Weekly Update from the SC State House - June 2014: The House confirmed a Statewide Appointment to the TEC Board and the Senate worked through the final week of the legislative Calendar...

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
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Details from Each Chamber

HOUSE

The House entered the final week of the legislative session with a number of things left on the Calendar. Wednesday, after confirming a Statewide Appointment to the TEC Board, the House concurred on the conference report for S. 459, a statewide texting while driving ban. The majority of the morning was spent on the budget. Chairman White explained several amendments to Senate amendments that reduced several items and FTE's in various state agencies, added funds to the State employee pay plan to bring them to 2%, and transferred $2.5 million to the Technical Colleges' Critical Needs Workforce Development Initiative.

After lengthy debate, the House failed to adopt 4 additional amendments offered on Certificate of Need. The House also honored several retiring members.

On Thursday, the House worked through the morning and afternoon, concurring in Senate amendments and adopting conference reports. Among those adopted was H. 3945, the Ethics Reform Bill. This would require public officials and candidates to disclose their sources of private income, ban political action committees tied to lawmakers, and narrow the amount of time before an election that campaign contributions can go unreported.

The House adjourned Sine Die at 5:00 PM and will return at noon on June 17th to consider vetoes, conference reports, appropriations bills, appointments, local legislation and free conference reports, per the Sine Die resolution.

The following bills of interest passed the House this week:

  • H. 3361 Domestic Abuse/Pets
  • S. 535 Clemson Enterprise Act
  • S. 459 Texting (conference report adopted)
  • S. 809 Capital Projects Sales Tax Referendum
  • S. 897 Solicitors Office Retirees/State Health Plan
  • S. 3945 Ethics Reform (adopted conference report)
  • H. 3102 Jaidon's Law
  • H. 3124 DSS Oversight Investigation
  • H. 4560 Expungement of Criminal Records
  • S. 516 Read to Succeed Act

SENATE
 

The Senate worked through the final week of the legislative Calendar, moving bills over to the House and referring a number of bills to conference committees.

Wednesday, the Senate concurred with House amendments to H.4701, the General Appropriations Bill, and H.4702, the Capital Reserve Fund. The bills were enrolled from ratification. Senator Courson announced his resignation as President Pro Tempore of the Senate. He asked that Lt. Governor McConnell remain in office until the legislature adjourned. Numerous statewide appointments were confirmed following executive session.

On Thursday, the Senate spent a large chunk of their day discussing the conference report on H.3945, Ethics Reform, with Sen. Bright holding the floor. Sen. Hayes asked to carry over the bill with the understanding that a vote can be taken when the Senate reconvenes on June 17th. By the end of the afternoon, numerous bills were referred to conference committees. Any bills that were not referred to a conference committee or included in the Sine Die resolution were not adopted and expired in their pending positions. If you would like a complete list of the conference committees, please let us know.

The Senate adjourned at 5:00 pursuant to the Sine Die resolution and will reconvene at noon on June 17th. At that time, the General Assembly will consider conference reports, vetoes, appropriations bills, local legislation, and anything related to Sine Die.

The following bills of interest passed the Senate this week:

  • H. 4701 General Appropriations Bill (concurred with House amendments)
  • H. 4702 Capital Reserve Fund (concurred with House amendments)
  • S. 459 Ban on Texting (conference report adopted)
  • S. 516 Read to Succeed (concurred with House amendments)
  • H. 3644 Clean energy industry market development
  • H. 4061 Comprehensive Health Education Act
  • H. 3459 SC Board of Accountancy
  • S. 985 Fairness in Lodging

Top News Articles of the Week      

Nephron plant now open for business
A sign hanging over the front door of Nephron Pharmaceuticals' facility in Saxe Gotha Industrial Park quoted the longtime hit tune, "Nothing could be finer than to be in Carolina." Read more.

New laws grow craft breweries, allow CBD oil
Epileptic patients will be allowed to use oil derived from marijuana, South Carolina's craft brewery business will be nurtured and barbecue will become the state's official picnic food, under bills that became law in the legislature's final days. Read more.

Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell delays resignation
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell said Thursday that he will stay in office until all bills from the current legislative session are ratified. Read more.

Democrat considers becoming SC's interim lieutenant governor 
State Sen. Yancey McGill said Thursday that he may run for a Senate leadership post that could make the Williamsburg Democrat the state's interim lieutenant governor. Read more.

South Carolina Senate postpones ethics bill
Time ran out in the final day of regular session at South Carolina's General Assembly before the Senate could vote to update the state's 1991 Ethics Act. Read more.

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, electric co-op leaders blast EPA carbon limits
Gov. Nikki Haley and officials from South Carolina's electric cooperatives Wednesday blasted a proposed federal mandate to reduce carbon emissions, saying it would stifle economic growth and cause power rates to soar in the state. Read more.

Courson resigns as Senate leader to avoid lt. gov. role; McConnell delays resignation
Sen. John Courson, the president pro tempore or leader of the Senate, resigned his position Wednesday from the Senate floor, saying he does not want to give up his longtime seat to become lieutenant governor. Read more.

Poll: Graham may avoid runoff
Sen. Lindsey Graham is with a point of avoiding a runoff in next week's Republican primary, according to a Clemson University poll out Wednesday morning. Read more.

Budget deal includes 2% pay hike for SC state workers, 4K expansion
State employees will get a 2 percent pay raise, 4-year-old kindergarten will expand and local governments will get more state money as part of a $7 billion budget deal that the S.C. House and state Senate passed Wednesday. Read more.

General Assembly passes ban on texting while driving
South Carolina joined the majority of the nation on Wednesday when the General Assembly passed a ban on texting while driving. Read more.

Courson resigns SC Senate leadership post in spat with Lt. Gov. McConnell
Faced with the possibility of losing the seat he has held for 30 years representing part of Richland County, Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson took the unusual step Wednesday of resigning his Senate leadership position. Read more.

SC lawmakers agree on ethics reform but 'most important part ... not getting done'
After nearly two years of wrangling, S.C. lawmakers are poised to reform the state's ethics laws. But missing from the proposal - lauded by supporters as the state's most significant ethics reform in two decades - is a change that ethics watchdogs said was the most needed of all. Read more.

SC legislators pass bill banning powdered alcohol
The Legislature voted on Tuesday to ban powdered alcohol in South Carolina. Read more.

S.C. Governor Nikki Haley and challenger Vincent Sheheen differ on income tax reform
A day after Gov. Nikki Haley renewed her call to eliminate South Carolina's income tax, her Democratic challenger's campaign said it was little more than an election year gimmick because she doesn't specify how the money would be replaced. Read more.

Corporate boards in S.C. lack gender diversity
Nearly half of the publicly traded companies headquartered in South Carolina do not have any women on their boards of directors. Read more.

High court won't review Certificate of Need ruling
South Carolina's highest court has said that it won't revisit its ruling on a program regulating the building or expansion of medical facilities. Read more.

SC Supreme Court tells AG Wilson it doesn't want to see House Speaker Harrell documents
The S.C. Supreme Court has told Attorney General Alan Wilson it does not want to see several state grand jury-related documents now under seal that Wilson says would show his investigation of House Speaker Bobby Harrell does, in fact, involve potentially criminal matters. Read more.

Military-friendly bills facing different futures in Legislature
Two bills designed to burnish South Carolina's reputation as a military-friendly state appear headed in different directions this week as the 120th regular legislative session of the General Assembly nears adjournment.  Read more.

Gov. Haley: Eliminate state income tax
Haley's suggestion goes far beyond a budget proposal that she made in January to eliminate the 6 percent bracket in South Carolina's income tax.Read more.

Gas going down in SC
South Carolina, June 2- Average retail gasoline prices in South Carolina have fallen 1.9 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.42/g Sunday, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 3,028 gas outlets in South Carolina. This compares with the national average that has increased 1.2 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.64/g, according to gasoline price website GasBuddy.comRead more.

McConnell stepping down Thursday, says state must have a Lt. Gov. (update)
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell will resign Thursday, and he does not think his job should remain vacant long, the state's No. 2 politician told The State on Monday. Read more.

 

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