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The Greenville News

- Veteran

Wednesday, October 25, 2000
House Speaker Pro Tem Terry E. Haskins
House Speaker Pro Tem Terry Edward Haskins, the architect of the law that banished video gambling from South Carolina, of 30 Normandy Road, died October 24, 2000, at the age of 45.

Born in Pontiac, Mich., he was a sonHaskinsof Charles Edward Haskins of Greenville, and the late Dorothy Mae Haskins.

In the late 1980's, Mr. Haskins transformed the House Republican Caucus from a loose-knit group into a potent, cohesive political force. In the early 1990's, he helped engineer the new House district lines that resulted in Republican control of the S.C. House for the first time this century. After Republicans took over in 1994, the House elected him to the No. 2 post in the body, where he has remained since then.

Despite the instrumental role he played in helping the Republican Party achieve greater power, Rep. Haskins often took positions that put him at odds with party doctrine. Long before anyone had heard of Texas Gov. George W. Bush, Rep. Haskins practiced "compassionate conservatism." He was among the first legislators to call for The Citadel to admit women. He steadfastly opposed efforts to eliminate affirmative action on state-awarded contracts. And he was one of the first - and most ardent - Republican supporters of removing the Confederate flag from the State House dome.

But he was known more for his more traditionally conservative positions. He was instrumental in passing legislation requiring teens to get permission from either a parent or a judge before having an abortion, as well as a bill requiring women to be given basic medical information before the procedure can be performed. Early in his career, he waged an intense fight for abstinence-based sex education classes in public schools.

And then there was video poker. Rep. Haskins and two other House members were the original opponents of video poker, introducing legislation to outlaw it as soon as the courts started ruling payoffs legal in the early '90's. He continued for most of the decade to try to outlaw, or at least restrict, it. Finally, in 1999, he proposed and pushed through a legislative conference committee the language that resulted in video poker's demise. It simply said that video poker would be illegal unless the public voted to keep it legal. When the Supreme Court called off the November 1999 referendum, the result was that Rep. Haskins' language took effect, and video poker was outlawed.

Rep. Haskins served as president of the National Republican Legislators Association in 1998-1999, and was named National Republican Legislator of the Year in 1990. He was listed in Outstanding Young Men of America, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in American Politics.

Before his election to the House, he served on the Greenville City Council from 1983 through 1986, the last two years as vice-mayor pro tempore.

He received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Bob Jones University, and a juris doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. He practiced law in the Greenville office of Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman.

He was a member of Second Presbyterian Church of Greenville.

He is survived by his wife, Gloria Esperanza Arias; their four sons, David Edward, Bryan Scott, Hayden Ferguson Arias and Harlan Bushfield Arias; his father, Charles Edward Haskins; two sisters, Vicki Zdanowski and Nanette Hixon; and a brother, Dean Haskins.

Services will be held Friday at 2 p.m. in Rodeheaver Auditorium at Bob Jones University, with Drs. Bob Jones III, Bob Shelton, and Bob Wood officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Terry Haskins Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o S.C. Policy Council of Education Foundation, 1323 Pendleton St., Columbia, SC 29205. -- The Mackey Mortuary, Century Drive.


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