What's New

The House of Representatives and Senate spent this week trying to get through their calendars before the end of the legislative session. The General Assembly only has six legislative days remaining this year.

Last week, S.47, the Body Camera bill was amended and passed by the House of Representatives and returned to the Senate with changes. The Senate amended the bill back to their original version. The House can either concur or nonconcur on the Senate changes. If House members nonconcur, a conference committee will be appointed to debate the differences.

A conference committee met this week to discuss the differences in the House and Senate versions of S.11, a bill that requires an agenda for all regularly scheduled meetings of a public entity.

The House intended to spend the week debating, S.3, the Criminal Domestic Violence bill. However, on Wednesday, they quickly amended the bill to the House’s version and passed it out on Thursday. The bill goes back to the Senate to determine whether or not they concur or nonconcur with the House action. It is likely that a conference committee will be created to debate the differences.

Other House bills of interests include:

• H. 3909 – Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act 
• H. 4084 – Charter Schools 
• S. 133 – Automatic Expungement of Juvenile Records 
• S. 268 – State Grand Juries 
• S. 590 – Ignition Interlock 
• S. 304 – Contracts to Buy Power

The Senate spent the week debating the H. 3114, a bill limiting certain abortions and H. 3702, the Capital Reserve Fund bill. After debate on amendments, the bill was given second reading as amended. The bill remains in the status of Special Order.

As for H.3702, intense debate was held on Amendment 5-A, which would transfer funds for higher education and other projects to transportation funding. After hours of debate and no progress, Senator Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) moved for the Senate to adjourn and told members to be prepared for late nights next week to finish work on the Capital Reserve Fund bill. He reminded them that there are six legislative days left and the House hasn’t taken up the budget yet and are waiting on the Capital Reserve Fund bill. Additionally, the Senate still needs to debate, H. 3579, the roads funding bill.

The CON regulation (Doc. No. 4538), which includes raising the capital threshold to $50 million and the equipment threshold to $10 million, was taken up by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee on Thursday. The Committee voted 11 to 3 to report favorably a joint resolution to disapprove the regulation to the Senate. Medical Affairs Committee Chairman Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee) announced that the CON bill, H. 3250, had been assigned to a subcommittee which would meet on the bill next week.

Top News Articles

SC edges closer to passing domestic-violence reform 

The General Assembly is close to passing a bill this year that would toughen South Carolina’s domestic-violence laws, including a lifetime ban on possessing guns for some convicted batterers. Read more.

Charleston's growth: Columbia could lose spot as top SC city 

Rapid growth in Charleston means that Columbia is in danger of losing its place as the largest city in South Carolina, according to U.S. Census Bureau numbers released Thursday. Read more.

House committee chair: cell tax bill dead for this year 

A bill that would levy a tax on cell phone users for a landline fund is dead for the year. Read more.

Senate debates paying for roads through new revenue 

Senate debate over how to fund the state’s crumbling roads moved into the night Wednesday as a Beaufort senator held the podium to argue his plan to pay for repairs out of projected revenue growth and not increasing taxes or fees. Read more.

Meetings and Events

Tuesday, May 26: 

5:00      Reception for Representatives Chris Hart, Leon Howard and Joe McEachern 
             Kiminsky's, 930 Gervais Street 

Wednesday, May 27: 

5:30      Reception for Senator Gerald Malloy 
             Nexsen Pruet Law Firm, 1230 Main Street

5:30      Reception for Speaker Jay Lucas 
             The Palmetto Club, 1231 Sumter Street

Newly Introduced Legislation

HEALTHCARE: 

S. 786 Senator Hutto: TO ENACT THE "PALMETTO COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH CARE ACT"