It’s the final countdown, where do policies stand before Sine Die 2022?
by Ashley Lidow on May 6, 2022
With only 3 more working days left in the legislative session, we are in the final push to support good policies to becoming law and pushing back against policies that hurt our community. Below are some updates and urgent actions that we need you to do and share with your networks.
Sine Die in the 2nd year of a 2-year session; what does it mean?
Sine Die is the day that the South Carolina General Assembly will officially end the legislative session. This year Sine Die will occur at 5 pm on Thursday May 12th. Before they adjourn for the year, the legislators typically pass a sine die resolution that outlines the things they can take up between May – January. Any bill/ issue not included in the Sine Die resolution will be dead and must be reintroduced in the new session beginning January 2023. There are rumors that the legislators will not pass a sine die resolution this year and, if that is the case, the Governor could call them back to work and they would be able to work on a large volume of topics. Given the recent leak at the Supreme Court this could mean that a total abortion ban could be something that the legislature considers this summer. We need our community to come together at this time to speak up loudly in support of continued access to abortion and full bodily autonomy in South Carolina. Please sign this petition right now.
Urgent actions to take before Sine Die (May 12, 2022)
1. H.4776 was polled out of committee and set to special order on May 4th and debate began on the Senate floor on May 5th. H.4776, would allow health care professionals to discriminate against their patients and refuse to provide them care. This dangerous and far-reaching bill permits any person participating in health care service to deny care to their patients for any reason, without a medical justification. The health consequences of such a sweeping law could be catastrophic. This is a negative development on the bill and means that it could be fast-tracked for passage because it has already passed the House. Take action by emailing your Senator today to ask them to VOTE NO.
2. On May 5th the South Carolina Senate voted to pass H.4608, the anti-transgender student sports bill that we’ve been working to defeat this entire legislative session. The bill, which has already passed the House, will soon head toward Governor Henry McMaster’s desk. We’re now urging Senator McMaster to do what six governors before him – including three Republican governors – have done: Veto this unnecessary, dangerous bill. To do anything less is to waste taxpayer dollars defending a bill that has already been ruled unconstitutional by two federal judges, including one in West Virginia. Can you join us in urging Gov. McMaster to veto this frivolous attempt to address a manufactured problem? Join us by clicking here and sending a message ASAP. The vote to pass this shameful bill comes after more than two years of LGBTQ+ and allied South Carolinians resisting similar efforts to ban transgender youth from sports participation. Between 2020 and 2021 our powerful movement successfully defeated 10 different versions of this bill, demonstrating consistent and powerful leadership from transgender advocates in SC.
3. H4568 the Medication Abortion Misinformation bill would force providers to disclose medically inaccurate information about medication abortion. It would require doctors to tell abortion patients who receive a medication abortion that they can reverse the medication they’ve taken. There is no scientific evidence that this works. In fact, a medical study on this proved to be so dangerous for those participating in the study that it had to be stopped. This bill would require doctors and other health care professionals to provide patients with dangerous, unproven, unscientific medical misinformation. After lengthy debate on April 27th the House passed the bill on second reading (71-29) and then gave the bill third reading on May 4th (76-34) and sent the bill to the Senate. While the bill did not make the crossover deadline it is still a threat with an emboldened anti-abortion legislature; use this link to email your Senator today and tell them to oppose H.4568.
Great policies on track for passage before Sine Die
The Pharmacy Access Act (628) passed the SC House of Representatives on Wednesday, May 4th by a vote of 74-29. The bill was amended so it will go back to the Senate for concurrence. The bill authorizes pharmacists to prescribe contraceptives, which can make contraceptive care more accessible and affordable by eliminating the need for a separate visit to a health care provider to obtain a prescription.
On May 3rd H.3006 passed the Senate on by a vote of 40-0 and has sent back to the House for concurrence on the amendments that were made. H. 3006 would ban the use of debt collectors to collect debts for school lunch or breakfast accounts and prevent entities from assessing or collecting any interest, fees, or additional charges for outstanding debts. WREN is proud to support our partners at Wholespire on this legislation. More info at their website here https://www.wholespire.org/our-work/advocacy-center/
Ending the subminimum wage S.533 passed the House on May 4th by a vote of 104-4 and has been sent back to the Senate for concurrence before it can be sent to the Governor for signature. WREN is proud to support our partners at ABLE SC on this legislation. Learn more about it at their website here https://www.able-sc.org/resource-library/legislative-updates/
Something to Celebrate!
Paid Parental Leave for State Employees (S.11) passed the legislature and is on its way to the Governor’s desk. When it has been signed the act takes effect October 1, 2022 to allow the Division of Human Resources of the Department of Administration time to promulgate regulations, guidance, and procedures to implement the policy. The bill will ensure that state employees receive paid parental leave for the birth, adoption, or fostering of a child. This policy is not only good for employees but it will also keep the state government workforce strong. Families will no longer have to choose between caring for a newborn or keeping their jobs. State employees are a significant and crucial part of South Carolina’s workforce. Going forward, we will work to expand the paid leave to benefit even more of South Carolina’s workers. You can celebrate this passage by sending a thank you note to the sponsors here.