Sorry for the “pause” on the playback button for last week’s highlights. I usually try to get these up before the weekend but wasn’t able to earlier. Since it’s now Monday night, with a new legislative week starting tomorrow, I’ll give you some quick highlights.

It was again a light week ( except for Thursday ).

On a personal note, the House mourned the loss of Representative Herb Kish’s wife of 59 years! Rep. Kirsh (D-York) has served in the House since 1979 and he is loved and admired by many. We adjourned early on Wednesday so that members and staff could attend the funeral service.

Many of you know that it’s customary for members to bring State Champion Teams to the House Floor so that they can be recognized for their accomplishments. This week we got to recognize one of our own, Representative (and Coach) Jackie Hayes (D-Dillon) , who led the Dillon Wildcats to the 2008 Class AA State Championship Title in football. His two sons also played on the team so you know this was a very special moment for our colleague….as a coach and as a father.

On the business side of things, we had two guests give their annual addresses to the Joint Assembly this week: one from the American Legion and the other, SC Supreme Court Chief Justice, Jean Toal.

On Tuesday, we passed the Abortion/Ultrasound Bill (H.3245) which now heads to the Senate. By the way, anytime I saw “we passed”, y’all know it means we (the House) passed it, right? Legislation still has to clear the Senate (killing fields for several House bills in the past) and then the Governor before it becomes law.

Thursday’s “major legislation” dealt with the way we vote for our officials in our state. After much debate, bills passed that would: not along a candidate to be listed by more than one party; remove the option of straight-party voting; and require photo identification in order to vote. (For more details, click here)

Closer to home:

Tuesday night, I held another Constituent Service Night in our community. Past events have been held mainly at Ballentine Park or at Gatsbee’s Famous Soda Fountain . This one was held at the Northwest YMCA on Kennerly Road . Video of the event is up on the main page of NathansNews but can also be seen by clicking here .

I also worked this week with my Democrat and Republican delegation members (Richland County) to gain enough support to FINALLY have our community represented on the Richland County Recreation Commission. Hopefully, Richard Ouzts (Chapin) will be the newest member and hopefully can work to improve this very disfunctional entity.

Constituents that stopped by to visit at the State House this week were: Stan O’Brien, Mike Lowman, Thom Chumney, Ralph Bell, Matthew Deans (8th grader, Irmo Middle) and Jerome Singleton, Jr. along with his mother and father. By the way, Jerome is a Gold and Silver Medal Winner at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China.

Looking ahead: Expect another light week in the chamber in preparation of an expected lengthly (and partisan) budget debate which will begin Monday morning, March 9th at 10:00 a.m. If you’re one of several in our state that is against taking federal funds and mandates , let your Representative know!