It was a short but busy week in the Senate as members worked through numerous bills remaining on the Senate calendar. The Senate gave third reading on Thursday to H. 5009, relating to the “Textiles Communities Revitalization Income Tax Credit.” This legislation, by Representative Derham Cole (R-Spartanburg), removes the 50% cap on the income tax credit. To be eligible for the tax credit, the property owner or developer must not have owned the site before it was abandoned nor have previously received a textile mill credit. The Senate also gave second reading to H. 4932 by Representative Rita Allison (R-Spartanburg). This legislation makes revisions to the specifications and limitations for vehicles and trailers operated along the State’s highways. New provisions are included in the bill to allow motor vehicles fueled primarily by natural gas to exceed weight limitations by specified amounts. The bill will be eligible for third reading when the Senate returns on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, the Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee met on a number of bills of interest. The Subcommittee reported favorably on H. 5193, by Representative Chip Huggins (R-Lexington), that would require the Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Pharmacy to issue a joint written protocol to authorize pharmacists to dispense a drug to reverse the effects of an opioid related drug overdose. The Subcommittee also reported favorably on H. 4327 by Representative Murrell Smith (D-Sumter) relating to hospice programs. This legislation allows for the expansion of service areas for outpatient hospice programs.H. 3952, by Representative Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville), would legalize emergency or involuntary commitments for persons who are likely to injure themselves or would become gravely disabled if not for immediate hospitalization. After a brief discussion, the bill received a favorable report as amended. The full Medical Affairs Committee will take up the three bills at their next meeting on Thursday, May 19th.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held a lengthy meeting and reported on the following bills:
H. 3450 (Bannister) At-Rest Legislation for Alcoholic Beverages: Favorable Report (Minority Report);
H. 4701 (Pitts) Second Amendment Preservation Act: Favorable Report (Minority Report);
S. 1052 (Alexander) SLED Fingerprinting: Favorable Report;
H. 4492 (Putnam) Notice of Child Abuse and Neglect Hearings: Favorable Report as Amended;
H. 4262 (Erickson) Training for Family Childcare Home Operators: Favorable Report as Amended;
H. 4546 (Putnam) Definitions Used in the Children’s Code: Favorable Report as Amended; and
H. 4413 (H.A. Crawford) Infant Safe Havens: Favorable Report as Amended.
The Senate Labor Commerce and Industry Regulatory and Local Government Subcommittee on S. 1062 heard testimony this week from interested parties regarding the legislation. S. 1062, by Senator Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley) provides that existing industrial facilities shall not be eligible for nuisance suits. After receiving testimony, the Subcommittee moved to carry the bill over.
The Senate Higher Education Subcommittee also convened this week to take up H. 4145 by Representative Brian White (R-Anderson). This comprehensive legislation would establish the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development within the Department of Commerce. Along with establishing the Council, the bill also seeks to provide centralized oversight and comprehensive planning for the numerous job training initiatives housed in various State agencies as way of maximizing the benefits of these programs. Representatives from the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, SC Technical Colleges, and the Department of Commerce all provided testimony regarding ways to improve the legislation. Subcommittee Chairman Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington) stated that he plans to bring a large amendment before the full Education Committee next week with several changes in an attempt to simplify the bill. After a brief debate, the bill received a favorable report as amended.
Bills passed by the Senate this week include:
S. 923 – provides that a person who tortures, mutilates, injures, disables, poisons, or kills a police dog or horse may be fined up to thirty thousand dollars and may be imprisoned for up to ten years;
S. 1212 – adds a new voting precinct in Spartanburg County;
S. 1243 – allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue “Chase Away Childhood Cancer” special license plates;
H. 3193 – revises the manner in which campaign contributions are attributed to a primary election and to a primary election runoff by providing that, if there is a primary runoff, a contribution made after the date of the primary and through the date of the primary runoff is attributed to the primary runoff;
H. 3343 – addresses methods of euthanasia in animal shelters;
H. 3685 – brings South Carolina into compliance with federal electronic ticketing provisions;
H. 3710 – extends the multiple lot real property tax discount that has been provided to property developers;
H. 3848 – requires the State Board of Education and Education Oversight Committee to incorporate instruction on the founding principles that shaped the United States into the required study of the United States Constitution and the South Carolina Social Studies Standards upon the next cyclical review;
H. 3927 – provides authority for the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue special organizational souvenir license plates;
H. 4705 – relates to the designation of voting precincts in Lancaster County;
H. 4743 – declares Lake Conestee Nature Park in Greenville County as a wildlife sanctuary;
H. 4786 – approves regulations relating to local emergency preparedness standards;
H. 4940 – outlines the duties of the Office of Transformation within the State Department of Education;
H. 5009 – makes revisions to the “Textiles Communities Revitalization Income Tax Credit;”
H. 5066 – requires candidates seeking election to the Beaufort County Board of Education to submit a statement of candidacy rather than submitting a signed petition; and
H. 5218 – declares May of each year in South Carolina as “Water Safety Awareness Month.”
The Senate will reconvene Tuesday at noon.
The House of Representatives observed their third and final week of furlough this year and did not meet in statewide session. The House will reconvene Tuesday at noon.
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Meetings and Events
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 House Republican Caucus Business Roundtable Reception
City Art, 1224 Lincoln Street
5:30 – 7:00 Reception for Scott Talley for Senate
6:30 Senate Republican Caucus Spring Reception
Columbia Fireflies, Spirit Communications Park, Bull Street
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
5:30 – 7:00 Reception for Senator Michael Fair
5:30 – 7:00 Reception for Senators Nicholson and Reese
Inn at USC
Newly Introduced Legislation
S. 1297 (Sheheen) RELATING TO PER DIEM PAYMENTS FOR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF THE CHESTERFIELD COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT - Placed on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.
S. 1296 (Sheheen): TO PROVIDE THE KERSHAW COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE SHALL BE COMPRISED OF SEVEN MEMBERS - Placed on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.