March 14, 2022
Representative Randy Ligon
Serving Chester and York Counties
Dear Friends and Constituents,
We are 9 weeks into the legislative session. The focus has been on enhancing several bills prior to them moving to the Floor of the House for debate.
Today, Monday, March 14th begins one of the busiest and most important weeks in the South Carolina House: The State Budget. The full House Ways and Means committee held a budget briefing where the budget was explained and broken down in further detail. You can see the budget briefing online here.
The theme of this year’s budget is 4 R’s: improving our Roads, increasing our Reserves, tax Relief, and Raises for teachers, state law enforcement, and state employees.
I will work long and hard to ensure that the House budget allocates appropriate dollars to fund core state functions and improvements while ensuring South Carolinians have more money back in their pockets.
UTV’s On the Road
The House debated and approved a bill (H.3600) that would allow for the registration of utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), so they could be operated on our roads. UTVs must be registered like a passenger vehicle, display a license plate, have insurance like a vehicle, have safety equipment, and be operated by a licensed driver over 16. UTVs would only be allowed to travel on roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or less.
Building Gaming Machines Gets OK
The House passed legislation (H.4161) allowing the manufacturing of gaming machines to be used in other states, not in SC. These manufacturers are registered with the U.S. Justice Department and would be authorized to build the gaming equipment in our state and ship it elsewhere. SC’s SLED supported the legislation, which now goes to the Senate.
Caring for Vulnerable Kids
The House passed a bill (H.3509) that extends the Department of Social Services protections for children in foster care to age 21 to make the transition into adulthood more supported and smooth.
Preparing for Emergency
I voted in favor of a bill that deems ambulance services essential in South Carolina. This bill (H.4601) ensures that each county is prepared to provide services necessary to save a life when an emergency strikes. It unanimously passed the House and is on its way to the Senate.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H. 4837, a bill establishing requirements and authorization that allows a not-for-profit program to operate mobile optometry units to visit Title I public schools and provide services onsite to their students.
School choice is a top legislative push in both the House and Senate. The Senate Education Committee advanced a bill (S.935) that would provide roughly $7,000 to parents to cover tuition, fees, course materials, transportation, or other qualified expenses to send their children to charter or private schools. Eligible students must come from a Medicaid-eligible family and have been previously enrolled in the public school system. Enrollment in the program for year one will be capped at 5,000 students. The House scholarship bill (H.4879) is on the calendar and ready for debate.
The House Education Committee heard nearly seven hours of discussion over Critical Race Theory. This was the third lengthy hearing in which the Committee heard testimony from citizens. The Education Committee will meet soon to review and debate several bills that address the issues of Critical Race Theory into SC’s K-12 curriculum. The work is long, but I feel confident the committee is closing in on finalizing legislation and sending it to the Floor.
Keeping South Carolina Safe
“SC law enforcement leaders say proposed pay hikes will stem officer exodus” Read more: https://www.postandcourier.com/politics/sc-law-enforcement-leaders-say-proposed-pay-hikes-will-stem-officer-exodus/article_5c620b70-9989-11ec-a8c1-036e7050f595.html
Other Important Links:
- For updates from the Governor, visit: https://governor.sc.gov
- To track a bill, live stream session or meetings, and other information, visit the State Legislature website: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/index.php
- To download the SC Legislature Mobile app for iOS and Android devices, search “SC Legislature” on the App Store/Google Play.
- Don't forget to join me on Facebook!