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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              June 24, 2022

 

Attorney General Alan Wilson statement on Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs abortion case

 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -  South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson made the following statement after the Supreme Court released its ruling in the Dobbs case dealing with Mississippi’s abortion law.

 

“I want to thank the Supreme Court for returning decision-making power to the people of each state. For almost 50 years, our country’s abortion policy was controlled by nine unelected judges. I have always thought Roe v. Wade was bad policy, was wrongly decided, and not supported by the Constitution.

 

“However, it’s important to remember that this ruling does not outlaw abortion nationwide, it simply allows the people of each state to decide. This office will continue to defend any law the General Assembly enacts in response to this decision.

 

“This ruling is a victory for life, the rule of law, and local decision-making. Human life is the most precious thing we have and our Founders sought to protect life, not destroy it.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              June 21, 2022

 

Attorney General Wilson praises U.S. Supreme Court decision as a “Victory for school choice.”

 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson today praised the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in a Maine case dealing with state scholarship money going to religious schools. The Supreme Court ruled that disqualifying some private schools from receiving state tuition assistance payments only because they are religious schools is unconstitutional because it penalizes the free exercise of religion.

 

“This is a victory for school choice and religious education,” Attorney General Wilson said. “As Chief Justice Roberts said so well, ‘The State pays tuition for certain students at private schools—so long as the schools are not religious. That is discrimination against religion.’”

House Republican Caucus

SCHRC 2022 –Final State Budget

 

The House was in session this week for one day to tackle conference committee reports on the budget, income tax relief, and several other outstanding legislative items. I am happy to report that we adopted a balanced state budget that does exactly what we wanted it to, and remains focused on the 4R’s: increasing reserves, improving roads and infrastructure, providing raises for teachers and first responders, and gives $2 billion in tax relief. 

 

Here are a few highlights from the finalized state budget:

 

Investing in S.C. Citizens:

The final state budget returns $2 billion to South Carolina citizens - $1 billion will go back to all tax filers who have a tax liability, and $1 billion will come in the form of income tax relief. This income tax legislation also:

  • Creates a two-rate system by collapsing and simplifying the 6%, 5% and 4% brackets into a 3% bracket

  • With this tax rebate, one-third of tax filers will have no tax liability

Investing in Education: 

South Carolina teachers are now being paid above the Southeastern average and we are getting more money to classrooms and resources that schools need like SROs and mental health counselors. This year’s budget also:  

  • Provides $275 million of new annual funding in public education.

  • Raises the minimum salary schedule by $4,000 per cell 

  • Increases the starting teacher salary from $36,000 to $40,000

    • That’s a 32% increase in the last 5 years

  • Sends $140 million for capital improvements in disadvantaged school districts and more money to rural and poor school districts

  • Reforms the school funding formula to accomplish simplicity, flexibility, and accountability & transparency 

And for Higher Education:

  • For the 4th year, froze tuition mitigation in-state, undergrad students at all public 4-year and 2-year USC campuses.

  • Fully funds LIFE, HOPE, Palmetto Fellows Scholarships, and Lottery for Tuition Assistance for the 7th year in a row    

Investing in Infrastructure:

South Carolina has the 4th largest state highway system, serving the 10th fastest growing population. That’s why investing in infrastructure to fix our roads is so critical! 

This budget provides for:

  • $1 billion in additional state funding for roads

  • Recurring dollars will pave the way for hundreds of millions in federal funding

  • Two significant interstate projects: the widening of 70 miles of I-26, and the widening of 33 miles of I-95.

  • Both of these projects are expected to be accelerated by the one-time infusion. 

  • $250 million additional to County Transportation Committee for secondary and low volume local primary roads.

Investing in Law Enforcement and State Employees
Law enforcement officers and state employees keep our state running. That’s why this year’s budget will bring:

  • Significant increases in starting salaries and pay for Law Enforcement & Correctional Officers to address state law enforcement recruitment and retention issues.

  • A 3% pay raise for state employees, the largest pay raise in six years.

  • A $1,500 bonus for all state employees.

Investing in our state

To make our state more competitive and encourage jobs and industry, we need to maintain a balance of investing in industry and protecting the landscape we love. That’s why this year’s budget includes:

  • $350 million to the SC Ports Authority to complete the Navy Base Intermodal Facility and inner harbor container barge infrastructure project 

  • $65 Million for Land Conservation to protect and preserve properties throughout the state and provide additional outdoor recreation opportunities for the citizens of South Carolina   


Investing in State Reserves – We need your input!

Part of being fiscally conservative is to prepare for potential uncertain times of economic downturn. Raising our General Reserve Fund was a priority for us this year, which will help our state continue to operate in the face of an economic crisis. We are turning to the voters to increase our savings. This November, there will be a question on every ballot that will ask voters to increase the amount of money allocated to the General Reserve Fund each year from 5% to 7% and increase the Capital Reserve Fund each year from 2% to 3%. We are already 6th in the nation in reserves thanks to our conservative budgeting process and have fully funded those reserves for this year. That means more than 10% of this year’s budget is held in savings and reserves for the future. 

SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES - END OF YEAR SUMMARY:

 

When the 2021-2022 Legislative Session came to a close on Thursday, May 12, there were concrete RESULTS from our work for the people of South Carolina and other items still to be determined. Successes included slashing government red-tape, cutting taxes, and making a more efficient government that works for the people -- one that makes South Carolina a better place to work, go to school, own a business and raise a family. 

This summary highlights some of the important legislation passed, and what will be headed to a conference committee to work out differences between the House and the Senate versions and amendments on some bills.

 

The Budget and Tax Cuts:

The House’s budget centered around 4 R’s: increasing reserves, improving our roads and infrastructure, securing raises for teachers and first responders, and over $1 billion in tax relief. Conferees will meet to address differences between the House and Senate’s budgets. A conference committee will also meet to address differences with S. 1087, the “Comprehensive Tax Cut Act of 2022”. Legislators will return on the 15th to pass a finalized version of the budget. I will share more information on both after the conferences send compromise proposals to the House & Senate and decisions are made final. Two large parts of my focus are infrastructure and education. 

  •  Interstate 95 - A priority for SC, especially those in the lowcountry, is repairing and widening this interstate, most pressing is the section from the South Carolina/Georgia state line to the Walterboro exits. As chair of the House Ways and Means Transportation & Regulatory Budget subcommittee, I am proud to have worked with House leadership, SCDOT and the Senate to put funding in place for widening and repaving to make this stretch three lanes in each direction. 

 

  • Education Funding - Increased pay for teachers. South Carolina PreK-12 funding increased by $227 million and includes increases in teacher supply funds - and an expansion in school districts’ authorization for raising teacher salaries.

 


Increasing Reserves:

Raising our state general reserve fund was a priority for the House this year, which helps prepare South Carolina in the face of financial uncertainty. A bill that will gradually raise reserves from 5% to 7% and increase capital reserve funds from 2% to 3% was passed in the House this year, but will go to a conference committee to address its differences with the Senate. 

 

Easier to Vote - Harder to Cheat in South Carolina: 

Safeguarding our elections has been the #1 priority of many lawmakers after questions were raised about the integrity of votes in 2020. It is of utmost importance that each vote cast in an election is COUNTED and counted only once. The South Carolina House was proud to usher through legislation to ensure that will always be the case. Signed by the Governor on May 13, 2022, this bill fortifies our South Carolina election system. This law makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat. Kudos to all of the grassroots citizen leaders who worked alongside elected officials to craft this legislation. While D.C. bickers and fights - South Carolina’s House & Senate bipartisanly voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve these reforms. 

Some of the protections in the legislation include, many of which affect this year’s Statewide Primary on June 14th:

● Establishes early voting in South Carolina for the two weeks preceding any election
● A county’s size determines the number of early voting locations
● Standardizes and strengthens the absentee vote-by-mail system and requires a verifiable witness signature
● Limits candidates to only one party nomination and listing on any ballot
● Requires affidavits and the last four digits of their social security number to early vote or to vote absentee
● Enhances penalties for violating election laws
● …and more

 

WE THE PEOPLE - Convention of States:

A conference committee has been appointed to work out differences in the House and Senate versions of S. 133, which calls for the US Congress to hold a Convention of the States. A Convention of States’ purpose is to propose new amendments pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution. It would require balanced federal budgets each year, holding the Federal Government to the same standard as State Government. You and I have to balance our checkbooks and live within our means - why shouldn’t the Federal Government have to? South Carolina would be state number 28 of the 34 needed to call for a federal balanced budget amendment. 

 

“Workforce Enhancement and Military Recognition Act”:

This legislative session is dedicated to supporting and bettering the lives of our veterans. One bill which allows all military retirement income to be deducted from an individual’s South Carolina income taxes, has been signed into law. I was proud to support this bill to eliminate the heavy burden of taxes for our veterans.

 

Veterans Burial Honor Guard Support Fund:

A conference committee was appointed for S. 968, a bill to establish the “Veterans Service Organization Burial Honor Guard Support Fund.” The fund offsets the costs to provide honor guard burial details at funerals of qualifying South Carolina veterans.  

 

Patriotism in South Carolina Schools:

S. 969 was signed into law by the Governor. This allows the state Board of Education to require the display of patriotic emblems (such as flags or mottos) of the United States of America and the State of South Carolina in our schools. I look forward to bringing American patriotism back to our classrooms!


Minimum Age for Corrections Officers:

S. 1092 was ratified [R. 243], which goes to address the shortage of correctional officers in South Carolina. This ensures that detention and correctional officer candidates in South Carolina are at least eighteen years old, rather than the former minimum age of twenty-one years old.

 

Volunteer Firefighter Grants:

Keeping our firefighters prepped and ready with the resources and gear they need is crucial to upholding public safely.  The Governor signed into law legislation which simplifies the authority of the State Fire Marshal and enhances the Volunteer Strategic Assistance and Fire Equipment (V-SAFE) Program - a program that awards grants to volunteer fire departments.

 

Police Reform: 

H. 3050 was ratified [R. 246], which limits non-certified law enforcement officers hired after July 1, 2022 from performing their duties unless they are accompanied by a certified law enforcement officer for one year in order to keep both the officer and our communities safe. It also limits the use of chokeholds, use-of-force continuum, no-knock warrants, and more.

 

‘Save Women’s Sports Act’:

The Governor signed the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’, a bill which originated in the House. This bill aims to maintain the competitive advantage for female athletes in sports. The new law is fairly straightforward: it requires, by proof of a birth certificate, that those who were designated ‘male’ at birth solelyparticipate in men’s sports, rather than participate in sports designated for females. 

 

School Choice for South Carolina: 

Giving families in South Carolina real school choice and educational freedom is long overdue. A conference committee was formed to address differences between the Senate and the House’s school choice bill. The House bill establishes a three-year “Parental Choice in Education Program”, where five thousand public school students who are financially disadvantaged or part of an active duty military family can qualify for a scholarship of up to $5,000 to attend the school of their choice.

 

Unencumbered Time for Teachers:

S. 946 was signed by the Governor, which is a bill establishing at least thirty minutes of unencumbered time on each regular school day for full-time teachers between kindergarten and fifth grade. Additionally, there must be at least thirty minutes of unencumbered time on each regular school day for any K-12 teacher who instructs a student removed from the general education setting for more than 20% of the day. 


Public School Teaching Staff Flexibility:

This House bill would provide that public school districts may hire non-certified teachers if a certified teacher is not available (given certain requirements are met). The Senate amendments to the House bill largely make the program a pilot and only certain districts are eligible. The bill was sent to Conference to work outthe differences.

 

SCWINS:

H. 3144, a bill which establishes the South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship (SCWINS), was signed into law by the Governor. The South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship (SCWINS) can be awarded to eligible South Carolinians pursuing degrees or certificates from public South Carolina technical colleges. The scholarship is equal to the cost of tuition, fees, or other course-related materials. 

 

Transparency & Integrity in Education:

S. 945 seeks to promote public access to school board meetings by requiring school boards to live stream meetings. S. 945 was read a third time and returned to the Senate with amendments. The committee added language from H. 5183, the Transparency and Integrity in Education Act earlier sent to the Senate, which was not sent back. This language calls for closer scrutiny and say in the curriculum taught to our children.

 

Evaluating New Teachers:

The Governor has signed a bill to improve the means for evaluating educator preparation programs by developing and publishing an online report card known as the “South Carolina Teacher Preparation Report Card”. This evaluates the ability of educator preparation programs to train new teachers so as to guide and improve future educator training programs.

 

Bringing Eye Health to Underprivileged Public Schools:

A bill which authorizes not-for-profit programs to operate mobile optometry units to provide services to students in Title I public schools was signed into law by the Governor. This goes to increase and prioritize eye health for students who might otherwise not have access to optometry services.

 

Medical Ethics & Diversity:

Also being discussed in conference committee is H. 4776 the ‘Medical Ethics and Diversity Act’. 

This bill protects the rights of health care professionals, medical students, and health care insurance payers so they can choose NOT to participate in health care services, or pay for them, when the procedure violates their ethics or conscience. Additionally, it protects them from civil, criminal, or administrative actions that could be taken against them.

 

“South Carolina Opioid Recovery Act”:

The “South Carolina Opioid Recovery Act” has been ratified. It helps to combat the major opioid crisis facing the United States by establishing the South Carolina Opioid Recovery Fund (and other related entities) which qualify South Carolina to receive resources to combat the opioid crisis.

 

Parkinson’s Disease Research Collection:

The General Assembly enrolled a bill for ratification which enacts the “South Carolina Parkinson’s Disease Research Collection Act”. This establishes a database for information on Parkinson’s disease to help further advance research to save and better the lives of those who battle the disease.

 

Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry:

A bill was enrolled for ratification called the, “Rena Nicole Grant Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry Act.” The bill directs DHEC to develop and maintain the Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry for individuals who have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease to study the nature of sickle cell disease in order to improve patient care and access to services to those suffering. 

 

Birth Certificates for Adopted Individuals:

H. 5000 allows adopted individuals to access their original birth certificate at the age of 18, provided they have the consent of their biological parent or proof that their biological parent is deceased. This has been ratified as R. 226 by the General Assembly and the Governor signed it into law on May 16. 

 

The ‘Carolina Squat’ Automobile Modification:

S. 908, a bill banning the “Carolina Squat” or the “California Lean”, has landed in conference committee. Upon passage, driving a car or truck on SC highways that has been altered or ‘squatted’ exceeding specific height requirements will be penalized.

 

Disabled Employees - Minimum Wage:

The General Assembly enrolled a bill for ratification which prohibits the payment of subminimum wages to individuals with disabilities, to ensure those with disabilities are treated and compensated fairly for their contributions in the workplace.

 

Cutting Property Taxes:

In the South Carolina House, we are dedicated to reducing the heavy tax burden on South Carolinian families. The House made appointments to a conference committee to address its differences with the Senate on S. 233, a bill allowing a real property tax exemption extension. Among other things, the legislation proposes that when a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse could receive a property tax exemption if the surviving spouse owns the house and meets certain qualifications. The legislation also helps support one of our state’s largest industries: the  agriculture industry, by establishing a property tax exemption for all farm buildings and agricultural structures owned by a producer in this state.

 

Tax Credits for Infrastructure Projects:

A bill was signed into law by the Governor that increases utilities infrastructure project license tax credits for working on infrastructure and economic development projects. This increases the maximum tax credit that may be claimed by a company from $400k to $600k a year for contributing to these developments, especially in disadvantaged counties of our state.

 

Is South Carolina ready for wind energy?  

A conference committee was appointed to finalize a bill that directs the Department of Commerce to conduct an ‘Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain Industries Economic Development Study’. This study’s goal is to evaluate our state’s economic climate and readiness for attracting offshore wind energy supply chain industries to the state and ensure that if we do recruit offshore wind energy, our taxpayers or other industries will not be negatively impacted. 

 

 

.

Exciting times & CONGRATULATIONS, GRADUATES!!! 

I was honored to speak to the Beaufort Academy Class of 2022, attend the first ever SC Governor’s School for Agriculture at John de la Howe high school graduation, provide encouraging remarks to Coosa Elementary’s 5th grade “Crossing Over” ceremony, give commencement addresses to the Royal Live Oaks Charter School High School and The Complete Student Classes of 2022 and attend our grandson, Wilson’s Kindergarten graduation!  May the Lord be with you all, as you come to & fro, start a new journey, take on new roles, meet new friends, and learn new things. You are our future and our hope! We are proud of you, counting on you and cannot wait to see what your future holds! 

It is an honor and true pleasure to serve you. If I may be of service to you in navigating any state agency or state law, please contact me at 843-255-2260, our local legislative office or email me at
repshannonerickson@gmail.com

Thank you for allowing me to be
“Our Community Voice” in Columbia! 
You can read more at www.EricksonForHouse.com

P.S. With school violence & school safety at the forefront, I have been gathering information and will share when I have better/more comprehensive data. For now, know that the South Carolina General Assembly has appropriated funds for a school resource officer for each public school (including charters) and for a mental health professional per school as well. Other health & safety components are more school district and local law enforcement designed with plans filed with the State Department of Education. 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              June 8, 2022

 

 

 

Attorney General Alan Wilson announces recovery of almost $125,000 in Medicaid fraud

 

 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announces that his Medicaid Recipient Fraud Unit has recently recovered just under $125,000 in fraudulently obtained Medicaid benefits from two recipients. One recipient is in the Charleston County area and the second recipient is in the York County area.

 

“Our Medicaid fraud teams work tirelessly to hold those accused of fraud accountable and to recover taxpayers’ money,” Attorney General Wilson said. “We have one team that roots out fraud committed by Medicaid recipients and another that finds fraud committed by Medicaid providers.”

 

Due to HIPPA privacy rules, we cannot release the names of the recipients. The recipients completed applications and/or annual review forms in order to get Medicaid benefits and intentionally misled the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services by under-reporting their income in order to receive benefits. The recipients received the Medicaid benefits over several years.

 

After our office’s investigation, the recipients agreed to repay $50,000 and $73,240.15, which we received on May 20 and May 24, respectively. After our office received the payments, we returned the funds to the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which administers the Medicaid program. So far this fiscal year, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Recipient Fraud Unit recovered just over $775,000 in Medicaid fraud and saved taxpayers an additional $686,000 of lost benefits due to fraud that the unit’s investigations have detected.

 

-END-

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              May 27, 2022

 

 

 

Attorney General Alan Wilson urges caution during baby formula shortage

 

 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) - South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson encourages families to remain alert for scams and illegal practices related to the baby formula shortage.

 

“As a parent, I understand the importance and stress associated with providing for your children,” said Attorney General Wilson.  “I am very concerned about the shortage and encourage South Carolinians to remain vigilant to avoid activity that could result in harm to their children or financial losses.” 

 

Scammers looking to make a quick profit may attempt to sell formula that is either non-existent, counterfeit, expired, or recalled. General Wilson urges consumers to consider these tips when purchasing formula:

 

  • Use authorized retailers.  Using trusted and familiar retailers reduces your chances of being subjected to a scam and provides options if an issue arises with your purchase.  Before buying from an unfamiliar source, research the company’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.

  • Be careful with online purchases.  Avoid purchasing formula from unknown sellers on social media platforms, independent websites, or other unverified online vendors. Scammers may appear to be real people and may join online platforms to target those impacted by the shortage. 

  • Check the product. Make sure the product is genuine and safe.  Check the labeling and packaging, including expiration date.  Examine the package for signs of tampering. 

  • Use a credit card.  A credit card provides additional protection in the case of a fraudulent transaction. 

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office is committed to protecting South Carolinians from fraudulent conduct related to this shortage. Wilson added, “Anyone who attempts to take advantage of South Carolinians impacted by this situation will be held accountable to the full extent of the law.”  If you come across any suspicious activity, please report it to the Attorney General’s Office at 803-737-3953 or your local law enforcement agency.

 

Consumers who have problems with online sellers, should fraud arise and they cannot get their issues resolved, can file complaints with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs.

 

Additionally, families impacted by the shortage are encouraged to visit DHEC’s website to receive the latest information and find available resources: https://scdhec.gov/health/women-infants-children-wic-nutrition-program/national-infant-formula-shortage.

-END-

House Republican Caucus

SCHRC 2022

End of Session Update

 

The 2021-2022 Legislative Session came to a close on Thursday, May 12. This close yielded RESULTS for our Republican Caucus Agenda, which aims to slash government red-tape, cut taxes, and make a more efficient government that works for the people -- one that makes South Carolina a better place to work, go to school, own a business and raise a family. 

 

This newsletter highlights some of the important legislation passed, and what will be headed to a conference committee to work out differences between the House and the Senate.

 

The Budget and Tax Cuts:

The House’s budget centered around 4 R’s: increasing reserves, improving our roads and infrastructure, securing raises for teachers and first responders, and over $1 billion in tax relief. Conferees will meet to address differences between the House and Senate’s budgets. A conference committee will also meet to address differences with S. 1087, the “Comprehensive Tax Cut Act of 2022”. Legislators will return on the 15th to pass a finalized version of the budget.

 

Increasing Reserves:

Raising our state general reserve fund was a priority for the House this year, which helps prepare South Carolina in the face of financial uncertainty. A bill that will gradually raise reserves from 5% to 7% and increase capital reserve funds from 2% to 3% was passed in the House this year, but will go to a conference committee to address its differences with the Senate. 

 

No Room for Voter Fraud in South Carolina: 

Safeguarding our elections has been the #1 priority of many lawmakers after questions were raised about the integrity of votes in 2020. It is of utmost importance that each vote cast in an election is COUNTED and counted only once. The South Carolina House was proud to usher through legislation to ensure that will always be the case. Signed by the Governor on May 13th 2022, this bill fortifies our South Carolina election system. This law makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat. 

 

Here are a few of the protections in the legislation, many of which affect this year’s Statewide Primary on June 14th:

  • Establishes early voting in South Carolina for the two weeks preceding any election

  • A county’s size determines the number of early voting locations

  • Standardizes and strengthens the absentee vote-by-mail system and requires a verifiable witness signature

  • Limits candidates to only one party nomination and listing on any ballot

  • Requires affidavits and the last four digits of their social security number to early vote or to vote absentee

  • Enhances penalties for violating election laws

  • …and more

 

WE THE PEOPLE - Convention of States:

A conference committee has been appointed to work out differences in the House and Senate versions of S. 133, which calls for the US Congress to hold a Convention of the States. A Convention of States’ purpose is to propose new amendments pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution. It would require balanced federal budgets each year, holding the Federal Government to the same standard as State Government. You and I have to balance our checkbooks and live within our means - why shouldn’t the Federal Government have to? South Carolina would be state number 28 of the 34 needed to call for a federal balanced budget amendment. 

 

“Workforce Enhancement and Military Recognition Act”: 

This legislative session has been dedicated to supporting and bettering the lives of our veterans. One bill which allows all military retirement income to be deducted from an individual’s South Carolina income taxes, has been signed into law. I was proud to support this bill to eliminate the heavy burden of taxes for our veterans.

 

Veterans Burial Honor Guard Support Fund:

A conference committee was appointed for S. 968, a bill to establish the “Veterans Service Organization Burial Honor Guard Support Fund.” The fund offsets the costs to provide honor guard burial details at funerals of qualifying South Carolina veterans.  

 

Patriotism in South Carolina Schools:

S. 969 was signed into law by the Governor. This allows the state Board of Education to require the display of patriotic emblems (such as flags or mottos) of the United States of America and the State of South Carolina in our schools. I look forward to bringing American patriotism back to our classrooms!


 

Minimum Age for Corrections Officers:

S. 1092 was ratified [R. 243], which goes to address the shortage of correctional officers in South Carolina. This ensures that detention and correctional officer candidates in South Carolina are at least eighteen years old, rather than the former minimum age of twenty-one years old.

 

Volunteer Firefighter Grants:

Keeping our firefighters prepped and ready with the resources and gear they need is crucial to upholding public safely.  The Governor signed into law legislation which simplifies the authority of the State Fire Marshal and enhances the Volunteer Strategic Assistance and Fire Equipment (V-SAFE) Program - a program that awards grants to volunteer fire departments.

 

Police Reform: 

H. 3050 was ratified [R. 246], which limits non-certified law enforcement officers hired after July 1, 2022 from performing their duties unless they are accompanied by a certified law enforcement officer for one year in order to keep both the officer and our communities safe. It also limits the use of chokeholds, use-of-force continuum, no-knock warrants, and more.

 

‘Save Women’s Sports Act’:

The Governor signed the ‘Save Women’s Sports Act’, a bill which originated in the House. This bill aims to maintain the competitive advantage for female athletes in sports. The new law is fairly straightforward: it requires, by proof of a birth certificate, that those who were designated ‘male’ at birth solely participate in men’s sports, rather than participate in sports designated for females. 

 

Real School Choice for South Carolina: 

Giving families in South Carolina real school choice and educational freedom is long overdue. A conference committee was formed to address differences between the Senate and the House’s school choice bill. The House bill establishes a three-year “Parental Choice in Education Program”, where five thousand public school students who are financially disadvantaged or part of an active duty military family can qualify for a scholarship of up to $5,000 to attend the school of their choice.

 

Unencumbered Time for Teachers:

S. 946 was signed by the Governor, which is a bill establishing at least thirty minutes of unencumbered time on each regular school day for full-time teachers between kindergarten and fifth grade. Additionally, there must be at least thirty minutes of unencumbered time on each regular school day for any K-12 teacher who instructs a student removed from the general education setting for more than 20% of the day. 


 

Non-Certified Teachers:

This House bill would provide that public school districts may hire non-certified teachers if a certified teacher is not available (given certain requirements are met). The Senate amendments to the House bill largely make the program a pilot and only certain districts are eligible. The bill was sent to Conference to work out the differences.

 

SCWINS:

H. 3144, a bill which establishes the South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship (SCWINS), was signed into law by the Governor. The South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship (SCWINS) can be awarded to eligible South Carolinians pursuing degrees or certificates from public South Carolina technical colleges. The scholarship is equal to the cost of tuition, fees, or other course-related materials. 

 

Transparency & Integrity in Education:

S. 945 seeks to promote public access to school board meetings by requiring school boards to live stream meetings. S. 945 was read a third time and returned to the Senate with amendments. The committee added language from H. 5183, the Transparency and Integrity in Education Act earlier sent to the Senate, which was not sent back. This language calls for closer scrutiny and say in the curriculum taught to our children.

 

Evaluating New Teachers:

The Governor has signed a bill to improve the means for evaluating educator preparation programs by developing and publishing an online report card known as the “South Carolina Teacher Preparation Report Card”. This evaluates the ability of educator preparation programs to train new teachers so as to guide and improve future educator training programs.

 

Bringing Eye Health to Underprivileged Public Schools:

A bill which authorizes not-for-profit programs to operate mobile optometry units to provide services to students in Title I public schools was signed into law by the Governor. This goes to increase and prioritize eye health for students who might otherwise not have access to optometry services.

 

Medical Ethics & Diversity:

Also being discussed in conference committee is H. 4776 the ‘Medical Ethics and Diversity Act’. 

This bill protects the rights of health care professionals, medical students, and health care insurance payers so they can choose NOT to participate in health care services, or pay for them, when the procedure violates their ethics or conscience. Additionally, it protects them from civil, criminal, or administrative actions that could be taken against them.


 

“South Carolina Opioid Recovery Act”:

The “South Carolina Opioid Recovery Act” has been ratified. It helps to combat the major opioid crisis facing the United States by establishing the South Carolina Opioid Recovery Fund (and other related entities) which qualify South Carolina to receive resources to combat the opioid crisis.

 

Parkinson’s Disease Research Collection:

The General Assembly enrolled a bill for ratification which enacts the “South Carolina Parkinson’s Disease Research Collection Act”. This establishes a database for information on Parkinson’s disease to help further advance research to save and better the lives of those who battle the disease.

 

Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry:

A bill was enrolled for ratification called the, “Rena Nicole Grant Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry Act.” The bill directs DHEC to develop and maintain the Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry for individuals who have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease to study the nature of sickle cell disease in order to improve patient care and access to services to those suffering. 

 

Birth Certificates for Adopted Individuals:

H. 5000 allows adopted individuals to access their original birth certificate at the age of 18, provided they have the consent of their biological parent or proof that their biological parent is deceased. This has been ratified as R. 226 by the General Assembly and the Governor signed it into law on May 16. 

 

The ‘Carolina Squat’:

S. 908, a bill banning the “Carolina Squat” or the “California Lean”, has landed in conference committee. Upon passage, driving a car or truck on SC highways that has been altered or ‘squatted’ exceeding specific height requirements will be penalized.

 

Disabled Employees - Minimum Wage:

The General Assembly enrolled a bill for ratification which prohibits the payment of subminimum wages to individuals with disabilities, to ensure those with disabilities are treated and compensated fairly for their contributions in the workplace.

 

Cutting Property Taxes:

In the South Carolina House, we are dedicated to reducing the heavy tax burden on South Carolinian families. The House made appointments to a conference committee to address its differences with the Senate on S. 233, a bill allowing a real property tax exemption extension. Among other things, the legislation proposes that when a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse could receive a property tax exemption if the surviving spouse owns the house and meets certain qualifications. The legislation also helps support one of our state’s largest industries: the  agriculture industry, by establishing a property tax exemption for all farm buildings and agricultural structures owned by a producer in this state.

 

Tax Credits for Infrastructure Projects:

A bill was signed into law by the Governor that increases utilities infrastructure project license tax credits for working on infrastructure and economic development projects. This increases the maximum tax credit that may be claimed by a company from $400k to $600k a year for contributing to these developments, especially in disadvantaged counties of our state.

 

Is South Carolina ready for wind energy?  

A conference committee was appointed to finalize a bill that directs the Department of Commerce to conduct an ‘Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain Industries Economic Development Study’. This study’s goal is to evaluate our state’s economic climate and readiness for attracting offshore wind energy supply chain industries to the state and ensure that if we do recruit offshore wind energy, our taxpayers or other industries will not be negatively impacted.

House Republican Caucus

SCHRC 2022 - Week 16

Media Advisory: News conference to announce State Grand Jury major drug ring indictment

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For the latest from our elected officials, make sure to sign up for their individual newsletters (found by clicking below links):

May 2, 2022

New Speaker, Election Integrity, and MORE!

April 25, 2022

“By stopping the demand for commercial sex, we want to discourage traffickers who hope to profit by supplying victims.” - AG Alan Wilson

April 19, 2022

"Americans are losing one of the most inspirational truths we have, which is hope—hope that things can and will get better, hope that education and hard work can equal prosperity, hope that we remain a city on a hill, a shining example of what can be when free people decide to join hands in self-governance."

March 29, 2022

“Enough is enough. Threats to kids seem always lurking online and these companies need to step up and take responsibility. As a parent and as the Attorney General, I see how TikTok and Snapchat harm our children. At the very least, we must expect these companies to help give parents the ability to protect their children,” - Attorney General Wilson

March 18, 2022

Examining the Impact of School Closures, Seeking Answers from the Biden Administration, Expanding Credit Inclusion for Seniors, Protecting All Life

March 16, 2022

“There’s nothing in the Constitution that justifies abortions and, in fact, we believe abortion violates the constitutional rights to life and equal protection.” - SC AG Alan Wilson

March 9, 2022

"Defying the government stereotype is why I am so passionate about breaking the government mold. My team and I have transformed Beaufort County's Treasurer's Office from a dilapidated bureaucracy to a service-centered, innovative leader in both the public and private sectors." - Maria Walls, CPA

March 8, 2022

“This case highlights the dangers of illegal cell phones inside our prisons. Inmates used contraband phones to run a drug empire but also to kidnap a pregnant 18-year-old, which was planned by the inmates, ordered by phone, and carried out by people outside the prison,” - Attorney General Wilson

March 1, 2022

“We commend the European Union’s recent decision to close its airspace to Russian airlines, fund supplies of weapons to Ukraine, and ban pro-Kremlin media outlets in response to Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked and horrific invasion."

March 1, 2022

"The US, along with our valued allies, must continue to supply Ukraine with the military equipment they need to repel this attack, and this legislation expedites and expands that process,” - Rep. Joe Wilson

THE FIRST SEVEN WEEKS OF THE 2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION  |  SEN. TOM DAVIS

February 28, 2022

"I regret that communication hiatus but have been heavily involved during those seven weeks in almost everything that has transpired in the South Carolina Senate"

February 25, 2022

Standing With Ukraine, Progressive Policies Are Failing Americans, Protecting Quality Health Care for Seniors + Supporting the Auto Industry

February 25, 2022

“These settlements will provide much-needed financial resources which will help combat South Carolina’s opioid epidemic”

February 22, 2022

“The murderous invasion of Ukraine by the megalomaniac Putin is another desperate attempt by Putin to further enrich himself and his cronies. In addition to the losses suffered by the Ukrainian people at the hands of Putin, the people of Russia continue to lose under the rule of this authoritarian kleptocrat. Before this invasion began, we must not forget that 14,000 Ukrainians had already been killed by Putin’s forces during the occupation of Crimea."

February 2, 2022

In 2021, the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and police departments within Beaufort County recorded a total of 744 vehicle break-in reports.

January 28, 2022

School Choice Week!, Increasing Parental Involvement, A Closer Look at Education Policy, Keeping Kids in the Classroom

January 19, 2022

"With a focus on increased transparency for taxpayers' hard-earned dollars, meaningful education reform, preservation of South Carolina's natural resources, and workforce opportunities for everyone, the best is yet to come."

January 11, 2022

 “Many of them are coming from other countries, so we need the Federal Communications Commission to take action because there’s nothing we can do as individual states.”

January 10, 2022

“We saw a nearly 15% increase in the number of victims reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Additionally, we are seeing a steady increase in the number of children and youth who have been identified by DSS as victims.”

January 4, 2022

"The anticipated state budget surplus for the coming fiscal year, combined with the federal dollars allocated to South Carolina as part of the 'hard' infrastructure bill passed by Congress last November, puts state legislators in a position to tackle some long-overdue projects – chief among them, in my opinion, being the widening and repaving of I-95."

January 2, 2022

“Yet another court has said no to this abuse of power and executive overreach. These mandates are garbage and we will continue to stand for the rule of law.”