Fellow South Carolinian:
First, an apology: I regret not corresponding with you via this email account over the past three months. Although I have regularly provided legislative updates on my social-media platforms and in MSM, and have had countless telephone conversations and meetings with constituents, I simply was not able to keep up with the volume of correspondence associated with this email account.
By way of explanation if not excuse, I chair standing subcommittees on four different South Carolina Senate committees – Finance; Banking & Insurance; Medical Affairs; and Labor, Commerce & Industry – and as such was responsible for shepherding dozens of bills through the legislative process. Between that and, when I was not in session, practicing law at my firm in Beaufort, I fell behind in my communications with you.
Anyway, that correspondence hiatus is over. The legislative session has ended and going forward I will once again respond to your emails within 14 days of receiving them, and earlier if possible. I will also begin to make my way through the backlog of emails, answering them in the order received. I realize some will contain moot requests or observations, with events having overtaken them, but I will nonetheless personally respond to each.
In the meantime, I have compiled a summary below of some prominent bills that were enacted into law during the 2021 legislative session in Columbia. This is by no means a complete account of all the bills that became law, but it is a fair compilation of the most impactful ones. The state budget for the coming fiscal year will not be finalized until next month; once it is, I will provide a summary of how your tax dollars were spent.
Many important bills are at the legislative midpoint and will be worked on further in 2022 – bills that address pension solvency, election integrity, healthcare and energy markets, comprehensive tax reform, to name but a few. It has been my privilege to represent you in the South Carolina Senate since 2009, and I promise continued hard work and to always make you proud.
State Senator for District 46
2021 LEGISLATIVE YEAR IN REVIEW – SIGNIFICANT BILLS ENACTED INTO LAW
S.1 – SC Fetal Heartbeat Act: A bill to provide that no person may perform an abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detectable, except in cases where: 1) the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest; 2) the life or health of the mother is threatened; or 3) the unborn child has a fetal anomaly (i.e., a profound and irremediable congenital or chromosomal anomaly that would be incompatible with sustaining life after birth).
S.201 – Accountability Measures for Public Schools and Public School Districts: A bill to authorize the State Superintendent of Education to assume management of a failing public-school district, dismiss the governing board, and implement an interim five-member board.
S.147 – COVID-19 Liability Safe Harbor Act: A bill to provide civil-damage liability protections to healthcare providers and businesses that follow public health guidance in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
S.38 – REACH Act: A bill to require that all high schools and institutions of higher learning give instruction in the essentials of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
H.3609 – Teacher Step Increases: A joint resolution to appropriate $50,000,000 to the Executive Budget Office to provide public-school teachers step increases for the 2020-2021 School Year.
S.304 – Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations: A bill to permit a person or corporation who uses an electric vehicle charging station to resell electricity to the public for compensation if the person furnishes it exclusively for charging plug-in electric vehicles.
S.704 – Return to Five-Day, In-Person Classroom Instruction: A joint resolution to require that for the 2020-2021 School Year, every school district must offer five-day, in-person classroom instruction to students no later than April 12, 2021.
H.3094– Open Carry with Training Act: A bill to authorize individuals lawfully permitted to carry concealable weapons in the State to carry a firearm openly on one’s person or in a manner hidden from public view.