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2021 Session of S.C. General Assembly Begins Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Members of the South Carolina House of Representatives taking their oaths of office last month.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

    This year’s session of the S.C. General Assembly got underway this week with one member describing it as "a session not like any other."  Most lawmakers wore masks as the lingering COVID pandemic altered many time-honored legislative traditions.  Adding to the unusual atmosphere at the Statehouse, were extra state police manning posts in and around the building following last week’s insurrection in Washington.  Neither the House or Senate will meet next week during the Presidential inauguration.

While grappling with the many demands forced upon the state by the pandemic, lawmakers are unsure just how the session will play out.  How long will they be able to meet safely,  and how will the state’s economy hold up and its impact on tax revenues?

The annual State of the State Address was moved-up a week this year with Gov. Henry McMaster (R) again touting his handling of the COVID crisis. He told lawmakers that his decision to keep the state open helped save the economy.

Russ McKinney has 30 years of experience in radio news and public affairs. He is a former broadcast news reporter in Spartanburg, Columbia and Atlanta. He served as Press Secretary to former S.C. Governor Dick Riley for two terms, and for 20 years was the chief public affairs officer for the University of South Carolina.