As we reach the mid point of session, we have taken the opportunity to reflect back on the goals that our Republican caucus set back in December for this year. We created a list of agenda times that the Caucus is passionate about addressing. So far, we have accomplished 4 of those items. We will continue to work hard to accomplish all of the items on our list, but we wanted to recap what we have done thus far.
1) PASSED: PROTECTING THE INTEGRITY OF OUR ELECTIONS - H. 3444 tasks the State Election Commission with ensuring there is uniformity to guarantee free and fair elections in South Carolina. After the elections of 2020, it became clear that there were discrepancies in the way each county handled votes. We learned that some counties were employing inconsistent processes… this bill ensure that a vote in Abbeville County is counted the same as a vote in Darlington County or Greenville County.
2) PASSED: OPEN CARRY WITH EDUCATION - H. 3094 allows a firearm to be carried openly in SC, given the individual has undergone proper training & received certification. The is the most advanced gun legislation in SC in over 25 years and pulls South Carolina in line with 45 other states. This is a huge step in the right direction for South Carolina.
3) PASSED: MODIFYING EMERGENCY POWERS - H. 3443 provides a check to the Governor’s powers when modifying and or extending a State of Emergency. While this power was previously in the hands of the Governor, now the power to extend, modify, or discontinue the order falls into the hands of the legislature. The Speaker of the House and President of the Senate may call the legislature back to make these crucial decisions, or 10 of our 46 county legislative delegations can elect to come in to take action. At any rate, this bill allows for greater accountability to the wishes of South Carolina’s citizens.
4) PASSED: PROTECTING THE UNBORN - S. 1 outlaws abortions once a heartbeat is detected, protecting precious life in South Carolina. Once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is usually around 6-8 weeks after conception, an abortion can no longer be performed. This is a huge step in protecting the life of all South Carolina citizens.
Overall, in 11 weeks of session, there is a lot to be proud of. As we enter the second half of the session, we look forward to making more progress and hitting some more of our goals: from improving education, to getting law enforcement the resources they need, and doing so with a renewed dedication to conservatism.