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S.C. legislature begins work Tuesday

by | January 7, 2019 3:08 pm

Tomorrow – January 8 – the 2019 legislative session begins. It’s the first year of a new two-year session, so no bills from last year have been carried over (although many have been reintroduced). This means that until legislation has passed out of committee, there will be very little floor debate or action in either chamber beyond introductions, recognitions, and assigning new bills to committees.The House (livestream) and Senate (livestream) will convene at 12:00 pm tomorrow for these purposes.

The Senate Judiciary subcommittee is meeting on Tuesday to hear two bills – S.1 and S.2. The first would impose further restrictions on the Governor’s interim appointment power. This bill is a response to last year’s gubernatorial appointment for Santee Cooper interim chairman, which was made after the Senate failed to confirm the appointment during regular session. In a lawsuit, the State Supreme Court sided with the Governor’s appointment. Now it appears lawmakers are trying to take that power back.

The second bill would update the laws after the constitution was amended to place the Lieutenant Governor on the same ticket as the Governor. The bill transfers some of the Senate President Pro Tem’s appointment powers to the Senate President – once a symbolic job held by the Lieutenant Governor. We will be publishing an analysis of this bill soon.

On Wednesday, Henry McMaster will be inaugurated as Governor for his second term. The ceremony will be held at the Statehouse and begins at 2pm.

Finally, screening for Public Service Commission (PSC) seat two starts next Monday, January 14. Lawmakers – who elect the PSC – rejected the entire slate of candidates for seat two last year, keeping the incumbent commissioner in office. This allowed him to serve during the critical V.C. Summer hearings, in which the PSC decided how much customers would be forced to pay for the failed nuclear project.

Below you will find this week’s notable legislative committee meetings, and in the future significant bills will be listed as well.
House floor session

  • No scheduled bills

Senate floor session

  • No scheduled bills

Tuesday – 1/8/19

House committee meetings

Ways and Means budget subcommittee hearings: Constitutional, Transportation and Regulatory, and Higher Education

Senate committee meetings

Judiciary subcommittee

  • S.1 – Imposes restrictions on Governor’s interim appointment power
  • S.2 – Conforming changes for President of the Senate

Wednesday – 1/9/19

House committee meetings

Ways and Means Committee

  • Presentation from Revenue and Fiscal Affairs
  • Continuing budget subcommittee hearings

Thursday – 1/10/19

Senate committee meetings

Medical Affairs subcommittee

  • S.16 – Modifies limits for prescription medication refills
  • S.277 – Regulations for speech-language pathologists

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