Legislative Update: ‘Crossover’ deadline means increased activity at Statehouse

April 11 probably won’t show up on your smartphone calendar to remind you of its observance, but at the South Carolina Statehouse it is a date that draws everyone’s attention. The official term is “crossover,” and it simply means no bill can be considered after April 11 unless it has crossed over from the House to the Senate or vice versa. Bills caught sitting in committee or languishing on the House or Senate floor calendar will be dead until next year. Bills that were being considered last year will have to start over when the Legislature meets in January 2023.

There are several bills we are tracking that are in danger of failing to meet the crossover deadline. In the House, Save Women’s Sports (H4608) had an Education Subcommittee hearing on Thursday, March 10. The meeting was scheduled for one hour — and with well over 50 people signed up to speak, the measure was carried over until a second hearing can be scheduled. Even if the bill is recommended favorably to the full House Education Committee, it will have to be voted on there and then sent to the floor. With time running out and the House moving to begin work on the budget (which always takes up a lion’s share of time in the House), this bill — which would prohibit biological males from competing against women from middle school through college — is once again in jeopardy of failing to pass in South Carolina. So far, 11 other states — including Florida, Mississippi, and South Dakota — have passed similar legislation to protect female athletes. South Carolina, considered by many to be one of the reddest of red states, continues to fail to offer this very important protection for female athletes. A press conference in support of the legislation, held in the lobby of the Statehouse on the same day as the House Education Subcommittee hearing, drew a crowd of more than 100 people, including legislators, female athletes, high school coaches, legal representatives, and members of the medical community.

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