The House of Representatives and Senate spent most of the week working long hours to pass bills before the May 1st crossover deadline.
The Senate Finance Committee approved an amended version of H.3579, the House transportation and infrastructure bill. The Senate amendment strikes the language of the bill and replaces it with the language from a previously filed Senate bill. Senators tried to give the bill special order status to require full debate next week, but it failed to receive the requisite votes to proceed. Without this status, it makes it difficult to pass the bill in the waning days of this legislative year.
The Senate passed S.47, a bill that requires law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. The bill is now being considered in the House.
The Senate also prepared to start the budget on the week of May 4th. Senators will start at 1:30pm on Monday and continue to deliberate on the State budget until it is passed. Much of the debate will center on a $237M bond bill for higher education and state guard infrastructure projects.
The House passed a number of bills over the use of the week. Bills of interests include:
- H.3062, Sales Tax and Use Exemptions
- H.3149, Property Taxes
- H.3250, Certificate of Need, New and Emerging Tech
- H.3313, Roll Back Tax
- H.3568, Sales Tax Exemptions, 501 (C) (3)
- H.3682, Patent Trolling/Infringement
- H.3725, SC Abandoned Buildings (as amended)
- H.3874, Income Tax Credits, Renewable Energy
- H.3979, Judicial Merit Selection Com
- H.3997, Body Worn Cameras
- S.391, In-State Tuition Military
The House spent considerable time this week debating the CON bill, H. 3250. On Wednesday, Representatives adopted the following three amendments: (1) the Ways and Means Committee amendment which, among other things, contains the “expand in place” exception to CON and a “grandfather” clause; (2) an amendment by Representative Murrell Smith to clarify the definition of “affected person;” and (3) an amendment also by Representative Smith to change the repeal date for the CON law from January 1, 2020, to January 2018 (adopted 72 to 23). The House then voted to give the bill second reading by a vote of 103 to 1. The House gave the bill a perfunctory third reading on Thursday and sent it to the Senate.
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Newly Introduced Legislation
H. 4108 Rivers: SO AS TO CREATE THE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING AND MATHEMATICS (STEM) PATHWAY RESOURCE NETWORK TO FACILITATE THE PROVISION OF STEM EDUCATION THROUGHOUT THE STATE
H. 4105 Neal: SO AS TO ESTABLISH A DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
S. 718 Corbin: RELATING TO THE JUDICIAL MERIT SELECTION COMMISSION