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South Carolina Legislative Report - January 18, 2013

January 18, 2013

 

On the Floor

State of the State Address

On Wednesday evening, Governor Nikki Haley delivered her third State of the State address to the General Assembly. The governor touched on a number of topics ranging from her signature issues of job creation, economic development and government restructuring to reform initiatives dealing with funding of public education, ethics laws and the state’s prison system. The governor also called for investment in the state’s infrastructure, tax cuts and the creation of a task force consisting of business leaders to make recommendations on regulations that should be eliminated. During the speech, Haley also addressed the hacking scandal at the Department of Revenue, saying that the state should have done more to protect taxpayers. She also stated that she would never accept the federal Medicaid expansions outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

Judicial Elections

The General Assembly will vote on judicial candidates on January 30, 2013. This year there are 39 judicial seats up for election with 11 of those being contested.

Senate Advances Ballot Fix

This week the Senate gave second reading to S. 2, the “Equal Access to the Ballot Act.” The bill proposes to fix inconsistencies in current law that resulted in over 200 candidates being removed from the ballot last election cycle. The Senate is expected to give final approval next week. The legislation requires all candidates for office to file the same paperwork by the same deadlines. The Senate is still considering whether to remove political parties from the filing process and to require candidates to file with their respective county election offices. 

Introduction of Notable Legislation

H. 3319 - High Growth Small Business Job Creation Act (see also, S. 262)

H. 3355 – Prohibits DHHS from accepting Medicaid expansion.

 

In Committee 

Ways & Means Committee

This week the House Ways & Means Committee heard testimony from Health and Human Services Committee Director, Tony Keck.  Director Keck stated that through the current fiscal year, the Medicaid agency was coming in under budget through the implementation of various cost saving measures.  Additionally, Keck noted that the agency increased enrollment of an additional 78,000 people (62,000 children). Keck was questioned on the decision by the Governor to refuse the federal Medicaid expansion and the additional dollars that would come with the new requirements.  Keck reiterated his position that the state should wait to consider accepting any expansion for a couple for years to observe implementation in other states.

Healthcare Subcommittee

The House Ways & Means healthcare subcommittee heard budget testimony from Department of Health and Environmental Control Director, Catherine Templeton. Templeton is asking for approximately $4 million to satisfy its mandates to oversee Public Health as well as regulation of air, water and waste permitting. The Director also unveiled DHEC’s efforts to streamline business-permitting processes through online registrations.

Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

H. 3096 was reported out of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. The legislation prohibits a state health exchange as provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. 

Public Utility Review Committee

The Public Utility Review Committee met this week to consider rules governing conduct of commissioners and candidates for the Public Service Commission.  The Committee determined that commissioners and candidates for the commission could not attend political or caucus events.

 

In The News

SC Democrats Push for Expanding Medicaid

As S.C. House budget writers prepare to debate the state’s Medicaid budget this week, House Democrats made their first push to expand the joint federal and state health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act.

The federal government wants to give South Carolina $11.2 billion to allow more people to enroll in Medicaid, the government-run health insurance program for the poor and disabled. The expansion is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

State to Cut Hospital Payments to Some, Give to Others

Beginning in October, South Carolina will take money from urban hospitals and give it to the rural hospitals.

“We’ve long known that rural hospitals face challenges that larger hospitals don’t, and now, for the first time ever, the state of South Carolina is going to treat them that way,” Gov. Nikki Haley said during her State of the State address Wednesday. “... (S)tarting next year, we plan to fully reimburse rural hospitals for their uncompensated care.”

First District Congressional Race

Filing for candidates for the special election in the first congressional district opened today.  Those who have formally announced and filed for candidacy are:

Republican

  • Former Governor Mark Sanford
  • State Senator Larry Grooms (Berkeley)
  • Ted Turner
  • Former State Senator John Kuhn
  • Representative Andy Patrick (Beaufort)
  • Representative Chip Limehouse (Charleston)
  • Former Dorchester Co. Sheriff Ray Nash

Democrat

  • Businessman Martin Skelly
  • Sister of comedian Stephen Colbert Elizabeth Colbert-Busch
  • Former congressional candidate Bobbie Rose

The timeline for the special election is:

Filing ends at noon on Jan. 28.

March 19 - Primary Election Day.

April 2 - Run-off from primary.

May 7 - General Election Day.

 

Meetings 

Monday, January 21st   

State Office Closed

Tuesday, January 22nd              

  • 10:00am – Room 501, Blatt – House Ways and Means Transportation and Regulatory Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

II.        Department of Employment and Workforce

III.       Human Affairs Commission

  • 10:30am – Room 516, Blatt – House Judiciary Special Laws Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          H.3163 Freedom of Information Act

  • 10:30am – Room 511, Blatt - House Ways and Means Legislative, Executive and Local Government Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Office of State Treasurer

11:00am – Room 207, Gressette – Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Appointments to the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission

**Agenda**

I.          Appointment At Large Seat – Mrs. Aisha K. Taylor

1 hour after the House adjourns – Room 321, Blatt – House Ways and Means Higher Education, Technical, and Cultural Budget Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Francis Marion University

II.        State Museum

III.       Arts Commission

  • 2:00pm – Room 433, Blatt – House Education and Public Works Higher Education Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          H.3086 In-State tuition rates for military personnel

II.        H.3016 Cooperative Dual Credit High School Program

1½ hours after the House adjourns – Room 523, Blatt – House Ways and Means Economic Development and Natural Resources Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Department of Revenue

II.        SC Small Business Development Centers

1½ hours after the House adjourns – Room 521, Blatt – House Ways and Means Public Education and Special Schools Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Will Lou Gray Opportunity School

II.        John de la Howe

  • 2:30pm – Room 511, Blatt – House Ways and Means Legislative, Executive and Local Government Subcommittee

**Agenda**           

I.          SC Retirement Investment Commission

II.        Public Employee Benefit Authority

III.       Local Government Entities

  • 2:30pm – Room 410, Blatt – House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee

**Agenda**

I.          Adoption of the proposed Committee Rules

II.        H.3290 Business Freedom to Choose Act

  • 2:30pm – Room 305, Blatt – House Ways and Means Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Attorney General

  • 2:30pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns (whichever is later) – Room 516, Blatt – House Judiciary Committee

**Agenda**

I.          Criminal Laws Subcommittee

a.        H.3247 Circuit Solicitors

II.        Election and Ethics Laws Subcommittee

a.        H.3298 Election Commission and Board of Registration

III.       Special Laws Subcommittee

a.        H.3021 Iran Divestment Act of 2013

  • 2:30pm – Room 209, Gressette – Senate Finance Subcommittee on Sales and Income Taxation

**Agenda** TBD

3:00pm – Room 105, Gressette – Senate Judiciary Committee

**Agenda**

I.          S. 22 Restructuring Act of 2013

  • 4:30pm – Room 427, Blatt – Legislative Black Caucus

Wednesday, January 23rd

  • 9:00am – Room 105, Gressette – Joint Bond Review Committee

**Agenda**

I.          State Budget Division, Permanent Improvement Projects

II.        Meeting Schedule

  • 9:00am – Room 511, Blatt – House Ways and Means Legislative, Executive and Local Government Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Lt. Governor’s Office

II.        Budget &  Control Board

  • 10:00am – Room 433, Blatt – House Education and Public Works Committee

**Agenda**

I.          H.3123 Department of Transportation

  • 10:00am – Room 501, Blatt – House Ways and Means Transportation and Regulatory Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Board of Financial Institutions

II.        State Accident Fund

III.       Department of Transportation

IV.       State Infrastructure Bank

  • 10:00am – Room 521, Blatt – House Ways and Means Public Education and Special Schools Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          SC School for the Deaf and Blind

II.        Members of the Public

III.       Other Entities

  • 10:00am – Room 321, Blatt – House Ways and Means Higher Education, Technical, and Cultural Budget Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          The Citadel

II.        SC State

III.       University Center of Greenville

  • 10:00am – Room 305, Blatt – House Ways and Means Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          State Law Enforcement Division

II.        The Department of Natural Resources

  • 10:00am – Room 427, Blatt – House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Subcommittee IV, Other Occupational Regulation and Licensing Boards

**Agenda**

I.          R.4237 Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation panel for Dietetics

  • 10:00am – Room 108, Blatt – House Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          Department of Mental Health

  • 10:00am – Room 307, Gressette – Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Subcommittee

            **Agenda**

I.          S.0196  Crow Hunters

II.        S.0223 Self-defense

III.       S.0244 Belle W. Baruch Foundation

IV.       R.4297 Seasons, limits, methods of take and special use restrictions on wildlife management areas

V.        R.4290 Seasons, limits, methods of take and special use restrictions on wildlife management areas

10:00am – Room 209, Gressette – Senate Education K-12 Education Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          S.0010 Sale or lease of school property

II.        R.4294 State Board of Education – Defined program, Grades 9-12

III.       R.4261 State Board of Education – Graduation requirements (Adult Education)

IV.       R.4285 State Board of Education – Transfer and withdrawals

  • 11:00am – Room 516, Blatt – House Judiciary Election and Ethics Laws Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          H.3197 State Elections Commission

  • 11:00am – Room 403, Blatt – House Labor, Commerce and Industry Regulations Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          R.4283 Workers’ Compensation Commission - Oral Argument

II.        R.4286 Workers’ Compensation Commission - Mediation

  • 11:000am – Room 427, Blatt – House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Subcommittee V

**Agenda**

I.          H.3011Designation of Purple Heart Day in SC

  • 11:00am – Room 523, Blatt – House Ways and Means Economic Development and Natural Resources Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          SC State PSA

II.        Sea Grant Consortium

III.       SC Research Authority

  • 11:00am – Room 318, Blatt – Legislative Group/Rep. Allison
  • 11:00am – Room 308, Gressette – Senate Banking and Insurance Committee

**Agenda**

I.          Appointment – Mr. Ray Farmer, Director, Dept. of Insurance

  • 1:00pm – Room 516, Blatt – house Judiciary Family and Probate Laws Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          H.3102 Jaidon’s Law

II.        H.3024 Child Abuse or Neglect

  • 1:00pm – Room 515A, Blatt – House Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          H.3191 Motor Vehicle/Motorcycle Terms

Thursday, January 24th

  • 9:00am – Room 516, Blatt – House Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee

**Agenda**

I.          H.3340 Joint Resolution – Shorten Session

II.        H.3187 Judicial Merit Selection Commission

Friday, January 25th

No meetings scheduled

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For more information or to be added to our distribution list, please feel free to contact a member of our South Carolina Legislative team.