The topic of Judicial Reform is at the front and center of the House calendar. This week, the Ad Hoc Committee on which I serve, will meet to consider proposals to change the process of electing judges in South Carolina’s courts. I take the responsibility of serving on this committee and the overall process of electing our judges very seriously, both as a citizen and a member of the South Carolina Bar. I am looking forward to the discussions we will have this week as we seek solutions to make the system better.
In addition to our work on the Ad Hoc Committee, the judicial elections are set for Feb. 7. We have had many quality candidates from the Lowcountry this year. I am committed to electing conservative judges who will uphold the rule of law.
One such candidate is Russell Hilton. I have known Russell for more than twenty years dating back to when he interned at the First Circuit Solicitor’s Office. Russell has been a prosecutor, ligation attorney, and small business owner. He will make a great judge and I look forward to voting for him on Feb. 7.
Now, on to other actions the legislature has been taking up:
Last week, the S.C. House passed a bill passed the ‘Help, Not Harm’ bill in January sending it over to the Senate for consideration. This critical piece of legislation aligns with conservative principles prohibits gender transition procedures for minors and bans any Medicaid or public funding for such treatments for those under 26. This bill took great steps to ensure we maintain access to mental health services, protect our teachers from being responsible for diagnosing children, and hold doctors criminally accountable for performing these procedures.
This past week in the Judiciary Committee, of which I am a member, we passed a groundbreaking bill, H.3424, known as the Child Online Safety Act, that sets stringent guidelines for website and online application operators, designed to ensure that minors are not exposed to inappropriate content on the internet.
The Judiciary Committee also passed another important bill this week – H.4700, the Social Media Regulation Act. This bill aims to require parental consent for minors to create social media accounts and places restrictions on access during certain hours. This proactive approach gives parents more control and oversight over their children’s online interactions. Like the Child Online Safety Act, this bill also passed the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It will soon be debated and voted on the floor, where I intend to give it my full support.
On Thursday I proudly voted in favor of H.3523, which establishes a “Fallen First Responder Survivor Advocate” in South Carolina to assist families of deceased first responders in accessing benefits and support. This includes guiding them through obtaining mental health, insurance, educational, and financial benefits, funded by an increase in the state budget. The bill reflects a strong commitment to honoring and supporting those who have served our country, ensuring their families are cared for and guided through challenging times following the loss of a loved one in the line of duty.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve in the House representing you.
It is my honor to represent you. Feel free to contact me at RobertRobbins@schouse.gov or 803-212-6973.