2021 Statehouse report #2
Overview of the week:
This week, legislative committee meetings were held virtually. This was able to happen due to a rule change passed last week. Although this change presented a unique set of challenges, we were happy that we were able to continue working. In particular, I am the Vice Chair of the Rules committee and I also serve on the Ag Committee and wildlife sub committee. This week I had my first virtual committee meeting. It was a very different experience for me to say the least. I guess this is the way many meetings will be held in the near future, but I am looking forward to the day when we can get back to "normal" meetings. You can watch a recorded version of committee meetings at the statehouse with the following link. : https://www.
COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution:
On Thursday, an Ad Hoc Committee chaired by Rep. Weston Newton from Bluffton, met to study DHEC’s receipt and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The goal of this meeting was to improve the expediency and transparency of this process, but more importantly, to help save lives. Members of DHEC’s leadership team were present to answer questions about the distribution process, allowing the committee to assess what legislation is needed, if any, to expedite this process.
Here are some major take-aways from this meeting:
- SC is currently in Phase 1A of the vaccination process. In this group, there are an estimated 987,000 people. Once this group is vaccinated, we move to Phase 1B, which is an estimated 573,500 people. 1C follows with 2.9 million South Carolinians, including those aged 65-69 years old and those with underlying conditions. See diagram below for timeline.
- In our State, as of January 20th, over 337,000 doses of vaccines have been received by hospitals to administer. Over 186,000 of these have been administered.
- DHEC is working with the SC House and Senate on a joint resolution to authorize and expand personnel to administer the vaccination, including personnel with certifications, medical students, dentists, and other qualified medical personnel whether retired, inactive, or with expired licensing.
- DHEC is working to create a Statewide Appointment System, replacing the flawed, federal Vaccine Administration Management Systems (VAMS). Improvements will include being easier to navigate, the ability to schedule first and second dose appointments, no email address requirement, and a more expansive call-center for those needing assistance.
- DHEC says that any and all citizens of South Carolina who receive their first of the COVID-19 vaccine doses in South Carolina are guaranteed to receive their second dose within the medically required timeframe.
- You can watch a recorded version of this meeting in video archives here: https://www.
- Use scdhec.gov/
- SBA loans are available to qualifying businesses and help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Visit this website for more information about how your business can qualify: https://www.sba.gov/
- For other helpful COVID-19 resources, visit the Accelerate SC website: https://accelerate.
Other Important Links:
- For updates from the Governor, visit: https://governor.sc.gov
- To track a bill, live stream session or meetings, and other information, visit the State Legislature website: https://www.
- To download the SC Legislature Mobile app for iOS and Android devices, search “SC Legislature” on the App Store/Google Play.
Keep up with the SC House GOP Caucus: