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South Carolina Legislative Report - July 20, 2012

July 16 - July 20, 2012

On the Floor 

Budget
This week the General Assembly convened to consider gubernatorial vetoes on the annual appropriations bill, H. 4813 and the Capital Reserve Fund, H 4814. Governor Haley issued 74 line-item vetoes to the state budget and 7 line-item vetoes in the Capital Reserve Fund.  Ultimately the General Assembly voted to sustain 33 of the 81 vetoes, cutting roughly $6.1 million from the budget.  Below are vetoes of interest that were dealt with by the General Assembly:

Certificate of Need
For the second year in a row the General Assembly overrode Governor Haley’s veto of funding for the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Certificate of Need program that grants licenses for certain healthcare facilities and equipment based on community need.  Haley’s veto message stated, “I believe in the virtues of free markets and open competition, and for that reason, I am vetoing the Certificate of Need program as I did last year. Bureaucracy should not be telling us which community has or does not have sufficient need for a hospital or a particular piece of complex medical equipment.”

Notes: Veto 6

Part IA, Page 87; Section 22, Department of Health and Environmental Control, II. Programs and Services, F. Health Care Standards, 2. Facility and Service Development

Total Facility & Service Development: $727,189 Total Funds; $411,317 General Funds

House overrides veto, 106-6

Senate overrides veto, 36-5

National Mortgage Settlement
Governor Haley vetoed the use of money from the national mortgage settlement for the Department of Commerce’s business closing fund.  The issue of how to properly spend that money was contentious as the Senate initially voted to sustain the veto before reconsidering the vote and ultimately voting to override.  The House had voted to override the veto the day before.

Notes: Veto 67

Part IB, Page 470; Section 90, Statewide Revenue, Proviso 90.19

House overrides veto, 75-34

Senate overrides veto, 28-13

Jasper Ocean Terminal (JOT)
Two vetoes of provisos dealing with the proposed Jasper Port were sustained by the Senate on Wednesday.  In her veto message, Governor Haley noted, “These two provisos will jeopardize the Joint Project Office's efforts to move the JOT development forward, as they give the Savannah River Maritime Commission the authority to undermine the efforts of the JPO and put the project in jeopardy of default.” One of the Jasper Port’s biggest proponent’s Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) agreed with the Governor’s assessment and the Senate voted to sustain her vetoes. The House previously voted to override the vetoes.

Notes: Vetoes 73 & 74

Part IB, Page 402; Section 69, State Ports Authority, Proviso 69.4

House overrides veto, 110-0

Senate sustains veto, 11-25

Part IB, Page 402; Section 69, State Ports Authority, Proviso 69.5

House overrides veto, 110-1

Senate sustains veto, 7-29

 

In the News 

Treasurer calls for Retirement Chief to Step Aside, SLED Investigates

On Thursday, State Treasurer Curtis Loftis called on the state’s Retirement Investment System Chief to step aside amid allegations the he improperly benefitted by steering business toward companies that he worked for.  SLED confirmed that it is looking into allegations against Reynolds Williams, who is the Chairman of the South Carolina Investment Commission and is in charge of the $25 billion retirement fund.  He has denied the charges and is refusing to step down.

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