisis as an opportunity they may not have for years to come to create a new business model for the courts which will streamline operations, increase the efficiency and effectiveness of what they do have, look at alternative sustainable funding sources and increase public access to the courts .
I thank you for allowing me to represent Senate District 17. If you find a need you would like me to address, please feel free to contact me on any issue. I can be reached at my home office, PO Box 1006, Winnsboro, SC 29180, 803-635-6884, or at my legislative office, PO Box 142, Columbia, SC 29202, 803-212-6180, or by email: CreightonColeman@SCsenate.gov.