The “Nikki detente” talks

The new leader of the South Carolina Senate Democratic Caucus, Nikki Setzler, has a reputation as a respected problem-solver who works well across party lines.  This Wednesday he will be having breakfast with the state’s Republican Governor, Nikki Haley (no relationJ), for a bipartisan discussion on improving the funding formula for K-12 public education.

This overture by the Governor hopefully signals a better working relationship not only between Democratic legislators and the Governor but also between her and legislators in her own party. 

If the two Nikki’s develop a good working relationship on the issue of education funding, hopefully that good will can spread to other important issues for the state’s small businesses.

Senator Setzler laid out two laid of these issues in an opinion editorial this past Friday in The State.

Our state’s economy is improving, but it still lags the national economy. Our state must continue to recruit large employers, but we must have an equal focus on small businesses. The state’s Department of Commerce needs a small-business division charged with recruiting and supporting small businesses, which create the majority of the jobs in South Carolina. Often, it’s small businesses that are on the cutting edge of technology, and South Carolina needs to support these entrepreneurs.

South Carolina needs to ensure access to medical care for its residents. It’s a way to invest in the wellbeing of our people and maintain a healthy and vibrant workforce. The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken: The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. Washington politics should not be our politics. As legislators, we need to provide a better quality of life for our residents. By expanding our state’s Medicaid program to cover the poorest of the poor, we can do just that.

Having the Department of Commerce put boots on the ground to help local communities grow small businesses has been a long time goal of the S.C. Small Business Chamber.  Expanding Medicaid will benefit small businesses by creating a healthier workforce and making health insurance more affordable for business owners.

So good luck to Senator Setzler this week.  His breakfast with the Governor is about more than education—it’s about making South Carolina more small business friendly.
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