Weekly Update from the State House - April 2014: The Senate joined the House in a Joint Assembly to elect Board members for several colleges/universities and state agencies...

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
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The Google Policy Fellowship is now accepting applications for the 2014 fellowship in North America and Latin America.   It offers undergraduate, graduate, and law students interested in Internet and technology policy the opportunity to spend the summer contributing to the public dialogue on these issues, and exploring future academic and professional interests. Deadline is April 14, 2014.  Read more.

Details from Each Chamber

HOUSE  

The House worked through the Calendar this week, in preparation of an upcoming two-week furlough. The Speaker told members on Thursday to prepare for long hours in the Chamber next week. Committees will meet Tuesday afternoon, but the House will be in session for the majority of Wednesday and Thursday. When the House returns from the two week furlough on April 29th, they will work to get legislation passed to the Senate before the crossover deadline on May 1st.

On Wednesday, a Joint Assembly was held to elect Board members for several colleges/universities and state agencies.

The following bills of interest passed the House this week:  

  • S. 137 Ignition Interlock
  • S. 842 Veteran's Unclaimed Cremated Remains
  • H. 4371 Patent Infringements
  • H. 4803 Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Treatment Research Act
  • H. 4994 Critical Congenital Heart Defects Screening
  • H. 4995 Nursing Board Code of Ethics (D. No. 4447)  

The House will reconvene Tuesday at noon. 

SENATE   

The Senate worked through the Calendar this week, joining the House in a Joint Assembly on Wednesday to elect Board members for several colleges/universities and state agencies. On Tuesday, the Senate took action on a few bills and carried over the majority of the uncontested bills. Debate was held on S.516, the SC Read to Succeed Act.

Following the Joint Assembly Wednesday, the Senate worked through the Calendar carrying over numerous bills. Several bills were reported out of committee and placed on the Calendar. Debate continued on the Read to Succeed bill.

On Thursday, some frustrations were expressed in the Senate, with a number of critical issues left to address and a fast-approaching legislative deadline. Senator Hayes stated that he will not support any bills for special order status until Common Core is addressed. He feels that texting, transportation funding and other issues are important, but Common Core should be a priority. Senator Hutto remarked that transportation funding, Common Core, coastal permits, wave dissipation, and elections are all important issues. He urged members to work in teams to work through issues, rather than going through the special order process.

The following Statewide Appointments were made:

Donate Life South Carolina - Debra A. Yasenka
John De La Howe School Board of Trustees - Thomas R. Love and Daniel B. Shonka
South Carolina Board of Real Estate Appraisers - Christopher E. Barczarichk
South Carolina Foster Care Review Board - Charles Frank Koches
South Carolina State Housing Finance, and Development Authority - Charles E. Gardner

Bills of interests that were passed in the Senate include: 

  • H. 3919 - Exit exam requirement to graduage high school
  • S. 900 - Expungement of records
  • S. 1008 - Administrative law judges included in SC Retirement system 

The Senate will reconvene Tuesday at noon.

Newly Introduced Legislation 

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/TAX:

S. 1200 Coleman: RELATING TO TAX CREDITS FOR MAKING QUALIFIED REHABILITATION EXPENDITURES FOR CERTIFIED HISTORIC STRUCTURES - Referred to the Committee on Finance.

H. 5035 Newton: RELATING TO THE CLASSES OF PROPERTY AND ASSESSMENT INTEREST APPLICABLE TO THESE CLASSES FOR PURPOSES OF THE IMPOSITION OF PROPERTY TAX - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H. 5036 Bedingfield: RELATING TO THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE COORDINATING COUNCIL FOR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, SO AS TO ADD THE CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE COMMISSION OF FORESTRY. - Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

EDUCATION:

S. 1197 Alexander: RELATING TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE STATE BOARD FOR TECHNICAL AND COMPREHENSIVE EDUCATION TO APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE CERTAIN POST-SECONDARY VOCATIONAL, TECHNICAL, AND OCCUPATIONAL DIPLOMA AND ASSOCIATE DEGREE PROGRAMS - Referred to the Committee on Education.

ENERGY:

S. 1189 Gregory: SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A SOUTH CAROLINA DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCE PROGRAM - Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

ENVIRONMENTAL:

S. 1198 Medical Affairs Committee: RELATING TO WATER POLLUTION CONTROL PERMITS - Read the first time and ordered placed on the Calendar without reference.

H. 5052 Vick: RELATING TO PERMITS REQUIRED FOR COASTAL ZONE CRITICAL AREAS - Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs.

HEALTH CARE:

H. 5026 Neal: SO AS TO ENACT THE "HEALTH ENTERPRISE ZONE ACT" - Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

JUDICIAL:

H. 5039 Anderson: RELATING TO THE PROTECTION OF VULNERABLE ADULTS FROM ABUSE, NEGLECT, OR EXPLOITATION - Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

REAL ESTATE:

H. 5028  R. L. Brown: RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF "ELIGIBLE COST" FOR PURPOSES OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE BANK - Referred to Committee on Judiciary. 

Top News Articles of the Week      

Conservatives: No immigration riders in defense billA subset of House conservatives is circulating a "Dear Colleague" letter urging Republican leaders not to include a proposal in the defense authorization bill that would grant legal status to young undocumented immigrants in the military. Read more.

Emma's Law bill could be finalized by next week
Emma's Law could be passed by the S.C. Senate and be on its way to the governor for her signature as early as next week, supporters said Thursday. Read more.

S.C. ranked 9th lowest for tax rates
South Carolina residents have the 9th lowest state-local tax burden in the country, according to a report released today from the Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax policy think tank in Washington.  Read more.

Emma's Law DUI bill passes overwhelmingly in SC House
Emma's Law passed the S.C. House overwhelmingly Wednesday - in an unexpectedly lopsided 112 to 0 vote - after a year-long battle to get through that chamber. Read more.

Cyber security inconsistent at SC agencies
A year and a half after hackers stole data from millions of South Carolina taxpayers, the state doesn't know how many agencies are following its cyber security policies or how many data breaches have occurred. Read more.

MOX facility in S.C. now a national concern, congressman says
Putting South Carolina's MOX facility on cold standby is an example of the Energy Department's inability to complete major infrastructure projects, according to the congressman whose subcommittee oversees the department's budget.  Read more.

U.S. Commerce chief pitches foreign investment, overseas exports
U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker hailed BMW's plans to invest $1 billion and add the X7 sports activity vehicle to its U.S. plant's lineup as further proof of a renaissance in American manufacturing. Read more.

Business owners step out in support of Emma's Law (with Q&A)
As Emma's Law - a bill that is the first significant effort in years to curb the state's soaring drunken driving deaths - moved toward a state House floor showdown Wednesday, signs and bumper stickers were everywhere. Read more.

Charleston area defense firm UEC Electronics sold for more than $32.2 million
One of the Charleston region's largest woman-owned businesses has been sold to a larger Michigan company in a deal valued at more than $32 million.  Read more.

SC House: Sex-ed classes should be medically accurate, not just focusing on abstinence (+survey)
SC school students should get medically accurate information about sex and health, a state House committee decided Tuesday.  Read more.

Women-owned businesses growing exploding in SC
More South Carolina women are opting to be their own bosses. Read more.

Bill seeks to exempt military retirement pay from S.C. income tax
The S.C. legislature is considering a bill that would exempt military retirement pay from the state income tax and help recruit a ready-made workforce for Palmetto State employers.  Read more.

SC House moves to create Capitol Police Force
Legislation that would create an entirely new police force to guard the Statehouse is now in the South Carolina Senate after clearing the House last week.  Read more.

18 months after breach, SC agencies still have no consistent security plan
Nearly 18 months after hackers stole financial information belonging to 6.4 million S.C. taxpayers and businesses, state agencies still have no consistent plan for securing data, officials told a state Senate hearing Tuesday.   Read more.

SC districts about party, in this case the GOP
The decade-long Republican control of South Carolina government has resulted in congressional districts increasingly safe for the GOP and has marginalized conservative white Democrats who for decades ran the state where the Civil War began. Read more.

Despite resistance from hundreds, College of Charleston leaders stand by hiring of Glenn McConnell
Despite mounting opposition from students, faculty and other critics, College of Charleston leaders Friday stuck by their decision to hire Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell as the school's next president. Read more.

At inauguration, Winthrop president promises to put university 'on the rise'
Winthrop University has been "called to rise" and needs to put new energy toward marketing itself, increasing affordability for students and building its philanthropic base, President Jamie Comstock said on Friday during her inaugural address. Read more.

Another Democrat enters U.S. Senate race vs Lindsey Graham
Another Democrat has entered the race challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. Read more.

Gov. Nikki Haley among SC candidates facing election primaries + complete filings list
Gov. Nikki Haley along with U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson and Jim Clyburn will have to get through primary election challengers to win a chance at re-election after filing ended Sunday. Read more.

A lesson in subtraction House budget plan slams colleges, tech schools
A deeper look into the 2014-15 budget package the House sent over to the Senate this month reveals an even bigger distrust of higher education than in years past.  Read more.

S.C.'s jobless rate decrease best in nation
South Carolina led the nation in recording the largest one-month drop in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, knocking off nearly a percentage point and falling to 5.7% in February. Read more.

Meetings and Events

Tuesday, April 8th

5:30       Fundraising Reception for Representative Ralph Kennedy 

               1215 Hampton Street

Wednesday, April 9th

5:30       Fundraising Reception for Representative Mike Forrester 

               1215 Hampton Street

Thursday, April 10th

5:30       Reception, SC House Democratic Caucus, Representative Todd Rutherford

               and special guest Governor Richard Riley

               The Commerce Club, 55 Beatie Place, Greenville

Friday, April 11, 2014

11:30    SC Legislative Black Caucus Corporate Roundtable Business Luncheon 

               Doubletree, 2100 Bush River Road, 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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