COLUMBIA — Sen. Ronnie Cromer, who represents Newberry County and a part of Lexington County, has been named chairman of two of the more important committees in the S.C. Senate — the Senate Rules Committee and the Finance Committee.
The Senate Rules Committee sets the rules the Senate will operate by for the next four-year session. The Finance Committee oversees budgets of the elected state officials and aid to subdivisions.
“It is an important job at the beginning of the four-year session,” said Cromer.
But the committee is also responsible for disposing of some bills that are being filibustered and others that need to be sent up on a special order.
Cromer said this will benefit Newberry County residents if a bill of local interest needs to be sent up for a vote . He can help get it to the Senate floor.
Also the appointment put Cromer in the fifth or sixth top position in the Senate.
“I am closer to the top of the leadership group,” he said. “I have a little more voice. If a bill affects Newberry County or District 18, I will be able to shepherd it.”
Also Sen. Hugh Leatherman, who chairs the finance committee, has placed Cromer as chairman of one of the seven finance committees.
Cromer will chair the committee that oversees the budgets of the constitutional officers and their agencies. He will also oversee the aid to subdivision budgets, which is the money the local governments get back from the state.
With cutbacks in the money the state is giving to municipal and county governments, the aid to subdivisions budget will once again be a hot topic in state politics.
But while Cromer has stepped up the the new chair jobs, he has had to resign himself as chairman of the Fish, Game and Forestry Committee. Cromer said he still remains a member of the committee but is no longer the chairman.