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S.C. lawmakers consider whether to break up public health agency

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 1:15 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina lawmakers will hold hearings this spring on a bill to split up the state’s sprawling public health and environmental agency.

A proposal by Senate President Harvey Peeler Tuesday would separate the Department of Health and Environmental Control into two new cabinet-level agencies.

Other duties would be reassigned to existing state agencies. Legislators have contemplated breaking up the agency for years.

This session’s proposal could gain traction after lawmakers and citizens alike complained about the department’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 8,000 South Carolinians have died of COVID-19 so far.

Peeler says the legislation won’t lead to bigger government.