Weekly Update from the State House - April 14, 2014 - The Senate voted 41-0 to concur with the House amendment known as "Emma's Law" relating to ignition interlock devices...

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
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Details from Each Chamber

HOUSE  

The House worked through the calendar this week, breaking for a Joint Assembly Wednesday to hear Chief Justice Toal give her annual State of the Judiciary Address. The bulk of the afternoon on Wednesday was spent debating the texting while driving bill, H. 4386. After 9 amendments and numerous members speaking on the matter, the bill was amended and given a second reading.

On Thursday, the House moved through their Calendar in an effort to move bills forward before the May 1st crossover deadline. The Speaker told the members to be prepared to work all day April 29th and 30th.

The following bills of interest passed the House this week:

  • H. 3959 Sexual Exploitation of a Minor
  • H. 3198 Election Commission and Board of Registration
  • H. 3539 Sale of Alcohol on Election Day
  • H. 3626 Motorsports entertainment complex
  • H. 4386 Use of Cell Phone while driving

 The House will convene at noon on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

SENATE

On Tuesday, the Senate worked quickly through the uncontested calendar, in order to begin work on the State budget in the Finance Committee. After convening with the House for the Joint Assembly Wednesday, the Senate worked steadily through the uncontested calendar, giving numerous bills readings. A motion was adopted for the Senate to meet in perfunctory session from April 17th- through April 28th. After numerous tabled amendments proposed by Senator Malloy, the Senate voted 41-0 to concur with House amendments to  S. 137, known as "Emma's Law" relating to ignition interlock devices. S. 516, Read to Succeed and S. 459, relating to texting, received third reading this year.

On Thursday, the Senate worked through the uncontested calendar, carrying over a large number of bills. S. 1145, Common Core, was set for Special Order upon the motion of Senator Peeler. S. 866, Election Commission, was amended and carried over in order for the Senate Finance Committee to convene. Senator Leatherman announced in Committee that they would continue work on the remaining subcommittee provisos on Tuesday and Wednesday. He plans for the Committee to complete work on the provisos before the Senate breaks for the furlough on Wednesday afternoon, April 16th.

The following bills of interest passed the Senate this week:

  • S. 516 Read to Succeed
  • S. 862 Projects by property owner for personal use
  • S. 459 Texting/Beginners Permits
  • H. 4604 Exemptions from Licensure to Practice Engineering
  • H. 4644 SC Real Estate Appraisers License and Appraisal Act

The Senate will convene at noon on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Newly Introduced Legislation 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/TAX: 

S. 1206 Alexander: RELATING TO TAX LIENS - Referred to the Committee on Finance. - Referred to the Committee on Finance.

H. 5105 Felder: RELATING TO DEFINITIONS PERTAINING TO THE JOB TAX CREDIT - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H. 5109 Sellers: RELATING TO THE CONTINGENCY RESERVE FUND - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

EDUCATION:

H. 5065 Bedingfield: RELATING TO QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AS A MASSAGE/BODYWORK THERAPIST - Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

H. 5074 White: SO AS TO REQUIRE THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO DEVELOP AND ADOPT A STATEWIDE PROGRAM FOR IDENTIFYING FISCAL PRACTICES AND BUDGETARY CONDITIONS - Placed on calendar without reference.

INSURANCE:

S. 1221 Hayes: RELATING TO AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE RATE REDUCTIONS FOR NON-YOUTHFUL OPERATORS - Referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance.

JUDICIAL:

S. 1217 L. Martin: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO FIX NOON ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014, AS THE TIME TO ELECT A SUCCESSOR TO A CERTAIN JUDGE - The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

H. 5096 Clemmons: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO FIX NOON ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014, AS THE TIME TO ELECT A SUCCESSOR TO A CERTAIN JUDGE - Introduced, adopted, sent to Senate.

GOVERNMENT:

H. 5118 Clemmons: SO AS TO REQUIRE THAT BY OCTOBER THIRTY-FIRST OF EACH YEAR, EACH STATE AGENCY SHALL SUBMIT A REPORT DETAILING ITS FEDERAL RECEIPTS AND DEVELOPING A PLAN SHOULD ITS FEDERAL RECEIPTS BE REDUCED - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H. 5119 Clemmons: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO CREATE THE SOUTH CAROLINA FEDERAL FUNDS STUDY COMMITTEE - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

TRANSPORTATION:

H. 5102 Lucas: SO AS TO PROVIDE A FORMULA, BEGINNING JULY 1, 2014, FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FROM THE SOUTH CAROLINA TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE BANK BASED ON THE BOUNDARIES OF REGIONAL COUNCILS OF GOVERNMENTS - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

Top News Articles of the Week  

SC Senate bill would extend right to lethal self-defense to pregnant women
A Senate panel advanced a bill Thursday that would expand the state's stand-your-ground self-defense law to specify that mothers can use deadly force to protect their unborn children from harm. Read more.

'A liberating force,' Waring returns to Charleston
This image, from the AFRO-AMERICAN , was published on June 6, 1951, and shows the crowd inside the federal courthouse, but outside the courtroom, where Judge J. Waties Waring and two others were hearing the Briggs v. Elliott school case.  Read more.

SC utility board says 'yes' to natural gas, 'no' to solar A state utility board gave approval to Duke Energy to build a natural gas plant at the energy giant's current coal-burning plant in Anderson County, but denied a request from two environmental groups that wanted Duke Energy to also build a solar farm that would rival the largest solar projects in the country. Read more.

Solar advocacy groups rail against S.C. energy bill
A subcommittee in the state Senate overwhelmingly approved a landmark rooftop solar energy bill that would allow solar leasing companies to sell rooftop solar systems and the electricity generated.  Read more.

Toal focuses on bond for repeat offenders in State of the Judiciary
State judges overseeing bond hearings for accused criminals need more information to make better decisions about whether a suspect should be released on bond, S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal said Wednesday. Read more.

New film puts low SC literacy rates on display
A new documentary about South Carolina's low literacy rates premiered Tuesday as education leaders were warning that S.C. students are not graduating prepared to compete in the global economy.  Read more.

Inventory shows South Carolina agencies own 12,300 assets
State agencies own far too much property in South Carolina, and much of it should be sold, Gov. Nikki Haley said Wednesday.  Read more.

Gas prices up in South Carolina, may keep increasing this month
Filling up the gas tank right now is the most expensive it's been all year for South Carolina drivers, and experts say gas prices won't go back down until the end of the month. Read more.

Senate, House pass versions of texting ban
South Carolina is closer to having its first statewide ban on texting while driving, a measure that would eliminate the confusion and conflicts resulting from municipalities and counties having their own separate ordinances. Read more.

Scott, Booker say bill will help spur apprenticeship jobs
Pointing to the high unemployment rate among young Americans, Sens. Cory Booker and Tim Scott teamed up Wednesday to introduce legislation aimed at creating thousands of apprenticeships in all sectors by offering companies new tax credits.  Read more.

Emma's Law headed to governor's desk
Emma's Law is headed to Gov. Nikki Haley's desk. Read more.

SC Senate OKs statewide reading focus, 4K expansion
A bill aimed at giving all at-risk 4-year-olds access to free kindergarten and getting third-graders reading on grade level passed the S.C. Senate Wednesday.  Read more.

SC Gov. will lead Indian trade mission
Gov. Nikki Haley is heading on a 10-day trade mission to India in November in hopes of introducing her home state to her parents' home country.  Read more.

Bill to Raise Money for SC Roads Hitting Calendar & Opposition Roadblocks
A bill aimed at generating more money for South Carolina's crumbling roads and bridges is running into procedural problems and running out of time at the Statehouse. Read more.

Charleston civil rights hero stood against the entire South
Waties Waring and his wife, Elizabeth, were playing canasta in their living room when the first brick crashed through the window. Read more.

USC Upstate facing more cuts over gay-themed programming
The University of South Carolina Upstate could have its budget cut again for another gay-themed program on the Spartanburg campus.  Read more.

Nearly 100,000 in S.C. enroll in Obamacare insurance
Nearly 100,000 South Carolinians enrolled in a health insurance policy on HealthCare.gov between Oct. 1 and March 31, the director of the state's insurance department said Monday.  Read more.

SC group suing over county election boards law
A government watchdog group has filed a legal challenge to the constitutionality of the elections process South Carolina, a move one top lawmaker says could complicate this year's races if the issue isn't decided quickly.  Read more.

Ethics reform, DSS deaths start off week at State House  
Happening today at the S.C. State House
A House panel will take up proposed changes to the state's ethics laws in an effort to reconcile differences between versions that already passed the House and Senate.  Read more.

Congressman trying to help seaside landowners
A South Carolina congressman is trying to make it easier for some seaside property owners in the Myrtle Beach area to get federal flood insurance for land now classified as some of the riskiest to develop in the Palmetto State. Read more.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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