SCARC Legislator of the Year 2011

We are pleased to recognize Senator Robert W. Hayes, Jr. as the 2011 South Carolina Association of Regional Councils’ “Legislator of the Year.”

Senator Hayes is eminently qualified for this honor.  In addition to being a long time supporter of the state’s Council of Governments network,   Senator Hayes was instrumental in helping establish the Catawba Wateree Bi-State Advisory Commission and became its first chairman in 2005. The importance  of this Commission in promoting a regional, cooperative approach to the allocation of water resources between the two states of South and North Carolina can not be overstated.  In 2010, this bi-state regional Commission, at the request of the attorneys general of both states, helped avert a potential costly and protracted legal fight involving the US Supreme Court over the equitable allocation of water resources.  The Commission’s work resulted in a negotiated settlement rather than a costly and protracted law suit.  As a result,   safeguards are now being put in place to improve bi-state cooperation in the allocation of water resources between a water basin that passes through two states.

Senator Hayes also introduced legislation in the SC Senate that eventually resulted in a 30 mile section of the Catawba River being designed a state Scenic River. This designation has significant benefits for nature based tourism activities and the resulting economic benefits to the region and state.

Senator Hayes is a graduate of West Point where he served as President of his Class and Battalion Commander.  He served as Infantry Company Commander with the 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg and became a member of the elite Ranger Corps having completed over 60  jumps as part of his service. He is a recipient of the Legion of Merit and is a retired full Colonel in the SC National Guard.

Senator Hayes practices law in Rock Hill. His law degree is from the University of South  Carolina, where he was a member of the law review.  

Senator Hayes first served in the SC House of Representatives from 1985 to 1991. He has served as state Senator from York County continuously since 1991.

Please join us in recognizing the SCARC Legislator of the Year, Senator Wes Hayes.