Last week was the 14th week of the 2019 legislative session. There are 2 weeks left before the General Assembly adjourns on May 9. Here are the highlights from last week in the Senate:
RESPONSE TO EMERGENCIES AT HOUSING AUTHORITIES – The Senate passed S. 506, a bill that would allow legislative delegations to intervene and suspend housing authority commissioners if residents of a housing authority have been subjected to unreasonably hazardous conditions.
This bill is in response to a terrible incident at the Columbia Housing Authority earlier this year where gas leaks led to the death of two residents. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR SHERIFFS – The Senate passed H. 3951, a bill that would update the statute that outlines qualifications for sheriffs. The bill resulted from a lawsuit following the 2016 election in McCormick County and would ensure that Sheriff Clarke Stearns would not face additional legal action. The bill will now be returned to the House.
SANTEE COOPER – The Senate spent most of last week debating the future of Santee Cooper. The discussion has centered on whether the state should sell Santee Cooper to a private utility, hire another utility to manage Santee Cooper, or keep the state-owned utility while instituting significant reforms. I hope the Senate will decide on a path forward this week. If you have suggestions, please let me know. I will keep you updated on the progress of the debate.
SCDOT ROAD PROJECTS – SCDOT now has an interactive map to allow citizens to see the road and bridge projects going on around the state. You can see that map here.
HOW IS THE GAS TAX BEING USED? – SCDOT’s website allows you to view a detailed revenue statement and project list that is funded by the Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund (IMTF). SCDOT updates this site monthly as the revenue comes in. You can see that report here.
DO YOU NEED A REAL ID? – SCDMV is now issuing Real ID licenses and identification cards. If you intend to get a Real ID, DMV encourages you to avoid long lines and get the new ID before the September 30, 2020 deadline. See below for frequent questions with answers:
WHY WOULD YOU NEED A REAL ID? – To board any commercial airline flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation on and after October 1, 2020, you must have a REAL ID or another federally approved identification such as a valid US Passport or military ID.
DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR CURRENT ID SOON? – There is no need to rush to DMV now. In fact, unless your driver’s license or ID card is expiring, there is really no reason to wait in line to change your card right now. If you do decide to get a Real ID, make sure you take the correct documentation to change your current license or ID card to a Real ID.
To see the documentation you will need for a Real ID or get more information, please see SCDMV’s Real ID page here.
WANT TO SEE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACTION? – The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 2:00, Wednesdays at 12:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet Tuesday mornings, Wednesday mornings, and Thursday mornings. You can watch live coverage of the Senate, House of Representatives, and committees here.
OUR SENATE DISTRICT – Senate district 25 consists of all of Edgefield County and parts of Aiken, Lexington, McCormick, and Saluda Counties. If you’d like to see the district map, go here.
SPEAKING WITH GROUPS – Several groups, clubs, and classes around our Senate district have invited me to attend their meetings and provide legislative updates. If you would like me to come and speak with your group, please let me know.
EMAIL UPDATES – If you know of people in or around District 25 who do not receive my updates but would like to get them, please email their names and email addresses to me. You can also forward this email to them and encourage them to sign up for the updates at www.senatormassey.com.
P.O. Box 551
Edgefield, SC 29824
Cell Phone: (803) 480-0419