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South Carolina Legislative Report - March 15, 2013

March 15, 2013

 

On the Floor

House Budget Debate

This week the House of Representatives passed its version of the state’s 2013-1014 annual budget (H. 3710) and the $113 million Capital Reserve Fund (H. 3711).  The 22.7 billion budget  ($6.8 billion in general fund monies) adds roughly $85 million in spending for uninsured and underinsured citizens, and provides several incentives for hospitals and other providers to produce better outcomes as an alternative state-based Medicaid expansion plan. The decision to reject federal Medicaid expansion provided for under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was the primary point of contention during the debate.

The House version of the budget also includes $100 million for work on the state’s roads and bridges, overall increases for public safety agencies and an increase in education spending to maintain current per-pupil levels.  The budget moves now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Early Voting

The Senate gave second reading this week to S. 4, a bill that would establish procedure for a 7-day early voting period that would end 3 days before Election Day. The measure calls for each county to maintain at least one early voting center except for before the state’s presidential preference primary.

Superintendent of Education

The Senate failed to give final approval to S. 53 this week, which would authorize a constitutional amendment changing the Superintendent of Education from an elected position to one appointed by the Governor. The measure needed 31 votes, or a 2/3 majority, for passage but fell just short.  Supporters of the restructuring measure plan to reconsider the vote at a later date in an effort to revive the legislation.

Introduction of Notable Legislation

S. 531 – Unemployment Insurance Revisions

S. 525 – Clean Energy Industry Manufacturing Market Development Council

 

In Committee

DHEC Hosts Public Hearings on Regulations

The Department of Health and Environmental Control hosted a series of public forums across the state this week to hear from citizens about ways in which the agency can cut burdensome regulations and streamline its operations. The effort was initiated by an executive order from Governor Haley instructing agencies to review their regulations to find any that can be cut or changed.

First Steps to School Readiness

The Senate Education Committee debated S.291 this week but carried the measure over for further discussion. The bill would reauthorize the First Steps to School Readiness Initiative and provide for certain reforms of the statewide entity. The initiative’s goals are to improving early childhood development by providing, through county partnerships, public and private funds and support for high-quality early childhood development and education services.

 

In The News

Sheheen’s book suggests ways to improve SC - 2014 governor’s race on his mind?

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen still is not saying whether he will run for governor again, but the Kershaw County Democrat has a new book that outlines his ideas on how to improve South Carolina.

And it reads a lot like a campaign platform.

Polls: Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford leading primaries

In the days before the 1st Congressional District primaries, former Gov. Mark Sanford has become the Republican to beat. Internal polling by several campaigns indicate Sanford has captured about one-third of likely GOP voters, making him the front-runner.

SC political briefs: Gov. Haley’s mother hospitalized

Gov. Nikki Haley’s mother was hospitalized Monday night, though the reason for Raj Randhawa’s admission to Palmetto Health Richland was not released.

The governor canceled meetings and public appearances Tuesday to spend time with her family, her office said.  

Meetings

Monday, March 18th

10:00 am -- Blatt Room 409 -- Education Oversight Committee Special Reading Subcommittee

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

2:00 pm -- Blatt Room 409 -- EIA and Improvement Mechanisms Subcommittee of the Education Oversight Committee

Tuesday, March 19th

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee

1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- E.P.W. Motor Vehicles Subcommittee on H.3034

2:00 pm -- Gressette Room 207 -- Finance Higher Education Budget Subcommittee

2:00 pm or 1 hour after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Business and Commerce Subcommittee

2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 427 -- Full Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee

2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 516 -- Full Judiciary Committee

2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 510 -- L.C.I. Regulations Subcommittee

Upon adjournment of the Full 3-M Committee -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee II, Medical Occupational Regulation and Licensing Boards

3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 308 -- Judiciary Committee

3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Finance Committee

4:00 pm -- Gressette Room 207 -- Finance Higher Education Budget Subcommittee

Wednesday, March 20th

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 407 -- L.C.I. Professions and Occupations Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Finance Criminal Justice Subcommittee Budget Hearing

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee VI, Other Occupational Regulation and Licensing Boards

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 433 -- E.P.W. Transportation Subcommittee on H.3013 and H.3345

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 410 -- Agriculture Wildlife Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Insurance Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 110 -- Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee

9:30 am -- Gressette Room 406 -- Banking and Insurance Subcommittee

9:30 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Finance K-12 Education Subcommittee Budget Hearing

10:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Medical Affairs Subcommittee

10:00 am -- Gressette Room 307 -- Finance Higher Education Budget Subcommittee

10:00 am -- Gressette Room 406 -- Agricultural Subcommittee

11:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.115

11:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Fish, Game and Forestry Committee Markers

11:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.274

1:00 pm -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.250, S.404 and S.423

1:00 pm -- Gressette Room 307 -- Finance Natural Resources and Economic Development Subcommittee Budget Hearing

1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- E.P.W. K-12 Subcommittee on H.3428 and H.3725

Thursday, March 21st 

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- K-12 Education Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 515-A -- Judiciary Special Laws Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 511 -- Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- Full Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

9:30 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Medical Affairs Committee

1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee

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