South Carolina Legislative Update - January 27, 2014

by Moore & Van Allen PLLC

Department of Administration

S. 22 – The South Carolina Government Restructuring Act of 2013 was approved by the conference committee and will be taken up by both chambers as soon as possible. The bill will eliminate the Budget and Control Board and create the Department of Administration, which will house many of the same functions as the Budget and Control Board and will be under the control of the governor.

Ethics Reform

The Ethics bill, H.3945 is currently being debated in the Senate and is aimed at strengthening the state’s current ethics laws governing elected officials and lobbyists. The measure calls for the reestablishment of the Ethics Commission, more income disclosure, reporting of pre-election political donations and the extension of regulation of lobbying to local governments.

Non-embryonic and Non-fetal Cell Therapy Act 

The House amended and adopted H. 3764, which establishes non-embryonic and non-fetal cell or tissues banks, and creates legal rights regarding their usage in South Carolina. Under this legislation a person may self-administer non-embryonic and non-fetal cells or have a medical practitioner administer them, as long as the medical practitioner is both licensed and authorized to do so.

State of the State Address

On Wednesday, Gov. Nikki Haley gave her State of the State Address.  Much of the address focused on putting her $177 million education plan into action.  Governor Haley also praised the Senate’s work on passing the government restructuring plan.  She stressed the need to continue to bolster South Carolina’s business climate to keep up with recent actions of neighboring states with regard to income tax cuts and increased infrastructure spending. Read Full Speech Here

Introductions of Note 

Below are a few of the bills filed this week in both chambers.  You may review all of this week’s introduced legislation by clicking here and here

S.951 – Manufacturing Property Tax

S.953 – Internal Revenue Code Revisions

S.959 – Constitutional Amendment-Mandatory Minimum Wage

S.960 – South Carolina Minimum Wage Act

S.970 – Surface Water Stewardship Act

H.4542 – Podiatrists Scope of Practice

H.4549 – Zero Based Budget Process

H.4553 – Revisions to Clean Indoor Air Act of 1990

H.4563 – Gas Tax Revisions

H.4565 – Immunity from Liability for Providing Free Health Care Services

In the News

SC restructuring bill passes despite some Senate drama

A bill to give South Carolina’s governor new powers starting next year won House and Senate approval Tuesday but not without a bit of last-minute drama. Read more here

SC, other early primary states to retain presidential order in new rules

South Carolina and three other states would retain their coveted spots atop the presidential primary calendar, according to new rules set to be approved by Republican leaders that could reshape the 2016 presidential election. Read more here

Legislator Liston Barfield to retire from South Carolina House after term ends

Longtime South Carolina Legislator Liston Barfield is retiring and locals are already looking to fill his shoes in Columbia.  Read more here

**** With the severe winter weather expected, the South Carolina General Assembly cancelled their sessions for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and will reconvene in regular session on February 4, 2014.****

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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