South Carolina Orthopaedic Association  
2018 Election Wrap up and 2019 Legislative Landscape
The SCOA team closely monitored the legislative elections and the incoming Representatives in order to get a jump start on the busy 2019 legislative session. Attached is a detailed election breakdown from BIPEC for those who want to review the legislative results in more detail. January is the start of a new, two-year legislative session so we anticipate numerous bills will be introduced to expand the scope of practice for various non-MD/DO providers. We anticipate more legislation dealing with opioid prescriptions and e-prescribing and a legislative push from the PT lobby to expand direct access to physical therapy.
Governor’s Race-
Republican Governor Henry McMaster was re-elected to a full four year term in the Governor’s mansion defeating Democrat James Smith. McMaster, a former two term Attorney General and State GOP Chairman from Columbia, was serving as Lt Governor and became Governor when Nikki Haley was appointed UN Ambassador. New this year- the Governor and Lieutenant Governor ran together as a ticket per a 2014 State Constitution change as approved by voters during the November 2014 election. Governor McMaster’s Lt Governor will be Pamela Evette, a businesswoman and first time candidate from Greenville County.

SCOA has worked closely with Governor McMaster’s staff on appointments and other issues. Up to this point he has not made the elimination of CON a high profile priority in the same way former Governor Haley had.   McMaster publicly supported some loosening of mileage and supervision requirements for the nurse practitioner’s legislation but did not endorse their push for independent practice. He has generally opposed the legislation to legalize medical marijuana.
Legislative Outlook-
Rep. Leon Howard, a Democrat from Columbia and Chairman of the House Medical, Military and Municipal Affairs (3M) Committee is expected to retain his leadership position. Legislative committee assignments will be announced the first week of December 2018 and we anticipate there will be several new members on the House 3M Committee that has jurisdiction over most of the issues important to SCOA.

Longtime SCOA ally Rep. Phyllis Henderson of Greenville County was defeated in the June Republican Primary. Other Representatives who have supported SCOA on scope of practice issues or have addressed the annual meeting of SCOA and were re-elected to new two year terms include Reps Murrell Smith, Russell Fry, Russell Ott, Bart Blackwell, Kirkman Finlay, Beth Bernstein and House Majority Leader Gary Simrill. We will circulate the entire House list of committee assignments to ask your help in identifying any local SCOA relationships with the new members.

Rep. Peter McCoy of Charleston, also a former speaker at the SCOA meeting, is expected to be elected to the Chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee. He is the nephew of SCOA member Dr Jim McCoy of Summerville.
Sen. Danny Verdin, a Republican from Laurens, has assumed the chairmanship of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee as former committee chair Sen. Harvey Peeler is now leading the Senate Education Committee. Since the Senate was not up for election in 2018, we do not expect the members of Senate Medical Affairs committee to change. Sen. Verdin represents Laurens County and part of southern Greenville County. Senate bios and committee assignments can be found with the link below.

KEY DATES AND TIMELINE FOR 2019-2020 Legislative Session:

  • December 4: SC House reorganization session. Committee assignments announced and subcommittee assignments to follow. 
  • December 12: Senate prefiling of legislation for the 2019 – 2020 session
  • December 18: House prefiling of legislation for the 2019 – 2020 session
  • January 8: Start of 2019 Session of the General Assembly
  • January 9: Inauguration of Governor and Constitutional Officers
  • May 9: Last day of 2019 regular legislative session

Legislative Composition:


Total Members: 46
Majority: Republican
Number of Years in Majority:    Republicans took control in 2000; continuous
Elections Cycle: 4 year terms, Presidential election cycle
Next Election: 2020
Term Limits: None
Presiding Officer: **New position will be created for ‘President of the Senate’ to be the presiding officer. Duties and role to be defined by members in Nov 2018.


Total Members: 124
Majority: Republican
Number of Years in Majority: Republicans took control in 1994; continuous
Elections Cycle: Every 2 years
Next Election: 2020
Term Limits: None
Presiding Officer: Speaker Jay Lucas of Hartsville; Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope of York