Opportunity Zones When I came to Congress, I knew that not only would I represent the millions of people in my home state, but also every young boy and girl in America who, like me, wasn’t sure if mom or dad could make ends meet. Opportunity Zones are paving the way for a better future.
Last week, I had the pleasure of leading my colleagues on the Senate floor to talk about how Opportunity Zones have positively impacted each of our states. You can see the full floor segment here and my remarks here.
Recent Legislation Equal Campus Access Act: At the end of last month, I joined Sens. Blunt and Lankford to announce the Equal Campus Access Act, legislation that will ensure that religious student organizations can operate in accordance with their faith-based principles. The bill prohibits funding for public institutions of higher education if they deny rights, benefits, or privileges to student organizations because of their beliefs, practices, speech, leadership standards, or codes of conduct.
If we’re not instilling the importance of the First Amendment in our nation’s colleges and universities, we’re doing our future an injustice. Too many public institutions of higher learning are silencing the voices of faith-based student groups and I am proud to work with my colleagues to stand up for the First Amendment. Freedom of speech isn’t just a nice sayingit’s a core American ideal. You can read more about the bill here.
FUTURE Act: Last week, I helped introduce bipartisan legislation to reauthorize funding for all minority-serving institutions, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Fostering Undergraduate Talent by Unlocking Resources for Education (FUTURE) Act will provide continued support for HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions of higher education whose funding is currently set to expire at the end of Fiscal Year 2019. That would leave hundreds of schools without vital financial support. The funds provided for in this legislation could be put toward capital improvement needs, as well as faculty and curriculum development and student services.
We all have a role to play in making the dream of college a reality for those who wish to pursue their education. The eight HBCUs in South Carolina have made a significant impact in our communities, creating thousands of jobs which translates to over $5 billion in lifetime earnings for their graduates. The FUTURE Act will not only strengthen these institutions, but create opportunity for their neighbors to prosper. You can read more about the bill here.
PACT Act: On Friday, I helped introduced the Patient Access to Cellular Transplant (PACT) Act, which would protect access to bone marrow and cord blood transplants for Americans on Medicare. The bill would better align payment policies for hospitals that treat seniors with different types of blood cancers, like leukemia, lymphoma, and sickle cell disease.
We owe it to folks with sickle cell disease and other rare blood-related diseases to remove barriers in the Medicare reimbursement system that make it difficult for many Americans to access the care they need to live. The PACT Act will make it easier for them to receive these curative treatments. You can read more about the bill here.
Hurricane Season This week is National Hurricane Preparedness Week- a time for all South Carolinians to take necessary measures to safeguard their homes, businesses and families as hurricane season approaches. The National Weather Service has advised all residents in storm-prone areas to think about taking necessary precautions in the coming week, including developing an evacuation plan, assembling disaster supplies and checking up on your insurance. You can find more information on Hurricane Preparedness and the upcoming hurricane season here.
Lowcountry 2500 City Hall Lane 3rd Floor Suite North Charleston, SC 29406 Phone: (843) 727-4525 Fax: (855) 802-9355
Midlands 1901 Main Street Suite 1425 Columbia, SC 29201 Phone: (803) 771-6112 Fax: (855) 802-9355
Upstate 104 South Main Street Suite 803 Greenville, SC 29601 Phone: (864) 233-5366 Fax: (855) 802-9355
Washington, DC 104 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510 Phone: (202) 224-6121 Toll Free: (855) 425-6324 Fax: (202) 228-5143