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Rep Samuel Rivers Jr. Samuel Rivers

It has been my honor having the opportunity to serve as a conservative voice in Columbia to bring shared ideas and goals for a better South Carolina. We have stuck to our common sense policies of lower taxes and less regulations to help businesses expand and hire more of our neighbors. South Carolina's unemployment rate is at the lowest level since June 2001, and the number of South Carolinian's employed is at the highest level in state history! Together, we can make South Carolina an even better place to live, work, and raise our families. Jobs and economic development will be a focal point for me next year when we reconvene in January. We are blessed to live in an area of the state full of opportunity. With our proximity to the Port of Charleston and excellent interstate highway access, our industrial parks are key to our current and future economic well being. Through legislation and working with local leaders, I will be promoting the use of natural gas as an energy source for our industrial parks. Offering incentives to install and operate natural gas pipelines for industrial and manufacturing use has been a successful strategy used across the country. I have worked to promote what's best for "students" over what's best for "systems." It is of utmost importance that educational options are available for parents and students. I was the primary sponsor of House bill 4956, a comprehensive education bill that addresses statewide student assessments, eliminates the high school exit exam as a requirement for graduation, requires the administration of WorkKeys and a college and career readiness assessment (ACT) in the 11th grade, and expands opportunities for school districts to use digital materials. I am pleased to report that all of these provisions were included in legislation that passed the General Assembly this year. Other education bills I have authored include: House bill 4088 - a true school choice bill that provides a process for a parent to enroll his child in a district he considers best suited for his child; House bill 4624 - a bill that allows a state income tax credit for parents or guardians who educate their children at home or at an independent school; and House bill 5196 - the "South Carolina Choice Scholarship Act" that provides choice scholarships to students in K-12 who come from low-income families. Funding is provided through taxpayer contributions. I plan to introduce and champion similar choice-in-education legislation next year when the General Assembly convenes in January. Determined to help South Carolina small businesses, I introduced House Bill 3986 a business licenses simplicity bill that removes duplication fees on small business. This bill helps businesses concentrate on what they do best, instead of dealing with government red tape. I have worked hand in hand with business organizations to help create an environment for job growth; but we still have a way to go to become the most business-friendly state in the nation.