In this 11th week of the legislative session, we made important movement on bills to advance the cause of the unborn, enhance rights for gun owners, and increase affordable access to higher education for our veterans. Committees worked extra-long hours this week to give final hearings on pending legislative priorities, and are expected to do the same next week.
For more than two decades, South Carolina House Republicans have led the way on pro-life reforms aimed at protecting the innocent lives of the unborn who cannot advocate for their own life. This year is no different. The South Carolina Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act sponsored by Rep. Lin Bennett (R-Charleston) cleared a second and final committee vote this week. The bill passed out of the House Judiciary Committee and now heads to the floor for a full vote of the entire House.
Also clearing an important and final second vote in the House Judiciary Committee is a pro-gun bill backed by the National Rifle Association. The legislation would allow law-abiding adults to carry a weapon openly without a permit, essentially eliminating the need to get a concealed weapons permit to carry a firearm in our state. However, this bill would also protect the existing CWP reciprocity agreements already in place with many other states for those gun owners who wish to conceal their firearm. It now heads to the full House for a vote.
Finally this week, the House gave final approval to a measure granting in-state tuition rates to veterans living in South Carolina. Those who serve our nation deserve our very best in return, and it’s important we honor their commitment to our safety wherever and whenever we can. This bill does exactly that by making it easier and more affordable for veterans to enroll in our institutions of higher learning.
It is an honor to serve you and your family in the General Assembly. If you ever find yourself in need of assistance navigating state government, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with my colleagues in the House, please don’t hesitate to contact me at Tommy@tommystringer.com.