Legislative Update: Week 5, 2021
February 15, 2021
Legislative Update: Week 7, 2021
March 1, 2021
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Legislative Update: Week 6, 2021

Legislative Update

Making History: Passing the Heartbeat Bill

The Heartbeat Bill, which outlaws abortions in the state of South Carolina after a heartbeat has been detected (around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy), passed the House this week and was signed into law by Governor McMaster on Thursday. This long-anticipated bill passed the House last year only to burn out in the Senate. Once it was taken back up in the Senate and passed, I was ready to vote yes!

After what ended up being an emotionally explosive day, where most of the Democrat members walked out, the bill passed by a vote of 79-35. This bill is a huge step in the right direction of protecting the innocent life of the unborn and I am honored to be part of the largest pro-life bill to pass in South Carolina history.

Maintaining Integrity – SC’s Election System

This week, there were a series of bills in the House Judiciary Committee to reform the election system in our state. Currently, our state’s election process is a confusing patchwork – each region of our state has a unique system and there is no central authority to cover the cracks and holes that exist in the system. These bills aim to streamline and structure our state’s election system, preserving the integrity of every citizen’s vote. I look forward to soon debating this on the House floor.

Protecting Our Religious Freedoms

During the nationwide shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, churchgoers of all religions were denied the ability to gather and worship. This is unacceptable and unconstitutional. We deserve the right to make that decision within our religious bodies. The South Carolina Religious Freedoms Act that was introduced this week, protects the right to hold religious services, even during a state of emergency. This bill is working its way through committee, and I look forward to supporting it in coming weeks.

Who, What, Where and When? Getting COVID-19 Vaccinations in Arms

This week, a legislative oversight committee met with leaders from South Carolina’s DHEC, MUSC and Prisma Hospital systems. The meeting allowed members to get a pulse on where we are, where we are going, and how we can better work together to vaccinate South Carolina.Clearly, the supply of vaccine remains limited from the federal government with the hope of increases soon. Here is what we know:

Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine?

What are the numbers?

  • Total Doses Given in South Carolina: 705,776
  • Total People Vaccinated in South Carolina: 528,480
  • People with 1 Vaccine dose: 527,691
  • People with 2 Vaccine doses: 177,126

(Numbers updated Feb. 18th)

Where can I get vaccinated?

When will I be eligible to be vaccinated?

  • Currently, South Carolina is in Phase 1A of the vaccination process.
  • DHEC plans to transition to Phase 1B by early Spring.
  • South Carolina obtains vaccinations from the Federal government, meaning the following chart is subject to change based on availability of vaccines. To see the vaccine flowchart, visit: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine

ICYMI: In Case You Missed It

  • I supported a bill proposing that students attending two-year institutions (including technical colleges) may qualify for the Palmetto Fellows scholarship. This passed by a vote of 115-0.
  • I supported a joint resolution to authorize podiatrists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, which passed on Wednesday by a vote of 98-0.
  • In the House Judiciary Committee this week was a bill that intends to extend foster care to individuals up to 21 years of age instead of 18. Foster children need support during this transitional period between childhood and adulthood, and this bill guarantees that support is available to them. I look forward to supporting this bill.

COVID-19 Resources and Helplines:

To follow committees, members, meetings, bills, get notifications, access calendars and journals, and live stream videos follow the links below!

Find the SC House GOP Caucus on Facebook and Twitter

https://www.facebook.com/SCHouseGOP/

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.