As everyone knows, when it comes to spending your hard-earned tax dollars, there aren’t many in the SC Legislature tighter than I am. In my freshman year, I was singled out by our Governor when he named a small handful of elected officials as Taxpayer Heroes. The next year, another organization recognized me as a Friend of the Taxpayer. To me, it’s common sense and it’s just doing the job I was sent to do. If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it one million times – elected officials should treat your money just as we would our own personal budgets at home.

For me, that means my wife and I continue to drive cars with 135,000+ miles and 195,000+ miles (my odometer broke in February and still hasn’t been repaired). It also means when we go out to eat, I try to do so on-the-cheap.

Yesterday in Knoxville,TN (yes, I’m a glutton for punishment by being a lifelong Gamecock), me, my wife, and our friends Robbie and Kim sat down to eat at Calhoun’s. When I read they had “The World’s Best Ribs” and they were only $11, I said “I gotta try those. I can see how it tastes and it won’t cost the taxpayers one dime!”

I’ve shared with you over the past few months that I’m very hopeful we will see some version of “Earmark Reform” in the SC Legislature this year. There’s been a small group of us in the House that have taken our lumps but I think this year we may start to see some results from our efforts.

Stay tuned because it’s going to be another interesting budget year! Since I’ve been elected we’ve had surplus budgets…this year, it appears that’s not going to be the case.

Time to tighten up the belt, big spenders. I’ll join you for ribs in town somehwere but not on the tax payers’ dime!