Yesterday on “Common Cents” we put for our real reform agenda for reinvigorating the culture and economy of South Carolina. For far too long, we’ve had politics as usual in the Palmetto State, and it’s time to restructure state government to achieve real checks and balances, restore truly free-market economic principles and protect faith and family in our culture. That’s why “Common Cents” and our policy arm, the Future Freedom Foundation of South Carolina, are proposing three key initiatives that we intend to submit in the 2013 SC Legislative Session. The primaries are behind us, but the work is truly just beginning.
We have identified the three greatest challenges to cultural values and economic freedom in South Carolina, and we intend to meet these challenges with innovative solutions. The first challenge is the breakdown of the nucleic family unit, which is “the well ordered society in seed form.” The second is the stranglehold the education establishment holds on educational policy in our state, which diminishes the standards of academic achievement for all South Carolina children. The third great challenge to our state’s culture and economy, which is largely a result of the first two challenges, is the stranglehold of special interests on our state’s politics. We absolutely must reverse these destructive trends if our state’s culture and economy is going to survive and thrive.
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To address these challenges, we will put forth the following legislative proposals in the 2013 session of the SC General Assembly:
- Introduce covenant marriage laws that will finally make it harder to end a marriage than a lease contract. As it stands right now, our divorce rate mirrors national trends, with well over half of South Carolina marriages ending in divorce. This has a direct impact on the culture of our state, the health and happiness of children resulting from these failed unions and the economic vitality of all South Carolinians. We will petition the General Assembly to adopt Louisiana-style covenant marriage laws, which would allow South Carolina families to voluntarily enter into covenant marriage contracts. This would then require couples desiring to separate and divorce to seek marital counseling prior to obtaining a divorce.
- Finally make school choice the law of the land in South Carolina. We absolutely must adopt free market principles when it comes to educating our children. Far too many South Carolinian children are trapped in failing schools, and this is disproportionately true for lower income and minority students. To aid children trapped in failing schools we must allow the private sector to set-up tax exempt scholarship funds, and provide tax deductions for parents seeking to pay for their child’s private school education. This WILL NOT take away any per pupil funding in the public school system, and will actually INCREASE per pupil funding in all SC school districts. The educational establishment opposes such freedom because it strikes at the heart of their bureaucratic shell game of lining the pockets of special interests.
- Adopt “conflicts of interest” legislation for members of the SC House of Representatives and SC Senate. South Carolinians are sick and tired of seeing story after story wherein legislators and state officials abuse their position for personal privilege. An example is that many members of the SC Legislature practice law before magistrate and family court justices they had a hand in appointing. This is not only an affront to the concept of an independent judiciary, it is a grave injustice. To address these abuses, our foundation will seek sponsors of legislation that will outlaw the practice of attorney-legislators practicing before judges they helped to appoint. Additionally, we will seek reforms that require legislators with vested financial interests in particular pieces of legislation to recuse themselves from voting on that legislation.
It is time for South Carolinians to stand up for these and other common sense reforms that will restore our state’s culture and economy. We, the people, must reclaim the reigns of state government, before our culture and economy are undermined and eroded. We here at “Common Cents” and our Future Freedom Foundation are committed to campaigning across the state for these practical proposals. We will be seeking House and Senate sponsors for our legislative initiatives, and will craft bills with our legal counsel through the summer. Full drafts of these proposals will be available at joshkimbrell.com this fall, in time for South Carolinians to review them prior to the reconvening of the Legislature next January.