South Carolina

2023 is perhaps the most legislatively consequential year that South Carolina has had in decades. The state legislature has finally been able to break ground on conservative legislation in a whole slew of policy areas ranging from education to healthcare. This all comes on the heels of South Carolina’s first ever income tax cut last year. Here is what you may have missed:

According to an article published by The Lion, Senate Bill 39 (S39) grants “15,000 students access to education savings accounts (ESAs).” The expansion of ESAs provides South Carolinian parents with greater discretion over where their children attend school. This discretion ultimately empowers parents to direct their tax dollars away from radical left schools that fail to provide children with basic instruction on reading, writing, and arithmetic and towards those institutions that provide children with the greatest amount of opportunity. The expansion of ESAs has long been a priority for conservative legislators like those of Sen. Greg Hembree (R-District 28) who chairs the Senate Education Committee. Sen. Hembree has gone on record to state that “there will be children whose lives will be changed for the better because of this bill.” It is very encouraging to see that South Carolina conservatives have finally struck gold on this issue. 

Another major victory for South Carolinians has been the end of Certificate of Need requirements. According to a recent article published by WSPA, “The South Carolina House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that would repeal the state’s Certificate of Need program.” For those who are unaware, Certificate of Need regulations were established by the federal government in the 1970s. Their purpose was to “promote cost containment and prevent unnecessary duplication of healthcare facilities and services.” These regulations have forced healthcare providers to submit appeals to state health officials when constructing new facilities or purchasing “expensive medical equipment.” To add to this bureaucratic nightmare, “competitors can appeal these requests, slowing down the process.” Luckily, the Certificate of Need process is set to be abolished in January of 2027. Its repeal will finally allow healthcare facilities to access the resources they need to adequately and efficiently tend to their patients. 

In summary, both the expansion of ESAs and the repeal of Certificate of Need regulations represent major victories for South Carolinians. It seems like The Palmetto State is finally living up to its reputation as one of the reddest states in the nation and breaking ground on common sense conservative legislation. Given these major achievements, it would not be an overstatement to characterize 2023 as one of the most legislatively consequential years in South Carolinian history. 

Earlier this week, Americans For Tax Reform’s Vice President of State Affairs – Patrick Gleason – published an article on Forbes magazine which discussed, in further detail, these achievements and their significance. To read the article, please click here.