South Carolina Legislative Update - February 7, 2014

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC

This Wednesday the General Assembly met in joint session to elect the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court, Chief Judge of the Administrative Law Court, several circuit court and family court judges, other boards and commissions.   The results are below.

South Carolina Supreme Court, Chief Justice   
The Honorable Jean Toal 

Circuit Court                                                              
The Honorable Alison Lee
The Honorable Thomas Russo
The Honorable Larry Hyman

Family Court
The Honorable Michael Holt
The Honorable Coreen Khoury
The Honorable Thomas Sprott, Jr.
The Honorable Jocelyn Cate
The Honorable Tarita Dunbar
The Honorable Melissa Emery
The Honorable Ronald Norton
The Honorable Thomas White, IV                                                            

Administrative Law Court, Chief Judge
The Honorable Ralph King Anderson, III          

Francis Marion University Board of Trustees
The Honorable Mary Finklea  

South Carolina State University Board of Trustees
The Honorable Carlotta Redish

Old Exchange Building Commission                    
The Honorable Connolly Dittrich
The Honorable Laura LeGrand

Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax

S. 940 was approved, as amended, by the Senate Finance Committee this week and amended on the floor before debate was delayed due to a 24-hour point-of-order.  The legislation authorizes counties, without regard to the collection requirements for state accommodations taxes, to impose the tax as long as the total tax does not exceed three percent total sales tax.

Electronic Waste Recycling

H. 3847 was amended on the House floor this week and returned to the Senate for concurrence or nonconcurrence.  The House amendment was technical in nature and incorporated several date changes and changed the program year from fiscal to calendar.

Clean Energy Market Advisory Council

The House approved H. 3644 this week and the legislation was referred to Senate Finance Committee.  The legislation  establishes the Clean Energy Industry Market Development Advisory Council, redesignates “renewable energy” tax credits as “clean energy” tax credits, and expands ethanol and biodiesel credits to all liquid fuels derived from renewable resources.

In Committee

Educational Tax Credit for Exceptional Needs Children

S. 867 was given a favorable report as amended by the Senate Finance Special Subcommittee.   S. 867 clarifies last year’s appropriations bill regarding income tax credits for contributions to a nonprofit scholarship funding organization for exceptional needs children.

Appropriations Bill

The House Ways and Means Committee’s appropriations subcommittees are finalizing their specific agency budget numbers and the Proviso Subcommittee is scheduled to meet next week.

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services provided its agency budget for this coming year – to view the presentation, click here.  The agency ended FY2013 with a $345 million surplus.

LEED Standard for State Major Facility Projects

The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Subcommittee heard testimony this week from opponents and proponents of H. 3592.  The subcommittee requested the interested parties to work on a solution to their concerns over the next 30 days.  The bill, as introduced, proposed to remove LEED standards from state building projects, but was amended in the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee last year to keep LEED standards as of January 1, 2013, and prevents newer versions from being implemented automatically.

In the News

Lukewarm support for increase in gas tax

A growing number of South Carolina Republican lawmakers say the state needs to increase its gas tax to pay for roads.  Read more here.

Lee Atwater’s widow to run for South Carolina Education Chief

Sally Atwater, widow of legendary South Carolina GOP political operative Lee Atwater, announced she is running for superintendent of education.  Read more here. 

Raising the Minimum Wage

Increasing the minimum wage for workers is a hot-button topic this year, with mounting talks of action by policymakers in Columbia and Washington, D.C.  Read more here.  

Meeting Schedule

Monday, February 10

  • 1:00 pm -- Blatt Room 433 -- Education Oversight Committee
I. Proposed Science Academic Standards

II. FY2014-15 Budget Recommendations

III. P-20 Reading Initiative

IV. Communications Plan Update

Tuesday, February 11

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- Joint Bond Review Committee
  • 11:15 am -- Blatt Room 521 -- Ways and Means Proviso Subcommittee
  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Judiciary Committee

I. Regulation 4313- Child Support Guidelines

II. S.505- Public Integrity Unit

III. S.560- Railroad or Electric Railway

IV. S.561- Nonferrous Metals

V. S.150- No Parole Offenses

VI. S.115- Constitutional Carry Act

VII. H.3563- Self Service Storage Facility

VIII. H.3367- Charitable Funds Act

  • 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm- SC Senate Democratic Caucus Reception, Palmetto Club, 2nd Floor Ballroom

Wednesday, February 12

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.916

I. S.916- Trespasser Responsibility Act

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- General Committee on S.764 and S.842

I.  S.764- Vulnerable Adult Guardian Ad Litem Program

II.  S.842- Veteran's unclaimed cremated remains

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 406 -- LCI Regulatory Subcommittee

III. Regulation #4316- Employer-Employee Relationship

IV. Regulation #4378- State Fire Marshal Rules and Regulations

V.  Regulation #4379- Requirements of Licensure in Real Estate Appraisal

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 307 -- Finance Natural Resources and Economic Development Subcommittee Budget Hearing

I. Department of Natural Resources

II. SC State PSA

III. Department of Insurance

IV. Patriot’s Point Development Authority

V. State Housing Authority

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.4259

I. H.4259- Military Service Integrity and Preservation Act

  • 11:00 am-- Blatt Room 108-- Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee

I. Department of Social Services

II. Provisos 

  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.811 and S.866

I. S.811- County Boards of Registration and Election

II. S.866- County Election Commissions and Board of Voter Registration

  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Banking and Insurance Subcommittee on S.908, S.909 and S.1007

I. S.908- Risk Based Capital

II. S.909- Captive Insurance Companies

III. S.1007- Expediting Mortgage Foreclosures on Abandoned Properties

  • 1:00 pm -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.3369

I. H.3369- Workers Compensation

Thursday, February 13

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

Friday, February 14

  • 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm- SEWE Fundraising Reception for SC Commissioner of Agriculture- Hugh Weathers, Nelson Mullins, Liberty Center Suite 600, 151 Meeting Street, Charleston


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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