Latest South Carolina State General Assembly News

Raeanne Castillo, center, with Roper St. Francis Healthcare holds specimen collection kits at the hospital's North Charleston office Monday, March 16, 2020, in North Charleston, S.C. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is providing drive-through specimen collecting for patients suspected of having COVID-19 or flu who have already been screened by a Virtual Care provider. (AP Photo/Mic Smith)

Health officials: SC COVID-19 cases may reach 8,000 by May

Mar. 25, 2020 6:24 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two Republicans in the South Carolina House have joined a growing call for Gov. Henry McMaster to issue a stay at home order to fight the coronavirus. The letter from Reps. Neal Collins of Easley and Gary Clary of Clemson was sent before state health officials released their COVID-19...

Republican Rep. William Herbkersman, R-Bluffton speaks to Rep. Beth Bernstein, D-Columbia as she practices social distancing in the South Carolina House on Thursday, March 19, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. The House returned briefly to approve $45 million in emergency funds for state health officials to fight coronavirus. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

$45M OKed for SC health to fight virus as courts suspended

Mar. 19, 2020 6:56 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In a nearly empty Statehouse with especially worried members voting from the balcony, the South Carolina House approved $45 million Thursday for state health officials to fight the new coronavirus. Gov. Henry McMaster took the unheard of step of immediately signing the bill within 15...

Republican state Sen. Shane Massey of Edgefield, left, and Democratic State Sen. Nikki Setzler, right, speak to reporters outside the South Carolina Statehouse on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. The senators and reporters wanted to practice social distancing for the news conference. (AP Photo / Jeffrey Collins)

Virus makes $10B budget passed by SC House mostly moot

Mar. 18, 2020 1:35 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Earlier this month, the South Carolina House passed a budget starting July 1 that spent nearly $2 billion in additional money on raises for teachers, security upgrades at prisons and tax breaks. Less than a week later, that $10 billion budget is likely worthless. It's impossible to...

South Carolina House takes 1st of typical 2 weeks off

Mar. 15, 2020 3:12 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House is taking the week off. The House started the first of what is usually two weeks off during the 18-week session after Speaker Jay Lucas gavelled the end of Wednesday's session. Lucas said House members deserved the break after working hard on the $10 billion...

SC Senate passes bill banning shackling of pregnant inmates

Mar. 14, 2020 10:27 AM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has approved a bill banning jails and prisons from using leg, waist and ankle restraints on pregnant women while they give birth. South Carolina is among only six states that don't ban shackling pregnant inmates. The bill passed by the Senate earlier this...

Senate President Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, presides over the opening day of South Carolina's 2020 legislative session on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Amid flurry of SC cancellations, Senate will keep meeting

Mar. 12, 2020 8:52 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Amid a flurry of cancellations of college classes, athletic events and St. Patrick's Day parades in South Carolina over the coronavirus outbreak, one institution plans to keep going — the state Senate. Senate President Harvey Peeler gaveled out the Senate for the week Thursday...

Rep. Josiah Magnuson, a Republican from Spartanburg County, asks a question to Rep. Chris Wooten, a Republican from Lexington, during the state budget debate at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. House members debated whether to give state employees an across the board raise. (AP Photo / Jeffrey Collins)

SC House OKs extra money for roads, teachers and tax relief

Mar. 11, 2020 2:51 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House passed the state's $10 billion budget Wednesday, putting additional money into teacher salaries, roads, safety at state prisons and tax relief and rebates. The House finished work on the spending plan a day earlier than usual, much faster than expected given...

Rep. Ashley Trantham, a Republican from Greenville, keeps snacks on her desk during the state budget debate at the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia, South Carolina, on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. House members debated whether to give state employees an across the board raise. (AP Photo / Jeffrey Collins)

House rejects raises for all state workers; OKs $10B budget

Mar. 10, 2020 8:04 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina House Democrats warned their Republican colleagues who killed proposals Tuesday to give state employees an across-the-board raise that they are going to keep losing good workers. They also hinted those remaining may decide they've had enough and take a page from...

Bill to track rape kits in South Carolina passes Senate

Mar. 10, 2020 5:37 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A bill requiring state police to set up a system to track evidence collected during sexual assault investigations received key approval Tuesday in the state Senate. Currently in South Carolina there is no system to track the evidence, called rape kits, and victims often have no idea...

SC's longest serving black lawmaker to step aside

Mar. 10, 2020 3:10 PM EDT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A state senator who has served in the South Carolina General Assembly since 1975 said he will step aside at the end of the year. Sen. John Matthews, 79, said he will not file for reelection later this month. The Democrat from Orangeburg County spent 10 years in the House after being...