Last week was the 11th week of the 2021 legislative session. There are 7 legislative weeks remaining before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 13, 2021. Here are the highlights from last week’s floor action in the Senate:
MASSAGE THERAPY – The Senate passed S. 227 2021-2022 Bill 227: Massage Therapy Practice Act – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would require massage therapists to be licensed and regulate the profession. This bill is an effort to address a growing human trafficking issue in South Carolina and around the country. The House will now consider the bill.
HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES – The Senate passed H. 3547 2021-2022 Bill 3549: Hunting and fishing licenses – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would allow hunters and fishermen to present licenses electronically on mobile devices rather than having the physical license in their possession. The bill will now go back to the House of Representatives for consideration of Senate amendments.
COBIA – The Senate passed H. 3684 2021-2022 Bill 3684: Cobia – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would set catch limits for cobia. The bill has already passed the House and will now go to the governor.
INCOME TAX FILING EXTENSION – Last week the IRS announced that it was extending the deadline for US Income Tax returns from April 15 until May 17. In response to that action, the Senate passed S. 689 2021-2022 Bill 689: Income tax return due date extension – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a resolution that would extend the deadline for state income tax returns to match the new federal deadline. The resolution will now go to the House of Representatives.
PRIVATE SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN PUBLIC SCHOOL SPORTS – The Senate passed S. 615 2021-2022 Bill 615: Interscholastic activities – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would authorize private school students to try out for athletic teams at their local public high schools if the private schools they attend do not offer that sport. The House will now consider the bill.
HOMESCHOOL STUDENTS PLAYING PUBLIC SCHOOL SPORTS – Since many public schools have not offered 5 days of instruction for much of the 2020-2021 school year because of COVID, many students transferred to charter, private, and homeschool settings to ensure they received full, five-day instruction. Current law allows homeschooled students to try out for athletic teams at their local high schools, but that law requires the homeschooled students to sit out one academic year if they transfer from a public school to a homeschool. Last week, the Senate passed H. 3925 2021-2022 Bill 3925: Homeschool student interscholastic participation waiver – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a resolution that would allow those homeschooled students to compete in public school sports during the 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 school years without sitting out a year. This will be a temporary measure in response to COVID. The resolution will return to the House with a Senate amendment.
PAY FOR SUCCESS CONTRACTS – The Senate passed S. 461 2021-2022 Bill 461: SC Pay for Success Performance Accountability – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would authorize state agencies to enter into pay for success contracts with private providers. This is an effort to encourage more productivity and efficiency from private providers. The House will now consider the bill.
PHYSICIANS ASSISTANTS AND ADVANCE PRACTICE REGISTERED NURSES – The Senate passed S. 503
2021-2022 Bill 503: Physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would authorize PA’s and APRN’s to issue orders for home health services. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.
Virus Numbers – South Carolina’s infection rate has been declining. You can see the daily numbers here.
Please wear a mask, avoid large crowds, and wash our hands frequently. We can all help this process if we take these steps.
Testing Sites – You can find COVID testing locations near you here.
Vaccine eligibility – As of Wednesday, March 31, all South Carolina residents 16 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine.
You can read more information about the phases and eligibility here.
How do I get the vaccine? – DHEC has updated its list of vaccine locations here.
In addition to the locations identified on the map, in our area you can request vaccines through the following local hospital websites:
Aiken Regional Medical Centers – COVID-19 Vaccine | Aiken Regional Medical Centers
Lexington Medical Center – COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Vaccine | Lexington Medical Center (lexmed.com)
Self Regional Healthcare – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information, Prevention and Preparedness – Self Regional Healthcare | Greenwood, SC
For those who do not have internet access, DHEC launched a new phone number – 866-365-8110 – that is staffed with 240 operators to answer calls 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and help schedule vaccine appointments.
Appointments should be scheduled because walk ins may not be able to receive the vaccine.
How is South Carolina doing in the administration of the vaccine? – As of Sunday, March 28, South Carolina had received 2,628,970 doses (501,970 more than last Sunday) and has administered 1,911,884 doses (263,807 more than last Sunday). You can keep up with how many doses we have received and administered here. This site is updated daily.
SCDOT ROAD PROJECTS – SCDOT 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.
WANT TO SEE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACTION? – The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 12:00, Wednesdays at 1:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet 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 for me to come 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