2021 Statehouse Report # 6
Maintaining Integrity - SC’s Election System
This week, there were a series of bills in the House Judiciary Committee to reform the election system in our state. Currently, our state’s election process is a confusing patchwork – each region of our state has a unique system and there is no central authority to cover the cracks and holes that exist in the system. These bills aim to streamline and structure our state’s election system, preserving the integrity of every citizen’s vote. I look forward to soon debating this on the House floor.
Protecting Our Religious Freedoms
During the nationwide shutdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic, churchgoers of all religions were denied the ability to gather and worship. This is unacceptable and unconstitutional. We deserve the right to make that decision within our religious bodies. The South Carolina Religious Freedoms Act that was introduced this week, protects the right to hold religious services, even during a state of emergency. This bill is working its way through committee, and I look forward to supporting it in coming weeks.
Who, What, Where and When? Getting COVID-19 Vaccinations in Arms
This week, a legislative oversight committee met with leaders from South Carolina’s DHEC, MUSC and Prisma Hospital systems. The meeting allowed members to get a pulse on where we are, where we are going, and how we can better work together to vaccinate South Carolina. Clearly, the supply of vaccine remains limited from the federal government with the hope of increases soon. Here is what we know:
Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine?
- Frontline healthcare workers
- Anyone 65+ years
- State/local government employees who perform COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC
- A full list of those qualified can be found here: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/
- To understand who is getting vaccinated in SC by demographic, visit the NEW Vaccination Dashboard: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/
What are the numbers?
- Total Doses Given in South Carolina: 705,776
- Total People Vaccinated in South Carolina: 528,480
- People with 1 Vaccine dose: 527,691
- People with 2 Vaccine doses: 177,126
(Numbers updated Feb. 18th)
Where can I get vaccinated?
- Find a vaccine location near you here: https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov
When will I be eligible to be vaccinated?
- Currently, South Carolina is in Phase 1A of the vaccination process.
- DHEC plans to transition to Phase 1B by early Spring.
- South Carolina obtains vaccinations from the Federal government, meaning the following chart is subject to change based on availability of vaccines. To see the vaccine flowchart, visit: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
- I supported a bill proposing that students attending two-year institutions (including technical colleges) may qualify for the Palmetto Fellows scholarship. This passed by a vote of 115-0.
- I supported a joint resolution to authorize podiatrists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, which passed on Wednesday by a vote of 98-0.
- In the House Judiciary Committee this week was a bill that intends to extend foster care to individuals up to 21 years of age instead of 18. Foster children need support during this transitional period between childhood and adulthood, and this bill guarantees that support is available to them. I look forward to supporting this bill.