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Protect South Carolina Heroes!

After several weeks of no action by our Governor on this topic. It is time that we ask our members, non members of public safety, and private citizens to flood the Governor’s office with emails and phone calls concerning the issue of worker’s compensation benefits for COVID-19. We are calling it “Protect South Carolina Heroes!”

We encourage you to post on your local Facebook pages, your and your member’s personal pages, and even post it to local community pages in your area. 

SCFOP Covid-19 Update

COVID-19 Update – South Carolina Fraternal Order of Police

The General Assembly convened this week for the primary purpose of adopting two bills  (H.4014 & H3411) 

H.4014 which requires the Executive Budget Office to establish a COVID-19 Response account which will hold $45 million for use by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) “for those purposes necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic”. 

Noteworthy to Law Enforcement:  This bill also provides that for the period beginning March 19, 2020 ending September 1, 2020, the earnings limitation has been waived for retired members of the SC Retirement System or the PORS system who return to covered employment to participate in the state’s public health preparedness and response to the COVID-19 virus. If an agency head deems your return to work necessary to assist it the COVID-19 response, you may do so without penalty.

H.3411 is a continuing resolution that provides for continued operation of state government should the General Assembly be unable to adopt a budget by July 1, 2020.  H.3411 will not be necessary should the General Assembly adopt a FY20-21 budget bill.  We will be paid, and our government will continue to operate as is even without a budget.

Current schedule for the General Assembly:  At the conclusion of session Thursday, March 19, 2020 session, the SC House of Representatives adjourned and to return at the call of the chair.  As for the SC Senate, President Peeler notified the body on Thursday that the Senate will not meet in session this week unless called back into session by the Senate President. Senate committees are permitted to hold meetings during this time at the discretion of the committee chairmen.  The Senate President and the Speaker of the House may call the legislators back to session if an emergency need arises.

All of the Governor’s Executive Orders are located at:  

https://governor.sc.gov/executive-branch/executive-orders

Of the things that are top priorities now:

Personal Protection Ensemble (PPE) has been sent from the National Stockpile to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and currently being distributed to counties. Supplies are limited. Your agency may contact DHEC for distribution.

A bill is currently being explored and developed to preemptively conclude that a first responder who develops COVID19 will be considered as a worker’s comp issue directly related to our service. (Governors executive orders may address this for the current situation we find ourselves in.  A law may be useful in the future to address any pandemic.  We do have several House members who are willing to work toward that goal.

FOP National President responds to Nike’s new campaign ad

Chuck Canterbury, National President of the Fraternal Order of Police, released the following statement:

“Colin Kaepernick and all Americans have the constitutional right to freely express their views, even if they are uninformed and inflammatory. Indeed, law enforcement officers have an obligation to defend these rights and we do so every day, even in those cases when the views expressed are hostile, hateful or offensive to the men and women of law enforcement.
“The Fraternal Order of Police has been called upon to boycott Nike for capitalizing on this former professional football player because he attracts controversy. In our experience, boycotts and similar exercises do not succeed and often serve only to enrich the company—which is not what we want to do. Our members and, for that matter, any American citizen, understands when the law enforcement profession is being insulted—we have no doubt they will make their purchases with that insult in mind..
“If Nike chooses to create an ad campaign featuring a former quarterback who describes cops as ‘pigs’ and makes large donations to the family of a convicted cop killer and wanted fugitive, Joanne Chesimard, who murdered New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in cold blood in 1973, they are free to do so.
“Since 2016, 381 officers have been killed in the line of duty. They believed in something and sacrificed everything, as did the families they left behind. All of the men and women in law enforcement believe in something and are prepared to sacrifice everything.
“Ultimately, this ad campaign will end and our nation will no longer associate ‘sacrifice’ and ‘sneakers.’ Instead, we will once again associate ‘sacrifice’ with our fellow Americans in our military and police departments who stand in harm’s way to protect the rest of us and our right to express ourselves.”