Greg Duckworth | Enhanced Sanctuary City Ban, Sentencing Reform, Opioid Prevention, Holy Trinity “Social Studies Class”, Learning Without Hearing
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Enhanced Sanctuary City Ban, Sentencing Reform, Opioid Prevention, Holy Trinity “Social Studies Class”, Learning Without Hearing

23 Apr Enhanced Sanctuary City Ban, Sentencing Reform, Opioid Prevention, Holy Trinity “Social Studies Class”, Learning Without Hearing

This past week the House of Representatives amended and overwhelmingly passed a bill (72-36) to enhance current state law banning sanctuary cities in our state. The bill will now go on to the Senate for its approval. This legislation will authorize the circuit court to determine if a political subdivision has violated the provisions of this law that prohibit interfering with enforcement. If a political subdivision is found to be in violation, that political subdivision will be barred from receiving Local Government Fund appropriations for at least three consecutive years.

Later, the House voted to allow a floor debate for one piece of legislation involving sentencing reform and passed another piece of legislation dealing with required identify codes for offenders. The first, House Bill 5155, aims to grant parole to nonviolent offenders and incentivize good behavior by inmates. Paroling nonviolent offenders will both make it easier for prison guards to control violent inmates and save tax dollars.

The second reform the House approved was Senate Bill 499, which eliminates the mandatory $50 fee offenders have been forced to pay to have an identity code placed on their driver’s licenses. The identity code itself will still be mandatory on driver’s licenses of offenders, but the requirement to pay will no longer be in place. The passage of Senate Bill 499 is expected to resolve a lawsuit over the current $50 mandate. Of particular note, the House, Senate, and governor have all proposed pay increases for prison workers this year.

South Carolina opioid legislationThe full House passed another much-needed opioid abuse prevention bill on Thursday by 103-0, paving the way for final passage in the Senate. The bill, H. 3819, establishes additional requirements related to the prescribing of opioids to minors. Prescribers will be required to examine the minor to assess whether the minor has ever suffered or is currently suffering from a mental health or substance abuse disorder, share the risks of addiction and overdosing when opioids are taken, and obtain consent from an authorized adult, guardian, or parent, among other requirements. The legislation is in response to the opioid abuse epidemic occurring across the United States and right here in South Carolina. One of the original sponsors of House Bill 3819 is former Representative Eric Bedingfield, who’s family suffered the heartbreaking loss of their son to this addiction.

As your state representative, there are many things that I enjoy getting to do, but one of my favorites is the opportunity to interact with our youth, sharing some of the positive work being done at the State House and to hear inspiring stories from the students about what they are learning in school and what they want to be when they grow up.

Prior to my weekly journey to Columbia, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Holy Trinity Catholic School this past Monday morning! The 3rd-8th grade students were highly inquisitive with everyone having studied about government prior to our getting together.
It was almost like a social studies class, with not a single student missing a beat as the questions flew from the beginning to end of our nearly two hour visit. Without a doubt, it is the most prepared and engaged classroom visit I’ve experienced yet – hats off to Principal Karen Luzzo and her faculty for their great leadership in preparing the children of Holy Trinity for future success.
Finally, I wanted to bring to your attention a local lady who has a heart of gold and an unflinching commitment to see the insurance industry do more for the hearing impaired. Meet Michelle Barden, pictured here on Friday morning, with me and Andrew Mims, District Director for Congressman Tom Rice. Michelle has been an advocate for providing better access to medical care for children with hearing issues. Why is it that we provide relatively easy access to care for vision and dental? Yet the ongoing, staggering costs for access to hearing devices makes it nearly unattainable for most?
In many cases those with hearing impairment face limited engagement in the ability to fully share in social experiences leading to opportunities lost during the most important time of their lives when learning occurs. Hearing is obviously an important part of learning and it is a travesty to see so many children left behind as a result of the way things are. Right now, Congressman Tom Rice and I are working on how we can get this situation to change without creating unreasonable expectations for the healthcare industry. Looking at how we can bring the cost of hearing devices down while maintaining FDA standards and – just like vision and dental – encouraging all-important speech pathology and audiology services to be a more accessible add-on to your insurance policy.

Primary Election
As of today, there are 50 days until primary Election Day. Republicans are assured to pick up the seat held by Democrat Mike Anthony (District 42-Union), who is retiring at the end of his current term, since no Democrat filed to run for the seat. Closer to home, I would be grateful to have your support for re-election as our campaign team has a contested primary election on Tuesday, June 12, to protect District 104’s conservative values and the positive, teamwork environment that is presently working within our Legislative Delegation.


Thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia. If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don’t hesitate to contact me.