|03/20/23Last week was the 10th week of the 2023 legislative session. There are 8 legislative weeks
remaining before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 11, 2023. Here are the
highlights from last week’ Senate action:ANPAC IN MCCORMICK – Last month AnPac, a Chinese Bio-Medical Company, announced that it had agreed to pay $28 million for 500 acres in McCormick County. The release announcing the purchase AnPac Bio-Medical Science Enters into Definitive Agreement to Make Another Acquisition to Significantly Expand Scope of Business in the U.S. | BioSpace indicates this Bio- Medical company intends to build low-cost “smart food warehouse and distribution centers.” As you might expect, I have heard from many people concerned about the purchase. After looking into the issue, I introduced S. 576 2023-2024 Bill 576: Alien Ownership of Real Property a bill that would prevent companies or citizens from foreign adversaries (China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, and North Korea) from owning more than 5 acres. The bill passed subcommittee and full committee last week. I am hopeful the Senate will agree to take up the bill this week so we will have a chance to stop the acquisition. I will keep you updated.SCOUT – Scout Motors, a division of Volkswagen, recently announced plans to build a
manufacturing facility in Blythewood. Scout intends to resurrect the old Scout SUV but as an
electric vehicle. Scout committed to investing over $2 billion and hiring at least 4,000 workers
within 8 years. You can read more about the announcement here – Scout Motors selects South
Carolina for production site; plans to create 4,000 jobs. As part of the agreement, South Carolina is providing nearly $1.3 billion in incentives. None of that money will go to Scout itself. It will all go into site preparation and training programs. To that end, the Senate passed H. 3604 2023-2024 Bill 3604: American Rescue Plan authorizations , a resolution that authorizes the $1.3 billion in incentives. The House agreed to the resolution on Wednesday.READ TO SUCCEED – The Senate passed S. 418 2023-2024 Bill 418: Read to Succeed
Endorsements , a bill that would reduce the training and certification requirements for teachers to comply with the Read to Succeed initiative. Read to Succeed is designed to ensure students are reading on grade level by the completion of third grade. While the program certainly has good intentions, the results have been questionable. One of the most frequent complaints, though, is the additional amount of coursework teachers must complete to earn a RTS certification. This bill is designed to ease those requirements. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT FUNDS – During COVID, the Congress appropriated a tremendous amount of money to states and local governments to help with various issues. While South Carolina has spent most of the ARPA funds, there are still some funds remaining. Last week the Senate passed S. 604 2023-2024 Bill 604: American Rescue Plan, a resolution that would spend $587 million in remaining ARPA funds for local water and sewer infrastructure projects. The resolution will now go to the House.MORE SCHOOL CHOICE OPTIONS – The Senate passed S. 285 2023-2024 Bill 285: Providing Academic Choice in Education (PACE), a bill that would create the Academic Choice in Education (ACE) fund. The bill would set up nonprofit organizations that would solicit private, tax-deductible contributions for scholarships and distribute those scholarship funds. Students in families that earn up to 400% of poverty (approximately $120,000 for a family of four) would be eligible for scholarships up to the amount the state allocates per pupil in the public schools, or about $7,800. Students in families that earn up to 200% of poverty and those with defined special needs would be eligible for 140% of the state appropriation. Homeschooled students would be eligible for scholarships up to 20% of the state appropriation. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives.COMPTROLLER GENERAL – A few weeks ago, the Comptroller General disclosed an accounting error that resulted in the state’s accounts being over reported by about $4 billion. After several weeks of investigatory hearings, senators learned that the Comptroller knew about the accounting error about ten years ago, failed to disclose that error, and misrepresented the state’s accounts to bond holders each year for the past 10 years. As a result of those findings, several senators introduced a resolution last week to remove the Comptroller General from office. 2023- 2024 Bill 645: Comptroller General Removal . Article XV, Section 3, of the South Carolina Constitution provides that an executive or judicial official can be removed from office for “willful neglect of duty” following a hearing and a vote of two-thirds of the Senate and two-thirds of the House of Representatives. From what I have learned, this provision has never been invoked so we have to create a process. I will keep you updated.Constituent InterestsSCDOT ROAD PROJECTS SCDOT 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.
WANT TO SEE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACTION? The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 12:00, Wednesdays at 1:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday mornings, and Thursday mornings. You can watch live coverage of the Senate, House of Representatives, and some committees here South Carolina Legislature Online – Broadcast Video . 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 (effective with the 2024 general election), go here South Carolina Senate H.4493 . VOTING RECORD If you’d like to see how I’ve voted on issues, go here. Scroll down to “Voting Record” on the right side of the page. You can always check to see how I vote by going to my website, and clicking on the “Voting Record” tab.SPEAKING WITH GROUPSSeveral 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.Sincerely, Contact InformationAddress:
P.O. Box 551
Edgefield, SC 29824Email:
(803) 480-0419 P.S. To stay up-to-date on all the latest happening in Columbia, please visit www.senatormassey.com for more posts, news, and video updates. Also, fell free to “friend” me on Facebook
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