What's New

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.

Top News Articles

Senate panel swaps road bills, tables tax cut 

The Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday replaced a House roads-funding plan with a Senate funding plan and defeated a proposal to include Gov. Nikki Haley's tax cut. Read more.

State has capacity to borrow up to $120 million to attract Volvo 

The S.C. Department of Commerce has the option of using economic development bonds to borrow close to the amount needed to lure Volvo to build a $500 million auto plant that could employ up to 4,000 in Berkeley County, state officials said. Read more.

Senate gives initial OK to body cameras, but cost, privacy remain concerns 

The Senate gave initial approval Tuesday to a bill requiring South Carolina cops to wear body cameras, which have become a rallying cry after the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer who is accused of murder. Read more.

CHS secures first nonstop, coast-to-coast flight 

Charleston International Airport secures its first nonstop, coast-to-coast flight with Alaska Airlines’ plans to offer service between Seattle and Charleston. Read more.

NEWS: State’s Southern counties win Promise Zone designation 

By Andy Brack | The Obama Administration today announced six rural counties in the southern tip of South Carolina won a new federal Promise Zone designation in a program to give pervasively poor places a better chance at getting federal grants and other help. Read more.

Bill requiring body cameras for cops gets final Senate approval 

A bill requiring police officers to wear body cameras got final approval from the Senate on Wednesday, heading to the House just weeks after a North Charleston cop was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott. Read more.

SC abortion bill could sink roads deal 

Senate Republicans hope to pass a bill banning abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy before lawmakers break for their summer recess – adding South Carolina to a growing list of states moving to pass abortion restrictions. Read more.

Filming cops, independent shooting investigations affirmed by Senate panel 

Attempting to restore trust in law enforcement after the fatal shooting of Walter Scott by a North Charleston police officer, a state Senate panel on Thursday affirmed the right to record police activity in public and called for independent investigations of police shootings. Read more.

Roads plan crumbling in SC Senate 

Republican state senators refused Thursday to guarantee a proposal to repair the state’s crumbling roads will be debated this year. Read more.

Unanimous support to rename federal courthouse for Judge J. Waties Waring 

The federal courthouse in Charleston is likely to be renamed for pioneering U.S. District Judge J. Waties Waring, whose landmark rulings helped reverse segregation in the state.Read more.

Newly Introduced Legislation

EDUCATION: 

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

ENVIRONMENTAL: 

H. 4105 Neal: SO AS TO ESTABLISH A DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

JUDICIAL: 

S. 718 Corbin: RELATING TO THE JUDICIAL MERIT SELECTION COMMISSION