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South Carolina Legislative Update - May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015

The South Carolina Senate finished their budget deliberations and adopted the over $7 billion budget last week.  Highlights include:  an $800 bonus to state employees; an 11% raise for members of the judiciary, circuit solicitors and circuit public defenders;  the establishment of the Capital Bond Study Committee; and funds to help offset the 2014 ice storm clean up.  The House of Representatives adopted legislation regarding:  the statute of limitations for coastal tidelands and wetlands infractions; approval of local voting precincts; and a bill creating a voting systems study committee.  Additionally, the House and Senate adopted conference reports concerning the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees, which was also approved by Governor Haley.

Introductions

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

In The News

Volvo chooses SC for auto plant

Volvo announced this week that it will build a $500 million factory in Berkeley County to produce 100,000 cars a year.  Construction on the Swedish automaker’s first U.S. plant will start this fall with the first cars produced in 2018. The South Carolina plant will add to four Volvo factories in Europe and China, where the carmaker’s parent company is based.  Volvo said it would make the latest generation models for sale in the United States and for export at the Berkeley County plant, but did not disclose details.  Volvo could employ up to 4,000 workers in the decade after the plant opens. The state employs 46,000 automotive-industry workers, including at hundreds of suppliers, according to the S.C. Automotive Council.  Read more here.

4th roads plan would cut SC income taxes by $700 million
Trying to end a stalemate, a group of S.C. Senate Republicans last week introduced the fourth major road-repair plan this year, less than a month before lawmakers are scheduled to go home.  The plan would raise $800 million a year for roads, roughly half the amount of added money that the S.C. Department of Transportation has estimated it needs to repair, maintain and expand the state’s transportation system.  It also would cut state income taxes by $700 million and give control of the Transportation Department to the governor.  Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, said he had shared the plan Wednesday with Republican Gov. Nikki Haley, who threatened to veto previous road-repair proposals.  The governor’s office is looking at the plan’s details, said spokeswoman Chaney Adams, adding the governor “will weigh in when she thinks it’s constructive to do so.”  Read more here.

SC Senate continuing budget talks

Senators adjourned again last week without passing the $7 billion state general fund budget. A proposal for a $900 bonus to S.C. employees still lingers with state Sen. Lee Bright, R-Spartanburg prepared to filibuster. Bright said any surplus money should go to roads instead of passing a gas tax increase.  Read more here.

SC Senate plan would create new private school choice credit

Some S.C. parents who pay private-school tuition could get up to $10,000 if changes to the state’s school-choice program become law.  The proposal, part of the state budget that the Senate is debating, would allow $4 million in refundable state tax credits to go to parents who pay private-school tuition for their special-needs children.  The tax credit would be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The credit also would be refundable, meaning taxpayers who owed no taxes would receive money back.  State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, a co-sponsor of the change, said the proposal would provide a way for parents to benefit from the state’s private-school choice program without going through a “middleman,” a reference to the nonprofit scholarship-granting organizations that parents now can apply to for private-school tuition grants.  S.C. taxpayers can claim credits for donations made to those nonprofits, which help special-needs children pay for private school. The credits can be used to reduce the amount that donors owe on their S.C. taxes by up to 60 percent.  Read more here.

Group to call for National Guard armory maintenance

Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, and Byron Williams, president of the National Guard Association of South Carolina, held a news conference to launch the Stand With Our Guard Campaign. The effort will highlight maintenance needed at the state’s National Guard armories and call for support of a proposed bond bill to pay for the work. Smith is a major in the guard. Gov. Nikki Haley, whose husband also serves in the guard, has opposed the bond bill, saying lawmakers can find funding without having to borrow money.  Read more here.

Meeting Schedule

  • 9:00 am - 2:00 pm -- Gressette Rooms 407 and 408 -- Skin Cancer Screening Day
  • 9:30 am -- Blatt Room 516 -- Education and Cultural Subcommittee of the Legislative Oversight Committee
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- SC Legislative Black Caucus
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Majority Caucus
  • 11:00 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- Minority Caucus
  • 12:00 pm -- State House, Senate Chamber -- Senate
  • 12:00 pm -- State House, House Chamber -- House of Representatives
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 511 -- Health Subcommittee of the Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 112 -- Majority Caucus
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 305 -- Minority Caucus
  • 2:00 pm -- Blatt Room 321 -- Legislative Group (Rep. Shannon Erickson)
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 523 -- Ways and Means Economic Development, Capital Improvement and Other Taxes Subcommittee
  1. S. 350 – SC Community Economic Development Act
  2. S. 444 – Corporate Campus Job Tax Credit
  3. S. 526 – Tax Penalty Amnesty Period
  4. H. 4145 – South Carolina Workforce Development Act
  • 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- Education K-12 Subcommittee
  1. H. 4084 – Charter Schools
  2. S. 437 – James B. Edwards Civics Education Initiative
  • 2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on S.389
  1. S. 389 – Business Development Corporations
  • Upon adjournment of the Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee -- Blatt Room 403 -- LCI Public Utilities Subcommittee on S.277
  1. S. 277 – State Telecom Equity in Funding Act
  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Finance Committee
  1. H. 3846 – Cheraw National Guard Armory
  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 308 -- Judiciary Committee
  1. H. 3215 – Alimony 
  2. H. 3200 – Higher Education Institutions
  3. H. 3193 – Campaign Contributions
  4. H. 3188 – Campaign Contributions
  5. H. 3185 – Ethics
  6. H. 3189 – Filing of Expenditures and Reports for Non-committees
  7. S. 31 – Amendment to the US Constitution 
  8. S. 281 – Transparency in Private Attorney Contracts 
  9. S. 282 – Noneconomic Damages Limit Act
  10. S. 226 – Traffic Offense
  11. S. 194 – Dilapidated Buildings Act 
  12. S. 524 – Indecent Exposure
  13. S. 647 – Hindering Law Enforcement
  14. S. 649 – Policy for Investigating Officer Involved Deaths
  15. S. 650 – Officer Involved Shooting
  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 207 -- Port Oversight Commission
  • Upon adjournment of the Finance Committee -- Gressette Room 209 -- Finance Property Taxation Subcommittee
  1. S. 626 – Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption
  2. H. 3710 – Multiple Lot Discount
  • Upon adjournment of the Finance Committee -- Gressette Room 105 -- Finance Sales and Income Taxation Subcommittee
  1. S. 337 – SC New Market Jobs Act
  2. S. 682 – Joint Authority Water and Sewer System
  3. S. 683 – Local Sales and Use Tax
  4. S. 408 – State Procurement Code
  5. S. 545 – Procurements and Contracts
  6. H. 3583 – Procurements and Contracts
  7. H. 3568 – Sales Tax Exemptions

Wednesday, May 13

  • 9:00 am - 2:00 pm -- Gressette Rooms 407 and 408 -- Skin Cancer Screening Day
  • 8:00 am - 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Breakfast--South Carolina Association of Cosmetology Salon Professionals
  • 8:30 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- Central SC Alliance
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee III, Local Government and Corrections Affairs
  1. S. 176 – Death Certificates
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee
  1. H. 3763 – Tastings        
  2. H. 3375 – Retail Dealer License
  3. H. 3450 – Delivery of Alcohol
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 511 -- Judiciary Special Laws Subcommittee
  1. S. 250 – Release of a Child’s Medical Records
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- L.C.I. Real Estate Subcommittee on H.3217
  1. H. 3217 – Developer of a Common Interest Community
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 523 -- Ways and Means General Government, Personnel and Benefits Subcommittee
  1. S. 373 – SC Retirement System Monthly Payment Allowances
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 521 -- Ways and Means Sales and Income Tax Subcommittee
  1. H. 4151 – Tobacco Tax Stamp
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- Joint Pinewood Subcommittee
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.3191
  1. H. 3191 – Create the Office of Freedom Act Review
  • 9:30 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee II, Occupational Regulation and Licensing Boards
  1. S. 413 – Pharmacists
  • 9:30 am -- Blatt Room 433 -- Higher Education Subcommittee
  1. S. 261 – Persons Age Sixty and Over Attending Classes
  • 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 321 -- Central SC Alliance
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Education Committee
  1. H. 3849 – Public School Educators and Student Teachers
  2. S. 703 – Charter School Accountability Requirements
  3. S. 484 – Elementary School Food Service Meals Requirements
  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- L.C.I. Labor and Employment Subcommittee
  1. S. 17 – Workforce Opportunity Act
  2. S. 146 – Election Referendum Regarding Minimum Wage
  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 307 -- Banking and Insurance Subcommittee on S.652, S.653, S.693 and H.3772
  1. H. 3772 – SC Medical Malpractice Insurance Joint Underwriting Association
  2. S. 652 – Savings Promotion Contests
  3. S. 653 – Individual Life Insurance Policy Lump Sum Payments
  4. S. 693 – Insurers ’ Rehabilitation and Liquidation Act
  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Transportation Committee
  • 11:30 am - 2:00 pm -- State House Grounds -- Legislative Luncheon--'A South Carolina Taste' by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture (Certified South Carolina) and Palmetto Agriculture and Food Industry Council
  • 1 hour after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- Education and Public Works Committee
  1. H. 4084 – Charter School
  2. S. 437 – James B. Edwards Civics Education Initiative
  3. S. 211 – Golf Cart Paths
  4. H. 3909 – Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act
  • 2:00 pm -- Blatt Room 108 -- South Carolina Procurement Review Panel

Thursday, May 14

  • 8:00 am - 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Breakfast--South Carolina Association of School Administrators (Members Only)
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee
  1. S. 17 – Workforce Opportunity Act
  2. S. 146 – Election Referendum Regarding Minimum Wage
  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Medical Affairs Subcommittee on Regulations
  1. Regulation 4542 – DHEC -Solid Waste Management: Waste Tires
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee V, Social Services, Mental Health and Children's Affairs
  1. S. 474 – Patients’ Rights
  2. S. 341 – Renal Medullary Carcinoma
  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee on S.277, S.301, S.304, S.375, S.389, S.441 and H.3217
  1. S. 277 – State Telecom Equity in Funding Act
  2. S. 301 – SC Board of Accountancy
  3. S. 304 – Contracts to Buy Power
  4. S. 375 – Local Governments
  5. S. 389 – Business Development Corporations
  6. S. 441 – Guaranteed Asset Protection Act
  7. H. 3217 – Developer of a Common Interest Community
  • 9:30 am -- Blatt Room 511 -- Environmental and Natural Resources Subcommittee Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee
  • Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee
  1. H. 3949 – Employment Discrimination
  2. H. 3177 – Convention of the States
  3. H. 3096 – Balanced Budget
  • 11:30 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Group (Rep. Joe Neal)

Friday, May 15

No Meetings Scheduled.

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