Let’s talk about laws this morning, Charleston.Laws come from the South Carolina Legislature, which includes a group of men and women that we (the public) select to represent our respective districts.
The South Carolina Legislatureis split into two parts called the House of Representatives + the Senate and together these folks create the General Assembly. The House of Representatives is comprised of 124 members + the Senate has 46 members.
The General Assemblyis in session from the second Tuesday in January to the second Thursday in May, but the session can be extended for specific circumstances. While the General Assembly is in session, all members participate in making or changing laws and all members can make ‘suggestions’ for new laws. These suggestions are how we get bills.
Four Corners of Law in Charleston, SC | Photo by @airtucker
Getting bills passed is no easy feat. So, here are a few bills in the works to keep an eye on for South Carolina in 2021.
⚖️ Hands Free Bill, a.k.a. S. 248, would prohibit all South Carolina motorists from holding a cell phone or any other communication device while operating a motor vehicle,in most cases.
⚖️ Medical Marijuana, or S.150,has been a hot topic in SC for years. This bill could amend the SC Compassionate Care Act to allow the sale of cannabis for certain conditions with restrictions on doses + methods of consumption, including only allowing the use of oils or consuming orally.
⚖️ Paid Family Leave,H. 5137, would give state employees 12 weeks of paid family leave in 2021. The bill would include mothers + fathers after the birth or adoption of a new child + state employees who take in foster children.
⚖️ The Hate Crime Bill,otherwise known as H. 3036,would add hefty penalties to a person who is convicted of a crime to cause harm to another person due to their race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation or homelessness. Click the button below to learn more about a bill that would require high school students to complete one economics class to graduate + a bill about observing daylight saving time year-round.
Edu ○ Yesterday, Gov. McMaster announced a $19.9 million education + workforce training investment in the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund. $8 million will go towards job training, $7 million for early childhood education, and $4.9 million for foster children. Read more details here. (WLTX)
Coronavirus ○ Husk(76 Queen St.) has temporarily closed after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19. The restaurant hopes to reopen this Friday, after all employees are tested + the dining room is thoroughly cleaned. ○ Beginning today, Edmund’s Oast(1081 Morrison Dr.) will offer free COVID-19 tests from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each Wednesday in the parking lot of the restaurant. (Charleston City Paper) ○ VisitSCDHEC’s website for full coronavirus data + stats, and here for daily positive COVID-19 cases + related deaths in South Carolina andaccelerateSC’s website for full coronavirus data + stats on South Carolina’s employment, business, economy, education, and more.
Cancelled ○The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) has announced it will not move forward with hostingits 2021 event in February due to COVID-19 concerns. The 39th annual event was originally scheduled for February 11-14.
State ○ Representative Todd Rutherfordhas filed a bill to remove the confederate flag from South Carolina license plates. According to the DMV, over 400 people have already applied to receive the Sons of the Confederate Veterans plates. (WCIV)
Ranked ○ U-Haul recently named Charleston the 17th fastest growing city in 2020. The study identifies the numbers of people moving to Charleston based on the use of the company’s moving trucks. Read more here. (WCSC)
Civic ○ Dominion Energyplans to raise monthly rates by 7.75%. The public is encouraged to provide input + testify at the hearings. To be included, send an email with your name and phone number by 4:45 p.m. today. 💡 (WCBD) ○ In 2020, the Charleston Harbor tidal gauge logged 68 tidal floods – second only to the 89 tidal floods logged in 2019. The high amount of floods concernsmany as Charleston did not seeanyhurricanes in 2020. The city is currently working on several projects to lessen flooding. (Post and Courier)
Outdoors ○ The SCDNR announced that the Southern Flounder fish population has decreased over the past 30 years, now reaching levels that require state intervention. As a result, new fishing rules are being proposed, including a specified flounder fishing season. 🐟 (Post and Courier)
DYK ○ It only takes 5 (easy) stepsto donate blood at The Blood Connection. (Step #4: Snacks + a $20 Visa gift card. 🙌)Interested? Schedule an appointmentto donate at TBC’s Charleston center here. Ⓟ
Digs ○ We recently transitioned to a Remote Workforce Policy to better support our staff and the community in 2021. With that, we don’t need as much office space, so we wanted to offer up our current space to our readers. The 858 sq. ft. suite we’ve been working out of is available for sublease, located in a newly renovated office building, with parking at 1819 Meeting Street Rd. More details on the space here.
Click the button below for local resources regarding COVID-19.
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.
Vaccinations throughout childhood help to provide immunity to potentially life-threatening diseases | Photo provided by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
With cold + flu season upon us and Coronavirus cases spiking, there’s been lots of talk about vaccinations. 💉
Vaccinations throughout childhood help to provide immunity to potentially life-threatening diseases. The CDC + American Academy of Pediatrics have reported that staying on schedule for these immunizations provides the best protection from serious infections.