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South Carolina Legislative Report - May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013

On the Floor   

Appropriations Bill

The Senate gave second reading this week to H. 3710 , the state’s annual appropriations bill,  and is expected to give the bill third reading next week.  The Senate also moved to place H. 3711, the Capital Reserve Fund, in a Special Order position on the calendar. The $6.3 billion plan includes a $50 million transfer of reoccurring dollars to the state’s Infrastructure Bank, which can be used to borrow up to $500 million to be spent on roads and bridges.  The Senate’s version of the budget also includes $26 million to expand 4 year-old kindergarten to the poorest school districts across the state and over $23 million to the purchase of new school buses.  The Senate also included an amendment that would give tax credits to individuals who make donations to non-profits that give scholarships to special needs children private school tuition grants capped at $5 million.

LEED Standards

H. 3592 was amended and given third reading the week by the House of Representatives. The bill, as introduced, proposed to remove LEED standards from state building projects, but was amended in the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee to keep LEED standards as of January 1, 2013, and prevents newer versions from being implemented automatically.

Government Contracts – Fair and Open Competition

The House and Representatives gave final approval to S. 438, a bill that provides fair and open competition in government contracts by local officials, entities or employees from forbidding or requiring offerers from entering into contracts with labor unions. The legislation will be sent to the Governor for her approval or veto.

Unemployment Benefits – Disqualifications

H. 3165 was given third reading and ordered sent to the Senate this week.  The bill would revise the method of determining the benefits of a person discharged from employment for illegal drug use, gross misconduct and failure to accept work.  In addition the bill would specify criteria for labs performing drug tests, limit liability for employers in the disclosure of drug tests and set penalties for misuse of biological material relating to drug tests. 

Introductions of Note

  • H. 4195 - Promotion of Ethical Standards and Professional Integrity in Property and Casualty Insurance Sales Act
  • H. 4181 - Prohibition on the use of a credit score to determine rate for homeowners insurance
  • H. 4225 – Hospital Costs Disparity Study Committee
  • H. 4228 – Occupational therapist or physical therapist – may not impose a copayment, coinsurance, or office visit deductible amount in excess of the amount charged by a primary care physician.
  • S. 717 – Class 3 Landfill Moratorium
  • S. 731 – Infrastructure Funding
  • H. 4227 – Gasoline User Fee Distribution

 

In Committee

Department of Employment and Workforce

The Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee unanimously approved Ms. Cheryl Stanton’s appointment, Governor Haley’s choice to be the Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). The appointment will be placed on the Senate calendar for final consideration.

Energy Efficiency Certification  – State Procurement and Major Projects

S. 635 was given a favorable report this week by the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee.  The legislation requires a major facility project as defined in Section 48-52-810(10) requesting third-party certification not be allowed to seek a rating point that would discriminate against wood products of this State derived from forest lands certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative or the American Tree Farm System.

Patient Information Disclosure

This week the House Committee Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee gave a favorable report to S. 117. The legislation would require health care providers to give patients the opportunity to disclose certain information to designated individuals and involve them in the treatment of the patient.  The bill was placed on the calendar for consideration.

 

In The News

SC Gov Haley: Finish work on ethics bill this year

Gov. Nikki Haley is calling on legislators to get a bill strengthening the state's weak ethics laws to her desk.

AG: 2 SC groups say they were targeted by IRS

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says he's gotten calls from two conservative groups that feel they were wrongfully targeted by the Internal Revenue Service.

“Pint bill” heads to governor

The state House of Representatives gave final approval on Thursday to legislation that allows pint sales at South Carolina breweries.

Thomas Ravenel inspired by Sanford success, plans to run again

Another Lowcountry politician may be banking on Mark Sanford’s success in overcoming his past.

In 2008, Thomas Ravenel spent 10 months in federal prison on cocaine charges. He resigned from his post as State Treasurer and paid the state restitution for the cost of having to replace him. 

 

Meetings

Tuesday, May 28th

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Review and Oversight Commission on the South Carolina Ports Authority
  • 10:30 am -- Blatt Room 521 -- Ways and Means Economic Development, Capital Improvement and Other Taxes Subcommittee
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 110 -- Ways and Means General Government, Personnel and Benefits Subcommittee
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- E.P.W. K-12 Subcommittee
  • 1.5 hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 521 -- Full Ways and Means Committee
  • 2:30 pm or 1.5 hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 516 -- Full Judiciary Committee
  • 2:30 pm or 1.5 hours after House adjourns -- Blatt Room 403 -L.C.I. Business and Commerce Subcommittee
  • Upon adjournment of the Business and Commerce Subcommittee -- Blatt Room 403 -- Full Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

Wednesday, May 29th

  • 9:00 am -- State House, 3rd Floor Conference Room -- Conference Committee on S.2
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Judiciary Committee
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 521 -- Ways and Means Sales and Income Tax Subcommittee
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- Full Education and Public Works Committee on S.151 and H.3995
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Agriculture and Natural Resources Regulation and Resolution Subcommittee
  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Transportation Committee
  • 12:00 noon -- State House, 3rd Floor Conference Room -- Corrections and Penology Committee

Thursday, May 30th

  • 10:00 am -- State House, 3rd Floor Conference Room -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.536
  • 30 minutes after the Senate adjourns -- Gressette Room 105 -- Senate Ethics Committee Hearing
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