The foundational purpose of state government is to protect innocent life. With this conviction, I will never cast a vote to support abortion. I am working hard to end all abortion funding in the state budget. I am the lead sponsor of the Personhood Act to define preborn children as human beings at conception under the law. I also was an initial sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill which passed the House in 2019.
The family is being attacked today and we must be bold to defend it. Often the attacks come through incursions on the Constitution by activist judges. One of the important roles of a legislator in South Carolina is to vet judicial candidates and I only support those candidates with a strong basis of moral values who will interpret the Constitution as it was originally intended. I stand unashamedly for natural marriage between one man and one woman. Along with other members of the Family Caucus, I am currently cosponsoring legislation to protect women's sports for biological women.
3. Second Amendment
The Founders wanted the American people to be responsible for defending our homes and our liberties. I seek to make it easier rather than harder for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I'm a main sponsor of Constitutional Carry, that is, open carry without a need for state permission. SC is one of only five states (the others are California, Florida, Illinois, and NY) still without any form of open handgun carry. We need to come up to the bar with the rest of the country and empower We the People to keep our neighbors safe. We also must strongly reject incursions like red flag laws.
I seek to cut wasteful spending in state government and oppose new taxes. I work to prioritize core government functions like roads, education, courts, and law enforcement rather than legislators' special projects. I have made the commitment to vote against any proposed budget that does not curb South Carolina's dependence on the Federal national debt, which currently provides around 30% of our annual state money.
We have made progress toward getting our roads fixed but much more work is needed. I'm fighting for funding to truly repair our local roads rather than just interstate reconstruction or poor-quality pothole fills. I voted against the 2017 gas tax increase because I was not confident that the money would go where it was promised. I will continue to work for accountability and real reform. I support making SCDOT a Cabinet agency so the Governor can hire and fire managers like a business, and ending the State Infrastructure Bank.
I vigorously defend teachers and students in every education context, including homeschooling. I have consistently supported teacher pay raises so we can drill down education funding to the classroom where it can be used most effectively. I will oppose every attempt to allow Federal mandates on education. I oppose school district consolidation because I believe community-level control is the best way to preserve our values. I will always seek to empower parents to make the decisions that are right for their children.
I honor our heritage and I defend our state’s historical monuments because I believe those who forget the past cannot rightly chart the future. We need to remember those who died to defend our state and our country and learn the lessons with which they provided us.
8. Judicial Reform
Our state is one of only two in the country where the legislature elects judges (the other is Virginia). But most of the time there's not even an actual vote. Decisions are made in the back rooms, and candidates without enough "commitments" are pressured to drop out of the race beforehand so there's only one favored candidate left to "elect." I believe this system at best creates conflicts of interests. At worst, I believe it can end up being rigged in favor of politically connected candidates, and is likely a major root of South Carolina's ethics turmoil in recent years. I am working with other conservatives in the House and Senate to end the practice of giving private "commitments" prior to a vote. In the long term, I support changing this antiquated system as a whole, instead allowing appointment of judges by the Governor with the advice and consent of the General Assembly, similar to the Federal structure outlined in the U.S. Constitution.
I believe greater liberty provides greater quality and availability of care. I support empowering community solutions rather than government programs by expanding scope of practice, restricting “Certificates of Need” that hurt doctors, increasing state protection of volunteer caretakers from liability, and preventing the Federal government from controlling the market. I am concerned by the opioid epidemic and am working alongside my colleagues in the House to build solutions that help remedy this devastating situation. My perspective is that we should treat addicts like patients rather than like criminals. I believe one promising element of the solution for opioids would be legislation to provide patients with access to medical cannabis only if it is prescribed by a qualified doctor. However, I do not support recreational use of cannabis and I believe the psychoactive components should remain a controlled substance just as for other similar drugs.
10. Accountability and Transparency
We need to drain the swamp. From what I've observed, major decisions in Columbia are usually made by evaluating where special interests or big donors stand, rather than what is the will of the people or what is actually right. Part of the problem is that we have a "legislative state" where a handful of politicians are drunk with power. I support shining a light and creating clear lines of responsibility. I am also working to enact term limits for committee chairmen. More importantly, I pledge to keep in touch, so that you - the people of District 38 - are always able to hold me accountable to stand for your values.
11. Law Enforcement
We need to stand with our men and women in blue as they fight crime. I'm behind our deputies and police and remain committed to helping them keep South Carolina safe. Last year, I co-sponsored a bill to expand our state's Inmate Work Program supported by Sheriff Chuck Wright. I helped pass a bill to increase litter enforcement on our roads. I was the initial sponsor of the 2018 budget section to fund school resource officers across the state, which is now set at $10 million per year.
I seek to protect our local community businesses. Promoting agribusiness is a crucial part of this goal. I support our farms on the House Agriculture Committee and recognize that government intervention and over-regulation is one of the biggest hurdles the agriculture industry is facing. I consistently vote against proposals that give the state more power over our business. I do not support crony deals that give one industry or company an advantage over another. Instead, I support lowering the overall tax rates, closing special loopholes, and providing opportunity for all. My goal is to allow the people of South Carolina to succeed and I don't think we need the help of big government for that.
Paid for by Magnuson for House 2020, P.O. Box 212, Campobello SC 29322