1. Life and Justice
The foundational purpose of state government is to provide equal protection for each innocent life. With this conviction, I will never cast a vote that consents to legalized murder. I am working hard to end all state abortion funding. I am the lead sponsor of the Personhood Act to recognize every preborn child as a human being at conception. I also was an initial sponsor of the Heartbeat Bill which was signed into law in 2021.
The family is under an enormous attack today. The socialist Left seeks to destroy the institution of the family because it stands in their way as a God-given protection against full government control. I believe we must be bold in our defense of traditional values, refusing to cower to those who seek to undermine science and reality. I stand unashamedly for natural marriage between one man and one woman. I advocated early on for legislation to protect women's sports for biological women, and strongly supported Rep. Ashley Trantham's bill that passed the House in 2022.
3. Second Amendment
The Founders wanted the American people to be responsible for defending our homes and our liberties. My goal is to make it easier rather than harder for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. I've been active to ensure South Carolina does not implement red flag laws. I successfully campaigned for open carry, working with Rep. Bobby Cox in passing that bill into law in 2021. I also support Constitutional Carry to empower you to keep your neighbors safe without having to ask the government for permission.
We need to cut wasteful bureaucracy and reduce the state income tax until it is ultimately eliminated. I have been working hard to ensure core government functions like roads, education, courts, and law enforcement are prioritized rather than legislators' special projects. I have made the commitment to vote against any annual budget that does not curb South Carolina's dependence on the Federal national debt, which currently provides around 32% of our state money.
We have made progress toward getting our roads fixed but much more work is needed. I'm fighting for funding that will 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, students, and parents in every education context. I am an advocate for teacher pay raises, so we can get education funding to the classroom where it is intended. I believe local control rather than state and Federal control is the best way to preserve our values. I am fighting for better transparency and choice in order to stop any attempts to sexualize children or indoctrinate them with CRT and disrespect for America. I will always seek to empower parents to make the educational 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. I have been on the front lines to ensure state universities comply with state law and teach our U.S. Constitution and Founding documents, resulting in the recent passage of the REACH Act.
8. Judicial Reform
South Carolina is one of only two states where the legislature elects judges (the other is Virginia). But most of the time there's not even an actual vote. Decisions are typically made in 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 change the process. In the long term, I support appointment of judges by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, similar to the Federal structure outlined in the U.S. Constitution, possibly with a retention election like the Missouri model.
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 would be legislation to provide patients with access to medical cannabis only if it is prescribed by a qualified doctor and dispensed by a pharmacist. 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. My goal is to shine a light and create clear lines of responsibility. 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 and remain committed to helping them keep South Carolina safe. I have helped pass several key measures for law enforcement such as reform of litter control on our roads and a lifting of the retirement cap so experienced officers can return to work. 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 businesses, allowing them to grow and prosper as they see fit. Promoting agribusiness is a crucial part of this goal, and I support our farms with my voice on the House Agriculture Committee. I know state intervention and over-regulation is one of the biggest hurdles the business community faces. I consistently vote against proposals that create new licensing or regulation. 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, P.O. Box 212, Campobello SC 29322