SC General Assembly adjourns with new budget and bond reform
This year’s session of the General Assembly officially ended this week. The Republican led legislature was able to enact a number of G-O-P priorities this session, such as a new six-week abortion law, reform of the state’s bail- bond system, combatting the fentanyl epidemic, streamlining DHEC the state’s public health agency, and approving a record-setting state budget.
The six-week abortion ban, however, was blocked by a state judge one day after it was signed into law by the Governor back on May 24th. The State Supreme Court will hear arguments on its’ constitutionality later this month.
In the final hours of the session, the House and Senate worked out a compromise bill that will make it harder for defendants charged with repeat violate crimes to post bond and get out of jail, and it will allow prosecutors to seek up to five years of additional sentence if someone commits a violent crime while out on bond for another crime. Sen, Gerald Malloy, D- Darlington said, "repeat offenders out on bond coupled with the proliferation of guns on the street has become too big of a problem."
Next year’s record $13.8 Billion dollar state budget received final approval this week. Once again, the state’s thriving economy generating abundant tax dollars allowed lawmakers to increase spending for education, continue income tax reductions, fund raises for most state employees including teachers, and build new schools in rural school districts.
The budget now goes to the Governor.