Legislators to discuss progress

Barnwell County residents will have the chance to hear from their local state officials about this year's legislative session next week.
State Sen. Brad Hutto and state Rep. Lonnie Hosey, both Democrats, will talk about legislation that passed (and didn't pass) this year during a Legislative Wrap-Up Aug. 26 at the Barnwell County Library from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Also, Barnwell County Council Chairman Freddie Houston will talk about what happened this past year with county council.
Attendees will be able to ask questions.
The event is organized by the Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber director Angie Boyles said she wants people to know what's going on in state and local politics.
So what did happen this year at the state level? Here are some of the main topics from this year's Statehouse session.
Medicaid expansion is not coming to South Carolina as part of the Affordable Health Care Act. Republicans in the state blocked the measure, which would have brought billions of federal dollars to the state to help those without access to health insurance. Democrats said it would help the poor, homeless and veterans, but Republicans said it would be a financial nightmare.
The whole debate over ethics reform was put off until next year. Lawmakers can't seem to come together on a reasonable way to enforce their own rules over each other.
There was a bill floating around that would make it legal for concealed-weapon permit holders to bring their guns into bars and restaurants, but it too stalled and will come up again next year.
State lawmakers were able to pass a budget for the year, but only during a special session after the regular legislative year ran out.