2020 Session Legislative Advocacy
In 2020 we have supported as our highest priorities:
H.3054 — This bill provides for an independent commission to draw Congressional and General Assembly district lines, and outlines criteria that exclude protection of incumbents or parties. This bill has not received a subcommittee hearing and no testimony has been given. However, the League has distributed information on its concerns and position and focused on this bill during its February 2020 lobby day. LINK
H.4203 and H.3045 – These bills require disclosure of donors to organizations that engage in electioneering. In 2019 these bills received a subcommittee hearing and testimony was given. LINK. Unfortunately, these bills died and were never debated in full House Judiciary Committee.
We are also very engaged with advocacy in:
Senate Committee on Education Funding Reform – An ad hoc committee was convened to explore the important issues around education funding in South Carolina, to draft a bill to be filed in 2021 for general reform of secondary education funding in South Carolina. Testimony was written by League Co-president, and respected economist specializing in South Carolina local and state government revenues, Holley Ulbrich.
LINK. She also gave extensive oral testimony to the committee.
We are working in opposition to:
H.3125 and S.125 – These are resolutions to call for a federal constitutional convention under Article V of the US Constitution, with the goals of requiring “fiscal restraint” and balanced budgets, term limits, and substantial reduction of the scope and powers of the federal government. This suite of demands has long been associated with right wing groups that have opposed as federal “overreach” everything from school integration to taxation in support of a social safety net. We testified against these in the House LINK and wrote testimony for a Senate subcommittee that devoted its entire first meeting to hearing from supporters of the bill and did not reconvene to hear any other testimony, including any testimony in opposition LINK.
S. 556 – This bill would divert public secondary education funds to private school scholarship. The League strongly supports public education, regards this effort as potentially very damaging to providing a sound education to all of South Carolina’s children, and has submitted written testimony in opposition to this bill LINK.
H.3020– This bill is commonly, and erroneously, called the “fetal heartbeat bill” which misrepresents its contents. It would criminalize abortion as early as six weeks after conception when many women don’t even know that they are pregnant and when, in fact, there is no heart and no heartbeat. LINK
S.901 and S.918 - These resolutions in support the Equal Rights Amendment received a subcommittee hearing before South Carolina’s four women senators, all of whom co-sponsored S.918. The bills progressed no further. Testimony in support was given by Laura Woliver, Columbia League president and scholarly expert on women in politics and in particular women in South Carolina in political life. LINK
S.1129 - We also provided written testimony to a committee addressing badly needed reforms of the governance of the Public Service Authority, which oversees Santee Cooper. Our testimony was focused on accountability and good government issues. LINK
H.3279 and S.187 - We worked for passage of H.3279 and S.187, bills that would require both private and public insurers to allow women to receive up to 12 months of contraceptive access at once. Where this has been done it has greatly reduced unintended pregnancies and therefore has done far more to prevent abortions than the efforts of “pro-life” advocates. We did not have hearings on these bills but through the efforts of Rep. Beth Bernstein and Rep. Kirkman Finlay negotiated an agreement that would permit women receiving Medicaid through Managed Care Options (provided by private insurers) to receive six months of contraception at once. Fee for Service Medicaid already permits twelve month dispensing. All, of course, would be at the discretion of physicians.