Statehouse Update Jan 10-12

South Carolina statehouse grounds

Hello! The 2023 S.C. legislative session starts today. To kick off the year, we are rolling out a new project: the Statehouse Update. Each week SCPC will provide updates on legislation dealing with tax relief, government transparency, school choice and other important issues. Lawmakers are hitting the ground running this year with several notable bills to watch. As of Monday, Jan 9, the following bills are on the Statehouse calendar. 

 Education 
  • S.39 – This bill would create a new education scholarship program for low-income K-12 students. Under the proposal, parents could use scholarship funding to pay for private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring services, transportation to other schools and more. A similar education scholarship bill nearly passed last year. 
  • The Senate Education Committee will take up the bill on Thursday, Jan 12 at 9:30am. Watch the livestream here
Healthcare freedom 
  • S.164 – This bill would eliminate state Certificate of Need (CON) requirements for most South Carolina healthcare facilities (excluding nursing homes and the Medical University of South Carolina). CON forces healthcare providers to go through an extensive approval process before constructing or expanding facilities or making certain purchases, and the outcome hasn’t been great for healthcare. Repealing CON would give people more options for healthcare and result in lower prices because of increased competition.
  • The Senate Medical Affairs Committee will take up the bill on Thursday, Jan 12 at 10am. Watch the livestream here
Government transparency 
  • As of Monday, Jan 9, every regular legislative meeting on the calendar this week is scheduled to be livestreamed, including all House budget subcommittee hearings. This is a great way to start the year and hopefully a good sign for the future. Our latest research report identified livestreaming and video archiving as essential for transparency as they keep a lasting public record of meetings. 
State budget
  • The legislative budget process starts with state agencies presenting their spending requests to House budget subcommittees. Lawmakers will use the information received here to write the first draft of the state budget. The following subcommittees meet this week:
  • Criminal justice subcommittee 1/10/23 upon House adjournment– Hearing from the Attorney General’s Office, the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon, and the State Ethics Commission. (livestream here)
  • Constitutional subcommittee 1/10/23 upon House adjournment– Hearing from local government entities and the Procurement Review Panel. (livestream here)
  • Higher education subcommittee 1/10/23 at 2:30pm– Hearing from the Commission on Higher Education and Francis Marion University. (livestream here)
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