COLUMBIA – On Thursday, February 2, free speech advocates will gather on the south steps of the State House to address concerns regarding constituent voice in the legislative process this session.
Advocates will share concern over the lack of transparency in the legislative process so far this session as a way to encourage legislators to follow procedure and allow members of the public the opportunity to weigh in on important policy being considered.
Media are encouraged to attend the event. To RSVP, please contact Lindsey Green at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-457-6517
WHO: Free speech advocates alongside ACLU of South Carolina
WHAT: Press conference to discuss concerns in transparency in the legislative process
WHEN: Thursday, February 2nd. Press event begins at 9:00am ET.
WHERE: State House, South Steps
RSVP: 803-457-6517 | email@example.com
In the first month of this new session, advocates and constituents have been shut out of or discouraged from participating in the legislative process. Public comments have been restricted entirely or limited to 1-minute time allotments; written testimony has not been considered before a subcommittee vote; bills have skipped the subcommittee process altogether.
While complying with the 24-hour public notice before hearings, the members of our General Assembly are trying to find a way to keep public voice out of the conversations taking place around legislation that directly impacts the people seeking to testify.
Bills that are in or have gone through the committee process without proper protocol for public comment:
- Educational Scholarship Trust Funds (S39), skipped subcommittee
- Curriculum and Instructional Censorship (H3728), restricted public comment to 1 minute each, did not consider submitted written testimony prior to a subcommittee vote
- Abortion Ban (H3774), initially communicated as no public comment, with a last-minute change to allow 2-minute remarks in the minutes leading into the subcommittee hearing