Last Friday, I spent some time with members of the Greater Summerville Chamber of Commerce on Friday. It was a great event at the Flowertown Players Theatre. We discussed the new election process for Dorchester School District Two Board members. Thank you to all those who attended and for the great conversation. And over the weekend, Mary Bryce and I also attended a terrific event by the Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust promoting land conservation, which is a key issue to support across the Lowcountry.
In the State House last week, we made great progress on my legislative priorities for the year. We only have six days left in the legislative session, and I am trying to get the good legislation we are pushing over the finish line.
Providing Choice in Education
Education is not a one size fits all approach, as children are different from each other. Last week, the S.C. House passed a bill to ensure parents have more options and choices about how their children are educated.
S.039, which establishes the Education Scholarship Trust Fund (ESTF), will provide eligible elementary and secondary students with scholarships to cover their education expenses at the school of their choice–expenses such as tuition and fees, instructional materials, tutoring, computer hardware, assessments, and transportation. eligible students can receive scholarships of up to $6,000 to cover the aforementioned expenses.
With this bill, the funding is coming from the state general fund – meaning no money will be taken out of our local public schools to pay for this.
Reforming Child Custody
As your Representative, I am committed to advocating for the safety and well-being of all citizens, so I am pleased to report that two bills designed to protect our children were taken up on the House floor this week. H.3217, the Uniform Unregulated Child Custody Transfer Act, strengthens penalties for violators and requires child placement agencies to share specific information with adoptive parents and was passed last Tuesday.
H.3220, the Uniform Child Abduction Prevention Act, provides a crucial framework and procedures for preventing child abduction in family law cases, and the debate will continue on the floor this week. Both bills prioritize the welfare and best interests of children, protecting them from unnecessary trauma and unregulated custody transfers.
It is my honor to represent you, the citizens of District 97. Feel free to contact me at RobertRobbins@schouse.gov or 803-212-6973.