2022 Session Advocacy + Legislative Updates

SCCADVASA works proactively to increase the awareness of how laws and policies impact the lives and healing of survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

Our policy focus areas are determined by our member organizations’ experience of emerging and ongoing needs at the community level. SCCADVASA strives to make sure these needs are heard, understood, and acted upon by our state legislators and congressional delegation.

With the start of the 2022 Legislative Sessions in both South Carolina and at the Federal Level, SCCADVASA will continue our advocacy efforts and monitor the situation at the S.C. State House and in Washington, D.C. Each week, we will provide you with an update on how things are progressing at both the State and Federal level.

Weekly Updates

State Updates

The second regular session of the 124th South Carolina legislature convenes January 11, 2022.

What does this mean for bills that have been filed? This session is the second year of a two- year session, meaning that all bills filed in 2021 or 2022 must pass through both chambers and be signed by the Governor by the end of the session.

Bills that were filed in 2021 will be taken up from the point they reached before the end of session in 2021. For example, a bill that was passed by the House in 2021 will start this session in a Senate subcommittee. Bills that are not signed into law this year will have to be reintroduced — their journey will completely start over next year.

Important Dates:

  • April 10th, 2022 is the deadline for when a bill must have been passed by one chamber and referred to the other. For example, a bill that was been introduced in the Senate must have been voted on and passed by the Senate and referred to the House for consideration by this date. As April 10th is on a Sunday this year, the effective date for crossover this year is Thursday April 7th (the last date the legislature meets before the deadline).
  • May 12th, 2022 is the Sine Die date, or the day on which the legislature adjourns for this year. Only legislation expressly identified in the Sine Die Resolution can be considered or acted upon beyond this date.

SCCADVASA actively monitors all legislation that potentially impacts victims/survivors and our member organizations. This can range from specific bills that address the criminal legal and family court process to housing, to access to healthcare, to reproductive rights, and beyond.

The impacts of domestic and sexual violence have many intersections and reach far into the lives of survivors. The voices, needs and perspectives of survivors on policymaking, in every area of their lives, is critical to building safer homes and communities.

SCCADVASA’s Legislative Priorities for this year include:

H. 4009 (Bernstein et. al) and S. 340 (McLeod et. al) are bi-partisan companion bills that protect the confidentiality of victims who seek services from non-profit domestic and sexual assault organizations. Privacy and confidentiality are critical to the safety of survivors. South Carolina is one of very few states that does not have laws prohibiting the disclosure of victim information as required by the Violence Against Women Act.

S. 929 (Shealy & Harpoolitan) will permit the introduction of previous violations of domestic violence laws as evidence in any criminal case or proceeding in which a defendant is accused of DV or DV High and Aggravated.

H. 3210 (Bernstein, Collins & Cobb-Hunter) revises the definition of “household member” in domestic violence laws to include persons presently or formerly in a dating relationship. This would close a dangerous loophole that excludes victims of abuse who are dating their partner from critical protections such as orders of protection and laws around access to firearms by people who have used violence.

Federal Updates

On February 9, 2022, a bi-partisan Senate reauthorization of VAWA was introduced by Senators Durbin, Ernst, Murkowski and Feinstein (S.3623).

View coverage or watch the full press conference.

As of Thursday, February 10, neither Senator Graham or Senator Scott have signed on as co-sponsors. However, it does appear that 10 Republicans (the number needed for passage) and all Democratic Senators have signed on.

We urge you to contact our SC Senators’ offices to let them know how critical this legislation is to continued work to end sexual and domestic violence. Remember, all calls and emails will be tabulated, so let’s all do our part to ensure our SC Senators know that constituents support this bill.

Access additional information and draft talking points on the VAWA Reauthorization Action Page.

From our national partners: