Weekly Update from the SC State House - May 2014: The House addressed the Ethics Reform bill while the Senate worked through the SC Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC

Details from Each Chamber  


The House worked through the Calendar this week, giving third readings to many noncontroversial bills. On Wednesday, the House adjourned debate on all bills on their calendar until they reached H. 3945 - Ethics Reform - to address its mounting amendments. Debate continued for several hours Thursday, and the bill was eventually returned to the Senate with amendments.

The Speaker informed the House they will work long hours Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and devote much of the final week to goodbye speeches.

The House will reconvene Tuesday at noon. 

The following bills of interest passed the House this week:


The Senate worked steadily through the Calendar this week and received a number of Statewide Appointments from the Governor. Tuesday, upon the motion of Senator Peeler, H. 4223, SC Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, was set for Special Order.

Wednesday, numerous bills were reported out of committee and placed on the Calendar. The House concurred with H. 3893, Statewide Education Standards.

On Thursday, several Statewide Appointments were received from the Governor and referred to committees. The Ethics Reform bill was returned from the House with Senate amendments amended and Senator Martin stated that he will ask the body to non-concur with the House amendments when the Senate convenes next week.

The Senate will reconvene Tuesday at noon. 

The following bills of interest passed the Senate this week:

  • H. 4871 Charter Schools
  • H. 4922 Hiring Preferences for Veterans
  • H. 3134 Satisfaction of Mortgages
  • H. 4916 Notice requirements for long term care insurance

Top News Articles of the Week      

Embattled SC agency director promises to monitor workers' caseloads
The head of the state Department of Social Services said Wednesday that she personally will monitor the caseloads of social workers with that agency. Read more.

Changes to Bull Street, Babcock coming by 2016
The Bull Street development will look much different by April 2016 as minor league baseball, new office space and a conference center in the old Babcock building are projected to open.  Read more.

Concern over treatment of vets at medical facilities has led to calls for an investigation.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is asking the U.S. Senate to investigate the Department of Veterans Affairs' treatment of military veterans seeking health care. Read more

House votes to OK solar; energy supporters call vote historic
South Carolina took what is considered a historic step Wednesday to change the state's longtime resistance to solar power. Read more

SC House passes latest version of ethics reform
The latest version of an ethics reform bill passed by the South Carolina House on Wednesday would create an independent commission to investigate complaints against all publicly elected officials and judges. Read more.

S.C. economic advisers increase revenue by $86M
South Carolina's economic advisers have increased their revenue projections by nearly $86 million. Read more.

Greenville Health System expanding
Greenville Health System is about to embark on a $40 million project to develop "comprehensive, multi-specialty ambulatory care centers" in Anderson and Spartanburg counties.  Read more.

SC law criminalizes lying about military service
A new South Carolina law makes it a crime for someone to falsely claim military service for personal profit. Read more.

USC Upstate students plan to protest closing of center, chancellor responds
As USC Upstate students prepared to protest last week's closing of the Center for Women's and Gender Studies Center on campus, Chancellor Tom Moore announced Tuesday that administrators are exploring ways to create a new center. Read more.

New federal water bill good news for both SC ports
The multimillion-dollar deepening of Charleston Harbor as well projects at smaller ports like Georgetown will be helped by a federal water resources bill that is next up for a vote in the Senate, U.S. Rep. Tom Rice said Tuesday. Read more.

S.C. Supreme Court set to hear Harrell case, Attorney General Alan Wilson asks for reversal
The South Carolina Supreme Court set a date Tuesday to hear the ethics-related case against House Speaker Bobby Harrell, as the state's attorney general released documents that blasted a lower court decision and asked the state's highest court to reverse it. Read more.

60 years later, Brown decision still resonates in SC
The U.S. Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation in public schools resonated across South Carolina on May 17, 1954, with a volatile mix of alarm, cautious optimism and outright defiance. Read more.

More SC residents finding work
Strengthening job growth across a number of industries is propelling South Carolina's economy forward and helping lower the state's unemployment rate, which has dropped sharply in the past year, economists said.  Read more.

South Carolina committee rejects InfiLaw purchase of Charleston School of Law
The sale of the Charleston School of Law to a private, Florida-based company should be stopped, as the company's lower academic standards and lawsuits against it provide concerns about the company's health and the direction it would take the school, a majority of members on a state higher education panel said Monday.  Read more.

Haley signs law deleting some hotel taxes
South Carolina travelers will no longer pay extra taxes for spa treatments, salon services and other conveniences that can be tacked onto hotel bills. Read more.

Meetings and Events

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

1:00       Fundraising luncheon for Representative Kirkman Finlay
                Palmetto Club

5:30      SC Senate Democratic Caucus Spring Reception
               McCutchen House and Garden

               Fundraising Reception for Representative Gagnon 
                215 Hampton Street

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5:30      Fundraising Reception for Representative Joe Neal 
               The Inn at USC

               Fundraising Reception for Representative Anne Parks 
                McNair Law Firm

Thursday, May 29, 2014

5:30         Fundraising Reception for SC Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers 
                  Home of Susie and Heyward King, Lake City



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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