Friday, July 10, 2020
Two legislative committees met this week to receive briefings on re-opening public schools in the fall and the effects of COVID-19 on children.
accelerateSC is a one-stop website to help businesses and citizens connect to important new developments.
The accelerateED Task Force Final Guidance and Recommendations for the 2020-21 School Year can be found here. It is a 202-page draft dated June 15.
SENATE RE-OPEN SC COMMITTEE
The Senate Re-Open SC Children’s Services, PPE Subcommittee met on Wednesday. The subcommittee heard presentations regarding safely opening public schools this fall. State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman testified that all school superintendents are working closely with their local school boards and making assessments on a district by district basis for fall plans. The Department of Education is assisting districts and providing guidance from the accelerateED Task Force.
Spearman also discussed expansion of broadband in rural areas and said they have learned that federal CARES Act funds may be used for accessing existing lines in addition to creating hotspots. Expansion of rural broadband remains a priority for state leaders.
The subcommittee also heard testimony from Dr. Debbie Greenhouse, representing the Academy of Pediatric and Adolescent Physicians. Dr. Greenhouse told the subcommittee they strongly believe students should be physically present in school this fall, particularly elementary and middle school students. They are taking into consideration the negative effects of students not being in the classroom, such as mental health, isolation, abuse, neglect and hunger. She also cited research showing the virus seems to not affect children as badly or as often as adults. She noted each district must take precautions and adapt as necessary.
The subcommittee also heard from the Department of Social Services, the Palmetto State Teachers Association, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators and the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association.
To view archived video of the meeting, go here.
JOINT CITIZENS AND LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE ON CHILDREN
The Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children met Thursday to receive testimony. The committee heard from numerous state agencies that are providing services to children. Those presenting included the Department of Children’s Advocacy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and the Department of Mental Health.
Following the presentations, there was considerable discussion regarding what actions are being taken to prepare for school in the fall. The committee also learned of the dramatic decrease in the number of child abuse and neglect cases due to the children not being in school, as most of those cases are referred by school personnel.
To view archived video of the meeting, go here.
South Carolina remains under a State of Emergency as South Carolina businesses continue to open. To view all of the governor’s previous Executive Orders, go here.
For more information from SC DHEC on the virus, go here.
The DHEC Care Line is available to provide general information about COVID-19 by calling 1.855.472.3432 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., seven days per week.
Other helpful links:
- COVID-19 Screening & Testing Sites
- The Emergency Management Division provides links to important information, including the SC Department on Aging, SC Childcare, the SC Department of Employment and Workforce, the Department of Revenue and the SC Department of Insurance.
- South Carolina Department of Commerce offers small business information and assistance.
- For additional resources that may be beneficial to your organization’s recovery efforts, visit Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd’s COVID-19 Resources
- South Carolina Health Alert Network
- South Carolina COVID-19 Emergency Supply Sourcing & Manufacturing
BUDGET – CONTINUING RESOLUTION
A Continuing Resolution, H.3411, is in effect that provides for the continued and uninterrupted operation of state government into the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020. State government agencies are now operating in FY21 with the same funding as they received in FY20. The General Assembly will return to Columbia on Sept. 15 to adopt a state budget for the remainder of FY20-21.
SINE DIE RESOLUTION
The General Assembly has adopted a Sine Die Resolution, S.1194, which will allow them to continue past the mandatory May 14 Sine Die deadline to complete unfinished business.
Each House will stand adjourned to meet at the call of the President Pro Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. At this time, there are no plans to return until September. The resolution further authorizes the General Assembly to meet again in statewide session on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at noon and continue in statewide session until Sept. 24 for the consideration of specific matters, including the annual General Appropriations Act.
Unless the session is otherwise adjourned Sine Die at an earlier date, the 2020 session of the General Assembly shall stand adjourned Sine Die not later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 8.
No meetings are scheduled. We will keep you apprised of any action of legislative committees that may occur.
Thank you for following SCACPA’s ‘The View from the Dome’ for State House Developments on Tax Issues Through SC’s 2020 Legislative Session. Here is a review of our weekly updates.