What's New

The House and Senate again spent most of their week doing committee work and only had short perfunctory sessions. Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) stated that because of the committee work, there will be numerous bills on the House Calendar to address, and asked members to be prepared to stay late if necessary beginning next week.  The House and Senate will convene at noon on Tuesday, January 27th. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed S.1, the Ethics Reform Act of 2015, which will be on the Senate floor for debate beginning next week. The Committee also debated and voted on S.3, a Domestic Violence Bill. The House Judiciary Committee is still working on their version of the Ethics bill. One fairly controversial bill was filed by Representative Samuel Rivers (R-Berkeley), H.3337, which would prohibit cities and towns from charging business license fees. Representative Rick Quinn (R-Lexington) has also indicated that he plans to introduce a bill that would change how business license are calculated.

Governor's Office

Governor Nikki Haley gave her annual State of the State address on Wednesday. The most talked about aspect of the speech was her infrastructure funding plan. She proposed raising the state’s gasoline tax by 10 cents over three years to be used solely for infrastructure improvements in exchange for a complete restructuring of the South Carolina Department of Transportation and a 2% reduction of the state’s income tax.

The Governor used her address to promote South Carolina’s anti-union reputation by attacking efforts by the International Association of Machinists union to unionize Boeing’s South Carolina facility. Visit the new website.

Additionally, the Governor hammered legislators for failing to pass ethics reform; talked about her new workforce training program, Succeed; and her efforts the attract teachers to teach in rural schools across the state.

To reach more about the Governor’s speech, see here and here. Also, the text of the Governor’s speech and the Democratic Response can be read here and here.

Meetings and Events

January 27, 2015 

6:00     Reception, SC House Republican Caucus Business Roundtable – City Art Gallery 6:00     Legislative Reception, by SC Engineers and Architects Association – Palmetto Club  7:00     Legislative Reception, by SC Telecommunication Association – Columbia Museum of Art  7:00     Legislative Reception, by Institute of Child Success – Palmetto Club

January 28, 2015 

8:00     Legislative Breakfast, by SC Catholic Conference – Blatt 112  Noon   Legislative Luncheon, by SC Baptist Convention - Blatt 112  6:00     Legislative Luncheon, by Lexington County Night – Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center

January 29, 2015 

8:00     Legislative Breakfast, by SC Governor’s School – Blatt 112

Newly Introduced Legislation

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:

 H. 3359 SO AS TO ALLOW A STATE TAX CREDIT FOR EMPLOYERS HIRING AN UNEMPLOYED INDIVIDUAL RECEIVING UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BENEFITS

H. 3398 Simrill: RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDITS

S. 337 O'Dell: ENACTING THE "SOUTH CAROLINA NEW MARKET JOBS ACT"

S. 339 Lourie: SO AS TO ENACT "HOPE'S LAW" SO AS TO REQUIRE MAMMOGRAM PROVIDERS TO PROVIDE A MAMMOGRAM REPORT TO PATIENTS ABOUT BREAST DENSITY

S. 341 Kimpson: SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT EVERY HOSPITAL IN THIS STATE SHALL PROVIDE THE PARENTS OF EACH NEWBORN BABY DELIVERED IN THE HOSPITAL CERTAIN EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION ON RENAL MEDULLARY CARCINOMA AND THE DEBILITATING EFFECT OF THIS RARE KIDNEY CANCER ASSOCIATED WITH THE SICKLE CELL TRAIT Newly

EDUCATION:

H. 3373 Rivers: SO AS TO ENACT THE "MANUFACTURING CAREER PATHWAY ACT OF 2015"

EMPLOYMENT:

H. 3397 M. S. McLeod: SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA EARNED PAID SICK LEAVE ACT" BY ADDING CHAPTER 47 TO TITLE 41 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES SHALL ACCRUE EARNED PAID AND EARNED UNPAID SICK LEAVE

GOVERNMENT:

H. 3337 Rivers: SO AS TO REQUIRE A COUNTY THAT IMPOSES A LICENSE TAX MUST REMIT ANY COLLECTIONS FROM A BUSINESS LICENSE TAX COLLECTED FROM A BUSINESS LOCATED INSIDE THE CORPORATE LIMITS OF A MUNICIPALITY TO THE MUNICIPALITY IN WHICH THE BUSINESS IS LOCATED

S. 343 Grooms: RELATING TO THE GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE SHERIFF

HEALTHCARE:

H. 3348 Spires: RELATING TO IN-STATE FACILITIES DEALING WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUGS IN A CERTAIN CAPACITY

S. 357 Cleary: SO AS TO BE ENTITLED "IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY FOR PROVIDING FREE HEALTH CARE SERVICES"

H. 3349 Spires: RELATING TO DEFINITIONS IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA PHARMACY PRACTICE ACT

TRANSPORATION:

H. 3365 Hart: SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A PERSON TO OPERATE A MOTOR VEHICLE WHILE USING A CELLULAR TELEPHONE, PAGER, PERSONAL DIGITAL ASSISTANT DEVICE, OR ANOTHER WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE THAT IS NOT EQUIPPED WITH A HANDS-FREE MECHANISM