South Carolina General Assembly
124th Session, 2021-2022
Journal of the Senate

                                                  NO. 29









Friday, February 26, 2021
(Local Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 11:00 A.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the ACTING PRESIDENT, Senator SETZLER.


The following remarks by Senator HARPOOTLIAN were ordered printed in the Journal of February 9, 2021:

Remarks by Senator HARPOOTLIAN

Mr. PRESIDENT, over the last couple of days I have watched every member of this Body make a very focused effort to try to change this Bill and deal with issue of getting our kids back to school. I am proud of what I have seen here. The patience of this Body has been great as we listen to each other debate very subtle changes in an effort to get our kids and teachers back to school safely. Senator MASSEY, I want to commend you on this effort. Many others have worked on this as well. Senator DAVIS obviously spent a lot of time talking to DHEC and other agencies. I would be remiss if I did not note, the reason the Senate has to do this, is because other people will not do their jobs. Let me be specific about this. I was talking about DHEC this past summer. I have taken this podium and talked about their total lack of focus and effort in dealing with this pandemic. Whether it was failing to intervene, mass gatherings this summer, or not being prepared to deal with the distribution of the vaccine; we have to step in to fill that void. There is yet another void. Let me read to you the portions of a statute that I think are very relevant. Section 25-1-440: Additional powers and duties of Governor during declared emergency. Section 3-- Suspend provisions of existing regulations, prescribing procedures for conduct of state business, strict compliance of provisions thereof that would prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency. Section 4-- Utilize all available resources of state government as reasonably necessary to cope with the emergency. Section 5-- Transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments, agencies and commissions for purposes of facilitating and performing emergency services as necessary or desirable. Section 6-- Compel performance by elected and appointed state county municipal employees of emergency duties and functions assigned in the state emergency plan or executive order. What this does is give the Governor complete authority to do what we are being asked, and forced to do here tonight. There's been no evidence whatsoever that the Executive -- the Governor -- has in any way deliberated, examined, talked to DHEC, or come up with some plan to get our kids back to school. He has said that kids should go back to school; it is a mantra. It is easy to say it, but hard to get the work done. I would defer to those people talking to DHEC, whether it is Senator DAVIS or Senator MASSEY. Unfortunately, it appears the conversations have been useless in helping formulate that plan. I am going to vote with Senator MASSEY on this Bill, but not because it is the perfect solution to a problem. Whether this affects other people that need the vaccine and how they get it -- I am very concerned about that. I have put numerous people in jail who did not get the benefit of an education. We are going to have a generation of feral children if we do not do something immediately. What amazes me is the lack of effort and direction on the part of the Executive Branch to deal with this. This Body gave them the power to deal with this. Other than complaining about the lack of effort to get our kids back to school, the Executive Branch has not done a single thing. I am voting for this Bill. I have misgivings about some of it, but I am voting for it. If we do not do the job, no one will. Thank you.



The following co-sponsors were added to the respective Bills:
S. 379 (Word version)     Sen. Kimbrell
S. 533 (Word version)     Sen. Gambrell
S. 590 (Word version)     Sens. Campsen and McElveen
S. 610 (Word version)     Sen. Gambrell


At 11:04 A.M., on motion of Senator McELVEEN, the Senate adjourned to meet next Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 12:00 Noon.

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This web page was last updated on Monday, March 1, 2021 at 9:03 A.M.