South Carolina Bills to watch in 2021

Charleston County Courthouse | Photo by @robertpeddyphotography

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Let’s talk about laws, 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 Legislature is 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 Assembly is 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. 

⚖️ S.16 would require high school students in South Carolina to complete one economics class to graduate. The class would be designed to educate those who didn’t learn basic personal finance. While some schools do currently offer a personal finance class, it isn’t required on a state level. 

⚖️ Daylight Saving Bill, or S. 11, has previously passed in the General Assembly. If the United States Congress amends the bill to authorize all states to observe daylight saving time year-round, it would be in effect in the Palmetto State. Currently there are only two states that do not observe the time change – Hawaii and Arizona.

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