About the Speaker
Mrs. Beth Bernstein
South Carolina House of Representatives
The fifth of six children born to Carol and Isadore Bernstein, Beth was raised in Columbia, growing up in the same community in which she lives today. She and her siblings were educated in Richland School District 2 schools. After graduating from Richland Northeast High School, Beth earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in 1991 and earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1994. Upon graduating from law school, she began practicing law with her father and brother, Lowell Bernstein, and formed what is now known as Bernstein and Bernstein, Attorneys at Law.
Beth has always been driven by a passion for hard work and has been a lifelong volunteer in her community. These values were instilled in Beth by her parents, who were both politically and civically active in Columbia before their passing.
In November 2012, Beth was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives for House District 78, and was re-elected in November 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020. Currently, she serves on the House Judiciary Committee, serving as Family and Probate Laws Subcommittee Chairwoman, the only female and Democrat to serve as a subcommittee chair. She also has been elected by the legislative body for four-consecutive terms to serve as one of ten members on the House Ethics Committee, and currently serves as its Secretary. She has been appointed by the Speaker of the House for three-consecutive terms to serve on the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children and has served as its Chairwoman.
Just recently, she received the Conservation Voters of South Carolina's coveted Green Tie Award and was selected as one of the Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands' 2020 Women of Distinction. In 2019, she received the 2019 Child Advocate Award from the SC Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Legislator of the Year award from SmokeFree SC, and previously has been awarded the Barbara Moxon Advocacy Award for championing women's issues; the Legacy of Caring award from USC College of Nursing; and the Sierra Club of South Carolina Legislator of the Year award. In 2015, she received the John W. Williams, Jr. Distinguished Service Award from the Richland County Bar Association and the Legislative Champion award from SC Coalition for Healthy Families.
Beth has been accepted into the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership Class of 2019. She is a graduate of The Riley Institute at Furman DLI Lowcountry Class XIV;. She participated in the 2017 Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills (CALS) program sponsored by the Southern Legislative Conference and The Council of State Governments. She is a graduate of the 2015 Liberty Fellowship class, another leadership initiative sponsored by the Aspen Institute. She was selected as one of Southeast Small Business Magazine's 2014 Top Women of Influence, and was Business Monthly's Top 50 Most Influential People in 2012.
She currently is a Trustee on Hammond School's Board of Trustees and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of Columbia. She is Past President of the Richland County Bar Association and was selected as The State's Top "20 under 40" in 2006. She has previously served on the following boards: University of South Carolina's College of Nursing Foundation Board, Palmetto Health Cancer Center Board, Three Rivers Heritage and Music Foundation, Columbia Jewish Federation, Beth Shalom Synagogue, Cutler Jewish Day School, South Carolina Philharmonic, and is a 1998 Graduate of Leadership Columbia.
Beth is married to Rip Sanders, who also practices law with her, and they are proud parents of two daughters, Caroline, 18, and Isabel ("Issy"), 14.