By Copper Dome Strategies
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:
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.
Jan. 10: South Carolina’s Pending Tax Bills and Your 2020 Legislative Preview
Jan. 17: Gov. McMaster’s Executive Budget Calls for Tax Cuts, Rebates for Taxpayers
Jan. 24: McMaster’s State of the State Emphasizes Tax Cuts, Rebates, Teacher Raises; Business License Tax Talks Continue
Jan. 31: House Subcommittee Hears Budget Request from SC Chief Justice to Improve Case Management System
Feb. 7: Senate Finance Committee Approves Business Personal Property Bill for DOR Filing
Feb. 14: Board of Economic Advisors Announces Largest Budget Surplus in SC History
Feb. 21: House Floor Debate is Up Next for Budget After Ways and Means Committee Plan Adopted
Feb. 28: House Members Have Upcoming Week to Study Budget Before Floor Debate
March 6: Education Reform Bill Moves from Senate to House; DHEC Tells of Coronavirus Resources
March 13: Senate Bills Make Progress for Conformity, Business Personal Property and Business License Tax Reform
March 20: A Look Inside the $45M COVID-19 Relief Package for DHEC; Return of Legislators is on Hold
March 27: Legislative Session Remains Postponed; Candidate Filing Period Ends on March 30
April 3: General Assembly Will Convene for One Day on April 8; State Elections Leader Suggests List of Voting Adjustments
April 10: Here are Details of General Assembly’s Unresolved Continuing Resolution Situation for State Operations Budget
April 17: McMaster Announces ‘Accelerate South Carolina’ Revitalization Plan, Details to Come
April 24: accelerateSC Revitalization Task Force Goes to Work
May 1: General Assembly Set to Return to State House on May 12
May 8: Gov. McMaster Announces that Indoor Dining in SC Can Resume on May 11
May 15: General Assembly Passes Continuing Resolution for State Budget; Close-Contact Businesses Can Resume Monday, May 18
May 22: Restrictions Lift on Tourist Attractions on May 22, but Extended State of Emergency Remains until May 27
May 29: Gov. McMaster Will Now Review accelerateSC Committee’s Final Recommendations
June 5: House COVID-19 Liability Protection Committee Weighs Burdens of Potential Lawsuits for Struggling Businesses
June 12: Gov. McMaster Recommends Disbursal of $1.9B Coronavirus Relief Fund in Two Phases
June 19: Senate Finance Committee’s Plan for CARES Act Funds Includes $500M for Unemployment Trust Fund
June 26: $1.2B in Federal CARES Act Funding is Authorized
To keep up with the latest news of SCACPA Advocacy, turn to the SCACPA Blog and our social media outlets.