Legislative Report March 18

Maintaining the Integrity of our Elections

This week, I voted in favor of legislation (H.3444) regarding our state’s election laws. This legislation has two goals: one, to maintain the integrity of each and every vote cast, and two, to ensure elections are run consistently across the state. After the elections of 2020, it became clear that there were discrepancies in the way each county handled votes. Simply put, we learned that counties were employing inconsistent processes, which is unacceptable. Upon ratification, this legislation would task the State Election Commission with ensuring there is a uniformity to guarantee free and fair elections. I supported this bill and it passed by a vote of 84-36.

Representative Chip Huggins District 85 Serving Chapin and Irmo Chairman, Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee

Protecting the Right to Worship When Needed the Most

The Religious Freedom Act is legislation that reinforces our First Amendment Right to worship, even during a State of Emergency. It deems religious services essential and protects our ability to worship in times of crisis when we need it most. I voted in favor of this bill, which passed second reading by a vote of 86-29.

COVID-19 Updates: One Million South Carolinians Vaccinated

This week, our state began the transition into Phase 1B, which makes a new group of individuals eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination. This group includes people 55 and older, teachers, law enforcement personnel, store clerks, and other at-risk individuals. Visit https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccine-allocation for more information about how to qualify. You can visit https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-testing-locations to find a testing location and schedule an appointment near you. 

***As of March 11th, 1,244,565 doses of the vaccine are in South Carolinian arms. For more COVID-19 statistics, visit https://scdhec.gov/covid19/covid-19-vaccination-dashboard.***

Other Legislative News

Barbershop on Wheels: This week, the House passed a law that allows mobile barbershops to operate upon acquisition of a permit. This opens a new avenue of business, which is important considering the hardships faced by the personal services industry during shutdowns. This passed by a vote of 85-29.

Homeschooled Children Can Participate in Interscholastic Sports: This bill, proposed by Rep. Allison as a joint resolution allows for more homeschool students to be eligible to participate in public school interscholastic activities, such as sports. I voted in favor of this bill, which then passed by a vote of 104-1. 

Unclaimed Money Might Be Waiting For You

Millions of dollars are transferred to the Unclaimed Property Program each year by companies who cannot find the rightful owners. This week, The SC Treasurer’s Office announced that there are more than 600,000 new properties that have been reported to the Unclaimed Property Program. This includes things like money in dormant bank accounts, uncashed checks, and forgotten deposits. Search for unclaimed property on the State Treasurer’s website to see if you have money waiting on you: https://treasurer.sc.gov/what-we-do/for-citizens/unclaimed-property-program/

  • Resources and Helplines:
  • 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/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

– 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

To follow committees, members, meetings, bills, get notifications, access calendars and journals, and live stream videos download the SC State Legislature Mobile App on the App Store or Google Play Store.

Thank you for allowing me to serve you in the South Carolina House of Representatives and please feel free to contact me via email at chiphuggins@schouse.gov or my 24-hour phone line at 803-331-8468.