HOUSE

The House of Representatives spent the last two weeks working in committees and trying to get bills passed out of the House prior to the May 1st cross-over deadline. For a bill to be considered during this legislative session, it must pass out of one house of the legislature to the other by the deadline. 

The House Ways and Means Committee met Wednesday and adjourned debate on H.3010, the South Carolina Marketplace and Infrastructure Improvement Act. Representative Chip Huggins (R-Lexington) explained the bill and stated that it would call for remote sellers, or Internet sellers, to remit tax to the State. The Committee also gave a favorable as amended report to H.3250, a bill related to the State’s Certificate of Need (CON) Program.

On Thursday, the House met all morning and into the afternoon. Members worked through the calendar without much debate until they moved to H.3025, the Concealed Weapons Permit bill. After lengthy debate, members eventually gave the bill second reading (as amended) and finished the calendar. 

After receiving introductions and Committee Reports, the House adjourned for the week and will convene again Tuesday, April 28th at noon.

SENATE

In the Senate, most of the week was dedicated to committee work. The Senate Finance Committee adopted its version of the budget. In addition to the General Appropriations and Capital Reserve Fund bills, the Committee voted 16-5 to support a $237M bond bill for higher education and state guard construction projects. 

On Thursday, Senator Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) gave a budget update before adjournment— stating that the cleaned-up Appropriations bill should be posted on the website Sunday or Monday and printed by Wednesday. He said he also intends for the full Senate to begin work on the budget Monday, May 4th.

Also in the Senate, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously on S.47 to require law enforcement officers to wear body cameras. The bill now goes to the full Senate for deliberation. A similar bill is also moving through the House. 

Senator John Scott (D-Richland) introduced S.695 Tuesday regarding tuition in higher education institutions with enrollment of less than ten thousand students. The bill allows these schools to offer in-state tuition to residents of North Carolina and Georgia. The acceptance of these students would be limited to 25% of the entire student population.

Top News Articles

Volvo confirms plans to build U.S. manufacturing plant 

Volvo Cars has confirmed it plans to build a $500 million manufacturing facility in the United States. Read more.

Plan provides private-school choice for most SC students 

More than 70 percent of South Carolina’s 700,000 public-school students would qualify for the state’s private school-choice program if a state House-passed plan becomes law. Read more.

Prosecutors to soon have more investigative abilities in human trafficking cases 

Prosecutors will soon have more tools in the fight against human trafficking. Read more.

SC law similar to controversial Indiana law 

South Carolina’s Religious Freedom Act is a little-known law that is not substantially different from the new Indiana law, said Columbia attorney Malissa Burnette, who has worked on discrimination and civil rights cases. Read more.

Lawmakers divided over how to remove SC State board 

The current S.C. State University board continues to work as the S.C. House and Senate remain divided on how to replace trustees at the financially struggling school. Read more.

Haley says she can drive Volvo deal without Legislature 

As South Carolina leaders wait to see if Volvo chooses the Palmetto State to build a $500 million plant, Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday she does not need legislative help to pay for an incentives deal for the automaker. Read more.

House committee passes bill requiring meeting agendas 

A House committee approved a bill already passed by the Senate that would require local governments in South Carolina to provide an agenda to the public before their meetings.Read more.

Senate Judiciary Committee approves police body cameras 

A bill requiring body-worn cameras to be worn by law enforcement officers statewide is headed to the Senate floor after unanimous approval today by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Read more.

SC Senate may soon debate SC-NC state line bill 

South Carolina senators may soon debate a bill to clarify the state line with North Carolina more than 200 years after it was originally drawn. Read more.

Even with York County approval, Knowledge Park deal incomplete 

Even as Knowledge Park received a positive vote Monday night from the York County Council, questions remain about the future of the agreement. Read more.

Sonoco CEO Sanders calls for gas tax increase to fix poor SC roads 

The chief executive of Sonoco, the state’s largest home-based company, on Tuesday said the state’s poor roads will stall industrial recruitment and cause existing companies to expand elsewhere. Read more.

Study: MOX could cost $51 billion 

The first of two studies evaluating alternatives to the Savannah River Site’s MOX program estimates that the program will cost about $51 billion to complete, with estimated completion in 2044. Read more.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott calls for Senate hearing on police body cameras. 

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott is calling for a congressional public hearing on police officers wearing body cameras, following the shooting death of an unarmed black man in North Charleston earlier this month. Read more.

State could borrow up to $150 million for Volvo 

South Carolina could borrow from $125 million to $150 million to land Volvo, a state senator said Wednesday. Read more.

House panel approves bill giving veterans in-state tuition 

Members of the House Education Committee gave unanimous approval Wednesday to a measure giving military veterans in-state tuition at South Carolina state colleges and universities as soon as they become residents. Read more.

House passes cybersecurity bill after companies suffer data breaches 

Responding to a series of computer security breaches in government and the private sector, the House of Representatives passed an expansive measure Wednesday that would push companies to share access to their computer networks and records with federal investigators. Read more.

Senate panel OKs borrowing $236 million for colleges, tech schools 

A panel of state senators Wednesday approved borrowing $236.7 million for building projects, mostly at S.C. colleges and technical schools. Read more.

DHEC mulls director choice 

The board that oversees the state Department of Health and Environmental Control started zeroing in Thursday on its new choice for agency director. Read more.

Commerce head sought $125 million for jobs deal 

The S.C. Commerce Department recently requested roughly $125 million in state borrowing for economic-development incentives, a powerful legislator said Thursday. Read more.

Senators start work on justices' education funding ruling 

A Senate panel began discussions Thursday on how to respond to the state Supreme Court's order five months ago that legislators fix South Carolina's broken education system.Read more.

Meetings and Events

Tuesday, April 28th 

5:30      Reception for Brad Hutto and Thomas McElveen 
             McNair Law Firm, 1221 Main Street

Newly Introduced Legislation

H. 4045 Rutherford: A HOUSE RESOLUTION TO WISH FORMER COLUMBIA MAYOR BOB COBLE A SPEEDY RECOVERY FROM HIS RECENT HEALTH CHALLENGES.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT/TAXATION:

S. 683 O'Dell: RELATING TO VARIOUS LOCAL SALES AND USE TAXES 

H. 4036 Willis: SO AS TO PROVIDE A FIVE THOUSAND DOLLAR TAX CREDIT FOR THE IN-STATE PURCHASE OR LEASE OF A NEW QUALIFIED HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLE OR NEW QUALIFIED BATTERY ELECTRIC VEHICLE

EDUCATION: 

S. 695 Scott: SO AS TO GRANT A STATE INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION WITH AN UNDERGRADUATE ENROLLMENT OF LESS THAN TEN THOUSAND STUDENTS THE AUTHORITY TO OFFER IN-STATE TUITION RATES TO BORDERING STATE RESIDENTS 

H. 4051 Alexander: RELATING TO THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR OFFICERS, SO AS TO EXEMPT A PERSON APPOINTED OR ELECTED TO SERVE ON THE GOVERNING BODY OF A PUBLIC COLLEGE OR PUBLIC UNIVERSITY IN THIS STATE

EMPLOYMENT: 

H. 3951 Putnam: SO AS TO ENACT THE "PROHIBITION AGAINST EMPLOYER INTIMIDATION ACT" 
S. 674 Martin: RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA WORKERS' COMPENSATION ACT

ENVIRONMENTAL: 

H. 4043 Loftis:SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA COMMERCIAL-PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY ACT"

HEALTHCARE:

H. 4003 Horne: SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE THERAPEUTIC USE OF CANNABIS BY CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS AND FOR CERTAIN DISEASES AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS 

H. 4004 Horne: SO AS TO ALLOW THE MEDICAL USE OF LOW-THC CANNABIS BY CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS WITH CERTAIN MEDICAL CONDITIONS 

S. 672 Davis: TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM ACT" 

S. 690 Alexander: TO DESIGNATE THE MONTH OF MAY 2015 AS "MENTAL HEALTH MONTH" 

H. 4037 Horne: TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM ACT"

JUDICIAL: 

S. 678 Martin: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE INTENT OF THE SENATE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY INTENDED THAT S.C. CODE ANN. Section 39-5-20(b) (1985) REQUIRES THAT THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION ACT DEFINITION OF "UNFAIR" BE CHARGED TO THE JURY ON THE MEANING OF "UNFAIR" IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES ACT.

TRANSPORTATION: 

H. 3579 Simrill: SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCE REFORM AND TAX RELIEF ACT"