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Week 3 Legislative Update '23

Dear friends and neighbors,

While most of the country has had their eyes on the Murdaugh case in Walterboro, the SC House was hard at work on several important bills in week three of the 2023-2024 legislative session. On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues from the House and Senate for Governor McMaster’s State of the State Address. The Governor laid out his vision for South Carolina and I look forward to working with him to ensure South Carolina’s future is bright!

This past month the House Republican Caucus outlined our agenda for the 2023-2024 Legislative session. I believe that the success of South Carolina is dependent on these five pillars:

  • Improve Statewide Economic Development to Ensure Prosperity
  • Reform our Education System so Students are Better Prepared for the Workforce
  • Limit Government by Implementing Fiscal Discipline and Responsibility
  • Increase Personal Freedom and Encourage Conservative Values
  • Prioritize Public Safety and make Law and Order a Top Priority

I am committed to introducing and supporting legislation in the upcoming session that will elevate our State by focusing on each of these pillars. It is my honor to serve you in the South Carolina State House of Representatives and I look forward to serving onthe Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs Committee and am the Vice Chairman for the Rules Committee.

The State of the State:

During Governor McMaster’sState of the State address this week, he touted our state’s economic success and growth while outlining a bold, conservative roadmap to ensure prosperity and success for the future generations of South Carolinians. His roadmap includes three pillars: economic strength, education, and protecting our natural environment. I share Governor McMaster’s pride in our State and look forward to proposing and supporting legislation that takes his conservative roadmap and turns it into action so we can make South Carolina a better and safer place to live, work, play, and raise our families!

Important Update Banning CRT:

Just this week the Transparency and Integrity in Education Act passed the House Education and Public Works K-12 Subcommittee. Education Committee Chairwoman Shannon Erickson is predicting this bill,H.3728, will be in full committee next week. H.3728 will ensure that our public education system is a fair and open system where instruction is non-biased.It includes a broad scope of history. I especially like that our bill does NOT create extra work for teachers, but ensures that we have a transparency policy for teachers, parents, and students to maintain high quality education that is not clouded on bias. As this bill makes its way through full committee, I will keep you informed as it is my top priority to protect the future generation!

Human Life Protection Act:

I was disappointed with the ruling from the South Carolina Supreme Court earlier this month that declared our state’s “Heartbeat Bill” unconstitutional.Republican leaders reacted quickly and sent H.3774 to the House Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee. Our goal is to preserve life and to produce the best pro-life legislation South Carolina has ever seen. Our bill will have exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother with explicit language that life begins at conception. We expect to be voting on this bill on the floor within two weeks.As the bill moves through full committee and to the House for debate, I will be sure to send updates!

In Other News:

We made progress in the House this week on an important bill that increases penalties for trafficking fentanyl and a House Subcommittee started the important work on bond reform that will stop the revolving door that allows repeat offenders back out on the streets.

Forrest For House
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