ON THE ISSUES
Dick has shown that it is possible to govern with integrity and deliver results to constituents in District 20.
Dick has positioned himself on the frontlines in the fight against this global pandemic. A strong advocate for a statewide mask mandate, Dick has urged Governor McMaster and DHEC to use their emergency powers to enforce public health guidelines in the state. He worked to provide free COVID-19 testing sites in District 20, personally helped numerous local businesses access the information they needed to stay open, and connected hundreds of constituents with unemployment assistance. Dick knows this virus has changed our daily lives and is working on plans to ensure online and hybrid options for school instruction to ensure the safety of our students and teachers, giving parents the choice for what is best for their children.
Dick believes safe and secure elections are essential to our democracy. He has successfully advocated for reform of the Richland County Election Commission and has called for investigations into their repeated mishandling of elections. Additionally, he has advocated for an independent reapportionment committee to come up with a better system than elected officials choosing their own constituents. Dick also believes that voters shouldn’t have to choose between their right to vote and their health and successfully advocated for legislation expanding absentee voting to all South Carolinians.
FIGHTING PUBLIC CORRUPTION
Corruption is rampant in our state government, and Dick ran to put an end to the good ole boy system. Pragmatic in his approach to reforming our government, Dick will stop at nothing to prevent special interests from further influencing our laws and elected officials. Dick refuses the standard practice of attending paid lobbyist luncheons and cocktail parties, he ran for this seat to put a stop to this and make sure our Legislators are working for you. Dick has also addressed corruption in our state agencies, successfully pushing the Lexington-Richland Airport Commission to reform its practices after exposing their extravagant spending on personal luxuries instead of working to make travel affordable for South Carolinians.
TAXES AND SPENDING
Unwieldy spending and bad deals with private businesses are a constant theme in the SC Legislature. Dick is working to stop these practices, having introduced legislation to end secret “pet projects” tacked onto legislative budgets. He also worked to stop a $115 million tax break to build the Carolina Panther's new practice facility, money that could be used to pay teachers and fund schools. After his unsuccessful attempt to block this taxpayer-funded handout to a billionaire, he worked with the Legislative Audit Council to study the incentive programs by the Department of Commerce to ensure we are not further wasting taxpayer dollars.
For too long South Carolina has been at the mercy of powerful utility companies who prioritize corporate interests over that of ratepayers. Dick has challenged the practices of the SC Public Service Commission, an agency designed to protect ratepayers but has failed too often to do its job, by introducing legislation to reform the commission to work for you. Most recently, Dick successfully advocated stopping ludicrous rate increases by Blue Granite Water in the midst of a pandemic.
Dick believes systemic racism is a serious issue in our criminal justice system, and legislation must be passed that addresses and prevents discrimination while holding our criminal justice system accountable. Dick has agreed to sponsor legislation that will ban excessive use of force by police such as chokeholds, and supports efforts to pass a hate crime law in South Carolina. He has also voted for legislation to increase funding to our state's HBCUs, expanding education opportunities for South Carolinians of color.
Dick knows how valuable the public education system is to every South Carolinian, and he believes we are not providing adequate funding to schools or teachers. Dick has proposed pay increases for teachers beyond current proposals and increased funding to schools in the yearly budget. In addition to working on plans for hybrid and online learning this fall, Dick is also working with fellow legislators on plans for increased access to broadband so all South Carolina students will be able to access online learning.