Legislative Update- May 10, 2021
May 10, 2021
Legislative Update- Budget
July 6, 2021
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Legislative Update- May 17, 2021

Last week was National Police Week. Every day, the brave men and women of law enforcement leave their families and put their lives on the line to protect and serve communities around South Carolina. Thank you to police officers for your service!

Overview

Meaningful and conservative legislation meant to protect our constitutional rights, cut government spending and regulations, preserve life, and better our education system was the basis of this year’s session. This was the last week of the 2021 session of the 124th General Assembly. We spent a lot of time on the Floor, trying to get as much done as possible before Sine Die – the end of session.

I am proud of our accomplishments this year, from expanding gun laws, to protecting the unborn, securing the integrity of our elections, and much more. We will return to work in June, although the Sine Die resolution restricts our debate to the budget, to review and vote on conference reports, and begin the once-a-decade redistricting process. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of any assistance to you.

Preserving & Fortifying Our Second Amendment

With just one day to spare, the South Carolina House passed H. 3094, the open carry with training act. This is more than about allowing law-abiding citizens to openly carrying a firearm. By voting YES my colleagues and I voted to :

  • Block the federal government’s efforts to confiscate or over-regulate our Second Amendment rights by making South Carolina a Second Amendment Sanctuary State.
  • Relax the qualifications to become a CWP holder and address the shortage of ammunition by altering the CWP test from 50+ rounds to 25.
  • Eliminate the $50 CWP fee, making it FREE to become a CWP holder and responsible gun carrier.
  • Allow churches that meet on school property to CHOOSE if they will allow CWP holders to carry during their worship services to defend their congregations.

With the Biden administration in Washington and our legislative session coming to an end, this bill was the only way to advance South Carolina’s gun rights NOW. Amending this bill was a poison pill that would have sent it back to the Senate, where it would have languished until at least next year.

This Week In the SC House

In addition to the gun legislation, we passed a lot of legislation out of the House this week as we approached Sine Die at 5 pm on Thursday. Here are some of the big-ticket items:

Convention of States: To amend the US Constitution, Congress can propose changes, but so can a Convention of the States. This week, we passed a bill to join the list of states who wish to participate in the convention process (34 states must pass a law to convene a convention).

Move Over! Left Lane Driving Bill: This week, the House adopted a conference report on a bill that says slower traffic on South Carolina’s roads must move over for faster vehicles on 2+ lane highways.

I love Beach Music Parking: S. 40 passed on Thursday in the House and is now headed to Governor McMaster’s desk. This requires that a municipality receive prior approval from the SCDOT before establishing, altering or restricting the use of parking facilities on a state highway. This ensures that everyone can afford a day at the beach.

Tax Conformity: This week the tax conformity bill passed the House and Senate, which puts the State and Federal tax codes align. This year, many people filed for unemployment in SC due to the pandemic. This bill exempts some of this income, ensuring people are not penalized for the hardships they faced.

Who Let The Hogs Out?: Many people are unaware of the feral hog problem we have in South Carolina… Others, like farmers, are all too familiar with this problem. This week, a bill to outlaw the transportation of pigs on a public road or waterway without identification and to prohibit the transport of a live pig taken from the wild without a permit was sent to the Governor’s desk.

Exceptional Need Tax Credits: The House and Senate passed a bill that allows for public charities to expend extra money on children with exceptional needs and allow for money spent on these children to be claimed as a tax credit.

Great News For South Carolina!

Gov. Henry McMaster’s New Executive Order

This week, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order that did the following: allows parents to decide on masks in schools, restricts local mask mandates, and prohibits vaccine passports. In response, DHEC released a form to provide consent for or on behalf of a student in any public school in SC to opt-out from wearing a face mask. You can access the form here: CONSENT FORM TO OPT OUT OF FACE MASK REQUIREMENT IMPOSED ON STUDENTS BY A SCHOOL OR SCHOOL DISTRICT. For more information, visit the Schools and Childcare Page on the DHEC website: Schools & Childcare Centers (COVID-19).

CDC Relaxes Recommendations

On Thursday, the CDC relaxed their guidance/recommendations for mask-wearing and social distancing while indoors. They say those who are fully vaccinated can resume activities that they did before the pandemic without wearing a mask or physically distancing. Find more information from the CDC here: When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated – Covid-19.

Weekly COVID-19 Update

*Numbers updated May 13th.

COVID-19 Resources and Helplines: DHEC Care Line: 1-855-472-3432COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line: 1-866-365-8110Find a vaccine location near you here: https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov Information about qualifying for SBA loans: https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources Mental health/substance abuse services related to COVID-19: 1-844-724-6737For other COVID-19 resources, visit the Accelerate SC website: https://accelerate.sc.gov To see if you may qualify for unemployment, visit: https://dew.sc.gov For updates from the Governor, visit https://governor.sc.gov

It is an honor and a privilege to serve you in Columbia. If you need help navigating state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me.