Last week was the 3rd week of the 2020 legislative session. There are 15 legislative weeks remaining before the General Assembly adjourns on May 14, 2020. Here are the highlights from last week in the Senate:K-12 EDUCATION REFORM LEGISLATION – The Senate continued discussing S. 419, a comprehensive bill with many K-12 education reform ideas. The debate last week focused on the following:The Senate adopted an amendment to treat students who receive Life or Palmetto Fellows scholarship and pursue education degrees would receive additional stipends, putting those students on par with students pursuing degrees in science and mathematics (other shortage areas).
Rejected an amendment to prevent districts from having multiple Schools of Innovation.
Adopted an amendment for a Teacher’s Bill of Rights that does not allow individual teachers to sue for enforcement. The Senate rejected a similar amendment that would have allowed lawsuits.
The Senate had a lengthy discussion about when schools should be allowed to begin the school year. Current law prevents districts from starting before the 3rd Monday in August. The Education Committee adopted an amendment to allow schools to start no earlier than the 2nd Monday in August, which would allow students to complete the 1st semester before Christmas and allow dual-enrollment students to be on schedule with technical colleges. There will be a vote, likely this week, on where the start date should be.
The Senate discussed an amendment I proposed to reduce paperwork teachers are required to complete. In meetings with dozens of teachers over the past year or so, unnecessary and redundant paperwork was a big concern. Specifically, teachers are required to complete 6-page student learning objectives for each student. My amendment, which I hope will pass this week, would reduce that burden as much as we can.There is still a good bit of work left to do on this bill, so I think the Senate will continue the debate for several more days.
LAST WEEK’S MEETINGSOn Monday night, I attended Edgefield County’s Intergovernmental Meeting.On Wednesday night, I attended the South Carolina Electric Cooperatives reception in Columbia and was able to speak with several board members and members with Aiken Electric Cooperative and Mid Carolina Electric Cooperative. I appreciate the work these folks do.On Thursday night, I attended McCormick County Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting.
CONSTITUENT INTERESTSSCDOT ROAD PROJECTS– SCDOT now has an interactive map to allow citizens to see the road and bridge projects going on around the state. You can see that map here.HOW IS THE GAS TAX BEING USED?– SCDOT’s website allows you to view a detailed revenue statement and project list that is funded by the Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund (IMTF). SCDOT updates this site monthly as the revenue comes in. You can see that report here.DO YOU NEED A REAL ID? – SCDMV is now issuing Real ID licenses and identification cards. If you intend to get a Real ID, DMV encourages you to avoid long lines and get the new ID before the September 30, 2020 deadline. See below for frequent questions with answers:WHY WOULD YOU NEED A REAL ID? – To board any commercial airline flight, enter a secure federal building, or visit a military installation on and after October 1, 2020, you must have a REAL ID or another federally approved identification such as a valid US Passport or military ID.DO YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR CURRENT ID SOON? – There is no need to rush to DMV now. In fact, unless your driver’s license or ID card is expiring, there is really no reason to wait in line to change your card right now. If you do decide to get a Real ID, make sure you take the correct documentation to change your current license or ID card to a Real ID.To see the documentation you will need for a Real ID or get more information, please see SCDMV’s Real ID page here. WANT TO SEE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACTION? – The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 2:00, Wednesdays at 12:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet Tuesday mornings, Wednesday mornings, and Thursday mornings. You can watch live coverage of the Senate, House of Representatives, and committees here.OUR SENATE DISTRICT – Senate district 25 consists of all of Edgefield County and parts of Aiken, Lexington, McCormick, and Saluda Counties. If you’d like to see the district map, go here.VOTING RECORD – If you’d like to see how I’ve voted on issues, go here. You can always check to see how I vote by going to my website, and clicking on the “Voting Record” tab.SPEAKING WITH GROUPS – Several groups, clubs, and classes around our Senate district have invited me to attend their meetings and provide legislative updates. If you would like for me to come speak with your group, please let me know. EMAIL UPDATES – If you know of people in or around District 25 who do not receive my updates but would like to get them, please email their names and email addresses to me. You can also forward this email to them and encourage them to sign up for the updates at www.senatormassey.com.
P.O. Box 551
Edgefield, SC 29824
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