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S.C. State House news: Transgender athlete ban heading to House floor

South Carolina State House
South Carolina State House(Gray)
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 12:07 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - A proposal to stop transgender students from playing girls’ and women’s sports in public South Carolina high schools and colleges is moving through the state House after stalling twice last year.

Facing a key deadline at the end of next week, lawmakers are fast-tracking controversial legislation.

The Save Women’s Sports Act would require athletes compete based on the sex they were assigned at birth at the middle, high school and college levels.

A House of Representatives committee voted Thursday to give the bill priority for debate next week.

That could start as early as Tuesday – if a majority of House members agree to it.

The bill just advanced out of the House Education Committee this morning – the furthest it’s ever gotten in that chamber after twice being blocked at the committee level last year.

A similar bill is awaiting debate in the state Senate.

If it doesn’t pass at least one chamber by the end of next week – the legislation dies.

Members of the House Education and Public Works Committee didn’t comment on the bill before they voted 11-2 Thursday to send the proposal to the chamber floor.

The legislation would require athletes to compete with the gender listed on their birth certificates.

About a dozen states have already passed similar legislation, though Republican governors in Indiana and Utah have vetoed bans. A similar bill in South Carolina is also headed to the Senate floor.

Senate approves allowing public money for private schools

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina Senate has given key approval to a bill that would allow some poorer or disabled students taxpayer money to attend a private school or a public school outside their district.

The 25-15 vote late Wednesday overcomes a big hurdle that advocates for school choice and vouchers have been trying to top in the state for nearly two decades.

After one more routine vote, the bill goes to the House, which has been more agreeable to the idea in the past.

The bill provides up to $6,000 in state money each year and is limited to students whose family income is low enough to make them eligible for Medicaid and students who have disabilities.

House committee sets public hearing on medical marijuana

COLUMBIA, S.C. - A House committee will hold a public hearing Monday on a bill to allow the use of medical marijuana in South Carolina.

A small group of House members made a few changes in the lengthy bill passed in February by the full Senate on a 28-15 vote.

One amendment cleaned up the grammar and a few typos in the bill which senators considered more than 60 changes over seven days of debate.

A second change restores some podiatrists with extra training to the list of doctors who can prescribe medical marijuana.

There was little discussion of the bill Thursday. Much of that is expected for the meeting Monday morning by the full House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee.

From reports by WIS and The Associated Press