Sine Die: Initial Recap of the 2021-22 SC Legislative Session

Quality of Life
May 17, 2022

Oran P. Smith, Ph.D

Senior Fellow

The 2021-2022 South Carolina legislative session is over!  

Sort of. 

Last Thursday, the South Carolina General Assembly adjourned “sine die” (a phrase which is pronounced in the Statehouse in a way that would make any Elementary Latin student cringe).  

Legislation that did not pass both chambers or receive a Conference Committee appointment by 5:00 pm Thursday will have to be reintroduced in the next legislative session in order to be considered.

A few weeks before the 2021-22 session began, Palmetto Promise Institute published our Palmetto Playbook, a comprehensive freedom policy roadmap for South Carolina, making recommendations on issues like education, healthcare, energy, quality of life, and taxation & spending.  

We “flooded the zone” with policies that would expand freedom and brush back government interference.  

How did we do?  

Although it’s difficult to predict exact bill language, many pieces included in our Playbook passed both chambers and are in Conference Committees now!

But between legislation that has already been signed by the Governor and legislation looking hopeful in Conference Committee, it is likely that:

  • Education. Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) will be available for some of South Carolina’s most vulnerable students, allowing students who had no options beyond their zip code-assigned public schools the choice of public or private schools.
  • Elections. South Carolina will have one of the strongest election statutes in the country, solving a host of problems and settling potential issues with election integrity.
  • Taxes. South Carolina’s highest in the South marginal personal income tax rate will be cut.
  • Spending. The state will set aside a greater percentage of funds into contingency or “rainy day” accounts to provide a larger cushion against hard times.
  • Medicine. South Carolinians will have more access to care and more medical professionals will be able to practice at the full level of their training.
  • Vaccination Status. Palmetto State citizens will not be discriminated against based on their decision to receive a vaccine or not to do so.

This is a very abbreviated list. Stay tuned for a full accounting of all Palmetto Playbook and Freedom Agenda legislative recommendations as soon as Conference Reports are in!