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 2023 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. You will be able to find these in the “News & Updates” section of our website.

2023 SC State House Legislative Session Wrap Up

State Updates

The first regular session of the 125th South Carolina legislature convened January 10, 2023.

What does this mean for bills that have been filed? This session is the first year of a two-year session, meaning that all bills filed must pass through both chambers and be signed by the Governor by the end of the 2024 session.

If you are looking to gain a better understanding of the legislative process and hear more about our 2023 priorities, we encourage you to watch a previously recorded webinar from January 13, 2023 facilitated by our Executive Director Sara Barber.

Important Dates:

  • April 10, 2023: 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.
  • May 11th, 2023Sine Die 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. Bills filed this session have until Sine Die next year to be signed into law.

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:

S. 143 (Shealy & Goldfinch) Household Member & Dating Relationship

  • Adds dating partners to qualifying relationships of Orders of Protection
  • Also removes the “male & female” from the definition of cohabitating partners to conform with Doe v. State (2017)

S. 147 (Shealy, Gustafson, Senn & Goldfinch) Address Confidentiality & Advocate Privilege

  • Creates confidentiality privilege for communications between non-profit DV & SA advocates and victims
  • Creates a state VAWA-like confidentiality requirement for DV & SA non-profit organizations
  • Creates an address confidentiality program within the Office of the SC Attorney General which would forward first class mail to survivors of domestic violence, trafficking, stalking, harassment & sexual offenses who qualify for participation

S. 127 (Hembree) Firearms

  • Amends the gun laws to acknowledge that some categories of people should not be able to lawfully purchase a firearm
  • Included are those subject to court orders restraining the person from “harassing, stalking or threatening a household member…or the child of a household member” if they have been found to pose a “credible threat.”

H. 3025 (W. Newton, West, Henegan, Pope and Guffey) Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Acts

  • Creates civil penalties for damages caused by the defendant’s disclosure or threatened disclosure, including emotional distress
  • Outlines consent: “means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary authorization by an individual with legal capacity to give authorization”

Multiple Bills Re: Access to Abortion Care & Reproductive Rights for Survivors of IPV

  • S. 29 (Hutto): Provides for women to be able to access abortion care prior to viability, affirms the right to contraception, in vitro fertilization, comprehensive sex education
  • S. 240, H. 3490, H. 3549, H. 3552
  • H. 3774 (McCravey, et.al) This bill is a total abortion ban with limited exceptions.
    • This article, outlines how even when exceptions are included in abortion bans, accessing care becomes extremely difficult.
  • S. 366 (Shealy, Senn, Gustafson & Davis) would make it unlawful to perform abortions after the first trimester with exceptions for fetal anomaly, a medical emergency for a pregnant woman, or in cases of rape and incest.
  • H. 3549 (Harris et. al) is a personhood bill that would mean that the state’s homicide laws would be applicable from the moment of fertilization.
  • S. 474 (Grooms, Massy, Kimbrell & Adams) is almost identical to the bill struck down by the Supreme Court. Rape and incest exceptions are limited to the first trimester and require a report of the abortion to law enforcement.

View Previous Weekly Updates from 2022