South Carolina Legislative Report - August 17, 2012

August 6 - August 17, 2012


In Committee

Unemployment Benefits

A Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Subcommittee met on Wednesday, August 15 to review the newly enacted Act 247 that disqualifies individuals seeking unemployment benefits who were fired for “misconduct.”  According to employment officials, 59% of disputed claims were denied benefits because of the new law.  Senators met to review a number of cases where individuals were fired for misconduct, but still received benefits.

Subcommittee members said that they would continue to monitor the Department of Employment and Workforce to be sure that the law was properly implemented.


Meeting Schedule

Tuesday, August 21

  • Blatt – House Legislative Ethics Committee
    • 2:00 pm     
    • Room 515

Wednesday, August 22

  • DHHS - MCO/MHN Health Plans Meeting
    • 2:00 pm
    • 11th Floor Conference Room, (1801 Main Street, Columbia)


In the News 

State Employees Sue Budget & Control Board

The Supreme Court will hear a class action lawsuit filed by a professor at the University of South Carolina on behalf of all state employees against the state Budget & Control Board.  The suit challenges the Board’s recent vote to force state employees to pay more for their health insurance.  The General Assembly appropriated dollars to prevent state employees from having to pay the increase this year. Governor Haley said the move was to make employees share the rising cost of the benefit.  At issue is whether or not the Board has the constitutional authority to change the will of the General Assembly.

Judge Disqualifies Charleston Senate Candidate

Paul Thurmond, former Charleston County Councilman and son of the late Senator Strom Thurmond, was disqualified from the race for Senate District 41 this week by a judge who ruled that he had improperly filed his statement of economic interest.  The judge did allow for the Republican Party to hold an expedited primary to pick a candidate for the general election ballot.  The Senate seat had been held by Glenn McConnell who resigned to become Lt. Governor in the wake of Ken Ard’s resignation.

Defeated Representative Back on Ballot

Pickens County Representative B.R. Skelton, has been declared the Republican nominee for State House District 3 after losing the primary to Ed Harris.  Skelton challenged the election, claiming that Harris had not filed properly and was in violation of the Supreme Court ruling. The State Republican Committee initially rejected the claim, but Chairman Chad Connelly decided that Harris should have been disqualified and declared Skelton to be the nominee and a state judge concurred.

Harris will not challenge the ruling, but has qualified to be a petition candidate on the November ballot.  No Democrat had filed for the seat.

Governor Haley Speaking at GOP Convention

Governor Nikki Haley has been tapped to speak at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. She is one of three high profile Republican females to be slated for a coveted speaking role.  Other speakers include Condoleezza Rice and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.  The full slate of speakers, including keynote, has not yet been released.


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