The Senate Republican Caucus last week passed a much-needed new law to further protect the rights of newly born babies in South Carolina.
The Senate gave 3rd reading to the “born alive” bill, which would grant full legal protections to any newly born baby as soon as it is outside the mother’s body. In particular, it is aimed at protecting babies that are born alive after a failed abortion attempt.
We have all seen national news stories and heard many other gut-wrenching accounts of babies born alive during an abortion, but then being left to die in horrible conditions. This bill makes state law conform with federal law, making sure that newly born babies in these circumstances will be given the full legal protection from harm as afforded to any other citizen.
We all look forward to the day when Roe v. Wade is overturned and an abortion is no longer legal. Until then, we believe that steps like this are ways in which we can protect those who cannot protect themselves.
The Senate Republicans also led the charge to put in new protections against the government undercutting the private sector. Specifically, we plan to pass a bill that keeps local government from undercutting privately-owned telecommunications companies. Local governments have access to huge grants and other sources of taxpayer funds, which they’re using to gain an unfair competitive advantage over private companies. This bill would end that practice and would make sure that government-controlled telecom is on an equal playing field with private companies.
Also, we began debate on a bill that will restructure state government by allowing voters to determine whether future governors should choose the lieutenant governor as their running mate, rather than electing them separately. At the federal level, it wouldn’t make much sense to have a president and a vice president elected separately. Many people believe the same about South Carolina. The Caucus wants to put a referendum on the ballot to give voters the option of making this change in South Carolina for future elections.
Finally, South Carolina was given good reason to celebrate this past week, as we learned that our unemployment rate had dropped below 9 percent for the first time since 2008.
While we certainly still have much work to do on the economy, this is great news and is due in no small part to many of the conservative reforms the Senate has advanced over the past four years to improve our business climate.
Whether it has been tort reform, workers comp reform, balancing the budget or cutting taxes, the Senate GOP Caucus is committed to making sure South Carolina is a great place to do business and create jobs.