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The Weekly Rewind: Week of January 29th

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This week in the State House we reached a significant phase in our legislative session. We were able to see our efforts in the committee process come to fruition with the passage of several key pieces of legislation. The passage of these bills is a testament to our collective commitment to safeguarding and improving the community we all value.

On Wednesday, we achieved a significant milestone with the passage of the SC Social Media Regulation Act (H.4700). As a parent and your representative, I was particularly happy to support this vital piece of legislation that gives us more control over our children’s use of social media. By mandating age verification and requiring parental consent for minors’ accounts, we’re taking proactive steps to shield our youth from potentially harmful online content.

Similarly, we passed the Child Online Safety Act (H.3424). This legislation will protect our children from inappropriate online content, particularly pornographic material. I am proud to have voted for a law that places a crucial responsibility on commercial entities to implement robust age verification methods, ensuring a safer online environment for our young ones.

Moreover, on Tuesday, we passed H.4825, focusing on combating the act of luring, with particular attention to the protection of minors from kidnapping. This legislation, which I strongly supported, bolsters our legal framework to protect our citizens, especially the young and vulnerable, from such heinous crimes.

Another significant achievement came with the concurrence of the Senate amendment on H.4159, the “South Carolina Telehealth and Telemedicine Modernization Act,” on Wednesday. I strongly supported this legislation, marking a significant advancement in ensuring telehealth services are provided within the same rigorous standards as in-person care. It’s now heading to the Governor for his signature.

Looking Ahead:

I’m closely watching the bill that deals with the maximum potential unemployment benefits (H.4710), which has made significant headway. After being favorably passed through the Ways and Means Committee with an amendment, this bill, which I fully support, is set for a debate on the floor next week. It aims to index our state’s unemployment benefits, promising to benefit our workforce, businesses, and economy. Essentially, the number of weeks of unemployment benefits that a claimant may receive will be tied to economic conditions, so when jobs are available and the economy is strong, benefits are limited to encourage re-employment and workforce participation.

Moreover, Speaker Murrell Smith and Attorney General Alan Wilson have unveiled the Statewide Violent Crimes Case Reduction Unit. This crucial initiative, which I fully support, is vital for addressing the backlog of violent crime cases, ensuring swift justice for victims and their families. For more information, check out this article with commentary from the House Speaker and SC Attorney General.

In enhancing our commitment to the Second Amendment, last year, House Republicans passed H.3594, the Second Amendment Preservation Act. This act was designed to uphold the constitutional right for law-abiding citizens to carry firearms with minimal restrictions, while also enhancing penalties for felons unlawfully possessing firearms. On Thursday, the Senate amended our bill and will send it back to the House for consideration.

These legislative actions and initiatives underscore our dedication to the safety, well-being, and prosperity of our community. I am proud of our achievements and remain committed to advocating for our state’s best interests.

The post The Weekly Rewind: Week of January 29th appeared first on Nathan Ballentine.


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