Legislative Update: Week 4, 2021
February is Black History Month. This month, we celebrate the accomplishments and contributions made by Black Americans who make our country and state a great place to live.
This week, we wrapped up week #4of the 2021 session. I am happy to report lots of progress was made – from appointing new judges, to making progress in vaccinating our state, to advancing the Heartbeat Bill and much more.
As of February 2nd, South Carolina ranks 5th in the nation in getting vaccinations in arms. This is attributed to the hard work and collaboration of frontline workers, healthcare professionals, DHEC, the Governor, and all of my colleagues. Despite the hard work we have seen, we still have room to improve and we will continue to improve.
On Wednesday, members of the Senate joined my colleagues and me in the House chamber to vote on 22 judicial positions. The South Carolina Constitution requires judges to be elected by members of the General Assembly in a Joint Assembly. Prior to being judicial candidates, individuals seeking judicial office are screened by a committee to ensure they are upstanding citizens and possess the competency and qualifications necessary to serve on the bench. Congratulations to all the newly appointed judges!
Last week, the Senate passed the Heartbeat Bill. This is exciting news, as last year, my colleagues and I worked hard to pass a similar bill which never made it out of the Senate. The bill is now in the House Judiciary Committee and I am hopeful it will soon be on the House floor. I am looking forward to voting YES on this bill and passing it on to Governor McMaster, who has committed to sign it into law.
Although this year has been a challenging year for both educators and students, it has brought many areas of weakness to our attention. Last year, we began an overhaul of education legislation with a few large bills. This year, we are breaking down the bills. Through this, I am hopeful that more legislation will pass, and we can get students to where they need to be. This week I was proud to vote in favor of legislation that does the following:
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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.