Legislative Update: S.C. Legislative Session Off to Fast Start

The 2024 South Carolina legislative session opened on Tuesday, Jan. 9, with House Republicans presenting three bills for sub-committee hearings. Usually, you can depend on the South Carolina Legislature to move slowly and deliberately, especially on the first day of the session. So, when the opening day schedule included a 3M Medical Affairs Sub-Committee hearing on H4624 (Do No Harm), a lot of people sat up and took notice. The House Republican Leadership, along with the Family Caucus (48 conservative lawmakers), set three bills for hearings during the first week of the session. The goal is to get these three bills through the committee process and on to the House floor for debate and early passage.

On opening day, the Family Caucus held a press conference on the second floor of the State House to promote H4624. In addition to many Republican representatives, mostly from the Family Caucus, the press conference was attended by a group of pastors and conservative community leaders who came to lend their support to the bill. H4624 would ban transgender surgery, puberty blockers, and cross-hormone treatment for minors. Twenty-two states have passed legislation that, to varying degrees, limit transgender treatment for minors. Southeastern states include Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia, and Georgia. Ohio passed a bill that was vetoed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who raised concerns about banning the procedures over the objections of parents. As of this writing, the Ohio House voted to override the governor’s veto, and the Senate is expected to follow suit.

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