2017 Legislation

For the second straight year, we stopped every negative bill we opposed! 

The following is a brief overview of the highlights of the major bills we worked on.

Bills SC Equality Opposed in 2017:

·       H.3012 – “Bathroom Bill” – defeated for the year; never received a Subcommittee hearing. Our enormous bi-partisan, 100+ organization opposition coalition remains intact.

·       S.85 – “Jacob’s Law,” the bill allowing school officials to carry guns in school – defeated for the year; never received a Subcommittee hearing.

·       S.86 – Call for a Convention of the States – defeated for the year; never received a Subcommittee hearing.

·       S.217, S.467, S.564 – All anti-abortion measures – defeated for the year; only S.217, the “Personhood” bill, received a Subcommittee hearing, but we were able to block it from coming up before the full Judiciary Committee.

·       H.3548 – the “Dismemberment Abortions” bill, passed out of the House, but we blocked it from ever receiving a Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee hearing for the year.

Bills SC Equality Supported in 2017:

We successfully advanced several of the positive, proactive bills we supported this year.

·       H.3891 – the “Workplace Freedom Act,” sponsored by Rep. J.E. Smith, is an effort to ensure uniform non-discrimination in the workplace – filed and has received the support of the SC Society for Human Resource Management and the SC Chamber of Commerce. We anticipate it gaining bi-partisan co-sponsors next year and receiving a Subcommittee hearing as we try to push it through the process. 

·       H.3745 – the “Uniform Non-discrimination Act,” sponsored by Reps. Rutherford, Cobb-Hunter, J.E. Smith and King, is an effort to establish across-the-board uniform non-discrimination as the law of the land. We hope to push for a Subcommittee hearing in the year ahead. 

·       H.3028 by Reps. Clyburn and Robinson-Simpson would establish a Student Bullying Advisory Council within each school district comprised of students, parents, teachers. We hope to see it receive a hearing next year. 

·       H.3129 by Reps. Rutherford and Robinson-Simpson would mandate DHEC to facilitate the registration of both spouses of a same-sex marriage of their child, and afford same-sex parents uniform parental rights under the law on birth certificates. We hope to see it receive a hearing next year. 

·       H.3809 by Finlay and others, supported by our partner organization WREN, would provide year-round insurance availability for women's birth control medication reimbursement. It passed out of the House 64-38 and is expected to be taken up by the Senate in 2018.

·       H.3865 – the “Pregnancy Accommodations Act,” by Bernstein and others, also supported by our partner organization WREN, narrowly passed out of the House 52-50 and is also expected to be taken up by the Senate in 2018.

·       H.3180H.3181,H.3328S.159, and S.143 – are a host of bills that were filed to ensure we have appropriate criminal background checks for purchasing firearms. We anticipate at least one of the bills moving next year, and it will likely be S.159 as it received a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee hearing this year.

·       S.147H.3196, and H.3216 – all Hate Crime prevention bills – were filed and we support them but would like whichever bill moves to be amended to included “gender identity.” We anticipate a hearing on one of the measures next year. 

·       S.153 by Sen. Malloy -- adds "sexual orientation and gender identity" to aggravating circumstances applicable to the punishment for murder. We anticipate it receiving a hearing next year.