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South Carolina Legislative Report - February 15, 2013

February 15, 2013

 

On the Floor

Department of Insurance

Ray Farmer was confirmed by the Senate as Governor Haley’s nomination to lead the Department of Insurance. The position has been vacant for over 10 months.  A number of Senators expressed concern over Mr. Farmer’s prior experience as an industry representative and the rising cost of insurance rates, particularly along the coast.

House on Furlough

The House of Representatives will return to normal session next week after a week of scheduled furlough. Both chambers will meet in Columbia as usual on Tuesday at noon.

State of the Judiciary

Chief Justice Jean Toal will provide the State of the Judiciary to a joint session of the General Assembly on February 20.

Introduction of Notable Legislation

S. 377  - The Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act of 2013

S. 387 - Clarification of the job training tax credit and utility tax credit

 

In Committee

Board of Economic Advisors

The Board of Economic Advisors  (BEA) revised its budget estimates on Friday. The BEA is adding $163 million to its estimates. $117 million in nonrecurring and $46 million recurring funds. In addition, the board claimed that the state has added 30,000 jobs. Governor Haley has come out in favor of using the additional revenue for investing in the state’s infrastructure. The Governor held a press conference a day before the BEA meeting and called for an increased investment in roads and bridges.   

Ways & Mean Proviso Subcommittee

A Ways & Means Proviso Subcommittee met this week to review and approve recommended budget provisos this week. The full Ways and Means Committee is scheduled to begin budget deliberations next week. The full House is scheduled to debate the budget the week of March 12.

Public Utilities Review Committee

The State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee’s Public Service Commission Screening Subcommittee screened candidates for the seats designated for the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th Congressional earlier this week. The State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee will meet on March 19 to consider the subcommittee findings and the committee report will be issued and printed in the journal on April 11.  The election is tentatively scheduled for May 1.

Affordable Care Act Hearing

The Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee on the Affordable Care Act continued hearings this week and heard from Dr. Tom Kendall (Academy of Physicians and Surgeons); Dr. Kashyap Patel (South Carolina Oncologist Association); Dr. Coy Irvin (McLeod Hospital); and Dr. March Seabrook (Gastroenterologist).  The subcommittee will meet again on February 28 and SCHHS Director Tony Keck will appear before the subcommittee again on March 7. 

Business Freedom to Choose Act

A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee gave a favorable report to H. 3290, known commonly as “flow control.”  The legislation deals with solid waste programs and county authority. The bill provides that ordinances that restrict solid waste disposal at a permitted facility or impedes the development of recycling programs are inconsistent with current state statute.

Department of Administration

A Senate Finance subcommittee passed S. 22, the Department of Administration legislation this week. As part of a deal among Senators, the legislation will have a full committee hearing on February 19 before returning to the floor. The legislation effectively eliminates the Budget & Control Board in favor of a new department under the purview of the Governor.

 

In The News

DEW Director Abraham Turner turns in resignation

The director of South Carolina's unemployment agency has resigned, effective March 1. Department of Employment and Workforce Director Abraham Turner turned in a hand-written resignation letter to the governor Friday.

Preventative care could lure state workers into Obamacare

House lawmakers are considering making the state health plan comply with Obamacare, a move that would cost the state up to $124 million but also would pay for a host of preventative measures — like breast-cancer screenings — for the first time.

SC governor joins in urging reconsideration of offshore drilling

The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are pushing President Barack Obama’s choice for interior secretary to abandon federal opposition to drilling off the Atlantic Coast, where production has been blocked for decades.

AG Asks for Criminal Investigation of House Speaker Bobby Harrell

South Carolina's attorney general has forwarded a complaint against House Speaker Bobby Harrell to state law enforcement.

Attorney General Alan Wilson on Thursday received a complaint from the president of the South Carolina Policy Council alleging Harrell violated state ethics laws. He forwarded the complaint to State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel for review.

 

Meetings

Tuesday, February 19

  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 521 -- Full Ways and Means Committee
  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 516 -- House Judiciary Special Laws Subcommittee
  • 2:30 pm or upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Insurance Subcommittee
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Public Utilities Subcommittee
  • 2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Committee
  • 2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 427 -- Full Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee
  • Upon adjournment of the Full 3-M Committee -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee V, Social Services, Mental Health and Children's Affairs
  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Judiciary Committee

Wednesday, February 20

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Judiciary Subcommittee
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- House L.C.I. Regulations Subcommittee
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee II, Medical Occupational Regulation and Licensing Boards
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Election and Ethics Laws Subcommittee
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Fish, Game and Forestry Committee
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Medical Affairs Subcommittee
  • 10:00 am – Gressette Room 307 – Senate Transportation Subcommittee
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- Banking and Insurance Subcommittee
  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 408 -- Medical Affairs Subcommittee

Thursday, February 21 

  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 317 -- Committee to Study Certain Issues Affecting Veterans
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Corrections and Penology Committee
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 515-A -- Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 516 -- House Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee
  • 9:30 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Medical Affairs Committee
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- L.C.I. Professions and Occupations Subcommittee
  • Upon adjournment of the Senate -- Gressette Room 105 -- Judiciary Subcommittee

Friday, February 22 

  • 10:00 am-- Gressette Room 207 -- State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee Energy Advisory Council Working Group
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