I am proud to share the significant strides made this week at the Statehouse. Our accomplishments reflect a unified theme: safeguarding the future of our state and its citizens through prudent, conservative stewardship. From ensuring the safety and well-being of our children to protecting our economic interests, each action taken is a commitment to uphold South Carolina’s conservative values.
Help Not Harm
Passage of the ‘Help Not Harm’ bill this week in the House of Representatives is critical legislation that prohibits gender transition procedures for minors. It also bans any Medicaid or public funding for such treatments for those under 26. This bill took great strides to ensure we maintain access to mental health services, protect our teachers from being responsible for diagnosing children, and hold doctors criminally accountable for performing these procedures. I am unwavering in my dedication to protecting our youth’s physical and mental well-being.
Protecting Our Young: This bill is central to our mission to safeguard minors from irreversible gender transition procedures, including puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgeries. These procedures can have life-altering effects, including risks of sterility and well-documented mental health issues.
Focused Approach: This bill does not impose a blanket ban on transgender healthcare, such as mental health services. It is specifically designed to restrict gender transition procedures for individuals under eighteen.
- It prohibits healthcare professionals from knowingly providing gender transition procedures to minors.
- It allows minors currently undergoing treatment to continue.
- It ensures exceptions for medically necessary services.
- Under this bill, the South Carolina Medicaid Program will not reimburse or cover gender transition procedures for individuals under twenty-six years of age.
- It also bans the use of public funds for gender-affirming care for minors.
Enforcement and Discipline:
- The bill empowers appropriate licensing boards to carry out disciplinary actions against healthcare professionals who violate these provisions. In addition, a physician who knowingly performs genital gender reassignment surgery is guilty of inflicting great bodily injury upon a child.
I am an original cosponsor of this legislation because I’m convinced this is a prudent step in protecting our most vulnerable population – our children – while ensuring our state’s youth’s long-term health and safety.
More Youth Protections
Building on our commitment to safeguard our children in the digital age, two pivotal bills, currently under review by the House Judiciary Committee, are set to reshape online safety for minors.
- 4700 aims to regulate social media usage among young users by prohibiting minors from holding social media accounts, requiring companies to provide pertinent information to parents or guardians, and enforcing time-based access restrictions.
- 3424 targets the accessibility of pornographic content, making it illegal for operators to expose minors to such material. Together, these bills form a comprehensive framework for protecting minors from the diverse risks of the digital landscape, and I expect both to move quickly through the committee and be on the House floor in the coming weeks.
Nixing WOKE in Pension Investments
This week, the Senate joined the House in taking WOKE politics out of the state’s public pension decisions. The Senate passed the ESG Pension Protection Act as its first order of business in this year’s session. It was a unanimous vote with no debate, which is highly unusual in the Senate. The House passed this bill last April 103-5.
I introduced this legislation last January as a defense against the pressures of liberal, WOKE, Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG) objectives and to prevent the so-called ‘Green New Deal’ or other progressive agendas from infecting investing decisions in our state’s $39 billion in our state’s pension system.
Simply put, the goal is to invest funds to make the most money for over 650,000 state and local government employees, and those investment decisions should be free from ideological influence. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
This bill demonstrates that, unlike Congress in Washington which is sadly gridlocked and polarized by politics, South Carolina legislators regularly set aside politics and join in passing good policy for the Palmetto State.
As we continue to navigate this session, I am committed to ensuring that our legislative actions in the House reflect our great state’s conservative values and priorities. Our focus remains on driving economic prosperity, safeguarding our families, and upholding the freedoms and rights that define us as South Carolinians.
PICTURE OF THE WEEK
In the first few weeks of each legislative year, our work is primarily in committees hearing testimony on bills that may eventually make their way to the full House for debate and a vote. The House Ways & Means subcommittee on which I serve is focused on the budget requests from SC’s public state colleges and universities. Wednesday, we heard from the Presidents of USC and Clemson – the first time in recollection they have been scheduled together. They are fierce competitors on the gridiron, but the universities are also solid academic partners.
Want to Know More?
Do you want to learn more about my positions, bill sponsorships, voting record, and past writings? Here are some handy links:
- About Me: https://taylorschouse.com/about-2/
- My Positions: https://taylorschouse.com/issues/
- Sponsored Bill & Voting Record: http://tiny.cc/b1pouz
- Recent Newsletters: https://taylorschouse.com/category/newsletter/
I’m Available & AT YOUR SERVICE
It is my honor to be of service. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need assistance navigating state government or have any thoughts or concerns about the legislature.
In Your Service,
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