Rep. Joe Neal, IMPH Board Member and Health Policy Fellow Dies

All of us at IMPH are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Rep. Joe Neal. A board member and Fellow of our inaugural Health Policy Fellows Program Class, he has been a positive voice for South Carolina during his entire career. We share our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all of South Carolina.

The Honorable Joe Neal represented District 70, Richland and Sumter Counties, in the South Carolina House of Representatives.  Serving in the House since 1993, he was a member of the Ways and Means Committee, where he was chairman of the License, Fees, Insurance Tax and Other Charges Subcommittee and a member of the Transportation and Regulatory Budget Subcommittee.  Additionally, he  served on the Rules Committee, the Education Oversight Committee and is the assistant Democratic Leader for the South Carolina House of Representatives.  During his tenure in the House, he served as chairman of the South Carolina Legislative Black Caucus and First-Vice Chairman of the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee, which is responsible for legislation affecting the Departments of Social Services, Corrections, Mental Health, and Disabilities and Special Needs.  He is also past Vice-Chairman of the House Task Force for Consumer Finance Reform and past Vice-Chairman of the House Task Force for Welfare Reform.

Throughout his career, Representative Neal sponsored pieces of legislation for improving the quality of life for all people.  He continues his battle to end predatory lending and racial profiling in South Carolina. He introduced the state’s first and only anti-racial profiling legislation which was passed and enacted by the South Carolina General Assembly.

Representative Neal was the founder of Area Communities in Economic Development and Rural Sumter Communities for Economic Development, two non-profit community development organizations and co-founder of the South Carolina Environmental Watch Network.  His numerous affiliations included membership in the NAACP, Moving Forward Community Group, Lower Richland Water Authority, Lower Richland Community Council and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.  He served as Chairman of the Citizens for Hopkins Neighborhood Associations; co-chair of the South Carolina Progressive Network, a statewide grass roots organization; and as a board member of the Carolina Peace Resource Center.

Representative Neal was a “preacher of the gospel,” serving as Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Chester, South Carolina.  He was employed as a Senior Consultant for New Horizons Systems of Columbia, a multi-service consortium for personnel management training and development of customized software applications.  A 1972 graduate of Benedict College, he has studied at the Colgate School of Divinity, Rochester, New York, and the Pittsburgh Theology School, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He also had an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Benedict College.

More information and remembrances of Rep. Neal may be found at the links below:

Longtime advocate for the poor, South Carolina Rep. Joe Neal of Columbia dies at 66

Richland County Rep. Joe Neal dies


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