Half of South Carolinians eligible for vaccine next week

From WLTX

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina will enter Phase 1b of the vaccine next week, a massive expansion of those who will be able to get the COVID-19 shot.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, alongside DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer, and Schools Superintendent Molly Spearman, made the announcement Tuesday that the state would enter the Phase 1b on March 8.

Simmer said these means over half of all people in the state will now be eligible to get the vaccine.

Among those included are the following:

* Anyone aged 55 and up
* People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
* People aged 16-64 with one or more of the following high-risk medical conditions:
Cancer (current, not a history of cancer), chronic kidney disease (any stage), chronic lung disease, diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), Down syndrome, heart disease (congestive heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension), HIV/AIDS, solid organ transplant, obesity (BMI >30), pregnancy, sickle cell disease.

* People who have a developmental or other severe high-risk disability that makes developing severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection more likely
* Frontline workers with increased occupational risk
* Frontline workers with increased occupational risk are people who:
Must be in-person at their place of work, and Perform a job that puts them at increased risk of exposure due to their frequent, close (less than 6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment

Based on current vaccine supply levels, DHEC anticipates Phase 1c will begin on approximately April 12, 2021. The phase will include:

* People aged 45 and up
* Essential workers

This group includes those who work in essential job categories as defined by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) who are not included in Phase 1b because they do not have frequent, close contact with others in the work environment (examples may include construction workers, delivery drivers, utility workers, etc. who do not have frequent, close and ongoing contact with others).

Phase 2 will begin on approximately May 3, 2021, and will include:

* All South Carolinians aged 16 and up

VACCINE
Half of all South Carolinians to be eligible for vaccine next week
Currently teachers in South Carolina are in Phase 1b of the distribution plan.

Author: WLTX
Published: 9:53 AM EST March 2, 2021
Updated: 12:19 PM EST March 2, 2021
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina will enter Phase 1b of the vaccine next week, a massive expansion of those who will be able to get the COVID-19 shot.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, alongside DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer, and Schools Superintendent Molly Spearman, made the announcement Tuesday that the state would enter the Phase 1b on March 8.

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RELATED: How to register for the COVID-19 vaccine in South Carolina if you’re over 65+

Simmer said these means over half of all people in the state will now be eligible to get the vaccine.

Among those included are the following:

Anyone aged 55 and up
People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
People aged 16-64 with one or more of the following high-risk medical conditions:
Cancer (current, not a history of cancer), chronic kidney disease (any stage), chronic lung disease, diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), Down syndrome, heart disease (congestive heart disease, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonary hypertension), HIV/AIDS, solid organ transplant, obesity (BMI >30), pregnancy, sickle cell disease.
People who have a developmental or other severe high-risk disability that makes developing severe life-threatening illness or death from COVID-19 infection more likely
Frontline workers with increased occupational risk
Frontline workers with increased occupational risk are people who:
Must be in-person at their place of work, and
Perform a job that puts them at increased risk of exposure due to their frequent, close (less than 6 feet) and ongoing (more than 15 minutes) contact with others in the work environment
Based on current vaccine supply levels, DHEC anticipates Phase 1c will begin on approximately April 12, 2021. The phase will include:

People aged 45 and up
Essential workers
This group includes those who work in essential job categories as defined by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) who are not included in Phase 1b because they do not have frequent, close contact with others in the work environment (examples may include construction workers, delivery drivers, utility workers, etc. who do not have frequent, close and ongoing contact with others).

Phase 2 will begin on approximately May 3, 2021, and will include:

All South Carolinians aged 16 and up
Move back to school

The news comes a day after the state announced it will be receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

McMaster and Spearman said the expansion means schools need to move to five-day a week instruction immediately.

“There are no more excuses or justifications for our schools to not be open to five-day a week, in-person instruction,” McMaster said. “Our schools must be open.”

Currently, only seniors, healthcare workers, and first responders are eligible for the vaccine as part of Phase 1a. Teachers and many other groups, including critical infrastructure employees, are in Phase 1b.

An effort to get teachers moved up in the vaccination cycle easily passed through the Senate but has stalled in the House, and it’s uncertain if it will actually get approved in that chamber.

Spearman said last month she now supports moving all districts to five-day a week, in-person instruction. She pointed to recent studies and comments by the CDC director that state that schools do not have to require vaccinations for teachers to reopen safely. She said evidence shows schools are not the superspreader situations they were feared to be last summer.

There are an estimated 70,000 teachers in South Carolina. A survey by the South Carolina Department of Education found about 58 percent of them want to take the vaccine.

DHEC VACCINE LOCATOR

Find DHEC’s online map at scdhec.gov/vaxlocator. This online map shows the locations currently accepting appointments (many of the same ones listed below) for COVID-19 vaccine and the map will provide the contact information for scheduling appointments at those locations. The map itself is not a way to schedule an appointment.

DHEC has a COVID-19 vaccine information line at 1-866-365-8110 The service is available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week People who have questions about the COVID-19 vaccines or who need help finding vaccine providers and their contact information are asked to call the DHEC COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line.

You can also schedule an appointment directly through DHEC’s website at CVAS.DHEC.SC.GOV. Appointment availability through this scheduling tool is limited to start, but is expected to grow in the coming days.

You will be asked to provide a driver’s license or other form of ID at your appointment that confirms your age in order to receive vaccine.

South Carolina residency is not a requirement to receive a vaccine.

Outside the State House: Inside the Community

Want to continue to give y’all a behind the scenes look at your Representative. Over the years, we’ve had thousands of new residents in Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo, and I want to let you see a side of me in 2021 you may not see normally. These clips will be about a minute long. Just thought might be good to see the “normal” side of me as well as what we do when we’re not inside the State House.

Earlier videos:

Outside the State House: Home Office

Outside the State House: F3 Lake Murray

Outside the State House: Movement Mortgage

Outside the State House: White Tail Deer Hunting

Chapin Chamber In-Person Meeting! March 18th

We are so excited to be back meeting in person! Please be sure to wear a facemask while not eating or drinking. Social Distancing guidelines will be enforced.

Join us on March 18th at 12pm at The Cotton Press in Little Mountain. We’ll hear from Scott Hanners of Scott Hanners – State Farm and Kari Pepper McKeone of The Justin Pepper Foundation. Lunch will be provided by Sheila Veach of Small Packages, LLC. *Facemasks will be required while not eating or drinking.

The Cotton Press
199 W. Church Street
Little Mountain, SC 29075

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

For more info contact:

Paul Sadler
The Greater Chapin Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center
803-345-1100
director@chapinchamber.com

Click here to register

Did you know? 45 states allow “Open Carry”.

Next week, the House Judiciary Committee will debate H. 3096 . Simply put, the bill as currently written, would allow gun owner who have training to carry handguns in public.

This topic generates a lot of debate from both sides of the aisle and I’m curious to your thoughts?

Some think the bill doesn’t go far enough – asking “why should our 2nd amendment be restricted by having a training requirement”?

Others think the bill would lead to the “Wild West” and think we have too many guns on the street already.

During my research I’ve learned many things. One bit of information is the title of this post that means only 5 states do NOT allow Open Carry. That puts us (SC) with California, New York, Illinois and Florida. I also learned that technically a SC resident can OPEN CARRY a “long gun” (ie, rifle, shotgun) currently. Who knew?

Email me at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov and let me know your thoughts. Remember, if you’re a constituent, please put the word CONSTITUENT in the subject line and let me know your address so I know how those in our community feel.

Behind the Scenes: From the Floor of the State House

The Weekly Rewind – Week of February 16th

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 19, 2021

The House approved, and the governor signed, S. 1 the “South Carolina Fetal Heartbeat and Protection from Abortion Act,” which delays a pregnant woman from having an abortion until a doctor first checks her for a fetal heartbeat using ultrasound equipment. She may view this ultrasound while it is being performed.

Any doctor violating this requirement commits a felony punishable by a ten thousand dollar fine or imprisonment for up to two years, or both. These penalties do not apply in medical emergencies, or when no heartbeat is detected.

Once a fetal heartbeat is detected, no abortion can be conducted unless the pregnancy is the result of a rape or incest event, the pregnant woman’s life is at risk, or a fetal anomaly has presented, and the fetus has gestated for less than 20 weeks. Doctors are required to report rape or incest events to their county sheriff within 24 hours of performing those abortions. Doctors also have to tell pregnant women that they are making a report to the county sheriff. Doctors have to document these conversations.

Nothing in this Act prohibits the sale, use, prescription, or administration of any drug, device, or chemical for contraceptive purposes.

No pregnant women can be criminally prosecuted for violations of this Act. They are instead able to file a civil cause of action for Act violations, and recover their damages, attorney fees, and costs.

The House of Representatives concurred in Senate amendments to H. 3707, a joint resolution making appropriations for the state’s public health response to the COVID-19 virus, including vaccinations. The bill was ratified (R 4).

Under the legislation, a total of $208 million is appropriated from the Contingency Reserve Fund. $63 million is allocated to the Department of Health and Environmental Control and $45 million is allocated to the Medical University of South Carolina to allow DHEC and MUSC, in consultation, cooperation, and collaboration with the South Carolina Hospital Association, the South Carolina Primary Care Association and any other Federally Qualified Heath Centers, and other appropriate entities and associations, to: (1) expand statewide vaccination capacity; and (2) continue to administer the statewide COVID-19 testing plan. The use of these funds includes costs related to COVID-19 such as vaccination, continued testing and contact tracing, personal protective equipment and medical supplies, personnel costs, education and marketing campaigns, quarantine, transportation and storage, and mobile health units. Participation in contact-tracing programs shall be solely on a voluntary basis, and data collection must comply with confidentiality requirements and be limited to public health information. DHEC, in coordination with MUSC, the South Carolina Hospital Association, the South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare, and other relevant stakeholders, shall implement a plan to reach rural and underserved populations who are eligible to be vaccinated. $100 million of the Contingency Reserve Fund appropriation is deposited in a COVID-19 Vaccine Reserve account that is created to pay for administering COVID-19 vaccines, addressing costs associated with such issues as staffing, facility rental, security, traffic control, storage, transportation, and mobile health units. Of these reserve account funds, up to $75 million is allocated to hospitals, or political subdivisions partnering with them, and up to $25 million is allocated to other COVID-19 vaccination providers that are enrolled and activated by DHEC, or political subdivisions partnering with them. In approving expenses, DHEC must give priority to

hospitals and other providers with a high demand for the vaccine and the ability to administer the vaccine in high quantities. No reserve account funds may be released to any vaccine provider that is not offering vaccine appointments to the general public. On the first day of each month, the Executive Budget Office must provide a detailed accounting of vaccine reserve account funds in a report that is to be transmitted to the Governor and the General Assembly and made available on the Executive Budget Office website. Additionally, any recipient must provide an accounting of the expenditures to DHEC and the agency must post the accounting on its website.

The legislation provides that all vaccines received by the state must be allocated to the four DHEC public health regions in a per capita manner with considerations taken into account for such factors as poverty level, infection rates, age, and high risk populations. MUSC shall coordinate with DHEC and partner with local healthcare providers to ensure that gaps in statewide vaccination delivery are covered, with priority given to rural and underserved areas. Under the planning process, available vaccines must be administered to South Carolinians as rapidly as possible, to ensure that no doses are permitted to expire, and to position South Carolina favorably in the event that any future federal allocations to states may be based in part upon a state’s ability to administer the vaccine expeditiously. DHEC is charged with record-keeping responsibilities and daily reporting requirements to keep the public informed of vaccine availability, doses administered, and progress towards attaining the state’s vaccination goals.

The legislation includes temporary authority for a wide array of health care professionals to administer COVID-19 vaccines that includes retired physicians and nurses, students at medical schools and nursing schools, as well as licensed dentists and optometrists who have completed COVID-19 vaccine training. These temporary exemptions from professional scope of practice provisions are set to terminate when South Carolina is no longer under a declared public health emergency concerning COVID-19.

The House gave second reading to H. 3610. This bill would provide revised accountability measures available to the state Superintendent of Education for public schools and public school districts, with provisions for assistance and intervention.

The following definitions are used throughout the bill:

“Turnaround plan” outlines goals for a school or district’s educational improvement. Plans must have specific strategies for improving student achievement.

“Underperforming school,” means:

An elementary school or middle school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students are at “ meets” or “exceeds expectations” on the English/language arts and mathematics SC READY assessment works or its successor.

A high school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students receive a grade of “D” or better on the End of Course assessments in English and mathematics, or fewer than twenty-five percent of its students fail to achieve at least a “bronze” level on the career readiness assessment.

“Underperforming district” means a district in which sixty-five percent or more of the schools in the district are considered an “underperforming school” (as defined in the “underperforming school” definition, see above).

“Chronically underperforming” school:

An elementary school or middle school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students are at “meets” or “exceeds expectations” on the English/language arts and mathematics SC READY assessment works or its successor assessment for three consecutive years. (Emphasis added)

A high school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students receive a grade of “D” or better on the End of Course assessments in English and mathematics, or fewer than twenty-five percent of its students fail to achieve at least a “bronze” level on the career readiness assessment for three consecutive years. (Emphasis added)

The bill creates a tiered system for assistance, professional development, and monitoring. The Superintendent must annually report to the General Assembly about the system’s progress relating to assistance provided to schools.

Once a school and district is determined to be underperforming, the State Department of Education must immediately place the school and district into a tiered status and provide assistance. The legislative delegation, parents, and students must be informed of the rating, and a public meeting must be held. The district must create a turnaround plan containing specific and measurable goals, and broad-based community input is required. The school and district’s strategic plan must be reviewed and revised. After the local school board adopts the plan, SDE must also approve. Plans must be posted on the SDE, district, and school websites, and parents must be informed of the school or district rating and turnaround plan. The Superintendent may seek a state-of-education emergency declaration for a school or school district. The state board must approve the declaration.

The following are the reasons and steps for the respective measures:

School Takeover

· Chronic underperformance, denial of accreditation, or an insufficient turnaround plan (or district refusal to submit a turnaround plan).

· Notification to the Governor, General Assembly, local board and superintendent.

· Assume management of the school.

· Appeal to administrative law court is available.

· State Board may end the emergency if the school sustains improvement for at least three years.

District Takeover

· Underperformance for three consecutive years or for five out of the last seven years. A year in which a report card was not issued shall be disregarded and not included in determining whether a declaration is authorized.

· Accreditation denial, turnaround plan is insufficient or fiscal emergency.

· Notification to the Governor, General Assembly, local board and superintendent.

· Assume management of the district.

· Local board is dissolved, Superintendent assumes authority and responsibility of the district.

· If there is a sustained improvement for at least three years, the State Board may appoint an interim local board. The interim board must serve for a minimum of three years.

· After the emergency, SDE shall develop a plan and timeline for returning management to a local board.

· Fiscal authority (taxing and millage) is transferred to the county council until the emergency is over.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H. 3017, a bill that would provide that two-year institutions of higher learning and technical colleges be among institutions of higher learning whose students may be eligible for Palmetto Fellows Scholarships. Currently the Palmetto Fellows scholarship is available only to students attending an eligible four-year institution in South Carolina. The bill specifically deletes the current exclusion of two-year and technical institutions. Moreover, a student who uses the Palmetto Fellows scholarship to attend eligible two-year institution shall receive a maximum of four continuous semesters and may continue to use the scholarship to attend an eligible four-year institution.

The House approved (as amended) H. 3501, which creates a special commemorative license plate for the two hundred fiftieth (250th) year anniversary of the American Revolution. The biennial fee for this commemorative license plate is the regular license plate fee. The South Carolina Revolutionary War Sestercentennial Commission shall submit the design, emblem, seal, logo, or other symbols it desires to be used for this special license plate to the DMV for approval. The bill exempts this special plate from the requirement of a $6,800 upfront fee from the sponsoring individual or organization before seeking issuance of the plate. The bill’s effective date is January 1, 2022. This would provide sufficient time to design and implement the plate. The production of this plate will cease January 1, 2033.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H. 3689 (regarding the international registration plan). This bill would provide that if a commercial motor vehicle is registered through the international registration plan and is operated under a United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) number assigned to a person other than the vehicle’s owner, then the person to whom the US DOT number is assigned may register the commercial motor vehicle by submitting the appropriate application and fees to the Department of Motor Vehicles. This bill codifies existing agency procedures.

The House approved (as amended) and sent to the Senate H. 3029, a bill that would require the Midlands Technical College Enterprise Campus Authority to file certain documents with the Fiscal Accountability Authority regarding the sale of surplus property. The exemption provided only applies to the sale of the college enterprise authority property when the sale price is not less than market value and the transfer of title is by quitclaim deed. This bill would permanently authorize Act 189 of 2018 and repeal the sunset provision.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H. 3900, a joint resolution that went without reference. The resolution authorizes certain podiatrists to administer premeasured doses of the COVID 19 vaccine. The bill provides for podiatrists who have successfully completed the COVID 19 training programs available through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

COVID-19 Resources and Helplines

COVID-19 Resources and Helplines:

Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 Vaccine?

– Frontline healthcare workers

– Anyone 65+ years

– State/local government employees who perform COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in SC

– A full list of those qualified can be found here: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine

– To understand who is getting vaccinated in SC by demographic, visit the NEW Vaccination Dashboard: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccination-dashboard

What are the numbers?

– Total Doses Given in South Carolina: 705,776

– Total People Vaccinated in South Carolina: 528,480

– People with 1 Vaccine dose: 527,691

– People with 2 Vaccine doses: 177,126

(Numbers updated Feb. 18th)


Where can I get vaccinated?

– Find a vaccine location near you here: https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov


When will I be eligible to be vaccinated?

– Currently, South Carolina is in Phase 1A of the vaccination process.

– DHEC plans to transition to Phase 1B by early Spring.

– South Carolina obtains vaccinations from the Federal government, meaning the following chart is subject to change based on availability of vaccines. To see the vaccine flowchart, visit: https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine

Additional information:

– DHEC Care Line: 1-855-472-3432

– COVID-19 Vaccine Information Line: 1-866-365-8110

– Find a vaccine location near you here: https://vaxlocator.dhec.sc.gov

– Information about qualifying for SBA loans: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program#section-header-0

– Mental health/substance abuse services related to COVID-19: 1-844-724-6737

– For other COVID-19 resources, visit the Accelerate SC website: https://accelerate.sc.gov

– To see if you may qualify for unemployment, visit: https://dew.sc.gov

– For updates from the Governor, visit https://governor.sc.gov

Outside the State House: Home Office

Want to continue to give y’all a behind the scenes look at your Representative. Over the years, we’ve had thousands of new residents in Chapin, Dutch Fork and Irmo, and I want to let you see a side of me in 2021 you may not see normally. These clips will be about a minute long. No idea what the next one will be. Just thought might be good to see the “normal” side of me. I’m not all suit/tie and State House 24/7/365.

Earlier videos:

Outside the State House: F3 Lake Murray

Outside the State House: Movement Mortgage

Outside the State House: White Tail Deer Hunting

Irmo Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting: Feb 10th

February Chamber Luncheon
Wednesday, February 10th
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
6952 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC 29212

This month we will welcome our friend, Cynthia Giles with Cut Throat Marketing to our podium to discuss the ins and outs of using social media to promote your business in this competitive marketplace for 2021. .

THANK YOU to our Diamond partner at Lexington Medical Center for presenting this event. Cut Throat Marketing will be providing our AV and the live stream will be facilitated by Raynet Technologies!

PLEASE NOTE: We have a limited number of tickets available for this event so that we can maintain social distancing guidelines inside the fellowship hall. Masks are required for entry into the event and will be required at all times except when eating or drinking. Additionally, Oxi-Thyme Sanitation Service, one of our newest Marketing partners, will sanitize and disinfect the room prior to the event using EPA registered Hydrogen Peroxide.

Tickets are $10 and all tickets to the event MUST be purchased in ADVANCE with a credit/debit card. If you are a Marketing, Emerald or Diamond Partner, Law Enforcement or First Responder OR a Lunch Card Holder, please email Kerry to reserve your lunch.

No cash or walk ups will be accepted.

We apologize for the inconvenience and abundance of rules but we’re just trying to be responsible while continuing to grow this amazing and supportive Irmo Business Community!!

The Weekly Rewind – Week of February 2nd

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 5, 2021

The House approved and sent the Senate H. 3609, a joint resolution restoring teacher salary step increases that were suspended by Act 135 of 2020, enacted by the General Assembly due to financial uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 virus. The legislation appropriates $50 million dollars from the 2018-2019 Contingency Reserve Fund to provide for teacher step increases for the 2020-2021 School Year.

The House amended, passed and sent to the Senate H. 3589, a bill that would re-designate certain schools from their previous designation as a “schools of choice” to “schools of innovation.” This designation would relieve a school from following certain statutes, rules, and regulations in allowance and recognition of nontraditional approaches. The bill outlines the steps a school district must follow to achieve the status of exemption. In order to earn this exemption, a district must identify each law, regulation, and policy from which the school is requesting exemption. The bill would allow that public school districts may establish multiple (but a limited number) schools of innovation. (Districts may not name all schools in a district as a school of innovation). This has to be approved by a two-thirds vote of the local board and a two-thirds vote of the State Board of Education. Any change in a request that is pending approval by, or has been approved by, the State Board of Education must be made in the same manner as provided for initial requests. The designation must be renewed every four years through the same process as for the initial approval.

The House passed as amended and sent to the Senate H. 3613, revisions to the Read to Succeed Act. This bill (involving early literacy and numeracy screening assessment instruments) would amend the Read to Succeed Act (Act 284 of 2014) and contains most of the changes that were adopted last year by the House in the Omnibus Education Reform and H. 4761 of 2020. The bill would provide that the SC Department of Education shall approve no more than five reliable early literacy and numeracy screeners. A district would administer the universal screening process in the first “thirty days of the school year and repeat, if and only if, the student demonstrates literacy and numeracy deficiencies at midyear and at the end of the school year to determine student progression in reading and numeracy in kindergarten through third grade.” Waivers can be granted for alternative instruments.

In addition, the bill creates the South Carolina Reading Panel, and determines the composition, functions, and duties of the panel. Moreover, the bill establishes definitions concerning the universal screening processes used in public school districts for students experiencing academic or social-emotional difficulties and provides that all related screening tools must be capable of identifying students with dyslexia or other reading disorders. Reading interventions must be evidence-based, follow a multi-tiered system of support, and holds that professional development on reading practices be scientifically based. The bill clarifies that district reading plans must provide inappropriate in class interventions.

Also, regarding the Read to Succeed Office, the bill revises the requirements concerning coursework necessary for literacy add-on endorsements and revises requirements for professional development for certified reading/literacy coaches and literacy teachers. The coursework must be founded on scientifically based reading practices and evidence-based interventions, including how to use the data to identify struggling readers and inform instruction).
The bill also revises the requirements for screening and diagnostic assessments and interventions relating to mandatory student retention provisions of the Read to Succeed Act, to revise criteria for retention and exemptions from retention, to eliminate an appeals process, and to revise criteria for intensive instructional services and support provided to retained students. The bill would remove the requirement that reading/literacy coaches be employed in all elementary schools, revise requirements concerning the roles and functions of reading/literacy coaches, and provide certain reading and literacy support services to schools identified as having certain levels of lowest achievement on English/language arts summative assessments by third grade students. Section ten clarifies the roles and requirements of reading coaches. SDE will hire reading coaches for schools where more than one-third of third-grade students score at the lowest achievement level on SC READY. Reading coaches will be employees of the Department, but assigned to specific schools. The remaining schools may use state appropriated funds for reading coaches, reading interventionists (who can assist with instructing students), or scientifically-based reading professional development. The Department must monitor their spending, and schools that do not use the funds for these specified purposes will lose reading coach funding.

The House approved and sent the Senate H. 3586, a bill establishing a Department of Insurance Fraud Division. The legislation provides for the transfer of insurance fraud duties and obligations from the Attorney General’s Office and houses them in a new Fraud Division established within the Department of Insurance.

The House passed and sent the Senate H. 3222, a bill enabling the Department of Health and Environmental Control to suspend a waste tire processing facility from accepting waste tires when it is determined that the capacity at the facility is exceeded. In an effort to address concerns dealing with the incompliance of permitted capacity for recycling tire facilities, the bill outlines steps along with timeframes to allow a facility to come into compliance prior to being suspended. The bill also requires DHEC to maintain a list of facilities known as the Waste Tire Rebate Facility List. The Waste Tire Rebate Facility List shall include permitted waste tire processing facilities. In addition, DHEC has the ability to remove any facility whose permit has been revoked or suspended, until the permit has been reinstated.

The House amended, passed and sent H. 3071, a Joint Resolution that creates the Equine Industry Support Measures Study Committee. This Resolution examines the potential for further growth of the equine industry and the resulting economic impact. The committee shall study the potential for equine business growth in South Carolina, outlining steps to encourage growth, as well as identifying any barriers that exist and how to eliminate or reduce them. The committee is to compare South Carolina’s incentives and barriers to other Southeast states (as well as nationally). The study shall investigate any fees, assessments, reimbursements, as well as mills and feed. This seven-member study committee will include two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the chairman of the Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee; two members of the Senate appointed by the chairman of the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee; two members from the equine industry, with one appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and one appointed by the President of the Senate, upon the recommendation of the South Carolina Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association; and the Commissioner of Agriculture, or his designee. The study committee shall provide a report outlining its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by February 15, 2022. The study committee dissolves upon receipt of its report.

The House passed and sent to the Senate H. 3054, a bill relating to the Department of Natural Resources’ mailing requirements for the Notice of Suspension of Privileges. Currently, when licenses are suspended, the Notice of Suspension is sent by certified mail to ensure that the notice was received and acknowledged. This bill allows the department to mail notifications through the first class mail service. As a result, the change in this requirement provides a cost savings to the agency.

The House passed and sent the Senate H. 3056, a bill that implements recommendations from the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s 2018 study of the Department of Natural Resources to modernize statutes. As a result, the bill deletes outdated Department of Natural Resources commissions and fish and game clubs that are no longer part of the laws and practices of the Department. The bill also deletes language regarding Legislative Delegations appointing game warden for counties, such as, but not limited to, the Prestwood Lake Wildlife Refuge Board, Catawba-Wateree Fish and Game Commission, Cherokee Fish and Game Club, Darlington County Advisory Fish and Game Commission, and the Lee County Legislative Delegation to Protect Fish and Game in Lee County.

The House passed and sent the Senate H. 3059, a bill that repeals provisions relating to the authority of the Department of Natural Resources to issue Heritage Trust Revenue Bonds. In 2006, the General Assembly allowed the Department to issue bonds against the Heritage Trust Account. Those bonds that were issued are now retired and the authority to issue the bonds had a sunset date of 2008. This bill just deletes that authority language. This bill does not affect the Heritage Trust Fund, which is still in effect.

The House passed and sent to the Senate H. 3740, a local bill that went without reference. The bill relates to the Lancaster County Commission for Higher Education and would provide for the Commission’s receipt and administration of Lancaster county millage-derived funds, which must be set aside and used exclusively for the benefit of the University of South Carolina, Lancaster.

In addition, the bill would provide that the Dean of the University of South Carolina Lancaster must be an ex officio member of the commission. The bill also clarifies the commission’s role relating to the offering of post-secondary courses, removes certain archaic language, and requires the Commission to submit an annual report to Lancaster County Council.

The House approved and sent the Senate H. 3585, a bill implementing regular updates and revisions for Department of Insurance provisions.

The House approved and sent the Senate H. 3587, a bill providing a technical correction in reduction in insurance coverage provisions.