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South Carolina Legislative Report - June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013

On the Floor  

Adjournment – Sine Die

On Thursday, the South Carolina General Assembly officially concluded its work for the year and adjourned until January 2014.  However, members of the House and Senate will return to Columbia on June 18th under the provisions of the Sine Die resolution to take up matters related to the budget, conference reports, vetoes, appointments and other matters agreed to under the terms of the resolution. 

Appropriations

The budget conference committee began meeting on Thursday evening and Friday to reach a compromise on the different versions of H. 3710, the annual appropriations bill, and H. 3711, the state’s Capital Reserve Fund. The legislature will vote on the final compromise on the $22.7 billion spending plan when they return on the week of the 18th and the bill will go to the Governor for her consideration. The budget conferees are: Senators Hugh Leatherman, Nikki Setzler, and Harvey Peeler, as well as Representatives Brian White, Gary Simrill and Mike Anthony.

Angel Investment Bill

This week the Senate passed the High Growth Small Business Job Creation Act, H. 3505.  The legislation will allow for tax credit up to $5 million for qualified “angel” investments for start-up companies.  The provision will sunset after 6 years.

Abandoned Building Revitalization Act

The Senate gave third reading to H. 3093, the Abandoned Building Revitalization Act, and the House concurred with the Senate amendments. As written, the legislation would provide tax credits or credits against property tax liability to individuals who make investments of a certain size for rehabilitating abandoned buildings. 

Department of Administration

The Government Restructuring Act, S. 22, has been sent to conference committee. The legislation specifically deals with the creation of a new Department of Administration that would effectively eliminate the state’s Budget & Control Board. The House and Senate have different plans on how to break up the responsibilities of the B&CB. A major difference between the Senate and the House plans revolves around the office of procurement.  The House passed plan places this under the Department of Administration that is effectively control by the Governor.  The Senate version creates a new entity called the Contracts and Accountability Authority.

Ethics Reform

The Senate failed to pass H. 3945 – the high profile ethics reform package. It will remain on the Senate calendar for debate next year. The measure calls for more income disclosure, reporting of pre-election political donations and disclosure of business ties between elected officials and state government. Some of the amendments adopted on Thursday would require former elected officials to wait 8 years before becoming a lobbyist and requiring organizations affiliated with candidates to file disclosures with the state ethics commission. The bill will be placed on the senate calendar for debate on the floor.

Introductions of Notable Legislation

  • S. 763 - SC Pay for Success Performance Accountability Act
  • S. 788 - Limits on noneconomic damages and punitive damages and limited liability for landowners.

 

In The News

Special election set for former Sen. Ford's seat

Voters will go to the polls in October to replace former Sen. Robert Ford, who resigned last week amid the Senate Ethics Committee's hearing on ethics allegations against him.

Bakari Sellers forms committee for Lt. Governor run

State Rep. Bakari Sellers has announced his intention to seek the lieutenant governor's office in 2014.

Making his announcement via press release on Thursday, Sellers says he has become disappointed with the legislature's accomplishments over the past few years with lack of movement on government restructuring, infrastructure spending, and help for the unemployed.

Toal plans to seek new term on SC high court

The chief justice of the state Supreme Court says she will seek re-election next year and, if elected, serve until her mandatory retirement date of Dec. 31, 2015.

Senator asks SC Gov. Nikki Haley if ransom paid for hacked data

A Democratic state senator sent a letter Wednesday asking Republican Gov. Nikki Haley if personal financial information stolen in the hacking at the S.C. Department of Revenue last year was recovered after paying a ransom.

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