Tuesday headline: the SC General Assembly returns to Colombia

They’re back: State lawmakers will open their 2022 session today with the familiar issues of the COVID-19 pandemic and money-laden bank accounts. The House and Senate will bow at noon on Tuesday, kicking off the second year of a two-year session slated to end in mid-May. Masks will not be required in the two chambers, which will be holding in-person sessions, despite an upsurge in cases in the state.

Meanwhile, Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday unveiled his proposal for how he thinks South Carolina should spend billions of extra dollars. The proposal includes a mix of familiar calls for tax cuts, but also new proposals such as bonuses for school bus drivers, money to expand election audits and money to replace the the state’s aging health laboratory.

Following: AP News, Post and courier

In other titles:

The state recorded a 15% increase in the number of victims of human trafficking in 2021. SC Attorney General Alan Wilson said more children were identified as victims of human trafficking in South Carolina in 2021 than ever before. There has been a 15% increase in the number of victims reported to the national human trafficking hotline, Wilson said at a press conference on Monday. Trafficking in human beings into modern day slavery, where the victim is forced to engage in sex work or other work. Following: WISTV, Post and courier

The congressional district of Charleston could favor Republicans. Under a proposal from SC House to redraw the voting lines for Congress to reflect population changes, the first Congressional district that represents the Lowcountry could favor Republicans instead of simply siding with Republicans. Approval of the new district could come quickly for the state legislature. Following: Post and courier, AP News

Charleston School Board blocks voting on Reimagine Schools. Charleston County School District administrators overturned the vote on a proposal to improve struggling schools that critics say would invite too much private participation in public education. More: Charleston City Paper, Post and courier

Charleston, Richland Counties for more rent food assistance. Residents of Richland and Charleston counties who have fallen behind on rent due to the COVID-19 pandemic can access millions of additional funds to help pay their rent. Following: State

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