Last week was the 17th week of the 2021 legislative session. This is the last week of the General Assembly’s regular session, although the legislature will return in June to finalize the state budget, September to appropriate federal money, and toward the end of the year to deal with redistricting. Here are the highlights from last week’s floor action in the Senate:
OPEN CARRY – The Senate spent most of the week debating H.3094 2021-2022 Bill 3094: Open Carry with Training Act – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov). The bill passed on Thursday night. Here are the highlights:
– Concealed Weapons Permit holders would be authorized to carry their weapons concealed or openly
– Eliminates the $50 fee charged by SLED for CWP applications
– Makes South Carolina a sanctuary state as it relates to the carrying of concealable weapons
– Requires courts to report within 5 days any judicial actions that would disqualify a person from possessing or carrying weapons
I have heard from many people who were unhappy the Senate did not adopt “constitutional carry,” a provision that would allow people to carry concealable weapons a permit. I voted against that amendment because it would eliminate the requirement for training and background checks to carry. I believe training and background checks are important and perfectly consistent with the Second Amendment. Nevertheless, the passage of this bill would unquestionably be the most significant expansion of gun rights in South Carolina since 2013 and arguably the most significant expansion since the CWP program was established in the mid-1990s. When this bill becomes law, it will be a huge win for gun rights while also making it more difficult for criminals to purchase and carry weapons. The bill will now return to the House of Representatives.
FISHING CATCH LIMITS AND LICENSE FEES – The Senate passed H. 3957 2021-2022 Bill 3957: Flounder- catch size and limits – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would reduce the catch limit for certain flounder and increase the fees for a saltwater fishing license. The bill will now return to the House.
COMPETITIVE EMPLOYMENT FOR THOSE WITH DISABILITIES – The Senate passed H. 3244 2021-2022 Bill 3244: Employment First Initiative Act – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would require state government to implement policies for competitive employment for South Carolinians with disabilities. The House will now consider Senate amendments.
PROSTITUTION AND SEX TRAFFICKING – The Senate passed S. 224 2021-2022 Bill 224: Prostitution – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov) , a bill that would increase penalties for prostitution and S. 230 2021-2022 Bill 230: Trafficking victims, minors – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would increase penalties for sexual exploitation of minors and promoting minors into prostitution. The purpose of the bills is to provide additional tools to law enforcement to combat sex trafficking. The bills will now go to the House.
PROPERTY TAX PAYMENTS – The Senate passed H. 3482 2021-2022 Bill 3482: Property tax, installment payments – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would allow local governments to accept installment payments for property taxes. The bill will go to Governor McMaster.
EXCEPTIONAL NEEDS SCHOLARSHIPS – The Senate passed H. 3899 2021-2022 Bill 3899: Exceptional needs tax credit – South Carolina Legislature Online (scstatehouse.gov), a bill that would enhance the exceptional needs tax credit and allow individuals to claim a higher credit. The bill is aimed at increasing the use and effectiveness of Exceptional Needs Scholarships. The bill will go back to the House.
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