SC legislators say keeping South Carolinians safe is top priority for 2021 legislative session
COLUMBIA (WOLO): Class is back in session at the State House, as today legislators kicked off the first day of the 2021 legislative session. Legislative session will look a little different this year with a ton of new issues to tackle considering the current climate of the country, and legislators this morning, both democrat and republican, agree on one thing-keeping South Carolinians safe in 2021.
“We have to make sure that people can come to work and feel safe and not feel like there’s some threat from the outside,” said (D) SC House Minority Leader, Todd Rutherford.
“We need to be protected now more than ever,” says Chris Wooten, (R) SC house district 69 in Lexington.
As the U.S. further divides, legislators here at home are coming together to bring some relief to South Carolinians. “I think that’s going to be fine here though, I have the utmost confidence in our security team, ”said Representative Wendy Brawley, SC House District 70.
Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey says, “We all feel very comfortable with the security team.” While addressing the recent violence across the country, also at the top of the agenda is the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Majority leader Shane Massey says he’s frustrated. “Our focus has to be on the people and South Carolinians and making their lives better, and if we do that, if we keep our focus on South Carolinians and on our people and improving their lives, we’re gonna be successful.”
And after a dead end to last year’s session, legislators are taking another look at the state budget and the states economy. “Actually as South Carolinians are actually in a pretty good financial spot. The Ways and Means committee has saved enough money that we can still deal with a lot of our states issues unlike a lot of other states that don’t have the ability to do so,” said (D) SC House Minority Leader, Todd Rutherford.
Senate Minority Leader Brad Hutto said “We didn’t have a budget last year. We’ve got a fair amount of money that we’re gonna have to distribute and we need to look at the priorities in light of the pandemic.”
“We have to make sure that we re-stimulate our economy. We have to do that. That’s a must,” said Wooten.
Other issues on the table include education, hate crimes, criminal justice, equal pay, and more. Legislators are optimistic that South Carolinians will see some positive change in 2021.