South Carolina statehouse grounds

Update 2/17/23: Some bills listed below have been updated to indicate if they passed.

A bill (S.134) requiring South Carolina school boards to livestream their meetings is on the Senate floor this week and could be taken up for a vote. Livestreaming is one of the four main categories discussed in our December transparency report, which recently inspired a sweeping House transparency bill with 13 legislative co-sponsors (read more here). A bill (S.361) to allow more work to be added to construction projects without SCDOT Commission sign-off is also on the Senate floor, which should help speed up road work projects if passed. Update: S.134 and S.361 both passed the Senate unanimously.

  • H.3843– School boards must adopt some form of an open enrollment policy, allowing students to attend schools other than those they are normally designated for. A House Education subcommittee is considering the bill Tuesday at 2 PM. Update: This bill was passed by the subcommittee.
  • S.285–  Known as the “PACE” program, this bill 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. A Senate Finance subcommittee is considering the bill Tuesday at 3 PM. Update: This bill was passed by the subcommittee. 
  • H.3591 – A state constitutional amendment to repeal the prohibition on the state providing direct aid to religious or other private schools. The House Judiciary Committee is considering the bill Tuesday at 2:30 PM. Update: This bill was passed by the full committee. 
  • H.3797 – Clarifying that a pupil meets residency requirements for school if his/her parent is transferred or pending transfer to a military base within the state. The House 3-M Committee is considering the bill Tuesday after House adjournment. Update: This bill was passed by the full committee.

State Transportation Secretary Christy Hall will brief the Senate Transportation Committee on her department and the status of South Carolina’s transportation projects Wednesday at 11 AM.

Government transparency 

As of Tuesday morning, a whopping 12 Senate and three House committee meetings are not scheduled for livestreaming. This includes several meetings dealing with bills as well as meetings to work on the state budget. Under a recently filed House bill inspired by SCPC’s research, all legislative meetings would need to be livestreamed. Here you can find the full list of House and Senate meetings.

State budget (highlights)

The House has finished hearing from state agencies about their budget requests, who are now giving presentations to the various Senate Finance subcommittees. In the coming weeks we should see the full House Ways and Means Committee meet to discuss the first official draft of the state budget.

House Proviso budget subcommittee

  • 2/14/23 2:30 PM – To consider provisos in the state budget. Provisos are mini laws inserted in the state budget, which generally are meant to explain how agencies should spend money, but sometimes create new policy altogether. Learn more about recent provisos here.

Senate Criminal Justice budget subcommittee

  • 2/15/23 8:45 AM – Hearing from the Department of Public Safety, Commission on Indigent Defense, and Prosecution Coordination Commission. (livestream not scheduled)

Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development budget subcommittee

  • 2/15/23 9:15 AM – Hearing from the Office of Resilience, Sea Grant Consortium, and Patriot’s Point. (livestream not scheduled)

Senate Higher Education budget subcommittee

  • 2/15/23 9:30 AM – Hearing from The Citadel, South Carolina State University, and Lottery Commission. (livestream not scheduled) 
  • 2/16/23 9:30 AM  – Hearing from the College of Charleston and University of South Carolina. (livestream not scheduled)

Senate K-12 Education budget subcommittee

  • 2/15/23 10:30 AM – Hearing from the SC School for the Deaf and Blind, ETV, State Museum, Archives and History. (livestream not scheduled)