State Politics

  McMaster’s end to pandemic aid met with criticism while staffing challenges remain

On Thursday, Governor Henry McMaster announced six federal programs (worth an estimated $585.3 Million over ten weeks) would be ending on June 30.

  SC governor orders end of federal pandemic unemployment programs by late June

SC Senate rejects open carry of guns without permits

  SC House approves bill making electric chair default execution method, adds firing squad option

  S.C. reps express ‘great concern’ over mask requirement in schools

SC hate crime bill passes another hurdle

  Senate Majority Leader confident open carry bill passes before session ends

Continued Coverage

  Columbia City Council unanimously approves first reading of conversion therapy ban

S.C. lawmakers push to get ‘Open Carry’ bill passed before legislative session ends

Bill raising SC marriage age to 18 takes 1st step in Senate

Florence Co. deputies remind residents that SC open carry law has not changed

  SC bill could allow DACA recipients, human trafficking victims to obtain occupational licenses

SC senators look at adding no-resuscitate rights for parents

Eying 2024, Pence says he’ll push back on ‘liberal agenda’

Former Vice President Mike Pence is positioning himself for a possible return to elected office.

SC Senate OKs $10B budget; talks more issues than money

South Carolina senators have approved the state’s $10 billion budget for next fiscal year.

  Former VP Pence in Columbia for first public address since leaving office

Pence could be using South Carolina as a testing ground for a potential presidential run in 2024.

  SC health, school leaders: ‘Stay the course’ despite governor’s calls to lift mask orders

Gov. Henry McMaster called on local cities and municipalities with mask ordinances to lift them.

Bipartisan bill aims to change SC laws on non-certified officers, chokeholds

McMaster on mask requirement in schools: ‘It’s a height of ridiculosity’

Graham, state GOP chair praise Scott’s response to Biden address

  SC close to allowing execution by firing squad: How would that work?

  Joe Cunningham raises nearly half a million in first 48 hours of gubernatorial campaign

Electrocution, shooting may end SC execution impasse

SC lawmakers again reject transgender athletes ban

A committee in the South Carolina House has again rejected a proposal that would have prevented transgender students from playing on girls’ sports teams in middle and high school.

SC Senate stalls bill allowing open carry of guns

The chances of South Carolina joining most other states allowing licensed people to openly carry pistols and not hide them under a jacket has dimmed.

  Graham stands behind comments denying systemic racism in America

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham did not back down from comments he made on Fox News that America is “not a racist country.”

  Former Congressman Cunningham officially announces run for governor

After recently filing paperwork to run for governor, former Congressman Joe Cunningham is starting to roll out his campaign.

  Protestors demand Tillman statue be removed from State House grounds

The group says Tillman is a known racist and shouldn’t be commemorated on State House grounds.

SC Rep. Clyburn fined $5K over screening

A handwritten report said Clyburn “walked around” a metal detector.

SC bill aimed to prevent plastic pellets in local waterways closer to becoming reality

A South Carolina bill aimed at preventing plastic pellets from spilling into local waterways is one step closer to becoming reality as the Senate passed the bill on Friday. It will now head to the House.

  Absentee voting bill sponsor says he’s open to compromise at subcommittee hearing

Several leaders of civil rights groups and concerned citizens testified on their thoughts, and the vast majority were against the bill as written.

Joe Cunningham files preliminary paperwork for SC governor’s race

The Democrat lost his re-election bid in 2020 for South Carolina’s first Congressional District.

S Carolina lawmakers keep firing squad as option in bill

There are two inmates on South Carolina's death row who have exhausted appeals but still cannot be executed.

SC lawmakers send 5-day in-person learning bill to governor

By the time Gov. Henry McMaster signs a new bill requiring five-day in-person learning into law this week, school districts across the state will already be ready. But teachers will benefit from two other key parts of the bill.

SC Senate committee OKs raises for teachers, state workers

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday set aside money for a 2% raise for state employees and a $1,000 raise for all teachers as the panel approved its version of the roughly $10 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that starts on July 1.

Sen. Tim Scott on George Floyd verdict: ‘No question in my mind the jury reached the right verdict’

South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott released a statement in the moments after a jury found a former Minneapolis police officer guilty of killing a Black man.

  SC police, politicians react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial

A jury in Minneapolis found Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd.

  Coroner: Deaths on the rise, money needed urgently for autopsies, other essential services

Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford says her office is facing a fiscal cliff and is asking for help from the county council.

SC governor, first lady receive COVID-19 vaccines

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and his wife received the first dose of their COVID-19 vaccine Monday.

SC bill would prevent prosecution of sex trafficking victims

The provisions would stand for any crimes that aren’t violent.

  UofSC professor says 300 students have been drugged in past 90 days; lawmaker hopes bill will help

According to her survey of students, about 300 say they have gotten drugged at Columbia bars in the past 90 days.

Gov. McMaster allocates $10.5M in GEER funds for charter schools, workforce development

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced a $10.5 million dollar investment in the state’s public charter schools and workforce development efforts through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund.

SC House passes April 26 deadline for in-person classes

The proposal passed Wednesday would require districts to continue to offer five days of in-person classes next school year no matter what happens with the COVID-19 pandemic.

  UofSC and MLS announce multi-year partnership

MLS will provide exclusive learning opportunities and experiences to University of South Carolina students.

Haley says she’ll back Trump, stand down if he runs in 2024

Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is often mentioned as a possible 2024 GOP presidential contender.

McMaster blocks feds from bringing unaccompanied children from border to SC

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order Monday instructing the state’s Department of Social Services to prevent the federal government from placing undocumented, unaccompanied migrant children from the southern border into foster care and group homes.

  McMaster visits SC National Guard troops at the border

The visit comes amid a surge of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks.

  GOP rep. doubles down on controversial comments as SC Democrats file bill to censure him

In a post on Facebook before the bill passed, which has since been deleted, Dabney said he would not vote for the hate crime bill and said he feels his way of life has been “vilified” by Democrats.

SC attorney general says PRO Act would end state’s right-to-work law

He wrote a letter to U.S. Senate leaders against the bill that has been co-signed by 13 other attorneys general.

  ‘Overtly racist and deeply offensive’: SC state rep. calls for colleague’s resignation

On the day a Hate Crime Bill passed the South Carolina State House after years of failed attempts, a controversy has erupted over one state lawmaker’s comments.

  SC House passes permitless carrying of guns, hate crime bill before crucial deadline

Thursday’s crossover deadline is a point at which any bill passing the House or Senate must get a two-thirds vote in the other chamber to be considered, a higher bar than is usually needed.

South Carolina House gives key approval to hate crimes bill

House representatives gave key approval by a 79-29 vote Wednesday on the proposal to allow harsher penalties for certain crimes motivated by hatred.

SHADOW CASH: Investigating loopholes that can keep S.C. election money in the dark

WMBF Investigates found the money raised and spent by those political parties and committees in South Carolina can be kept in the shadows.

SC rep. says he will not ‘bow down to the Left’ on Hate Crime bill

The bill passed the SC House on Wednesday. It now heads to the Senate.

SC House OKs bill allowing open gun carry without permit

Lawmakers voted 69-47 in favor of the bill Wednesday.

SC Senate approves proposal barring mandatory COVID vaccines

The resolution advanced by senators unanimously Wednesday states that employers can’t punish or fire their workers for refusing to get the shots.

Pro-Trump attorney from GA moved to SC, now challenging SC GOP chairman

Hundreds of Republicans packed the Greenville Hilton to cheer for Lin Wood

McMaster names next director for SC Department of Health and Human Services

Gov. Henry McMaster announced that Robert M. Kerr will be nominated to serve as the next director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

  The election reform SC lawmakers want to see

Two bills have passed key hurdles in the State House that would change voting laws in South Carolina and change who oversees elections.

SC House passes bill allowing noncertified teachers in schools to fill vacancies

South Carolina lawmakers passed a bill Tuesday allowing people without teacher certifications to teach in schools if there is a vacancy five days before the start of the year.

  Graham, McMaster voice opposition to U.S. election reform bill

Democrats say this bill is needed after Georgia’s controversial move to put more voting restrictions in place.

SC advises on agribusiness tax cuts

The South Carolina Department of Revenue wants to make sure agribusinesses don’t miss out on tax credits.

  McMaster sued over order bringing all remaining S.C. state employees back to the workplace

At issue is McMaster’s March 5 order that advised state agencies to “immediately expedite” the return of non-essential state employees to in-person work.

‘Tasting rooms’ trip up wine giant’s proposal in SC

A California wine maker wants to bring a new $400 million bottling center and warehouse to South Carolina.

  S. Carolina Senate OKs five-day school for all by April 12

It passed unanimously but still must be debated in the House.

  Graham visits SC shooting range in protest of proposed Assault Weapons Ban

Graham fired off several practice rounds at the indoor shooting range and spoke about his opposition to an Assault Weapons Ban.

  Lawmaker ‘very optimistic’ medical marijuana bill will pass SC Senate

Here’s why this push is different than previous efforts.

Sponsor says medical marijuana bill will pass in S. Carolina

The Republican lawmaker who has pushed for the proposal over the past seven years says he thinks it can finally pass.

South Carolina Democrats want Medicaid expansion; GOP says no

It would also return in savings from people going for health care before a problem becomes catastrophic and expensive.

  SC standardized testing for K-12 students will happen this spring

While the testing requirement will stand, the U.S. Department of Education is being lenient with schools this year.

Rep. Rice cosponsors legislation that gives bonuses to those who return to work

Congressman Tom Rice is part of a bill that is encouraging people to return to work.

SC House takes week off; SC Senate to take a long weekend

The House scheduled its annual furlough for this week.

SC Senate passes own bill to ticket slow left lane drivers

The South Carolina Senate has passed a bill to fine people who don’t get over from the left lane of a three-lane highway when overtaken by traffic.

  COVID-19 vaccines in SC open to everyone 16 & up starting March 31

People in that group were not expected to be eligible for vaccine appointments until May.

  SC Senate passes, then reconsiders, $271M rental assistance bill

The House will need to approve the bill, and it won’t be in session until April 6.

Graham to visit border on heels of introducing immigration bill

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Twitter he plans to head to the border Thursday.

  Lawmakers advance bill allowing college athletes pay for ads, sponsorships

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree.

Kershaw County sheriff takes strong stance against gun control laws

The statement was also shared on the Facebook page of the Sheriff's Office.

Group of S. Carolina senators make reluctant state flag pick

The committee acknowledged the argument is far from over.

Upstate police seize Delta 8 THC products from vape shop, owner argues they’re legal

Both Delta 8 THC and Delta 9 THC are found in a hemp plant. But one is a controlled substance and one is not.

  ‘It’s time to regain control’: Sen. Graham introduces legislation seeking to reform southern border policies

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced legislation Wednesday that seeks to reform policies as they pertain to the country’s southern border.