The PUSHBACK AGENDA aimed at curtailing federal government overreach is fast gaining momentum. This past week, the top priority of tens of thousands South Carolinians got another significant boost.
Article V CoS Wins Approval of Senate Panel
Using Article V of the U.S. Constitution is the method our nation’s founders offered states to rein in an over-powering, out-of-control federal government. State Senators agreed. A Senate Judicial subcommittee voted to approve sending legislation to the full Senate Judiciary Committee that would call for a Convention of States (CoS). Once 34 states agree, that Convention would be called to PROPOSE amendments to the Constitution to LIMIT the federal government’s powers. Three-quarters of states would have to ratify any amendment. The vote followed nearly three hours of testimony. More than 100 of the more than 41,000 CoS supporters from around the state filled two overflow rooms to watch the testimony.
SC House Moving Forward on CoS
As the Senate begins to move its CoS bill, the House Judiciary Committee will consider our version this Tuesday afternoon. If it receives the needed votes, it will be sent to the House floor for debate and a vote. I have been the primary sponsor of this legislation since 2013. Fortunately, I can finally see the finish line far in the distance, but there are still obstacles to overcome.
Teaching the Constitution
The House PUSHED BACKED on the failure of SC public universities to follow a law that’s been on the books for 97 years. That law requires educating every student about our nation’s Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and other founding documents as a requirement for graduation. We passed S.38, The REACH Act, ‘Reinforcing College Education on America’s Constitutional Heritage Act’. This legislation ensures students, both in high school and college, learn about our nation’s foundational documents and principles. I have a particular interest in this legislation – I am the sponsor of a similar House bill (H.3338). Additionally, as the Chairman of the House Higher Education subcommittee, I led the House efforts to win passage for the past four years. Finally!
Reforming our elections to ensure they are free and fair is always a priority, making sure that voting is accessible to as many Americans as possible. A House Judiciary Subcommittee considered a bill that ensures that Special Purpose Tax District Referendums be voted on during General Elections rather than Special Elections. With voter turnout being historically much higher for General Elections than Special Elections (sometimes by 70% or more), this increases voter participation when dealing with these important local issues.
McMaster Blocks Alien Foster Kids
Kudos to Gov. Henry McMaster, who PUSHED BACK on the Biden administration’s request to send SC unaccompanied children who have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexican border. McMaster took executive action issuing an order directing the state’s Department of Social Services “to prevent placements of unaccompanied migrant children entering the United States via the southern border into residential group care facilities or other foster care facilities in SC. McMaster cited coronavirus concerns and limited resources to justify the order.
Aiken GOP Convention Draws the PUSHBACK Crowd
A record number of Aiken County Republican delegates gathered for the bi-annual county convention this weekend. The energy was electric in the PUSHBACK against Socialists/Marxists/Democrats who now control the federal government. Gov. Henry McMaster, Attorney General Alan Wilson, Sen. Tom Young, and I all reported how the PUSHBACK is having an impact. Delegates elected Debbie Epling as Chairman, Ryan Dorn as Vice-Chairman, and Jane Page Thompson was re-elected State Committee Person. Onward to taking back the U.S. House & Senate next year to stop the DC madness!
Back to School
The House passed a joint resolution that requires all school districts in South Carolina to give an option for five days a week, in-person learning by April 26th. Providing an in-person option allows parents to decide what learning format is the best fit for their student. Additionally, this bill suspends the earning limitation for retired teachers. This ensures that retired teachers can come back to school and teach without fear of too little compensation during these unique times.
Buying More Busses
Many K-12 students in SC will be getting a better ride with the decision to buy 235 propane-fueled school busses. The $23.6 million price tag will be paid from the remaining from the legal settlement from Volkswagen. A decade ago, SC’s school bus fleet was the oldest in the nation, with some busses on the road for more than 20 years. With the new busses, the fleet will have an average age of five years. More than 3,000 busses have been replaced since 2015.
Revitalizing South Carolina
“The South Carolina Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act” qualifies taxpayers who make certain investments into rehabilitating and revitalizing abandoned property in the State to receive tax credits. This bill is a great incentive for people to bring life to abandoned and run-down areas of our State. This act was set to expire, but the House voted unanimously to renew it.
Law Enforcement Help
Receiving a favorable vote from a House Judiciary panel is a bill (H.3939) extending workers compensation for law enforcement officers in deadly-force situations to PTSD or other injury caused by stress or mental illness. It is essential that we provide officers with these lifesaving resources to safely and healthily serve our communities.
Protecting SC Seniors
H. 3180, also known as the Vulnerable Adult Maltreatment Registry Act, passed out of a House Subcommittee. This act aims to protect our most vulnerable, elderly populations from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. This bill would create a registry for these populations, creating further protections for them in places like nursing homes.
COVID Vaccine Update
The SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has identified 155 cases where individuals were diagnosed with COVID after being fully inoculated with a vaccine. According to DHEC, 17 of those patients were hospitalized, and at least one person has died in what they term “breakthrough” infections. 25% of SC residents are fully vaccinated; many more have received their first shot. SC is in Phase 1C of the vaccination process. Under these guidelines, anyone 16+ is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine with an appointment. Meanwhile, DHEC has a warning concerning scammers:
The SC PUSHBACK AGENDA Updated
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
I spotted the tattered American flag flapping over the Center VFD Station on Hwy. 1, near the Aiken Airport. Only solution – a new replacement flag that had flown above the Statehouse. Several firefighters joined me in hoisting the new flag.
I’m Available and AT YOUR SERVICE
It is my honor to be of service. If you need assistance during these trying times, navigating though the flow of information on COVID-19, navigating state government or have any thoughts or concerns about what the legislature, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In Your Service,
South Carolina General Assembly
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