S.C. senators map out how to spend SRS settlement money

Gov. Henry McMaster held a ceremonial signing of a bill establishing Historically Black Colleges and Universities Day to be celebrated each February.
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 3:17 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina senators spent less than two hours deciding how to spend more than $2 billion in federal money coming to the state.

About $1.7 billion is in COVID-19 relief money and an additional $525 million are fines paid by the federal government in a settlement after a plan to convert plutonium from nuclear bombs into nuclear reactor fuel was abandoned at the Savannah River Site near Aiken.

Senators want to spend COVID relief money on roads, rural broadband and sewage and water plant improvements.

The plan for plutonium spending would give Allendale, Barnwell and Aiken counties nearest the site $341 million and spread the rest of the money around the state. The plan now goes to the House.

Law establishes Historically Black Colleges and Universities Day

COLUMBIA, S.C. - With Gov. Henry McMaster’s signature, South Carolina will celebrate Historically Black Colleges and Universities Day every February.

The governor held a ceremonial signing Tuesday afternoon of House Bill 4576, which sets the day’s observance as the third Tuesday of February.

He called it “a historic moment in many historic moments in our state.”

“The reason South Carolina is so strong, one of the reasons, is because of the contributions of our HBCUs,” McMaster said.

State HBCU presidents and members of the General Assembly attended the signing at the Statehouse.

McMaster called it a historic moment for South Carolina – and the bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Deon Tedder, is himself a graduate of an HBCU.

“They produce our best and brightest in this state. In South Carolina, we’re sending a message today that HBCUs matter,” Tedder said.

Bill would get school employees trained on seizures

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A bill in the South Carolina General Assembly aims to train all school personnel to respond to students who have seizures whether they are in school, on a sports field or on the bus.

The bill tries to do this by requiring three different steps for school staff.

Teachers, school staff and volunteers will have to take part in seizure first aid training. The training will help school staff recognize the different types of seizures so they can help the student quickly.

The school will have a Seizure Action Plan for each student with epilepsy. The plan will break down what to do if a child has a seizure. Also, it will teach all school staff how to administer life-saving rescue medication to end a seizure immediately.

The bill has already passed in the House. It now is onto a Senate committee before going to the full Senate. If it passes both those hurdles, it will be sent to the governor’s desk.

South Carolina would be the 13th state to have such a measure.

McMaster vows to keep fighting vaccine mandates

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Monday was the day that millions of health care workers would need to have their first COVID shot in order meet federal requirements.

South Carolina attorney general Alan Wilson is trying to push back, and Gov. Henry McMaster is making it clear that South Carolina will continue to fight it.

“All of the states are different, some have a lot of water, some don’t, some have certain types of businesses, and some don’t. There are all sorts of differences, and that’s why I believe the constitution of the United States did not give that authority to issue a mandate,” McMaster said.

The South Carolina Attorney General’s Office issued a statement saying they remain committed to challenging any unlawful actions by the Biden administration.

They have since filed a lawsuit and it’s pending in the lower courts.

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DATING VIOLENCE: Lawmakers on Tuesday highlighted a bill that would require schools teach about teen dating violence and its prevention in middle and high school health classes. The bill’s sponsors say more than 20 other states have this type of requirement – but South Carolina is not among them.

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