State House News: January 28 – February 1  

By February 2, 2019Blog

February 1, 2019

As attention turns to the upcoming 2020 presidential primary, South Carolina once again enters the national spotlight as an early battleground for democratic primary hopefuls. Four potential democratic candidates arrived in the state for various appearances in January, including Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren; additionally, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has plans to visit in February. Expect more visits as candidates vie for the support of the state’s African-American population.

House Subcommittee Begins Review of Education Reform Bill

A House Education and Public Works Subcommittee began its review of the 84-page comprehensive education reform bill proposed by Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) and backed by Gov. Henry McMaster (R). The bill wasintroduced last week after the governor’s State of the State address, where he promised to “change everything” to improve the state’s failing education system. Rep. Raye Felder (R-York) chairs the subcommittee, and Wednesday’s hearing is likely  the first of many hearings on the bill.

By the end of the week, the bill (H. 3759) boasted 27 co-sponsors including House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford(D-Richland), Legislative Black Caucus Leader and education advocate Rep. Jerry Govan (D-Orangeburg), and James Smith’s 2018 gubernatorial running mate Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (D-Lancaster), again signaling the bipartisan efforts that have been promised in order to pass substantial reform.

A hallmark of the bill is increasing teacher salary, which is an annual debate that has yet to yield significant results. The state’s teachers came to the State House this week to speak with legislators about the bill. Many noted that they feel their concerns are being ignored, arguing that teacher pay is only one of the many reasons the state is experiencing a teacher shortage and that more than salary will need to be addressed to attract and retain talent in the state’s schools.

Read more on the following…

Expanded Sunday Liquor Sales Debated in House

Certificate of Need Repeal Introduced

SC Counties Announce Missed Votes in November Elections

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