Weekly Update from the State House - March 28, 2014: The House met in a Joint Assembly with the Senate to hear Lt. Governor McConnell's address on the State's Aging population...

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
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Details from Each Chamber

HOUSE  

The House worked through their calendar this week. The House met in a Joint Assembly with the Senate on Wednesday to hear Lt. Governor McConnell's address on the State's Aging population. The House debated and eventually passed H. 4501, the SUPERB bill (State Underground Petroleum Environmental Response Bank Act). On Thursday, the House met briefly to give final reading to various bills and to establish the calendar for the coming week. Debate was adjourned on H. 3994, the Read to Succeed Act, and will continue next week. The House will reconvene Tuesday at noon.

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

  • H. 3361 - Domestic Abuse/Domestic Pets
  • H. 3400 - DSS LAC Audits
  • H. 4408 - Child Fatality Advisory Committee
  • H. 4501 - State Underground Petroleum Environmental Response Bank Act
  • H. 4646 - Governor's School for Math and Science
  • H. 4670 - Expedited Mortgage Foreclosure
  • H. 4732 - Party Convention/Party Primary  

SENATE 

The Senate worked quickly through the Calendar this week, carrying over the majority of the uncontested bills. On Tuesday, the Senate adopted S. 1111, recognizing May as Mental Health Month. Following Lt. Governor McConnell's Aging address, the Senate moved steadily though the Calendar. The House concurred with Senate amendments to H. 4347, the SC Children's Advocacy Medical Response System Act, and S. 19, relating to Bond and the Authority of the Circuit Court to Revoke Bond under Certain Circumstances. The bills were enrolled for ratification. The Senate concurred with House amendments to S. 148, relating to consumer protection. Senator Peeler took the podium to speak on S. 516, the Read to Succeed bill, which is intended to address illiteracy issues in the State.

On Thursday, the Senate was in session for two hours working through the uncontested Calendar, before honoring USC coach Steve Spurrier with a resolution as the "winningest" coach in USC history. Prior to adjournment, the Senate convened in executive session to take up statewide appointments. The following appointments were confirmed in open session: 

  • SC State Board of Medical Examiners - Daniel F. Sadd
  • SC State Board of Examiners in Speech Pathology and Audiology - Kelly A. Long
  • SC State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners - Rebecca I. Shealy
  • SC State Athletic Commission - William Lee McCullough
  • SC State Ethics Commission - Julie S. Jeffords-Moose, Sherri A. Lydon, Twana N. Burris-Alcide, Francis E. Grimball, Thomas Miller Galardi 

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

  • S. 511 - Four percent assessment rate for certain ownership percentage
  • S. 940 - Education Capital Improvement sales and use tax
  • S. 997 - Speech Pathologists and Audiologists Practice Act
  • S. 1035 - Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment
  • S. 1070 - Provide DNR authority to promulgate regulations for hunting
  • H. 3592 - Energy Independence and Sustainable Construction Act - LEED Certification Rating System

The Governor's Office

Governor Nikki Haley and Democratic State Senator Vincent Sheheen each filed paperwork with the SC Election Commission on Tuesday, setting up a rematch for the governorship. Haley beat Sheheen by 4.5 percentage points in the 2010 election to become the State's first female governor.

Newly Introduced Legislation 

EDUCATION:

H. 4988 Thayer: RELATING TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE STATE BOARD FOR TECHNICAL AND COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION - Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

EMPLOYMENT/LABOR:

H. 4978 Robinson-Simpson: SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT NO JOB APPLICATION MAY INCLUDE QUESTIONS RELATED TO CONVICTIONS OF A CRIME - Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

HEALTH CARE:

S. 1164 Davis: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 1, OF THE 1976 CODE, BY ADDING ARTICLE 30, THE "ACA ANTI-COMMANDEERING ACT" - Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1171 Hayes: RELATING TO THE SMALL EMPLOYER HEALTH INSURANCE AVAILABILITY ACT - Referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance.

H. 4994 Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee: RELATING TO CRITICAL CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS SCREENING ON NEWBORNS - Placed on calendar without reference.

H. 4995 Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE BOARD OF NURSING - Placed on calendar without reference.

H. 4996 Brannon: SO AS TO REQUIRE ACCIDENT AND HEALTH INSURANCE POLICES AND HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS TO COVER CERTAIN AMINO ACID-BASED ELEMENTAL FORMULAS FOR THE TREATMENT OF CERTAIN DISEASES OR DISORDERS - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

H. 5002 Horne: RELATING TO REGULATION OF AND REPORTING BY BIRTH CENTERS - Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

Top News Articles of the Week    

Sales tax option moves to S.C. House
The Aiken County Board of Education's hopes for the authority to call for a penny sales tax referendum took a big turn for the better on Thursday.  Read more.

SC population grows to 4.8 million
South Carolina's population grew by almost 150,000 people from 2012 to 2013, largely because of people moving to the state.  Read more.

BMW plans major expansion announcement at SC plant
BMW officials are preparing to announce an expansion of its South Carolina plant. Read more.

Spurrier stops by the Senate, bright day for solar power and BMW's big announcement
The Carolina-Clemson rivalry takes no breaks -- especially in the State House. Gamecocks head coach Steve Spurrier's appearance in the state Senate chamber Thursday gave USC-educated lawmakers another chance to needle their Clemson counterparts about the five straight victories over the Tigers. The Senate gave Spurrier a resolution honoring his achievements at USC, including those five victories over a team in orange. Read more.

Forecast looks sunny for SC solar power bill
A solar energy bill that boosters say will expand South Carolina's use of sun power breezed through a Senate subcommittee Thursday, putting the legislation on a faster pace for approval. Read more.

DOT to study impact tolls could have on funding I-73
Tolls could help pay for the construction of Interstate 73 in South Carolina, depending on the results of a study the S.C. Transportation Commission is expected to approve during its next meeting.  Read more.

Attorneys granted extension in Bobby Harrell's request to remove Alan Wilson from grand jury investigation
A decision on whether the attorney general should be removed from a grand jury investigation against S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell will likely come later than expected.  Read more.

Glenn McConnell: SC must prepare for 'gray tsunami'
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell warned lawmakers Wednesday that a failure to prepare for South Carolina's oncoming "gray tsunami" will cause a budget crisis and human tragedies. Read more.

Economic giant BMW will reveal major expansion Friday
BMW has put $6.3 billion into manufacturing luxury cars in South Carolina's Upstate, and it has put close to 8,000 people to work in the state in the past two decades. Read more here: Read more.

SC Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell wary of working 2 jobs
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell weighed whether he could remain in office for several months while starting his new job as president of the College of Charleston, but he said Wednesday that he does not think he will try to work double duty.  Read more.

CofC board seeks approval to offer doctorates
In addition to selecting a new president Saturday evening, the board of trustees at the College of Charleston also discussed the proposed merger with the Medical University of South CarolinaRead more.

Rick Perry, Nikki Haley back Web gaming ban
Nikki Haley and Rick Perry are supporting Sen. Lindsey Graham's push to ban Internet gaming, according to letters sent by the GOP governors to Capitol Hill leaders and obtained by POLITICO. Read more.

ELECTION 2014 (updated): Who's filed for statewide, State House, Congressional offices
Who's filed for federal, statewide and State House seats, according to the S.C. Election Commission website. (This page will be updated throughout the filing period that ends noon March 30) Read more.

Panel advances bill that orders study at deadly Charleston intersection
An impassioned speech by a Charleston representative and a tearful plea by a mother Tuesday helped advance a bill that would order a study into building an overpass at Coming Street and the Crosstown. Read more.

Senators want SC schools to have option of sales tax for construction costs
The Senate Finance Committee advanced a bill Tuesday, sponsored by state Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, that would allow school districts in all of the state's 46 counties to ask voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax for building projects. Read more

Duke says it has no plans for SC coal ash ponds
Duke Energy coal ash ponds in Anderson and Darlington counties are being studied closely by the utility in the wake of a giant spill last month at a North Carolina plant that dumped millions of gallons of coal ash water into the Dan River, Duke officials are telling utility regulators. Read more.

Lawmakers once again consider texting while driving ban
South Carolina lawmakers are now considering legislation on something that's already banned in 41 other states: texting while driving. Read more.

CofC releases presidential finalist feedback
The College of Charleston community has mixed feelings about the selection of Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell as its next president. Read more.

Manufacturer Alliance exec: BMW at Greer 'fantastic economic engine'
If BMW executives Friday confirm reports about a planned expansion at Greer and a new X7 model, there will be widespread economic benefits, the president and CEO of the S.C. Manufacturers Alliance said. Read more.

Courson says he won't become lieutenant governor
Senate President Pro Tem John Courson will not relinquish his Senate seat to temporarily become lieutenant governor, he told The Associated Press on Monday. Read more.

BMW to make X7 model at Greer, media reports say
BMW will expand its plant at Greer to build a new model, the X7, according to reports today in the Wall Street Journal and a German business newspaper, Handelsblatt. Read more.

The SC Senate's next post-Obamacare battles
After efforts to block the federal Affordable Care Act in South Carolina imploded this week, state senators will focus on getting their favorite bills passed before the May 1 deadline to have them considered in the House. Read more.

Law needed to avoid election debacle
Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin warns another election in South Carolina could be thrown into chaos unless the Legislature passes a law dealing with the structure of county election offices. Read more.

McConnell to lead College of Charleston
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell has been selected as the next president of the College of Charleston, despite strong opposition from faculty members, some students and the local, state and national branches of the NAACP. Read more.

Jobless rate for S.C. veterans among lowest in U.S.South Carolina has posted the nation's sixth-lowest unemployment rate for military veterans 18 and older, according to S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce. Read more.   

Meetings and Events

Tuesday, April 1st

 5:00       Fundraising Reception for Representative Laurie Funderburk 

                First Citizens Cafe

Wednesday, April 2nd

 5:30       USC Legislative Reception for members, staff and guests 

               "The 7th Inning Stretch", Carolina Stadium

Thursday, April 3rd

 5:30       Fundraising Reception for Vincent Sheheen for Governor 

                Home of Nancy Kress, 900 Gregg St, Apt. 3-B, Columbia

 

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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