FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Majority Leader Davey Hiott
February 28, 2023 803-734-3139
JOINT RESOLUTION TO REPEAL ‘BLAINE AMENDMENT’ MOVES FORWARD
(Columbia, S.C.) - Today, the SC House of Representatives passed a joint resolution that would amend the SC Constitution, which currently prohibits the state from providing direct aid to certain private educational institutions. The vote was 83-27.
“Today the House confirmed that it is past time we repeal our outdated ‘Blaine Amendment’ and provide certainty to many of the programs that are essential to the students of our state,” said House Speaker G. Murrell Smith, Jr. (R-Sumter). “Not only does this provision have an ugly origin, but it also has dangerous and far-reaching implications.”
H.3591 seeks to repeal the Blaine Amendment to give parents flexibility in making the best choice for their child's education and help provide South Carolinians the best education opportunities possible. Repeal of the amendment will also help protect many state funded programs, such as the SC Tuition Grants Program, LIFE Scholarship, Palmetto Fellows Scholarship, CERDEP/CDEPP (full day 4K programs), and the Office of First Steps.
“So many South Carolinians rely on these programs in pursuit of further education,” said House Majority Leader Davey Hiott (R-Pickens). “We are fighting to ensure they remain available by removing this constitutional barrier.”
As with any effort to amend the State Constitution, the General Assembly must pass a resolution that puts this question on a statewide ballot for voters to decide in the next General Election. Accordingly, the House voted to put this question on the 2024 ballot. “I look forward to letting the people of our state speak on this issue and am hopeful we can turn a new page in SC for a brighter future,” said Smith.