Weekly Update from the State House - March 14, 2014: The House began budget negotiations this week while the Senate spent most of the week debating a bill to nullify certain provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act...

Details from Each Chamber

HOUSE

The House began budget negotiations this week, eventually giving a third reading to the Appropriations Bill H. 4701 and the Capital Reserve Fund Bill H. 4702 on Wednesday morning.

Representatives spent considerable time debating amendments that penalized two universities for assigning controversial books to students.

Shortly after the bill received a third reading, Gov. Haley held a news conference praising the House's budget plan that includes over $65 million for her K-12 reform education priorities. "I ask the Senate to take note that the public is with us and the kids are with us," said Haley. The budget will now head to the Senate.

The House met briefly Thursday for a local session and will reconvene in regular Statewide session Tuesday, March 18th, at noon.

A few bills of interest were passed in the House this week:

  • S. 1031 Coastal Tidelands and Wetlands
  • H. 4701 State General Appropriations Bill
  • H. 4702 Capital Reserve Fund
  • H. 4886 Teen Dating Violence Prevention Act

SENATE   

The Senate spent most of the week debating H. 3101, a bill to nullify certain provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act. Also, several statewide appointments were received from the Governor and reported out of committee:

Jobs Economic Development Authority: Curtis Carter & Stephen H. Mudge
SC State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners: William Marshall Liger, III
SC State Ports Authority: David J. Posek
SC State Board of Medical Examiners: Daniel F. Sadd
SC State Board of Examiners in Speech Pathology and Audiology: Kelly A. Long

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved all appointments for the State Ethics Commission.

A few bills of interest were passed in the Senate this week:

  • S. 839 Industrial Hemp
  • S. 850 Unlawful hunting or baiting of wild turkeys
  • S. 714 Nongame and endangered species - regulation of alligators
  • S. 999 Armed Forces Extension of Drivers License

Newly Introduced Legislation  

AUTOMOTIVE:
H. 4882 King: RELATING TO RECORDS AND IN DETERMINING CLASSIFICATIONS AND RATES OF APPLICANTS FOR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE WHICH MUST BE MAINTAINED BY AUTOMOBILE INSURERS FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

EDUCATION:
H. 4920 Bingham: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO TRANSFER ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE JOHN DE LA HOWE SCHOOL FROM THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE SCHOOL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF JUVENILE JUSTICE FOR FISCAL YEAR 2014-2015 - Placed on calendar without reference.

EMPLOYMENT:
H. 4922 G. M. Smith: RELATING TO UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES AND EXCEPTIONS - Placed on calendar without reference.

H. 4925 Neal: SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ALL EMPLOYERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA MUST, AT A MINIMUM, PAY EMPLOYEES A MINIMUM WAGE AT AN HOURLY RATE OF NINE DOLLARS AND SEVENTY-FIVE CENTS - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

S. 1099 Sheheen: RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM THE DEFINITION OF EMPLOYMENT FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFIT PURPOSES - Referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

S. 1100 Bryant: RELATING TO DEFINITIONS CONCERNING UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS AND CLAIMS - Referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

GOVERNMENT:
H. 4919 Hodges: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION STATING THE DESIRE OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO PLACE IN ABEYANCE THE PROVISIONS OF ACT 313 OF 2004 REQUIRING THE STATE PORTS AUTHORITY TO SELL THE MARINE TERMINAL OPERATIONS PROPERTY AT PORT ROYAL - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

S. 1095 Cleary: RELATING TO MILLAGE RATE INCREASE LIMITATIONS - Referred to the Committee on Finance.

S. 1119 Grooms: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO MAKE APPLICATION BY THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UNDER ARTICLE V OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION FOR A CONVENTION OF THE STATES TO BE CALLED RESTRICTED TO PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION TO IMPOSE FISCAL RESTRAINTS ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THROUGH A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT. - Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

HEALTH CARE:
H. 4899 Burns: SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT LICENSED SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS AND AUDIOLOGISTS ONLY MAY PROVIDE SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY SERVICES OR AUDIOLOGY SERVICES BY MEANS OF TELEPRACTICE AS PROVIDED BY THE BOARD THROUGH REGULATION - Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

H. 4901 G. M. Smith: TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA INSURANCE REIMBURSEMENT TELEMEDICINE ACT" - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

H. 4911 Bedingfield: RELATING TO THE SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH INSURANCE AVAILABILITY ACT - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

H. 4914 Henderson: SO AS TO AUTHORIZE CERTAIN SCHOOL PERSONNEL TO ADMINISTER MIDAZOLAM INTRANASALLY TO STUDENTS WITH A SEIZURE CONDITION - Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

H. 4916 Long: SO AS TO PROVIDE SPECIFIC NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF AN INSURER BEFORE IT MAY CONSIDER A LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE POLICY THAT IT HAS WRITTEN TO BE TERMINATED - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

S. 1113 Bright: RELATING TO PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR OUT OF STATE PHARMACIES - Referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.

INSURANCE:
H. 4915 Anderson: RELATING TO DEFINITIONS CONCERNING CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANIES - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

JUDICIAL:
H. 4884 Putnam: SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IF PURSUANT TO FEDERAL LAW, REGULATION, OR POLICY, OBSERVERS FROM THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION ARE REQUIRED TO BE PRESENT IN RADIO OR TELEVISION STATION STUDIOS DURING CERTAIN BROADCASTS - Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H. 4886 Norrell: SO AS TO ENACT THE "TEEN DATING VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT" - Recommitted to Committee on Judiciary.

H. 4888 Pitts: SO AS TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, PROHIBIT THE DISTRIBUTION OF SENSITIVE CRIME SCENE IMAGES ON SOCIAL MEDIA OR THROUGH OTHER SIMILAR MEANS, AND TO PROVIDE A PENALTY - Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H. 4913 Long: SO AS TO ENACT THE "TEEN DATING VIOLENCE PREVENTION ACT" - Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H. 4924Neal: RELATING TO THE PROTECTION OF PERSONS AND PROPERTY ACT ALSO KNOWN AS STAND YOUR GROUND. - Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1120 Hayes: RELATING TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING DEFINITIONS - Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1121 Campbell: RELATING TO UNLAWFUL TRADE PRACTICES - Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

Top News Articles of the Week   

Medical marijuana exemption bill passes SC Senate panel
Senate panel advanced a bill that would seek an exemption for a type of medical marijuana extract that helps those with severe forms of epilepsy.  Read more.

Haley signs bill to give military homeowners in SC tax break 
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed into law a bill designed to give military homeowners a tax break on homes they couldn't sell before being deployed. Read more.

Senate panel advances private-school choice bill
A state Senate subcommittee advanced a bill Thursday aimed at clarifying the state's existing private-school choice program. Read more.

S.C. ranks in top 10 for foreclosure rates
One in every 971 homes in South Carolina filed for foreclosure in February, the eighth-highest rate in the country, according to real estate research company RealtyTrac.  Read more.

Employment of young workers has plunged as older workers remain in entry-level jobs
Brendan McPherson searches through his bag Thursday after working in the Learning Center at Trident Technical College's Palmer Campus, where he is enrolled as a second-year student. McPherson has had difficulty finding an entry-level job.  Read more.

Obama declares disaster in SC, 21 counties get aid 
President Barack Obama signed off on South Carolina major disaster declaration request Wednesday and ordered federal aid in 21 counties hit hardest by a winter storm last month. Read more.

Gov. Haley thanks House for education budget
Gov. Nikki Haley thanked House leaders Wednesday for a budget plan she says takes a historic step in providing a good education to all South Carolina students. Read more.

Vincent Sheheen launches 'Women's Agenda'
As Republican Gov. Nikki Haley tries to win voters with a typically Democratic issue of education funding, her presumed challenger in November is tackling an issue close to the state CEO. Read more.

Harrell's lawyers secretly trying to kick attorney general off his State Grand Jury case
Lawyers for S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell are secretly trying to get a state judge to remove state Attorney General Alan Wilson as the prosecutor in ongoing State Grand Jury proceedings against Harrell, according to sources close to law enforcement who are familiar with situation. Read more.

Lawmakers seek fix for election law to avoid 'catastrophic' problems
State lawmakers are warning that another flawed election law could make the debacle of 2012 that knocked hundreds of candidates out of primaries seem tame by comparison. Read more.

Texas businessman credits SC tax-breaks for decision to relocate to SC Jon-Michial Carter said he had many reasons to move his healthcare data company from Houston to Greenville a few months ago - love for the community, the pro-business environment, and the NEXT Innovation Center were just a few. Read more.

Gowdy bill would let Congress sue the President
Congress could more easily sue the president under legislation likely to pass the Republican-led House Wednesday. Read more.

DOE plans to stop work at MOX facility 
Members of the South Carolina congressional delegation said the Department of Energy is already planning to stop work at the MOX facility at the Savannah River Site. Read more.

New law allows digital proof of insurance in traffic stops
A new law in South Carolina makes it possible for motorists to use their smartphones to show proof of insurance during law enforcement traffic stops. Read more.  

SC House gives key approval to $7B spending plan
Republicans say K-12 public schools are a big winner in the House budget plan approved late Tuesday, but Democrats criticized the plan as still not meeting the state's obligation to education. Read more.

Leaked DSS Documents Show Noncompliance, Confusion
Internal documents from the South Carolina Department of Social Services obtained by Free Times show the agency's Child Protective Services division to be consistently in violation of laws meant to shield children from neglect and abuse and staffed by workers with little understanding of important agency policies and practices. Read more.

Sen. McGill files bill to establish Public Safety Sales Tax Act
State Sen. J. Yancey McGill officially filed a bill March 4 in the Senate seeking to establish the Public Safety Sales Tax Act. The bill moves forward with a proposal by public safety agencies in Williamsburg County to develop a means for funding new public safety personnel through a one-cent sales tax. Read more.

SC House guarantees right to hand out Constitution
House members want to guarantee students' right to distribute the Constitution on college campuses, though there's no example in South Carolina of anyone being stopped from doing so.Read more.

SC House approves state takeover of school for at-risk kids
The state Department of Juvenile Justice would take over a troubled state-operated school for at-risk youth in the Upstate for a year under a budget amendment approved by the S.C. House on Tuesday. Read more.

Insurance marketplace numbers continue slow rise in S.C.
The numbers of insurance policies purchased on the federal Health Insurance Marketplace in South Carolina is up to 36,567 through Feb. 28, according to Ray Farmer, director of the S.C. Department of Insurance. Read more.

Learning from others' mistakes and successes
The vision: A long vacant industrial site reinvigorated with technology-based businesses, the arts and support from retail shops, restaurants and residences. Read more.

State budget could eliminate fees for paying local tax bills with credit cards
A controversial provision in the South Carolina House's proposed 2014-15 budget, sponsored by Charleston-area lawmakers, would prohibit local governments from charging a fee when people pay their taxes with a credit card. Read more.

State could withhold $1 million from each college until Constitution taught, pornographic material banned
House budget amendment would have the state set aside $1 million from each public college until they agree to teach the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. The amendment also would ban the use of pornographic content in classes and requiring students to take a class that include the use of a nude model. Read more.

Lawmakers look to expand mental health courts
Some state lawmakers are looking favorably at the idea of expanding mental health courts in the state as a tool to divert mentally ill defendants from jails or prisons where they cost taxpayers millions of dollars to house and don't receive the treatment they need before their release. Read more.

SC politics: Taxpayers would pay for SC presidential primaries
Taxpayers would at least partly pay for South Carolina's first-in-the-South presidential primaries under a bill backed by both major parties. Read more.

Businessman critiques S.C. anti-business policies, proposed baseball stadium
Prominent Columbia businessman and national shopping center developer Terry Brown told Rotarians Monday that clownish acts by top politicians and strange legislative policies tarnish South Carolina's reputation and may repel businesses from locating here. Read more.

Haley administration announces new obesity initiative
Gov. Nikki Haley is backing down from a controversial proposal that would have restricted what food stamp recipients can buy, instead shifting her focus on a new strategy to link food stamp eligibility with finding a job.  Read more.

SC considers more protection for heirs' property
South Carolina lawmakers are reviewing stronger protections for land with no clear title that has often been handed down by blacks for generations since slavery. Read more. 

New film focuses on early literacy 
A new film promoting early reading could accelerate the public policy debate on how children learn in South Carolina. Read more.

The Nexsen Pruet State House Update is published as a service to our attorneys, clients, and friends. It is intended to be a high level overview of the weekly activity at the South Carolina State House and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation.

Topics:  Affordable Care Act, Federal Budget, Healthcare, Healthcare Reform, Legislative Agendas

Published In: Elections & Politics Updates

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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