PRESS RELEASE: Speaker Lucas: Volvo Selects South Carolina for first American Manufacturing Plant

 

Volvo Selects South Carolina for first American Manufacturing Plant

Will invest a half billion dollars and create up to 4,000 jobs

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) released the following statement in response to Volvo’s announcement that the company has selected Berkeley County, South Carolina as the site for its first American manufacturing plant.

“Volvo’s decision to build its first American manufacturing plant in Berkeley County is a testament to the hard work of so many, notably Gov Haley and her economic development team, but also the tremendous efforts of state and local policy makers to create a pro-business environment,” Speaker Lucas stated. “Volvo’s potential 4,000 new jobs and $500 million investment in our economy will dramatically expand our state’s automotive and manufacturing base. We welcome Volvo Car Corporation to South Carolina and look forward to watching its success for years to come.”

Speaker Lucas Reacts to Senate GOP Infrastructure Plan

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Speaker Lucas Reacts to Senate GOP Infrastructure Plan

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement in response to the Senate Republican Caucus’ newly created infrastructure plan.

“The Legislature has an obligation to the people of South Carolina to repair our crumbling road system with comprehensive infrastructure reform.  With twelve legislative days remaining, I am appreciative that a group in the Senate has finally begun to follow in our footsteps and proposed a plan that includes the three components outlined in Governor Haley’s proposal. This issue is extremely difficult and requires significant consensus building.  The House’s hard work must not be underestimated or underappreciated. I am confident our friends across the Hall will show real leadership and put forth the necessary effort to pass a viable plan by the end of this legislative session.  The people of South Carolina and those in the business community are counting on us,” Speaker Jay Lucas stated.

PRESS RELEASE: Speaker Lucas: House Paves the Way for Road Repair

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Speaker Lucas: House Paves the Way for Road Repair

Passes bill to fund and reform infrastructure

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) released the following statement after the House passed H. 3579. This roads plan was drafted after seven months of careful study by an ad hoc committee chaired by Representative Gary Simrill (District 46-York) and has been thoroughly vetted through the legislative process.

“One of the single greatest hurdles threatening job creation and economic growth in South Carolina is the deteriorating condition of our infrastructure. Since the House began prioritizing this issue, I have maintained that finding a real solution to this problem will require tough decision-making.  This debate has been ongoing for months and every idea presented has been given considerable attention.

“Waiting to address this issue increases repair costs, discourages investment, and jeopardizes the safety of South Carolina drivers. Today, a vast majority of House membership courageously took the next necessary step to put our state on a path towards road repair.  We accomplished our goal of producing a plan that generates revenue without passing a burden onto South Carolina taxpayers.

“The economic value at stake is far greater than the price of politics. As our roads plan advances through the legislative process, I am confident the House will continue to work with Governor Nikki Haley and Senate leadership to ensure we meet our state’s needs and repair our crumbling road and bridge system.”

PRESS RELEASE: House Passes Comprehensive Domestic Violence Legislation

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Speaker Lucas: House Passes Comprehensive Domestic Violence Legislation

Deters future crimes, promotes awareness, and transforms culture

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) released the following statement after the House passed H. 3433, the Domestic Violence Reform Act.  This piece of comprehensive legislation puts in place significant provisions to protect South Carolinians from domestic abuse.

“Far too many South Carolinians have tragically lost their lives as a result of domestic violence. We have an obligation to protect every citizen by passing laws that will institute positive change. This monumental reform legislation increases penalties to deter future assaults, protects the rights of all South Carolinians, promotes awareness through education, and fundamentally attempts to transform our culture so that we can put an end to domestic abuse,” stated Speaker Jay Lucas.

The House has been working on this issue since September when an ad hoc committee chaired by Representative Shannon Erickson (District 124-Beaufort) began holding hearings to thoroughly investigate ways to protect women, men, and children from domestic abuse.  This robust bill was crafted after months of extensive testimony from victims, law enforcement agencies, and concerned citizens.

“Domestic violence reform is a priority for the House this year,” Speaker Lucas continued. “The ideas we have put forth deserve considerable discussion and I am committed to working with Senate leadership and the Attorney General to ensure Governor Haley receives a bill on her desk for signature sooner rather than later.”

PRESS RELEASE: Speaker Lucas: House Takes Dramatic Action to Save SC State

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Speaker Lucas: House Takes Dramatic Action to Save SC State

Paves way for University’s return to full potential

 

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Hartsville) issued the following statement after the House passed a joint resolution to address the ongoing situation at South Carolina State University. The adopted provision mirrors the actions taken in last week’s budget.

 

“South Carolina State University has served our state well, but has experienced significant challenges in recent years that place it on an unsustainable path,” Speaker Lucas said. “Inaction will yield further decline and denies eager students the quality education they deserve. We have a duty to offer as much assistance as possible to help this historic institution return to its full potential. Continuing to ignore these concerns is a disservice to the historic institution’s deserving students, faithful alumni, dedicated teachers, and South Carolina taxpayers. It is my hope that our joint resolution – which received unanimous bipartisan support – will put SC State back on a path to success.”

 

3663 does three things to help South Carolina State succeed. The joint resolution (1) removes the current SC State board members, (2) gives authority over to a newly appointed interim board of trustees who are designees of the five member Budget and Control Board. These members will have staggering, transitional terms so that a newly elected SC State Board of Trustees will be put in place by 2018, and (3) requires the interim Board of Trustees to remove the current President if they deem that action to be necessary.

PRESS RELEASE: Speaker Lucas: House Passes Responsible Budget Plan

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Speaker Lucas: House Passes Responsible Budget Plan

Funds government operations and invests in future

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed H. 3701, the General Appropriations Bill for FY2015/2016, and H. 3702, the Capitol Reserve Fund Appropriations Bill.

“After a lengthy week of fervent debate, the House passed a responsible budget that spends within our means, invests in our economy, and appropriates taxpayer dollars wisely,” Speaker Jay Lucas stated. “South Carolina families balance their own budgets and our state government is appropriately required to do the same. Chairman Brian White and the dedicated members of the House Ways and Means Committee worked hard to prepare a laudable fiscal blueprint that meets our state’s needs and I am proud that the House has coalesced around this plan.”

When the budget package was passed out of the House Ways and Means Committee in mid-February, it included a $497 million bond provision that funded key statewide economic development projects.   Every bill that is drafted in the House is subject to the legislative process. The measure went through this process and was ultimately defeated during debate in the House. Several of these important priorities are included in the final version of the budget package and are funded with unobligated available resources.

South Carolina is a powerhouse for economic development and job creation,” Speaker Lucas continued. “As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to invest in the future so that our economy will continue to flourish.  I am very pleased that our budget includes workforce training programs, healthcare advancements, road infrastructure repairs, and other priorities that will allow South Carolina to continue to prosper.”