GOP looking to expand access to birth control after passing abortion ban. A bill sponsored by S.C. Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, that would allow pharmacists to prescribe a woman a contraceptive without a patient-specific prescription has passed a state Senate committee. Source: WCSC TV

State budget proposes more spending on teachers, nurses, guards. The S.C. House Ways and Means committee approved a $9.8 billion state budget proposal Thursday that would spend more money on teachers, nurses, guards and prisons. The budget includes limited amounts of new recurring projected revenue, $180 million down from the expected $800 million before the pandemic. The proposal will be debated by the full House in two weeks. Source: The State

S.C. Senate approves reinstating postponed raises for teachers. A proposal that would pay South Carolina teachers the small annual raises that were postponed at the start of the school year due to economic uncertainty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic passed the Senate Thursday. Source: Associated Press

Stimulus bill progress slowed as Senate clerks recite all 628 pages word for word. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, delayed proceedings on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief package by demanding Senate clerks recite the plan word for word. Source: The New York Times

Charleston County leaders offer new Highway 41 plan to lessen impact on local communities. Charleston County has unveiled a new, $187 million road plan for S.C. Highway 41 in Mount Pleasant, one aimed at balancing the need to address traffic with concerns about which community will bear the most impact. Source: The Post and Courier