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South Carolina Legislative Update - January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015

The House and Senate were busy this week with numerous subcommittee and committee meetings – ethics reform, surface water withdrawal, Pollution Control Act/DHEC Board review, and budget deliberations were a few of the items on their agenda.  In addition, Governor Haley provided her State of the State address to the General Assembly on Wednesday evening – more information below.

Introductions

To view this week’s introductions in the Senate, please click here, and here for the House.

The South Carolina State of the State Address

Gov. Haley calls for gas tax hike tied to income tax cut
Gov. Nikki Haley unveiled her roads-funding plan during her State of the State address Wednesday, offering a surprise 10-cent-per-gallon gas-tax increase.  But Haley, a Lexington Republican, said she would sign a tax-hike bill only if it included cutting the state’s income tax by 30 percent and restructuring the state’s Department of Transportation.  Read more here.

Reaction to Gov. Haley’s roads plan is mixed
Read more here

TRANSCRIPT:  Gov. Nikki Haley’s State of the State address.

In the News

Get SC road priorities straight, ex-highway official says
As South Carolina struggles with how to fund improvements to its battered road system, a former state transportation official said Wednesday the Palmetto State needs to take the politics out of which projects are built or upgraded.  Michael Covington, a former S.C. Department of Transportation government relations officer, said state law allows South Carolina’s Infrastructure Bank to build roads without following a priorities list.  Read more here.

Independent investigation of SC lawmakers heads to House, Senate floors
The S.C. House and S.C. Senate will debate whether an independent group will investigate ethics complaints against public officials after committees sent ethics reform legislation to each chamber’s floor Tuesday.  The House and Senate propose two different ways to restructure the S.C. Ethics Commission to investigate ethics complaints.  Read more here.

Upstate lawmakers replace fiery House agriculture panel chair      
Peppery and impatient with political opponents, state Rep. Nelson Hardwick had a number of run-ins with citizens who spoke before the S.C. House committee that he served on and later chaired.  But Hardwick, R-Horry, has given up the House Agriculture Committee chairmanship for a position on another panel.  And the committee’s new chief, a soft-spoken Upstate businessman, is pledging an open door for people who want to discuss legislation.  Read more here.

Bad S.C. roads spur millions of dollars in state claims
Potholes and other infrastructure defects cost the state more than $7 million last year.  But not in repairs. The state Insurance Reserve Fund paid that much to settle hundreds of legal claims by motorists or others whose cars were damaged, their bodies injured in accidents or family members lost in wrecks.  Read more here

Gov. Nikki Haley takes anti-union message to Boeing workers
A new radio ad featuring Gov. Nikki Haley is urging factory workers at South Carolina's Boeing aircraft plant to reject efforts to establish a labor union.  The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the spot is scheduled to start airing on stations in the Charleston region Monday.  Read more here.

Graham forms panel to probe White House run
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday that he had filed with the Internal Revenue Service to create “a testing-the-waters committee” for a potential run for the Republican presidential nomination, becoming the latest potential contender in an increasingly crowded field.  Graham, who was easily re-elected to a third term in November, indicated weeks ago that he was mulling such a move, but creating the committee moves him a step closer.  Read more here.

Under fire Uber getting some help from SC lawmakers, Gov. Nikki Haley
The San Francisco online ride-sharing company that is causing a storm among S.C. taxi companies and regulators is finding bipartisan legislative support of its efforts to keep operating legally in the Palmetto State.  The state Public Service Commission ordered Uber to stop picking up riders Thursday while regulators weigh the company’s request for a state taxi license.  Read more here.

S.C. GOP to hold 2016 presidential debate
The S.C. Republican Party will host a CBS News Republican presidential primary debate in February 2016.  The state GOP is partnering with the Republican National Committee to hold the debate that was announced Friday at the Republican National Committee's winter meeting in San Diego.  The S.C. debate is one of nine nationwide sanctioned by the RNC that runs from August through March 2016.  Read more here.

Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, January 27

  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- SC Legislative Black Caucus
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 523 -- Ways and Means Economic Development and Natural Resources Subcommittee
  1. Sea Grant Consortium
  2. Santee Cooper
  3. Conservation Bank
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 511 -- Ways and Means Higher Education and Technical Colleges Subcommittee
  1. Winthrop University
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Majority Caucus
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- Minority Caucus
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 321 -- Ways and Means Legislative, Executive, and Local Government Subcommittee
  1. Retirement Investment Commission
  • 12:00 pm -- State House, House Chamber -- House of Representatives
  • 12:00 pm -- State House, Senate Chamber – Senate
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 112 -- Majority Caucus
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 305 -- Minority Caucus
  • 2:00 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 108 -- Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee
  1. Department of Alcohol & Other Drug Abuse Services
  2. Department of Disabilities & Special Needs
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns or at the call of the Chair -- Blatt Room 511 -- Ways and Means Higher Education and Technical Colleges Subcommittee
  1. University of South Carolina
  2. University of South Carolina Branches and Respective Chancellors: Beaufort, Upstate, Aiken, Palmetto College
  3. Member Requests
  • 1½ hours after the House adjourns or 2:00 pm -- Blatt Room 433 -- Education K-12 Subcommittee on H.3030, H.3044, H.3265 and H.3328
  1. H. 3030 – Student Athletes Echocardioexam Test
  2. H. 3044 – Statutory School Term
  3. H. 3265 – Comprehensive Health Education Programs
  4. H. 3328 – SC Read to Succeed Act
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 321 -- Ways and Means Legislative, Executive, and Local Government Subcommittee
  1. State Treasurer's Office
  2. Department of Administration and State Fiscal Accountability     
  • 2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee I, Health and Environmental Affairs
  • 2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Committee
  • 2:30 pm -- Gressette Room 308 -- Finance Subcommittee on Sales and Income Taxation
  1. S. 350 – SC Community Economic Development Act
  2. S. 76 – Rural Infrastructure Fund Grants
  • 2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Administration and Regulations Subcommittee on H.3145
  1. H. 3145 – Civil Liability
  • 2:30 pm -- Blatt Room 410 -- Regulations Subcommittee of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
  1. Reg. 4459 – Clemson University - State Crop Pest Commission, Subject: Landplaster
  2. Reg. 4481 – Department of Health and Environmental Control, Subject: Air Pollution Control Regulations and Standards
  3. Reg. 4483 – Department of Health and Environmental Control, Subject: Shellfish
  4. Reg. 4485 – Department of Health and Environmental Control, Subject: Standards for Wastewater Facility Construction
  5. Reg. 4490 – Clemson University - State Crop Pest Commission, Subject: Plant Pests
  • 1½ hours after the House adjourns or upon the call of the Chair -- Blatt Room 521 -- Ways and Means Public Education and Special Schools Subcommittee
  1. South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind
  2. John de la Howe
  • 2 hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 305 -- Ways and Means Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Subcommittee
  1. Department of Juvenile Justice
  2. Department of Public Safety
  3. Criminal Justice Academy
  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Judiciary Committee
  1. S. 177 – Procedure for Certification of Domestic and Foreign Goods
  2. S. 268 – Jurisdiction of State Grand Jury
  3. S. 10 – Freedom of Information Act
  4. S. 11 – Freedom of Information Act
  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 308 -- Finance Committee
  • Upon adjournment of the Finance Committee -- Gressette Room 308 -- Finance Special Subcommittee on the Nomination of a Director for the Department of Revenue
  1. Nomination of James F. “Rick” Reames, III as Director of the Department of Revenue

Wednesday, January 28

  • 8:00 am - 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Breakfast - South Carolina Catholic Conference
  • 8:30 am - 10:30 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- South Carolina Connections Academy
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee V, Social Services, Mental Health and Children's Affairs
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Fish, Game and Forestry Subcommittee
  1. S. 57 – South Carolina Wild Turkey
  2. S. 66 – Shooting Game in Self-defense
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- DSS Confirmation Hearing
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Business and Commerce Subcommittee on H.3006 and H.3179
  1. H. 3006 – Regulations
  2. H. 3179 – SC Board of Accountancy
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 433 -- Higher Education Subcommittee on H.3037
  1. H. 3037 – In State Tuition Rates
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 110 -- Ways and Means Higher Education and Technical Colleges Subcommittee
  1. South Carolina State University
  2. SC Commission on Higher Education
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 201 -- South Carolina Baptist Convention Executive Committee
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 318 -- South Carolina Catholic Conference Executive Committee
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 410 -- Agriculture Subcommittee
  1. H. 3323 – SC Noxious Weed Act
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 523 -- Ways and Means Economic Development and Natural Resources Subcommittee
  1. Sea Grant Consortium
  2. Santee Cooper
  3. Conservation Bank
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 433 -- Education and Public Works Committee
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 108 -- Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee
  1. Department of Health and Environmental Control
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 321 -- Ways and Means Legislative, Executive, and Local Government Subcommittee
  1. Office of the Comptroller General
  2. Lt. Governor's Office & The Office on Aging
  3. Agency Carried Over Provisos
  4. Member Requests
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 521 -- Ways and Means Public Education and Special Schools Subcommittee
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Education Committee
  1. The Honorable Molly Spearman, SC Superintendent of Education
  2. Mr. Robbie Barnett and Ms. Cynthia Bennett, SC Chamber of Commerce
  • 10:30 am -- Blatt Room 410 -- Environmental Affairs I Subcommittee
  1. H. 3035 – Take Palmetto Pride Where You Live Act
  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Banking and Insurance Committee on S.136 and S.342
  1. S. 136 – Dentist and Oral Surgeons
  2. S. 342 – Annual Enterprise Risk Report
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee
  1. H. 3195 – Campaign Funds      
  2. H. 3194 – Relating to Candidates        
  3. H. 3199 – Campaign Debt Retirement           
  4. H. 3196 – Conflicts of Interest
  5. H. 3198 – Recusals
  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Special Subcommittee
  1. Subcommittee Screening of Ms. Richele Keel Taylor, Director - Labor, Licensing and Regulation
  • 11:15 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- Ways and Means Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Subcommittee
  1. Provisos
  2. Member Requests
  • 12:00 noon - 2:00 pm -- State House Grounds -- Legislative Luncheon - South Carolina Baptist Convention
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 409 -- SC Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns or at the call of the Chair -- Blatt Room 511 -- Ways and Means Higher Education and Technical Colleges Subcommittee
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 321 -- Ways and Means Legislative, Executive, and Local Government Subcommittee
  • 30 minutes after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- E.P.W. Transportation Subcommittee on H.3003, H.3142 and H.3165
  1. H. 3003 – Operation of Mopeds
  2. H. 3142 – Mopeds
  3. H. 3165 – Mopeds

Thursday, January 29

  • 8:00 am - 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Breakfast - South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Math
  • 8:30 am -- Blatt Room 410 -- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee
  1. H. 3266 – Trespasser Responsibility Act
  2. H. 3118 – Department of Natural Resources
  3. H. 3323 – SC Noxious Weed Act
  4. H. 3035 – Take Palmetto Pride Where You Live Act
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 501 -- Operations and Management Committee
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 321 -- Ways and Means Legislative, Executive, and Local Government Subcommittee
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Environmental Subcommittee (Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee)
  1. S. 139 – Coastal Zone Critical Areas
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- Joint Other Funds Oversight Committee
  1. Commission on Higher Education, SmartState
  2. Human Affairs Commission
  3. Department of Commerce
  4. Patriot's Point Development Authority
  5. South Carolina Conservation Bank
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee
  1. Ms. Catherine M. Buchanan, West Columbia, SC; State Board of Social Work Examiners
  2. Mr. William H. Dill, Loris, SC; SC Residential Builders Commission
  3. Mr. William R. "Bucky" Drake, Columbia, SC; SC Jobs Economic Development Authority
  4. Mr. Monte A. Lemmon, Eastover, SC; Residential Builders Commission
  5. Mrs. Christy B. Rhyne, Clover, SC; SC Residential Builders Commission
  6. Mr. Derek A. Shoemake, Elgin, SC; State Athletic Commission
  7. Ms. Rebecca G. Wrenn, Columbia, SC; SC Panel for Dietetics
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Legislative Review Committee
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 407 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative Law Court Oversight Review
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Fish, Game and Forestry, Forestry Oversight Subcommittee
  1. South Carolina Forestry Commission Oversight
  • 12:00 noon -- Blatt Room 305 -- Palmetto Policy Forum
  • 1:00 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Medical Marijuana Study Committee

Friday, January 30

No Meetings Scheduled.

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