Legislative Update: Week 7, 2020
March 2, 2020
Legislative Update: Week 9, 2020
March 16, 2020
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Legislative Update: Week 8, 2020

Legislative Update: Week 8, 2020

Overview

The week began with a huge development for the future of our state-owned utility Santee Cooper. I encourage you to read House Speaker Jay Lucas’s op-ed in the Post & Courier here that summarizes how the House is working towards making the best decision for ratepayers and taxpayers. 

Other pieces of legislation making big strides this week are the Convention of States resolution that puts constitutional limits on the federal government and a bill that would close a current loophole for inmates on death row. Currently, state law allows death-row inmates to pick lethal injection or electrocution but mandates using lethal injection if inmates do not make a choice. Manufacturers that make lethal injection drugs have stopped selling them to prisons so this bill fixes the loophole by making the electric chair the default method.

Next week, my colleagues and I will be working on the state budget. I will update you throughout the week and welcome you to follow along starting on Monday here.

Education Update

After eight weeks of debate and over 300 amendments, the State Senate finally passed their education reform legislation. It addresses many of the same issues which were covered in the education reform legislation I voted for last year. I look forward to the upcoming debate on this bill and will work tirelessly with Governor McMaster, the Senate, and my colleagues in the House to ensure we pass a comprehensive education reform bill.

Other Legislative News:

We sent the following bills to the Senate this week:

  • H.4710 amends the Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2006, adding vaping to the definition of smoking and requiring vaping to be covered under existing Tobacco-Free campus policies.
  • H. 4963 would allow wholesalers of wine to provide samples in small amounts, not to exceed three liters a year. The ability to provide product samples is allowed in most other forms of businesses so it seems fair to allow a minimal amount of wine samples.
  • H. 4663 would allow registered pharmacists to administer flu vaccines without a prescription. The bill currently awaits a hearing in the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.
  • H. 4724 would create a Veteran Study Committee to study the issue of homelessness among military veterans. The bill currently awaits a hearing in the Senate Family and Veterans’ Services Committee.
  • H. 4776 would not allow anyone who has worked for a public utility company to be appointed to the state’s Public Service Commission, which regulates utility companies and approves rate requests, until at least three years after they have left those jobs. The bill currently awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Health

Governor McMaster met with state and public health officials earlier this week to address concerns over COVID-19 and review South Carolina’s response and preparedness plans. Currently there are no known cases of coronavirus in SC, but we are preparing for the inevitable. DHEC has been closely monitoring the situation and has information on what each of us can do to best protect ourselves and others. 

How is coronavirus prevented?

  • Wash your hands often. 
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with sick people. 
  • Stay home while you are sick; avoid others. 
  • Cover mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. 

Visit www.scdhec.gov/COVID19 for more information. 

Special Guest

The House met in Joint Session with the Senate on Wednesday to hear from Bill Oxford, the National Commander of The American Legion. He praised South Carolina’s efforts to support veterans as well as it’s long legacy of service to country and freedom, noting that the state is home to eight military bases and has over 50,000 men and women currently serving in the military. He also pointed out that 38 Medal of Honor recipients have been South Carolinians. We should be proud of those who have answered the call of duty and stand behind them.

Don’t Forget!

The time change is this weekend so don’t forget to move your clocks ahead an hour on Saturday night!

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.

Keep up with the SC House GOP Caucus on Facebook or Twitter.