Legislative report: Progress on COVID and Education

We’re a month into the 2021 legislative session and progress is being made in fighting COVID.

As of February 2nd, South Carolina ranks 5th in the nation in completed vaccinations. This is attributed to the hard work and collaboration of frontline workers, healthcare professionals, DHEC, and the Governor. Despite the hard work we have seen, we still have room to improve.

Starting this Monday, February 8th, any South Carolina resident age 65 or older can begin scheduling their appointment to receive the COVID vaccine. Click here for more information.

It was announced this week that 17 South Carolina CVS Pharmacies will be offering over 15,000 COVID vaccinations to eligible individuals beginning February 11th. Appointments will be available as early as February 9th. Click here to find a location near you.

As of Thursday, 777,250 vaccinations have been received for distribution from the federal government; 439,888 vaccinations have been put in arms.

Education improvement remains a top priority. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has been a challenge for educators, parents, and students. This has also brought many areas of weakness in education to our attention.

Last year, we began an overhaul of education with a few large bills. This year, we’re breaking down the bills. Through this, I’m hopeful that more legislation will pass, and we can get students to where they need to be. This week I was proud to vote in favor of legislation that does the following:

• Reduces the amount of literacy screening and testing for Kindergarten-3rd grade.
• Revises the criteria for retention ensuring students are reading on grade level before promotion.
• Provides reading and literacy coaches to schools who have below average achievement in English/Language arts.
• Establishes “Schools of Innovation” in multiple South Carolina school districts to allow for more flexible models.

On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Economic Development Budget Subcommittee I sit on met to hear budget requests from state agencies. I approach these meetings by keeping the interests of taxpayers at the forefront to ensure state spending is cost effective and not wasteful.

It’s an honor to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.