This week the Senate is expected to vote on the education scholarship proposal (S.39), after which it will go to the House. The bill, which would pay for some low-income students to attend private schools or help cover the cost of other education expenses, is supported by a majority of likely SC voters, according to our recent poll. Senators are also pursuing a separate privately-funded scholarship program via other legislation, which is in committee this week (see below).  

Meanwhile on the House floor is H.3614, which would prohibit a public utility from retaliating against an employee who reports wrongdoing to the Office of Regulatory Staff. Whistleblowers are critical to identifying potential abuse and corruption, so providing them with basic protection seems like a wise policy.  

  • S.285 – This bill, known as the “PACE” program, would drastically overhaul and expand South Carolina’s privately-funded K-12 scholarship program. Under PACE, most K-12 students would be eligible for a limited number of scholarships to attend private school or pay for home school expenses, with some scholarship funding specifically reserved for low-income and special needs students. Scholarship donors would receive an income tax credit based on their contribution amount. The bill is being taken up by a Senate Finance subcommittee at 3PM on Tuesday. (livestream here)
Medical records
  • H.3232 – This bill would require a suspended, terminated or excluded Medicaid provider to provide a patient’s medical records at no charge. It will be taken up by the House 3-M Committee Tuesday at 3PM (livestream here).
Government transparency 
  • S.134 – This bill would require all South Carolina school boards to livestream their meetings and post the video recordings online, a policy recommended in our recent transparency report. The bill passed subcommittee last week but has yet to be scheduled for full committee. 
  • While most House legislative committee meetings are scheduled to be livestreamed, a concerning number of Senate meetings are not, including six budget subcommittee hearings. This seems to be a continuing problem for the upper chamber, as last year we noted that many Senate meetings went unstreamed.
State budget

Criminal Justice budget subcommittee

  • 2/1/23 8:45 AM – Hearing from the Administrative Law Court, State Law Enforcement Division, and Department of Corrections (livestream not scheduled)

Higher Education budget subcommittee

  • 2/2/23 9:30 AM – Hearing from Coastal Carolina University, Lander University, and Commission on Higher Education (livestream not scheduled) 

Healthcare budget subcommittee

  • 1/31/23 Immediately after House adjournment – Hearing from the MUSC Hospital Authority, and Camp Happy Days (livestream here)
  • 2/1/23 Immediately after House adjournment – Hearing from the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and the SC Commission for the Blind (livestream here)

Constitutional budget subcommittee

  • 1/31/23 upon House adjournment – Hearing from the SC Judicial Branch, SC Council of Governments, Administrative Law Court, Legislative Audit Council, and the City of Columbia (livestream here)
  • 2/1/23 1.5 hours after House adjournment – Hearing from the Governor’s Office and Mansion & Grounds, and the Department of Administration (livestream here)

Public Education and Special Schools budget subcommittee

  • 1/31/23 1.5 hours after House adjournment – Hearing from the South Carolina Department of Education, and the Education Oversight Committee (livestream here)
  • 2/1/23 1.5 hours after House adjournment – Hearing from the South Carolina Public Charter School District, Erskine Charter Institute, Limestone Charter Institute, and the State Museum (livestream here)

Economic Development budget subcommittee

  • 1/31/23 1.5 hours after House adjournment – Hearing from Rural Infrastructure and Commerce (livestream here)
  • 2/1/23 Immediately after House adjournment – Hearing from the Department of Revenue and Santee Cooper (livestream here)

Health and Human Services budget subcommittee

  • 1/31/23 3:00 PM – Hearing from SC Public Employee Benefit Authority, Department of Social Services, and Department of Children’s Advocacy  (livestream not scheduled)
  • 2/1/23 9:30 AM – Hearing from the Department of Health and Human Services and Department on Aging (livestream not scheduled)


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