SC Legislative Update – 4/24/20

Provided by Ben Homeyer

The accelerate SC group met today for the first time.  They are planning to be in sub groups for the next two weeks and come back together the week of the May 4th to discuss what they have learned.  The group was joined by House members Tommy Pope, Lee Hewitt and David Weeks. As well as Senators Tom Davis, Ross Turner, and Gerald Malloy.

The group has been encouraged to reach out to their spheres of influence to hear about what the business community, medical community, and all effected are doing and what from their groups can be brought forth.  To that end.  If you have questions, information, etc please get it to us and we can get it to Ben Homeyer and members of the committee.

Duane Parish who runs PRT talked about the dire situation for the tourism industry. Commerce, Education, DHEC, Agriculture, DEW, and Mental Health all spoke.  Duane Parish who runs PRT talked about the dire situation for the tourism industry. He said it could be next year before they come back to pre-covid levels.  He also said NASCAR plans to open up at Darlington in May and the PGA is holding the Heritage in late June.  Both however will be without spectators.  Agriculture spoke about how the food supply chain is safe and how farmers will be working with restaurants to keep as much of it local as possible when things get back to normal.

Rural broadband was also discussed and how it is needed to help the entire state and how it will become a huge issue for everything from employment to education.  The head of Mental Health talked about how employee assistance programs may be needed when workers come back as they will be stressed about coming back to the work force.  The state is looking at how to do this both in person and via telehealth.  Dr David Cole of MUSC talked about being “Business Smart”  he said cases of Covid will get higher as business open but to plan for that and to do it smartly.  He also encouraged folks to stay remote as much as possible.  The president of Francis Marion said the higher education institutions will decide in July as to whether they can have on campus education or if they need to stay online for the fall semester.

Lots of other discussions during the meeting and much more to come.  Again if you have anything that you would like to be sent to the committee please let us and Ben Homeyer know.