South Carolina General Assembly
123rd Session, 2019-2020
Journal of the Senate

                                                  NO. 24









Friday, February 15, 2019
(Local Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 11:00 A.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the ACTING PRESIDENT, Senator JACKSON.


The following remarks by Senator MALLOY were ordered printed in the Journal of January 8, 2019:

Remarks by Senator MALLOY

Ladies and gentlemen of the Senate, I rise to second the nomination of a great Senator and a great South Carolinian, the Senator from Cherokee, Senator HARVEY PEELER as PRESIDENT of the South Carolina Senate.

There are many reasons why Senator PEELER is superbly qualified for this post including his 36 years of service in the Senate, his decades long experience as a well-respected committee chair, his service as Majority Leader of the Senate, his subcommittee chairman's work on Senate Finance, and his laudable successes on many legislative issues that he achieved by working across party, racial and geographic lines. However, those are not the reasons why I stand here to nominate him to serve as this Body's first PRESIDENT -- the South Carolina Senate's George Washington if you will. The reason why I believe Senator PEELER is the right person for the job is because he wants the job for the right reasons.

Before I begin explaining why Senator PEELER is the right person for the job, let me take a moment to share how we got to this point. Because that story makes this day even more special and tells in a nutshell why the Senate is the best institution ever devised by our founders. It is a story of selflessness and bipartisanship. There is a political adage in South Carolina that my friends across the aisle like to say, "Nothing good comes out of California." However, in our case something good did come from there, but only because South Carolinians were in Los Angeles for NCSL. While there, a Republican and a Democrat, an African American and a white Senator, sat across from each other at a break area table without care about party or race and talked. We sat there and discussed what we each thought was best for the Senate as we transitioned to a President model. We didn't talk as a Republican or Democrat but as fellow Senators trying to do whatever is best for the Senate. I cannot tell you how often I heard that phrase as we moved forward. "Whatever is best for the Senate" became the motto of the Rules discussions.

From the moment we began contemplating how to implement the constitutional change from a Lieutenant Governor led Senate to a member led Senate, it was clear to me and to others that a presiding officer could not also chair a standing committee. We understood that we could not have someone ruling on points of order that could impact the Bills coming from their own committees. It could raise issues about the appearance of impartiality in the rulings on points of order, and calling into question the legitimacy of those rulings. This we did not need. However, deciding that a PRESIDENT could also not chair a standing committee led to another more difficult question. With that restriction in place, who would willingly give up the power of a senior committee chairmanship in order to serve the Body as PRESIDENT?

The answer was Senator PEELER. Senator PEELER not only accepted that restriction on the Office of PRESIDENT, but embraced the need for it. He understood that the Rules changes were needed for the future well-being of the Senate, and that our Rules should not be designed to accommodate one person's desires or term. He knew that the changes we implement needed to be blind to personalities and designed to last for ages.

The reason why I believe HARVEY PEELER is the man for this job is not for the numerous things he has achieved while serving in this Body, but rather for the things he is willing to give up in order to serve the Senate. He is willing to be PRESIDENT in the manner the Senate needs rather than in the way he necessarily wants.

Senator PEELER looked forward to being the Chairman of the Education Committee and leading the conversation about education issues in our State and he would have been excellent in that role. But he also loves the Senate and is willing to address education issues in a different capacity in order to serve as the leader of the Senate. His willingness to set aside his committee chairmanship and his personal desires because he knows that is what is needed for the betterment of the Senate in the long run was all I needed in order to know that he was the right man for the job at the right time.

So as we finalize this election and soon adopt a set of Rules that embodies what is best for the Senate, I hope going forward that we do not forget our unofficial motto of "whatever is best for the Senate" but rather use that phrase as a daily affirmation of what we should do. Because I firmly believe that if we do "what is best for the Senate" then we will also do what is best for the people of South Carolina.

So in conclusion, and without reservation, Mr. PRESIDENT, I second the nomination of the Senator from Cherokee, HARVEY PEELER as PRESIDENT of the South Carolina Senate.



On motion of Senator REESE, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Ethan Frank Rubenzer of Boiling Springs, S.C. Ethan was a sixth grade student at High Point Academy. He loved to volunteer and spend time with family and friends. Ethan was a loving son, devoted brother and special friend who will be dearly missed.


At 11:03 A.M., on motion of Senator CROMER, the Senate adjourned to meet next Tuesday, February 19 2019, at 2:00 P.M.

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