South Carolina Legislative Update - December 30, 2013

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2014 Session Preview

Happy Holidays from Moore & Van Allen’s South Carolina Public Affairs team.

Below is a brief update regarding the membership of the South Carolina General Assembly, major issues for 2014 and highlights from the December prefiles for your review.  We appreciate you taking the time to review our updates.  If we can be of service or if you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Our best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2014.

South Carolina General Assembly

The South Carolina General Assembly will reconvene on January 14, 2014, for the second half of the 120th Session and will sine die on June 5, 2014. 

The current membership of the South Carolina Senate (46 total seats) is 28 Republicans and 18 Democrats and the current membership of the House of Representatives (124 total seats) is 78 Republicans and 46 Democrats.  During the interim, Senator Marlon Kimpson (D – Charleston) won a special election to replace Senator Robert Ford (D- Charleston) and Representative Russell Ott (D – Calhoun) won a special election to replace Representative Harry Ott (D – Calhoun), who was appointed by President Obama to serve as the State Director of the Farm Service Agency in South Carolina.

Major Issues

We anticipate some of the major issues facing the General Assembly this session to be: education funding reform, continued infrastructure/highway improvement funding, distributed generation/third party solar, and several pieces of legislation pending from last year.   Legislation pending from last year includes, but is not limited to, the following:

S. 22 – Government Restructuring - Currently in Conference Committee

H. 3847 – Electronic Waste Recycling – House Calendar (Senate Amendments)

H. 3925 – Revisions to the Pollution Control Act – House Calendar (Contested Calendar – Second Reading)

H. 3945 – Ethics Reform – Senate Calendar (Special Order)

This coming year, 2014, is a major election year for South Carolina – both United States Senate seats, all seven congressional seats, all nine statewide constitutional officers (governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, etc.), and all 124 seats of the South Carolina House of Representatives are up for election.  This should make for a very interesting 2014.  The South Carolina Senate is not up for reelection until 2016 – four year terms.

Prefiled Legislation

Below are a few of the prefiled bills filed this December in both chambers.  You may review all the prefiled bills by clicking here.  In total, 101 bills and resolutions were prefiled in the Senate and 82 bills and resolutions were filed in the House. 

House Prefiles

H.4354 – Medical Records – Electronic Format or Photocopied

H.4356 - Local Option Motor Fuel User Fee for Road Maintenance and Improvements.

H.4359 – Medicaid Home and Community-based Waivers -Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) Devices to the Medicaid Home and Community-Based Waiver Medicaid recipients

H.4362 – Sales Tax Exemption - Electricity Used to Cure Agricultural Products

H.4365 – Medical Device Tax Credit

H.4400  - Minimum Wage Increase

H.4405 – Drug Testing and Background Checks

H.4407- SC Education Finance Act – Comprehensive Revisions

Senate Prefiles

S.814 – Collective Bargaining Prohibition – Local Governments

S.845 – Certificate of Need – Authorize DHEC to Transfer Funds to Operate CON Program

S.852 – Tort Claims Act –Increases the Per Person Cap - $300,000 to $500,000

S.853 – Tort Claims Act - Delete the Per Occurrence Cap of $600,000 and the $1.2 Million Per Occurrence Cap for Any Tort Caused by a Licensed Physician or Dentist Employed by a Governmental Entity

S.875 – Abortion – Physician Must Have Admitting and Staff Privileges to Perform Abortions

S.886 – Authorization of Out of State Insurers to Offer Health Insurance in South Carolina.

S.891 – Motor Fuel User Fee Increase

S.892 – New Market Jobs Act