South Carolina Legislative Update - May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

South Carolina General Assembly

Narrow medical marijuana approval possible in SC, H. 4803/S. 1035

While a broad medical marijuana bill withered and died in the state legislature this session, bills allowing a more specific use of a medical marijuana extract to treat forms of epilepsy have a chance for passage.  A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee last week moved forward with a bill, H.4803, that would allow the use of cannabidiol oil, or CBD, in clinical trials. The Senate already has passed a similar, but more restrictive, bill S.1035.  The House bill allows any physician in the state who is participating in a clinical trial to provide the CBD to a patient with any form of refractory epilepsy. The Senate bill allowed only for the use in clinical trials based at the Medical University of South Carolina.  Read more here.

Statewide texting ban picks up steam in SC Legislature H.4386

A statewide texting ban gained momentum in the House last week.  The House already passed a statewide texting ban in April, sending it to the Senate for consideration.  But on Wednesday, a House education panel took up a Senate bill that would ban texting while driving for beginning or restricted drivers only, or all drivers traveling through school zones when caution lights are flashing.  The House panel decided that its ban was better than the Senate's version and replaced it.  If the full House again approves the proposal, the Senate and House will have to resolve differences between their two proposals before any texting ban becomes law.  Read more here.

SC senators spar over gay-themed books

State senators will debated on whether to restore money that was cut from two S.C. colleges after the schools assigned freshmen to read gay-themed books.  For hours last week, senators debated the nearly $70,000 cut by the S.C. House from the budgets of the College of Charleston and University of South Carolina Upstate.  Read more here.

SC Senate allocates more funds to 4-year-old kindergarten expansion over local governments

City and county governments in South Carolina may have fewer dollars when they consider their budgets this year after a decision by the S.C. Senate prioritized early education spending over additional funds to local governments.  For years, the state has allocated additional dollars to municipalities primarily to help with state-mandated services, such as magistrates, offices for solicitors and running elections. It's the second-largest revenue stream for localities, lawmakers said.  Read more here.

SC legislators working on election law fix H.3198

Both the House and Senate have passed a bill designed to prevent a lawsuit from throwing South Carolina's elections into chaos again.  But their versions differ. A six-member panel appointed this week will try to reach a compromise on the legislation, which is aimed at creating a statewide model for county election boards. 

In the News

Calendar watching in political giving coming to an end?

Looking at the calendar might be a thing of the past for campaign contributors.  One change in the ethics reform bill, approved by a House panel last week, would end confusion over giving contributions shortly after a primary or runoff.  State law now says any money given within seven days after primary or runoff must go toward the previous election cycle. The rule can make fundraising tough in the two weeks between a primary and a runoff, political observers say. Donors who give the $3,500 maximum in a primary for a statewide race must wait half the time remaining before a runoff before contributing again.  If the change becomes law, candidates will be able to count contributions to any cycle as long as donors don’t exceed the state-mandated limits.  Read more here.

Port Royal eyes countywide sales tax to fund port purchase

With no conventional financing options available allowing Port Royal to purchase the state port property in town, officials are looking for other ways to raise capital.  And that includes a proposed 1 percent capital-projects sales tax that would be applied countywide.  Read more here.

Lawmakers propose alternatives to Guard cuts

The Army National Guard would avoid personnel and equipment cuts under proposals from two South Carolina lawmakers.  Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, are leading an effort on Capitol Hill to preserve the size of the military’s reserve forces and help reserve units, including one outside of Columbia, keep their attack helicopters.  Read more here.

What’s the real cost to fix SC’s roads?

The $48.3 billion officials say is needed over the next 20 years to fix the state’s roads and bridges amounts to $1.1 million for every mile of state-maintained road in the state.  Read more here.

Colleagues remembered former SC congressman Butler Derrick

Butler Derrick, who represented South Carolina from the 3rd Congressional District for 20 years and was the last Democrat to hold that spot, has died after a seven-month battle with cancer. He was 77.  Nelson Mullins managing partner Jim Lehman confirmed that Derrick died Monday at his home in Easley. 

Meeting Schedule

Monday, May 12


No Meetings Scheduled

Tuesday, May 13


10:30 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Joint Legislative Committee to Screen Candidates for College and University Boards of Trustees

11:00 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- Minority Caucus

11:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Majority Caucus

Upon adjournment of the House -- Blatt Room 112 -- Minority Caucus

1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 108 -- Ways and Means Licenses, Fees, Insurance Tax and Other Charges Subcommittee

I.  H. 4600 – Roads for Economic Development Act

II.  S. 294 – Accommodation Tax Revenues

III.  S. 985 – Fairness in Lodging Act

IV.  S. 1000 – Automobile Manufacturer License Plates

1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- Education and Public Works Committee on S.160, S.459 and S.516

I.  S. 160 – CPR

II.  S. 459 – Use of Cellphone While Driving

III.  S. 516 – Read to Succeed Act

2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 427 -- Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee

I.  S. 1036 – Dental Sedation Act

II.  S. 1084 – Daycare Centers, Nurseries and Kindergartens

III.  S. 1172 – Arts Commission

IV.  S. 1056 – Hearing Aids

2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 511 -- LCI Insurance Subcommittee on S.909 and S.1233

I.  S. 909 – Captive Insurance Companies

II.  S. 1233 – Annuity Mortality Tables

2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Committee

I.  S. 92 – NDAA Act

II.  S. 687 – Blind Persons Right to Parent Act

III.  S. 872 – Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children

IV.  S. 446 – Lieutenant Governor

V.  S. 495 – Charitable Organizations

VI.  S. 176 – Magistrates Court

VII.  S. 343 – Uniform Commercial Code

VIII.  S. 840 – Prescription Monitoring Programs

IX.  S. 779 – Lotteries

X.  S. 1007 – Mortgage Foreclosures

XI.  S. 1076 – Law Enforcement

XII.  S. 356 – Notary Publics

XIII.  S. 561 – Nonferrous Metals

XIV.  S. 440 – Use of Restraints on Juvenile Defendants

XV.  S. 813 – Public Library Trespass

XVI.  S. 700 – Destruction of Criminal Records

XVII.  S. 755 – Obtaining or Using Personal Information Obtained from a State Agency 

2:30 pm or 1½ hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 403 -- LCI Public Utilities Subcommittee on S.757 and S.1189

I.  S. 757 – Wind Energy Capabilities of South Carolina

II.  S. 1189 – Distributed Energy Resource Program Act

 Upon adjournment of the Insurance Subcommittee -- Blatt Room 511 -- LCI Business and Commerce Subcommittee on S.826, S.998 and S.1100

I.  S. 826 – Workers Compensation Insurance

II.  S. 998 – Dealers License

III.  S. 1100 – Unemployment Benefits

4:30 pm -- Blatt Room 427 -- SC Legislative Black Caucus

Wednesday, May 14


8:00 am - 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Breakfast--City of Cayce (Members Only)

8:30 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- Medical Affairs Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee on S.569, S.757, S.909, S.1026, S.1065, S.1099,  S.1189 and S.1233

I.  S. 569 – Competitive Insurance Act

II.  S. 757 – Wind Energy Capabilities of South Carolina

III.  S.  909 – Captive Insurance Companies

IV.  S. 1026 – Contractor Payment Bonds

V.  S. 1065 – Self Storage Facilities

VI.  S. 1099 – Unemployment Benefits

VII.  S. 1189 – Distributed Energy Resource Program Act

VIII.  S. 1233 – Annuity Mortality Tables

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Senate Ethics Committee Public Hearing on Robert Ford

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.4630

I.  H. 4630 – Law Enforcement Certification

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 307 -- General Committee

10:00 am -- Gressette Room 407 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.4732

I.  H. 4732 – Party Conventions

10:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Higher Education Subcommittee

I.  H. 4632 – Charleston University Act

11:00 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Banking and Insurance Committee on S.422, H.3134, H.4911 and H.4916

I.  S. 422 – Mammograms

II.  H. 3134 – Methods of Entering a Satisfaction of Mortgage

III.  H. 4911 – Small Employer Health Insurance Availability Act

IV.  H. 4916 – Notice Requirements of an Insurer

11:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.3024, H.3102, H.4348 and H.4408

I.  H. 3024 – Child Abuse

II.  H. 3102 – Jaidon’s Law

III.  H. 4348 – Child Visitation

IV.  H. 4408 – Child Fatality Advisory Committee

11:30 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- Legislative Group--(Rep. Heather Crawford)

12:00 noon - 2:00 pm -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Luncheon--South Carolina Chapters of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. (Members Only)

2:30 pm -- Blatt Room 410 -- Agriculture Environmental Affairs I Subcommittee

I.  H. 4290 – Mining Fees

Thursday, May 15


8:00 am - 10:00 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Legislative Breakfast--AMI Kids, Inc.

 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- K-12 Education Subcommittee

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Corrections and Penology Committee

9:30 am -- Gressette Room 407 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.1283, H.3539, H.3626 and H.4399

I.  S.1283 – Powdered Alcohol

II.  H.3539 – Sale of Alcohol - Election Day

III.  H.3626 – Motorsports Entertainment Complex

IV.  H.4399 – Alcohol Permits

9:30 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Medical Affairs Committee

9:30 am -- Gressette Room 406 -- Fish, Game and Forestry Committee

 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.773 and S.788

I.  S.773 –Transparency  in Private Attorney Contracts Act

II.  S.788 – Noneconomic Damages Limit

Friday, May 16 


No Meetings Scheduled.


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