Stringer says state needs more producers, less takers

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, January 3, 2013

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"I think the question is are we still a society of producers."

Rep. Tommy Stringer, District 18

Rep. Tommy Stringer, representing District 18, mulled the question of society being takers or givers. “I think the question is are we still a society of producers,” Stringer said.

“We’re not doing a good enough job showing young people to be producers. Increase awareness and attractiveness of doing that is good,” Stringer said. “In government, what we need is the positive of controlling your own destiny.”

Stringer suggests education is the means for South Carolina to move forward in becoming more focused mentoring its population to become viable producers.

Stringer and other Greer elected officials have been invited to the Greater Greer Chamber of Commerce’s First Friday luncheon at Greer City Hall Friday 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Stringer is on the Education and Public Works committees in the legislature.

Q: What do you consider the biggest issues facing the 2013 legislature?

Stringer: Overall ethics, campaign regulation, tax reform and Obamacare.

Q: What do you want to see in campaign reform?

Stringer: Last year’s election was embarrassing. It started with the reform bill online and was confused with the existing law. It created havoc. The law says you can file online. That would simply prove candidates applying for office.

Q: What is one of the biggest issues facing education?

Stringer:  Teacher pay compensation is an issue. How do we fix the step increase? I’ve reached out to teachers. Good teachers resent not being treated as a professional for what they teach and how they teach. How do you best judge performance when you can’t let the teachers do what they do best – teach? We have to put trust in the professional teachers to do the job they have been educated for and hired to do.

Q: You also mentioned wanting to incorporate technical schools into the secondary school education curriculum. What is your idea?

Stringer:  Tech schools are a tool. We’ve found that the quicker students are interactive technically the better they perform. We must find a common course for curriculum guidelines requiring students to take from secondary school to graduation. Tuition at technical schools is an incredible value. Fritz Hollings, Carroll Campbell and Verne Smith saw the need for technical education to draw BMW here.  That’s what we need in state leadership. 

I also want to tie in engineering with our education. We must decide what type of schools we want and what direction to go.

Q: Ethics seems like an annual issue. What is different this year?

Stringer: Transparency is good ethics. The legislation is very complicated and people want simple and fair. We have lawyers writing the laws and they’re trying not to create loopholes. Ethics enforcement will come about when we give teeth to everything and have consequences for violations. How do we spend campaign money? If arrested or indicted, what are the penalties?

Stringer also touched on:

• Tax reform: “We want to keep exemptions on gas, food and medicine. We need to get rid of those that are outdated and specialized.”

• Legislators: “A lot of people in committee meetings don’t ask questions that should be asked.”

• Arts: “The arts commission needs reform, not to be cut. We need to get more private dollars into the organization.”

Obamacare: “We will get $13 billion if we opt in (2013). That’s money borrowed until 2020. How are we going to pay that back?”

• Legislation co-sponsored by Stringer.

Referred to Committee on Judiciary

H. 3053
– Reps. Taylor, Pitts, Harrell, White, Delleney, Merrill, Clemmons, Bannister, Wells, J. R. Smith, G. R. Smith, Sottile, Hiott, Barfield, Hardee, Ballentine, Toole, Brannon, Allison, Wood, Bowen, Hardwick, Goldfinch, Hamilton, Loftis, Bedingfield, Stringer, Limehouse, Hixon and Kennedy:

A bill to amend section 16-23-465, as amended, code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to additional penalties for unlawfully carrying a pistol or firearm onto the premises of a business selling alcoholic liquors, beer, or wine for on-premises consumption, so as to include in the purview of the statute carrying a firearm into a business selling alcoholic liquors, beer, or wine when a sign is posted prohibiting concealable weapons, refusing to leave or remove the firearm from the premises when asked, and while consuming alcoholic liquors, beer, or wine, and to revise the penalty.


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