Hewitt Report: House legislative session ends

I hope you’re doing well.

As the gavel fell at 5 pm last Thursday, the House adjourned the 2023-2024 legislative session. The final week was a whirlwind of legislative activity.

Our discussions on the FY 24-25 state budget bill were intense and productive. The budget bill will go to a conference committee to work out the differences in the House and Senate versions. I will continue to share updates as more work is completed on the budget in the coming weeks.

We’ve taken a significant step towards safeguarding our children online with the passage of the Child Online Safety Act. This pivotal legislation, which now awaits Gov. McMaster's signature, mandates age verification on websites displaying pornographic content to prevent minors from accessing inappropriate material.

The Judicial Merit Selection Commission reform bill, S.1046, reached a critical phase as it moved into a conference committee where both chambers will work through their differences. This reform seeks to enhance the transparency and accountability of our judicial selection process in electing judges, responding directly to the overwhelming 91% of Republicans in our Presidential Primary who demanded these changes.

Last week, we continued to champion the Ten-Year Energy Transformation Act, a pivotal bill aimed at ensuring South Carolina's long-term energy independence. Although the Senate returned the bill with amendments, we remained committed to our comprehensive approach. The bill has now moved to a conference committee, where we will work diligently to reconcile differences and finalize a plan that truly reflects our vision for a sustainable energy future for our state.

I was honored to support the passage of S.969, which significantly increases the daily subsistence allowance for our law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel. This legislation also raises the maximum tax deduction for first responder volunteers from $3,000 to $6,000 annually, acknowledging the sacrifices made by those who ensure our safety. These changes underscore our deep appreciation and firm commitment to supporting the brave individuals who protect our communities.

It's a privilege and honor to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

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