We had a busy week in Columbia. Here’s my report.
On Wednesday, I was glad to congratulate former Gov. David Beasley at a Joint Assembly of the House and Senate honoring his service as Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program. Under his leadership the World Food Program has fed and otherwise assisted hundreds of millions of the world's most desperate and needy people, often in extraordinarily dangerous and trying circumstances.
On Thursday the South Carolina Telehealth and Telemedicine Modernization Act, which I cosponsored, unanimously passed the House. This bill will improve access to healthcare services for all South Carolinians, especially those in remote or underserved areas.
Also, on Thursday Gov. McMaster signed S. 39 into law that creates the Education Scholarship Trust Fund that will provide up to $6,000 per year per qualifying student to allow them to choose a school that may better fit their needs.
As a strong supporter of our teachers I was proud to vote for the Educator Assistance Act, which will help ensure professional treatment of our educators.
This bill will establish a permanent teaching certificate, eliminating the paperwork currently required every five years for recertification. It would also give teachers 10 days from the date that a district posts their salary schedule to withdraw a contract without penalty, a provision that addresses the current reality that South Carolina statute requires teachers to sign contracts prior to knowing their salary.
On Thursday, I voted to pass the Police Officers Retirement System Earnings Limitation Bill, out of the Ways and Means Committee, which removes earning limitations currently placed on retired law enforcement officers who wish to return to work.
With a shortage in law enforcement officers we should be encouraging those who have retired and wish to return to service to do so, not penalize them by placing limitations on their earnings.
H. 3414, which bans ‘Carolina Squat Trucks’, a dangerous vehicle modification that raises the front end of a vehicle high enough that it impedes a driver’s ability to see over the hood, is one step closer to becoming law. On Thursday the Senate concurred with House amendments and passed the bill, sending it to the Governor for his signature.
Next week is the final week of the House session for this year.
I’m honored to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Rep. Lee Hewitt