It was a busy year in Columbia for the State General Assembly. I have been honored to serve Folly Beach and the rest of District 115 for my third term, and I want to share some highlights with you from the past year. Everything included below has become law unless otherwise specified. I have also included bill numbers if you want more information. I usually provide weekly updates on Facebook and Instagram.
I have been honored to serve on the Criminal Law subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee for the past year. I worked closely on and supported each of these bills as a means of keeping our communities safer.
- Bond reform (H3532): revoking bonds and increasing penalties for repeat violent offenders
- Ignition Interlock (S36): requiring an ignition interlock device to be installed after 1st DUI Offense (previously only required on 2nd offense)
- Trafficking Fentanyl (H3503): making it a crime to traffic in fentanyl
- Sextortion (H3583): making it a crime to demand or share explicit photos protecting our children from this new internet danger
- Paid family leave for teachers! (H3908) – the law is now in effect
- Increased teacher pay by $2500 each (these funds have been incorporated into CCSD’s proposed pay raises)
- Tuition freeze at all 2 and 4-year SC colleges for in-state students
- Educator Assistance Act (H4280): Allows our teachers to delay contract signing until after pay scale is published; this has passed the House, but not the Senate.
Employment & Workforce Development
- Allowing counties and municipalities to use Accommodations Tax revenue for workforce housing (S284)
- Workforce & Economic Development (H3726): modernize our state’s job training and apprenticeship process; creates a new office of workforce development to ensure our South Carolina students are ready for our excellent job market.
- Increased pay for state employees by at least $2500; plus larger increases for law enforcement and corrections officers
Other Notable Bills that Became Law
- S363 banning the “Carolina Squat,” a dangerous after-market car modification that brings the front end more than 4″ higher than the back end
- S164 repealing the Certificate of Need regulations, reducing red tape and increasing access to health care services
- S95: Requiring boater safety training for anyone born after 2007
- S399: Restructuring DHEC to create a new Department of Environmental Services
- S39 Creation of a voucher program granting families up to $6,000 for use at a private school. The program will be phased in and by 2026 will allow families making 400% of the poverty level to participate in the program. I opposed this bill because I believe public funds should be spent on public schools and I am concerned that the private schools that accept these funds are allowed to discriminate against students with disabilities.
Budget & Allocation of Federal Dollars
- Over $500 million in ARPA money to water, sewer, and stormwater projects including a grant right here on Folly Beach to accelerate the City’s flooding and water infrastructure improvements
- $200 million towards resilience including land preservation and natural disaster funds
- $150 million to County Transportation Commissions for local road improvements
- Continued phase in of income tax reduction
- Increased state reserves by $300 million to $1.1 billion
As always, please feel free to reach. out:
firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 693-8292.
South Carolina House District 115