2021 Statehouse Report #16
n the House
In recent weeks, I have reported to you about a bill by Representative Tommy Pope that allows law enforcement to receive worker’s compensation for PTSD and other stress-related mental illnesses caused by traumatic events while on duty. This week, we added firefighters to the bill, which then passed the House. This is a great effort to take care of our law enforcement and first responders, and I was proud to vote in favor of this bill.
This week, the House passed a group of incentives to help drivers of electric vehicles by ensuring that when they produce electricity, they are not considered to be a utility, as the law currently states. We passed an amendment that creates a study committee to investigate aspects of electric vehicles such as the reliability of the grid system, electricity security, and the impact of electric cars on infrastructure, bridges, and roads.
Tuition Rates for Veterans
Currently, a veteran can enroll in a public institution of higher education within 3 years after the veteran's discharge and receive educational assistance. Our veterans deserve better! I was proud to support S. 241 this week, which eliminates the time requirements for South Carolina’s veterans to receive a reduced tuition rate for higher education. This unanimously passed the House.
Other Legislative News
S. 685 - This bill allows college athletes to be compensated for the use of their name, image, or likeness. This passed the House by a vote of 103-15.
H.3591- This bill requires every educator preparation program to publish a report card that details how the program is preparing their student teachers for success in the classroom. The report card must include a variety of data that provides a comprehensive picture of how well each educator preparation program prepares effective educators and meets state goals. This passed by a vote of 110-1.
On the Governor’s Desk: Education Reform
This year is a year full of education reforms. Although improving our schools is always a top priority, the pandemic has highlighted the urgency of many educational issues. This week, the Governor signed a bill that originated in the House, sponsored by Representative Rita Allison. I voted in favor of this bill and I am glad the Governor signed it into law. This bill is important, as it allows for more “Schools of Innovation'' to arise around the state, giving students more opportunities to succeed. The House also received Representative Sylleste Davis’ bill back from the Senate, which allows Palmetto Fellow Scholarship recipients to use their scholarship at a Technical College (which is currently not allowed). The House sent the bill to the Governor’s desk and it takes effect upon his signature.
In Case you Missed It!
On Wednesday night President Biden addressed Congress in a joint session to review what has happened in his first 100 days of presidency. Directly after, our Senator, Tim Scott gave the Republican response. As a former member of the South Carolina House Republican Caucus, Senator Scott explained our Republican values on a personal level, bringing a message of hope and unity to the American people. Thank you Senator Scott for your leadership and honorable representation of South Carolina.
I'm at your service!
It is my honor to be of service to you and to serve District 39. If you need assistance navigating through the flow of information on COVID-19, navigating state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me.