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Legislative Matters

The mission of the Oconee County Republican Men is to provide members with opportunities to learn about current legislative issues and encourage them to become actively involved in the political process. In that regard, listed below are some of the issues likely to be debated or acted upon in the South Carolina Statehouse during the 2024 session. Please take the time to learn more about these matters and let your elected officials know your views.

 

Health Care

 

S-915 -This bill appears to give the Secretary of Health an incredible amount of power. For example:

1 - “To be the sole adviser of the State concerning all questions involving the protection of public health within its limits” Section 44-12-40(3). In addition:

2- To determine the appropriate course of treatment for patients with complex or co-occurring diagnoses necessitating involvement of 2 or more component departments- Section 44-12-40(4).

 

Hate Crimes

House Bill 3014, which passed during the 2023 legislative session, calls for enhanced penalties for certain violent crimes when the offender intentionally selects a victim due to the offender’s belief or perception regarding the victim’s race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability. The Senate is expected to consider this legislation during the 2024 session.

 

Proponents note that the legislation is consistent with other civil rights laws and that South Carolina is one of only two states without such a law.

Some opponents cite concern that the listing of sex and gender separately could make religious organizations open to lawsuits. Others believe no particular group should get more protection under the law than another.

Parental Rights

“Parental Bill of Rights” legislation will be considered in the House that would generally prohibit gender transition procedures for persons under eighteen years of age, the use of public funds to accomplish them, and public school staff from withholding knowledge of a minor’s perception of their gender from a minor’s parents.

Proponents believe that changes in the gender identity of minors are the fundamental rights solely of their parents to decide.

Opponents are concerned that legislation targeting culturally diverse students will not improve their education, and violates a student’s privacy rights.

Judicial Reform

A Bill has been pre-filed that would, among other things, ensure that two members of the Judicial Merit Selection Committee be appointed by the South Carolina Bar, and that a judicial candidate cannot withdraw their name once the committee has started its investigation.

Proponents are looking for ways to improve the process of selecting judges, and refer to several unqualified ones who had been politically appointed.

There does not appear to be any significant opposition at this point.

 

Drug-Related Homicides

A Bill that would allow the state to consider homicide charges for people who, knowingly or not, supply fentanyl or another Schedule I substance that results in an overdose death passed nearly unanimously in the Senate last session. It is to be debated in the House this session.

Proponents believe this measure will be a deterrent to fentanyl dealers, and reduce overdose deaths by holding accountable those who are selling dangerous drugs that result in deaths.

 

Opponents say the measure will not reduce overdose deaths and is an inhumane way of dealing with the opioid crisis.

Constitutional Carry

Current law mandates that to carry a concealed weapon one must receive a permit based on the owner’s age, training, and background check status. Some legislators want to strike these requirements.

Proponents say that striking them will restrict governmental interference with an individual’s right to self-defense.

Opponents believe permits are necessary to ensure that only mature, qualified, and law-abiding citizens possess concealed weapons.

Contact Information

  • Senator Thomas Alexander: (803) 212-6220 / (864) 638-2988

  • Representative William Sandifer: (803) 734-3015 / (864) 885-2240

  • Representative William Whitmire: (803) 734-3068 / (864) 638-4237

  • Congressman Jeff Duncan – sign up for the Newsletter

  • scstatehouse.gov – contact your Legislators

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