COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Gov. Mark Sanford will be making two stops in Aiken this week to speak with residents about what officials are doing to bring jobs, attract investment and make government more efficient.
On Thursday, the Republican governor plans to visit the Aiken Kiwanis at 12:30 p.m. at Eejay's Restaurant, 1680 Richland Ave. West, Ste. 180. Then at 2 p.m., Sanford will appear at Reiter Automotive, located at 1103 Powderhouse Road SE.
The scandal-ridden governor's visits follow a week in which a technicality in House rules prevented lawmakers from introducing an impeach resolution during a two-day session.
Sanford, who has been dogged by controversy since he admitted to leaving the country in June to visit his mistress in Argentina, was also buoyed by the announcement that Boeing would adding a second production line for the 787 Dreamliner to the companys existing facilities in North Charleston.
Also likely to come up during Sanfords stops in Aiken, according to his spokesman Ben Fox: Government restructuring, including the Senate's push to reorganize state healthcare agencies, which Sanford supports, and reforms for the Employment Security Commission.
Last week, a Senate subcommittee passed three government-restructuring bills, placing the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Department of Mental Health under the governors cabinet with a governor-appointed secretary.
However, the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs will not come under the governor's control. Under the bill, the agency will keep its non-cabinet status and operate under a seven-member board appointed by the governor with advice and consent of the Senate. The bill also enacts changes recommended by a Legislative Audit Counsel review.
Aiken Kiwanis Club president Jason Redd said the governor's office approached the organization about speaking Thursday. The club focuses on serving area youths, and has more than 40 members, Mr. Redd said.
"We've had interesting topics discussed by professors, artists and business owners, but we haven't had anyone at this political level speak in recent history," he said. "We're looking for a big crowd to hear what he has to say."
The public is invited to Thursday's luncheon.
South Carolina Bureau Chief Stephanie Toone contributed to this report.
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