The Rice Report

Friends, 

This week, I’m hosting Coffee with Your Congressman events in Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, and Florence. Join me to discuss upcoming legislation and current events affecting the nation, state, and district. These events are free and open to the public and press. See you there!

Monday, March 22, 2021
Georgetown
4:15 – 5:15pm
Howard Auditorium
1610 Hawkins Street
Georgetown, SC 29440
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Myrtle Beach
3:00 – 4:00pm
Chapin Memorial Library
400 14th Ave. N.
Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Florence
2:30 – 3:30pm
Bazen’s Family Restaurant
704 S Irby Street
Florence, SC 29501

Getting America Back to Work Safely

The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact every American. As we navigate a safe reopening, business owners are taking unprecedented measures to protect their employees and patrons. Keeping Americans safe while getting back to work is a top priority.  It’s important we reconnect workers to jobs and prevent more business closures.

This week, I introduced the Healthy Workplaces Act along with Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-F.L.), Congressman Darin LaHood (R-I.L.) and Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-C.A.). This legislation is a new way to help businesses safely and responsibly reopen our economy and protect the health and well-being of workers. The Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit will help businesses reopen safely and restore worker and customer confidence. 

Our Healthy Workplaces Tax Credit will support businesses as they reopen by incentivizing them to take extra precautions to protect the health of patrons and employees. Read more here

South Carolina Distributes $162 Million in Federal Disaster Relief Funds

Too many folks in the 7th District continue to feel the effects of Hurricane Florence, Matthew and Dorian, while also preparing for future storms. This month, South Carolina distributed the first tranche of $162 million in federal disaster relief funds under Director Ben Duncan’s leadership as the first Director of the Office of Resilience. We worked tirelessly to ensure the release of these funds from the federal government and they will be instrumental in helping our community rebuild and implement proactive mitigation projects. 

The first tranche of funds was approved by the state on March 9, 2021 for the following local governments in the 7th District for stormwater infrastructure and drainage improvements:

  • Georgetown County: $939,529
  • Florence County: $6,896,471
  • Horry County: $2,476,250

The first tranche of funds also included an additional $13,120,685 for buyouts of repetitive loss properties in Horry County, which will allow for buyouts up to $250,000 per property for 61 homes in the Rosewood subdivision. There are more funds coming in two additional tranches!

I commend Governor McMaster for naming Ben Duncan as Director of the Office of Resilience. Having spent over 30 years in public service to the state of South Carolina and more than five with the South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office, Ben has proven himself to be a very worthy candidate for this appointment. I know he will serve the citizens of South Carolina extremely well and I can’t think of anyone who would do a better job. I look forward to the continued progress South Carolina will make under Ben Duncan’s leadership in getting relief to those in need. Read more here

Revitalizing the Travel and Tourism Industries

This week, I discussed COVID-19 relief and stimulus measures for the travel and tourism industries with the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce. These industries were among the hardest hit from COVID-19. I was proud to introduce the Hospitality and Commerce Job Recovery Act alongside my colleagues. It is critical to getting South Carolina’s hospitality and tourism industries back on track.

COVID-19 Update

South Carolina's vaccine distribution plan continues to be incredibly successful. As a reminder, the following South Carolinians are eligible to make a vaccine appointment in Phase 1-B:

-Those 55 or older, regardless of preexisting conditions
-People with increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease
-Frontline workers with increased occupational risk including school workers and law enforcement officers
-Individuals at increased risk in settings where people are living and working in close contact
-All workers in healthcare and community health settings who have routine, direct patient contact and were not vaccinated in Phase 1a.

To see the list of vaccine locations click here.

ATTENTION VETERANS: Starting on March 16, enrolled Veterans of all ages can receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the VA.  Call 843-789-6900 to schedule your appointment. 

Women's History Month

This month, we honor women who have made important contributions to history, events, and culture. Read about a South Carolinian who was a trailblazer in wartime medicine.

Col. Juanita Redmond Hipps (1912-1979) was a US Army nurse during World War II. She was born in Swansea South Carolina in 1912, she trained as a nurse at South Carolina State Hospital. In 1936, she entered the Army Nurses Corps and served in Bataan and Corregidor during World War II. She wrote the bestselling book I Served on Bataan about her experiences which became the inspiration for the war movie “So Proudly We Hail.” She was one of the first to earn Golden Flight Wings and she helped establish the Army Air Corps Flight Nurse Program; The Air Force Association Juanita Redmond Award is named in her honor.