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.
Video Here: Worried About Identity Theft?
Educational Items Click Here
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.
Office of Gov. Nikki Haley
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.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING SCDOR SECURITY BREACH
NOVEMBER 13, 2012
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.
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.
Thursday, November 15, between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Beck Academy located at 901 Woodruff Road in Greenville, SC
To provide an opportunity to review and discuss individually with representatives from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) the preliminary plans for the proposed I-85/I-385 improvement project. The project includes the re-configuration of the existing I-85/I-385 interchange to improve the operational deficiencies along these transportation facilities. Another purpose of the meeting is to gather information from the public or any interested organization on historic or cultural resources in the area.
From 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., the hearing format will be informal. Large aerial displays of the entire project will be available for viewing, and project team members from SCDOT will be present to discuss the project with interested citizens on an individual basis.
At 6:00 p.m., SCDOT will make a brief, formal presentation about the project purpose and need, schedule, and potential natural and human impacts to the community. Immediately following the presentation, citizens will have the option to make formal, verbal comments regarding the proposed project. Anyone who wishes to verbally comment must sign up between 5:00 p.m. and 5:55 p.m. when entering the public hearing. Each comment will be limited to two minutes and may not be transferred. The informal portion of the public hearing will continue during this time.
Related maps and/or drawings, environmental assessment, and other pertinent data are available for public review at least 15 days prior to the public hearing at SCDOT’s District Three Office at 252 S. Pleasantburg Drive, Greenville, SC 29607. Project information, including meeting materials and comment forms will also be available on the SCDOT website (http://www.scdot.org), “Public Hearings” Quicklink. Additional information concerning the project may be obtained by contacting Tommy Elrod, SCDOT Program Manager, at 864-241-1010 in Greenville, or at email@example.com. Persons with disabilities who may require special accommodations should contact Ms. Lis Bleasdale at 803-737-1345.
South Carolina Department of Transportation
and Federal Highway Administration
Bobby Harrell & Glenn McConnell
Speaker of the House President Pro Tempore
A $3 billion tax increase would be forced on all South Carolinians if a lawsuit recently filed in the SC Supreme Court succeeds. The suit is being brought by Dick Harpootlian, the Chairman of the SC Democratic Party, representing Matthew Bodman. The lawsuit would raise taxes by 6 percent across the board on many everyday items such as residential electricity and water bills, prescription drugs, groceries, newspapers and diabetic supplies, just to name a few. It would abolish all of our state’s sales tax exemptions, resulting in the largest tax increase in our state’s history.
Faced with a conservative General Assembly that has proven its resolve to cut government spending instead of raising taxes to balance our state’s budget, this group decided to bypass the Legislature by taking their tax hike crusade to court, and the SC Supreme Court has agreed to hear their case.
You may not think this will greatly affect you, but this backdoor tax increase would be paid by every single South Carolinian and would swell the size of our government. Adding $3 billion in new taxes would grow our state’s current $6 billion General Fund Budget by an astounding 50 percent.
Recent news accounts about this court case haven’t fully described just how much the elimination of these sales tax exemptions will directly impact your wallet. But should this lawsuit succeed, people will quickly become very aware – if only too late.
This lawsuit tries to portray these exemptions as “special interest” corporate handouts. But the vast majority are important tax cuts that save South Carolinians a lot of money. Paying an additional 6 percent to keep your water running, your lights on, your prescriptions filled, and groceries for your family, are taxes on the necessities of life, not corporate loopholes.
Among the top ten sales tax exemptions are Prescription Drugs $585 million; Motor Fuel $500 million; Groceries $354 million; Residential Electricity $188 million; Cars/motorcycles/boats/planes $173 million; Toll charges (telephone) $74 million. The lawsuit would make all of these, and more, subject to sales taxes.
This lawsuit isn’t about reform. It’s a blatant political maneuver designed to circumvent the legislative process, and by doing so, usher in a new wave of Democratic sponsored taxing and spending. This is the same reasoning currently being employed by Washington with terrible results for our country’s economy.
Taking more money out of our recovering economy and putting it in the hands of government is not a path to prosperity and is an avenue South Carolina should avoid.
The most dangerous part of this blanketed $3 billion tax hike is that there is no consideration being given to any corresponding tax cuts.
Extensive reform of our state’s tax code is long overdue, and it’s time for the General Assembly to deal with this issue. Comprehensive restructuring of our revenue system would improve South Carolina’s business climate and make our tax structure more equitable.
But this process must take place in the legislative arena where the resulting effects on businesses and individuals are carefully considered, not mandated by court intervention.
Eliminating some exemptions no longer serving a valid purpose would give us an opportunity to lower other taxes. This approach to reform would allow for broader tax relief, make our state more competitive, and would prevent an overall – and unnecessary – tax increase.
That is why we felt it was necessary for the House and Senate to jointly file an amicus brief with the S.C. Supreme Court detailing this process. Our reason for weighing in was to protect the people of South Carolina from a $3 billion backdoor tax increase that includes no reforms and no corresponding tax relief.
Both the Legislature and the Governor have clearly stated that major tax reform is a top priority this session and have already put forward several ideas with other initiatives being worked on during this past summer and fall.
To be effective, and to make our tax structure more competitive and fair, our efforts must translate into legislation, rather than a lawsuit brought before the SC Supreme Court designed to bring about the largest tax increase in the history of our state. Following through with legislative action is the only way real comprehensive reform will ever happen.
Mon, Jul 12 2010 @ 10:52 AM EDT
District News Simpsonville named one of “Best Towns for Families” by Family Circle Magazine: http://www.familycircle.com/family-fu…10/?page=7
Tue, Jul 06 2010 @ 10:46 AM EDT
District News From Terry Bragg, CoTransco: Anders Incorporated plans to place the detour for Davenport Road into effect on July 19th, 2010. The signage will be place in advance of that date and “covered” to expedite the closure on 7/19/10. I will keep you posted should there be any changes in the proposed closing.