House week in review


Hearings about the future of our state-owned utility Santee Cooper kicked off this week in the House with a special ad hoc committee of nine of my House colleagues. The committee, chaired by Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith, heard from members of the Department of Administration, NextEra Energy, Dominion Energy, Santee Cooper and Central/Co-Ops. Committee meetings will continue this week, followed by Budget Week next week.


In action on the House floor, I voted in the affirmative for the following:


H.4431, a bill to enact the “South Carolina Business Tax License Tax Standardization Act”. This bill reduces the complexity of complying with the business license taxes imposed by counties and municipalities by bringing statewide uniformity to the deadlines, application forms, and various other parts of the process. The bill enhances convenience for businesses by allowing them to pay taxes owed in multiple jurisdictions using a one-stop-shopping online portal.


H.4761, a bill providing for “South Carolina Read to Succeed Act” enhancements that emphasize early intervention for students who are having difficulty learning to read so that they can receive needed instruction before reaching the time when a low score on a literacy assessment can require a student to repeat the third grade.


H.3328, a bill revising school lunch provisions. The legislation provides that students eligible for free and reduced meal benefits must be offered the same federally reimbursable meal as students not eligible for these federal free and reduced meal provisions.


H.4765, a bill imposing limitations on collecting school meal program debts. The legislation prohibits a public school or school district from using a debt collection service to collect debts owed on a school lunch or breakfast account of a student.


H.4758, a bill providing authority for alternative programs for educator preparation and certification as a means of addressing current teacher shortages. Under the legislation, educator preparation programs housed within an institution of higher education may submit a separate and distinct educator preparation program for alternative preparation to the State Board of Education for approval.


This week, I was privileged to host the Calhoun Falls Public Charter High School FFA. Ms. McCannon and her students were recognized in the balcony and toured the State House while in Columbia and met with hundreds of their fellow FFA members from around the state.


As always, it is an honor to serve you in the State House. 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 home at (864) 366-4112 or in Columbia at (803) 212-6934 or by email at craiggagnon@schouse.gov.



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