Progress Continues On Roads and Ethics

At the Statehouse this week the major focus was on finding additional money to repair South Carolina’s deteriorating roads. The issue was advanced when Governor Nikki Haley delivered her annual State of the State address. I was happy to hear the governor’s support for many of the approaches we have been debating to improve our roads and bridges across the state. That’s going to take considerably more money than is currently allocated.

The governor released her much-anticipated plan to fix the state’s aging roads and bridges which looks very similar to the common-sense proposals we have been working on in the House. Governor Haley offered her three pronged solution to paying for road and bridge improvements by proposing to raise South Carolina’s 16.5-cents per-gallon gas tax, but only if it was included in a “three part package.” That legislative package includes a major tax break for taxpayers in a 2% reduction in the state income tax top rate of 7 percent to 5 percent while restructuring the Department of Transportation to make it more efficient and responsive.

Funding additional road improvements is a complicated issue with no quick and easy solutions. It is critically important to maximize the existing funding in the budget by determining how money already budgeted can be redirected to road improvements; that’s most efficient.

We look forward to working with Governor Haley to find responsible solutions to the infrastructure challenges we face.

“Our Republican House majority is enthusiastic about working with the Governor to accomplish this shared agenda to make South Carolina an even better place to live, work, and raise a family,“ said S.C. House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister.

This week the House advanced legislation to reform our state’s ethics laws that affects all 20,000 elected and appointed officials in the state. An income disclosure measure that is part of a larger sweeping ethics reform package cleared its first hurdle in a House subcommittee and moves to the full House Judiciary Committee.

Subcommittee Chairman Kirkman Finlay noted that, “Income disclosure is the start to creating better public confidence of public officials at all levels. The goal of the legislation is to eliminate the possibility that elected officials or their immediate family are using the elected position for personal gain. This bill will be instrumental in moving our state forward on substantive ethics reform.”

Finally, as is typical in January, much work is being done in the Ways and Means Subcommittees as members begin crafting next year’s state budget. Committee meetings are of paramount importance to move newly-filed legislation forward, therefore, we spend as little time as possible on the House floor so they could have time to get our committee work done.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve you in Columbia again this year. If you need help navigating state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me at 803 734-3045 at my office in Columbia or 864 963-0337 at home.

New Legislative Session Dawns

The South Carolina General Assembly convened the 121st Regular Session this week with much pomp and circumstance with the inauguration of the Governor and the oath of office administered to the state’s Constitutional Officers.

Much of this week was spent in budget subcommittee meetings for me, and working with Speaker Jay Lucas and his staff to clarify the new role of the House Operations And Management Committee, which I am Chairman. This week we reviewed the budget requests of the South Carolina Lottery Commission, the South Carolina Tuition Grants, Francis Marion University, and Coastal Carolina University.
   
The Republican Caucus is focused on the big issues of helping make the lives of citizens better and our state more prosperous with an expanding economy making more jobs available.
 
One of the top goals is to find substantial funding to pave the way to our state’s better future by strengthening our road and bridge infrastructure. Solving this challenge will provide South Carolina with a competitive advantage over other states in our effort to keep existing businesses and to attract new and expanding businesses.
  
Nearly 300 bills have already been filed in the House requiring our committees to begin the task of hearings with testimony and deliberations that will result in bills being sent to the House floor for debate and votes. The business of the people of South Carolina is under way.

In the coming weeks, I will reach out to you to prioritize the agenda. I am holding a Town Hall meeting at the Fountain Inn History Museum on Thursday, January 29th at 6:00 PM.

As always, thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia.  If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 803-734-3045 at my office in Columbia, or 864-963-0337 at home.

Identity Theft Update

CSID will offer protection for the whole family.  Children of enrolled participants under age 18 can also receive up to one year of child identity protection monitoring from CSID. With this product, enrolled participants can be aware of all known addresses and aliases associated with their child’s SSN, and see if their child’s personal information has been exposed online.

South Carolina businesses are eligible for protection, too.  If you are a business that filed taxes electronically with the State of South Carolina between 1998 and 2012, you may be eligible for CSID’s Enterprise Threat Intelligence (ETI) service for free. This service enables a business to proactively watch for data compromise through monitoring for malicious devices and company credentials and alerts you in the event that compromised data is found.

CSID will offer protection for the whole family.  Children of enrolled participants under age 18 can also receive up to one year of child identity protection monitoring from CSID. With this product, enrolled participants can be aware of all known addresses and aliases associated with their child’s SSN, and see if their child’s personal information has been exposed online.

How will eligible South Carolina taxpayers be notified?

Individuals currently residing within the state of South Carolina will receive information through media and public announcements as a reminder to enroll with CSID. South Carolinians will see messages driving them to enroll in various media outlets:

• Print advertising in local newspapers and magazines including military base newspapers

• Radio advertising

• Local news coverage

Visit www.scidprotection.com or call 855-880-2743 for more information and to enroll now in CSID’s  Identity Protection services.

Should you have any questions regarding the coverage or the enrollment process, please contact our CSID South Carolina Identity Protection Hotline toll free at 855-880-2743, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and 365-days a year.

About CSID

CSID is the leading provider of global identity protection and fraud detection technologies for businesses, their employees and consumers.

With CSID’s advanced enterprise-level solutions, businesses can take a proactive approach to protecting the identities of their

consumers all around the world. CSID’s comprehensive identity protection products advance from credit monitoring to include a full

suite of identity monitoring services; insurance and full-service restoration; identity authentication and voice biometrics; and proactive

breach mitigation and resolution. For more information, visit

 

www.csid.com.

Update on Udentity Theft Protection

Effective 4:00 PM today, the State issued an Intent to Award a contract to CSIdentify Corporation (CSID) for the purpose of providing citizens affected by the DOR data breach last October with an additional year of free Identify Theft Protection Services.  Absent any protest during the mandatory ten day protest period, the contract will become effective October 4, 2014.  Affected citizens can enroll for these new services October 24, 2014.

CSID will make the following services available to eligible individuals:

  • Daily Transunion credit monitoring.

 

  • Change of address monitoring: Monitors and reports if and when an enrolled participant’s mail has been redirected to a new address.

 

  • Pay Day loan monitoring: Alerts enrolled participants if a pay day loan is established using their identity.

 

  • Court and Criminal records monitoring: Tracks municipal court systems and alerts enrolled participants if a criminal act is committed using their identity.

 

  • Social Security Number trace: Monitors and notifies enrolled participants when fraudulent names, aliases, and addresses become associated with their SSN.

 

  • Cyber monitoring: Alerts enrolled participants to their information being bought/sold/traded in the online black market.

 

  • Sex Offender monitoring: Alerts enrolled participants of fraudulent use of their identities to register in sex offender registry and alerts to proximity of registered sex offenders in enrolled participants’ immediate area.

 

  • Child identity monitoring: Provides a report of all the names, addresses, and aliases found in public records associated with enrolled children’s SSN. Also monitors for a child’s information being bought/sold/traded in the online black market.

 

  • One million dollar identity theft insurance policy.

 

  • Full service identity restoration services to all eligible persons even if they have not enrolled in the CSID services.

 

 

And the following services available to eligible businesses:

  • Monitors information concerning business domain names, credentials, and static IP address information as provided by businesses.

 

  • Alerts businesses in real time to incidences of compromised credentials and malware.

 

 

Once the contract becomes effective (October, 4, 2014 absent any protest) details on how to enroll will be made available.  CSID is a Texas based company which not only offers credit monitoring, but also provides identify monitoring solutions along with full service identity theft restoration services.  Attached is a fact sheet prepared by the Budget and Control Board regarding the contract.

Ice Cream in the Park Town Hall

Ice Cream in the Park Town Hall Flyer

Ice Cream in the Park Town Hall Flyer

Town Hall Flyer

Town Hall 2013

Protection from Cyber Security Threats

From the desk of Bill Sandifer

My fellow Members of the House:

As a result of cooperation between my office and the Department of Consumer Affairs, a memo from Department Administrator Carri Lybarker will be placed on your desks to remind you that the Department’s educational items are available to you and your staff in helping constituents with questions about the ongoing issue of cyber-security. The Department has also produced a two-minute video that summarizes cost-free steps consumers can use to protect themselves.

Thanks!

Bill Sandifer

Video Here: Worried About Identity Theft?

Educational Items Click Here

Fountain Inn Townhall Meeting

On January 24, 2013, Representative Garry Smith, Representative Mark Willis, and State Senator Ross Turner held a Townhall meeting in the new Fountain Inn History Center. It is a beautiful new building, and anyone who is in the area should stop by and walk through the exhibits which show some of the rich history of the beautiful town of Fountain Inn, South Carolina.

The town hall was well attended and there were only a few chairs left open, with many people standing in the back as well. Two council members from Fountain Inn, and Simpsonville attended as well.

Representative Smith gave a presentation on the ramifications of the proposed Medicaid expansion for the slowly but steadily recovering South Carolina economy.

During the Q & A session there was a lively discussion ranging from the Medicaid expansion and Affordable Care Act, the cyber security breach and the steps being taken to remedy that, to the problems with the candidates being kicked off of the ballots in the past election.

When we have a town hall meeting, it is a great way to pick the brain of your representative, and to let him or her know that you are keeping an eye on them. So come on out, and let your voice be heard!

A special thank-you to the Mayor of Fountain Inn for the use of the facilities, and a special thanks to the President of the Fountain Inn Chamber of Commerce for attending the meeting and providing the photos.

 

Mayor Garry Long graciously opened the doors of the new Fountain Inn welcome center.

A captivated audience.

Representative Smith gets the presentation rolling.

State Representative Mark Willis was gracious enough to stop by and participate in the discussion.

State Senator Ross Turner also came and gave an update from the Senate floor of the Statehouse.

 

S.C. Commission on Ethics Reform Unveils Final Report

Rob Godfrey
Office of Gov. Nikki Haley

Read the background on SC Commission on Ethics Reform here.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Commission on Ethics Reform, an independent eleven-member panel co-chaired by former South Carolina Attorneys General Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock, today recommended strengthening state ethics, election, campaign finance and public records laws in its final report.

Gov. Nikki Haley said, “When I appointed this commission, I knew I was giving its members a tough assignment, and a short timeframe. I am immensely pleased that they rose to the occasion and did a remarkable job. The power of this commission comes from its membership. These are bipartisan leaders in the areas of law enforcement, ethics, and journalism, who, most importantly, have no stake in the current system and no bias toward protecting anyone’s prerogatives. If their recommendations are adopted, South Carolina will move from being among the worst states on government ethics to one of the best states. It’s that simple. Now it is up to members of the General Assembly to move the ball forward. If this bipartisan commission could do its exceptional work in less than two months, the General Assembly should be able to do its work in less than four months. I look forward to working with the commission and the General Assembly in the days and weeks ahead. We now have a golden opportunity to make comprehensive and meaningful ethics reform the law of our state. It’s time to seize that opportunity.”

State Sen. Larry Martin, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, “I have met with Attorneys General Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock and discussed the need for ethics reform. I am appreciative of their hard work and encouraged that their recommendations will help us pass the most far-reaching and important ethics reform in our state’s history.”

State Rep. Murrell Smith, Chairman of the House Republican Ethics Study Committee, said, “We thank the S.C. Commission on Ethics Reform, particularly its Chairmen Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock, for its hard work, and we welcome its recommendations for comprehensive state ethics reform. Members of the House look forward to working with the governor and the commission on strengthening our state ethics laws to make them the strongest in the country and giving the people of South Carolina the kind of accountable, transparent government they want and deserve.”

Read the background on SC Commission on Ethics Reform here.

Read Final Report Here

Fequently Asked Questions Regarding SCDOR Security Breach

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING SCDOR SECURITY BREACH
NOVEMBER 13, 2012
1
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS (SSN)
Q: Why do South Carolina taxpayers have to give Experian® their Social Security Numbers during the enrollment process?
A: In order to protect the identities of those who may have been compromised in the breach, multiple authentication points are required during enrollment, including requiring one’s complete SSN.
Q: What assurance do South Carolina taxpayers have that their Social Security Number is protected with Experian®?
A: Experian® has a legal obligation to protect social security numbers and also offers its customers many assurances regarding security, e.g. https://www.experian.com/esolutions/esolutions/security.html.
Q: Will hackers be able to redirect Social Security checks since they have Social Security Numbers and bank routing/account information?
A: The answer depends on whether the information compromised was enough to circumvent the authentication processes of your bank and the Social Security Administration. Taxpayers should consult with their banks. Any information on tax returns could have been compromised.
Q: Why weren’t South Carolina Social Security Numbers and credit card numbers stored in an encrypted format?
A: The vast majority of credit card numbers were stored and protected with strong encryption. SCDOR is moving rapidly toward encryption of SSNs, which should be completed in approximately 60 to 90 days.
Q: Will SCDOR call or email me and ask for my personal information? If we receive an email or call like this, what should we do?
A: SCDOR would not initiate contact with a taxpayer and ask for personal information. If you do receive this type of call or email, hang up the call or don’t respond to the email. If you are suspicious of any such email or phone call, please contact SCDOR at (803) 898-5000.
COVERAGE
Q: Can a taxpayer without a credit history sign up for ProtectMyID®?
A: Experian’s National Consumer Assistance Center will attempt to assist consumers that do not have a credit file. This can be coordinated by calling 1-866-578-5422.
Q: When does the Experian® coverage begin and end both for an individual and for Family Secure™?
A: Taxpayers can register for a one-year membership of Experian’s ProtectMyID® and Family Secure™ products beginning on the date that they register with each product. The last date to register is January 31, 2013.
Q: What happens after the state-provided one-year membership with ProtectMyID® and Family Secure™ expires?
A: When the one-year membership expires, South Carolina taxpayers will, at their own expense, have the opportunity to enroll in the retail offerings of ProtectMyID® and/or Family Secure™.
Q: If I see anything I consider potentially fraudulent on my credit report, who should I call?
A: If you have reviewed your credit report and believe that certain information may be the result of fraud, your ProtectMyID® membership gives you access to a fraud resolution specialist who will assist you. Please call 1-866-578-5422 and they will assign you a fraud resolution specialist.
Q: When will Experian® alert me if there is any fraudulent activity on our credit report, banking, or debit card information?
A: ProtectMyID® alerts are issued when a credit report reflects new activity – for example, the addition of a new credit card or personal loan or a lender’s review of the report as part of the process to approve a loan application. It is the responsibility of the individual who receives the alert to determine if the new information is accurate and reflects recent financial activity known to the individual or if it is unknown and possibly fraudulent.