COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina legislator leading efforts to combat opioid abuse is resigning.

Republican Rep. Eric Bedingfield of Belton said Tuesday he’s accepted a new job as director of government affairs at his alma mater, Greenville Technical College. He was appointed in August to lead a panel to make recommendations on combatting painkiller abuse. Bedingfield says he will remain in office until January to complete the panel’s work.

Bedingfield said the decision was tough, but “family’s got to come first.” The 50-year-old Marine says the job close to home allows more time with his grandchildren.

Bedingfield became a vocal leader in combatting painkiller abuse after his oldest son died last year of an opioid overdose.

He officially starts his new role Sept. 5. Legislators will consider his panel’s suggestions next year.