The House of Representatives reconvened this week in Columbia after a week of virtual meetings. Progress was made on improving the expediency and transparency behind the COVID vaccination process, resolving the issue of Santee Cooper, and improving education and teacher pay.
This week, I voted in favor of a $208 million COVID relief bill, appropriating $63 million to DHEC, $45 million to MUSC and $100 million to establish the COVID Vaccine Reserve account to offset the costs associated with administering the vaccine. Additionally, the House unanimously passed a bill that would allow qualified personnel such as South Carolina-licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, Physician Assistants, and Registered Nurses to administer the COVID vaccine.
This week Becker’s Hospital Review, a national healthcare information forum, released a report showing South Carolina ranks 10th in the nation for how quickly the state is vaccinating people for COVID.
Now, SC just needs to get its fair share of the vaccine -- SC’s vaccine allocation is 61% below the national average. I’ve joined with other state legislators representing Horry and Georgetown counties to pushed our federal representatives to help South Carolina get its fair share of COVID vaccine.
Click here for a news report about the effort.
On January 22nd, I had the opportunity to tour the Tidelands Health COVID vaccination clinic in Murrells Inlet. My thanks to Tidelands, especially the frontline medical providers, for their impressive efforts to expedite vaccinations.
The House passed a bill to put state-owned Santee Cooper back up for sale in an effort to get a better offer, while at the same time mandating needed reforms for this troubled and heavily in debt utility.
I proudly supported a bill to appropriate $9 million in one-time, surplus funds to address some of the funding shortfalls being experienced by the State's public charter schools due to increased enrollment in 2020-21. I also voted to restore Teacher Pay Step Increases, retroactively awarding $50 million in step increases for the 2020-21 school year-- a significant step in the right direction as we work to raise our teacher pay above the national average.
I wanted to make sure you had this link to my official House webpage, where you can find the bills that I have either sponsored or cosponsored, view my voting record, search for bills and access video feeds of the House sessions and committee meetings.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.
Rep. Lee Hewitt