The 2023-24 Palmetto Freedom Agenda: How Did the General Assembly Do?

June 17, 2024

Palmetto Promise Team

To kick off the 2023-24 legislative session, Palmetto Promise Institute released the Palmetto Freedom Agenda, a handbook for South Carolina legislators detailing twenty-three extensively researched policies for building a better South Carolina. 

Now that the 125th General Assembly has adjourned sine die, it’s time to look back and see how they did. Did our Freedom Agenda policies make it into law? Or, at the very least, did they start a conversation that future General Assemblies can act upon? 

For easy reading, we’ll mark each policy with one of four symbols to mark its status (✅ = signed into law, 📝= conference report pending, ⌛ = passed one chamber but fell short, ❌ = no movement).

Our analyses will be divided into five different blog posts, matching the five sections of our Freedom Agenda and shared one per day this week. For quick reference, you can see the status of each Freedom Agenda item below:

  1. Enact Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) ✅
  2. Adopt Parents’ Bill of Rights 📝
  3. Allow Open Enrollment ⌛
  4. Create Salary Bands ❌
  5. Stream School Board Meetings ⌛
  6. Encourage The Chicago Statement ⌛
  7. Expand Teaching and Learning ✅
  1. Repeal Certificate of Need (CON) ✅
  2. Expand Telehealth ✅
  3. Require Price Transparency ⌛
  4. Trust Proven Professionals ✅
  1. Move to Criminal Asset Forfeiture ❌
  2. Incent Housing Supply ❌
  3. Reform Occupational Licensing ✅
  4. Ban ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) ✅
  5. Open Electricity Markets 📝
  1. Allow Full Expensing for Research ❌
  2. Limit Pension Liability ❌
  3. Control Local Debt, Taxation, & Spending ❌
  4. Enact Tax Reform ✅
  1. Split DHEC ✅
  2. Reform the Magistrate System⌛
  3. Repair the Legal System ✅

Learn more about how each of these policies fared during the 2023-24 legislative session by reading our in-depth analysis of each as we publish them over the course of this week.