This week at the State House…

by | March 11, 2019 3:10 pm

This week at the State House, the House is considering the state budget while the Senate continues to work through bills on the floor and in committee. (Click on bold type for links.)

Starting today, the House will begin debate on the nearly $30 billion dollar state appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year. In addition to routine spending, lawmakers must decide how to spend the roughly $61 million windfall resulting from the South Carolina lottery winner. It is unlikely the House will vote on any other legislation this week, nor are any important committee meetings scheduled.

Meanwhile in the Senate, a bill (S.259) that could lead to the use of eminent domain in the name of environmental projects is on the calendar and could receive a vote (SCPC analysis). The bill would authorize loans and grants for home buyouts and floodplain restoration – defined as “any activity” toward returning the land to its “natural state.” While the amended version prevents the loans/grants from directly funding eminent domain, local governments could easily get around that prohibition by seizing the land prior to applying for the funding.

There are also multiple hearings for S.419 (the Senate’s version of the education omnibus bill) this week. This bill would create a new committee to monitor students from K-12, and beyond. It would also amend teacher pay, the Read to Succeed program, and school district consolidation, among other things. A public hearing is being held tonight at Corker College in Hartsville. The meeting starts at 6pm (agenda here).

Finally, one bill (S.283) that would give colleges and universities the ability to create powerful – and unaccountable – mini-governments called “enterprise divisions” is scheduled for both subcommittee and full committee. This proposal is also being pushed via a higher education funding bill, which is now on the Senate floor.

For the full list of bills, see below.
House floor session

Budget deliberations (click to live stream)

Senate floor session

  • S.214 – Collecting sales tax from online retailers (SCPC analysis)
  • S.7 – Increases limit on money awarded in civil court
  • S.38 – SLED must investigate officer-involved shootings
  • S.105 – Amending penalties for animal cruelty
  • S.439 – Raises cap on port cargo tax credit, greater decision-making power for Coordinating Council for Economic Development
  • S.474 – Limitations on spadefish fishing
  • S.475 – Limitations on tripletail fishing
  • S.132 – Offers more flexibility for physicians assistants
  • S.298 – Ties General Fund revenues to higher education funding, creates “enterprise divisions”
  • S.259 – Creates a loan fund for flood disaster
  • H.3449 US Dept of Agriculture is responsible for regulating hemp
  • S.136 – Allows for electronic prescriptions
  • S.155 – Provides early release criteria for inmates who complete 65% of sentence
  • S.463 – Gives more flexibility to pharmacists in refilling prescriptions
  • S.525 – Repeals abolition of environmental impact fee

 

Monday – 3/11/19

Public hearing in Hartsville, SC (agenda here)

  • S.419 – K-12 education omnibus bill. Creates Zero to Twenty Committee, criteria for school district consolidation, more requirements for reading coaches

 

Tuesday – 3/12/19

Senate committee meetings

Education subcommittee

  • S.283 – Allows for creation of mini-governments (“enterprise divisions”) within public colleges and universities

Finance subcommittee

  • H.3595 – Increases the Industry Partnership Fund tax credit, which funds the SC Research Authority (SCPC analysis)

Judiciary Committee

  • S.413 – Allows NCIS officers to carry firearms and enforce state laws
  • S.524 – Amends qualifications to become sheriff, including no convictions of felony or crime of moral turpitude
  • H.3420 – Prohibits minors from entering tobacco shops
  • S.206 – Renames Nuclear Advisory Council

Select Committee on Santee Cooper

  • Presentation by Santee Cooper

 

Wednesday – 3/13/19

Senate committee meetings

Family & Veterans’ Services Committee

  • H.3438 – Division of Veterans Affairs moved to Governor’s office
  • H.3180 – Protections for civil service members
  • S.498 – Gives Children’s Trust Fund access to records maintained by Dept of Social Services and Dept of Children’s Advocacy

Education subcommittee

  • S.419 – K-12 education omnibus bill. Creates Zero to Twenty Committee, criteria for school district consolidation, more requirements for reading coaches

Education Committee

  • S.203 – Provides criteria for school district consolidation
  • S.283 – Allows for creation of mini-governments (“enterprise divisions”) within public colleges and universities
  • H.3576 – Creates the SC Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship

LCI subcommittee

  • S.330 – Occupational licensing review and reform

Medical Affairs subcommittee

  • S.366 – Legalizes medical cannabis

Banking & Insurance Committee

  • S.133 – Expands Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program to include flood damage
  • S.579 – Restricts insurance hikes to one per six months

LCI subcommittee

  • S.506 – Allowing legislative delegations to declare state of emergency regarding municipal housing authorities

Education subcommittee

  • S.15 – Requires half-credit of personal finance in high school

Judiciary subcommittee

  • S.142  – Establishes procedures for early voting
  • S.331 – Penalties for collecting voted or unvoted absentee ballots
  • S.17 – Each county board of voter registration and elections is responsible for certifying candidates for coroner and sheriff

 

Thursday – 3/14/19

House committee meetings

SC House Tax Policy Review Committee

Senate committee meetings

Judiciary subcommittee

  • S.164 – Lifts certain regulations on breweries
  • S.165 – Offers additional permits for breweries under certain conditions
  • S.166 – Lifts several restrictions on brewery tours
  • S.342 – New training and certification requirements for bartenders

Medical Affairs

  • S.492 – Prevents local governments from imposing laws governing tobacco products, e-cigarettes

Agriculture Committee

  • S.81 – Creates additional requirements for dam (including reservoirs and man-made ponds) ownership and construction, owners may submit location and specifics to see if they are subject to regulation
  • S.107 – creates list of dam owners and subjects them to regulations and oversight, also creates 25% tax credit for dam repair and construction cost
  • S.371 – Defers permitting process for certain  recreational private docks to federal government
  • S.281 – Intentional misrepresentation of a service animal is a misdemeanor
  • S.369 – Allows for placement of shoreline perpendicular wingwalls
  • H.3700 – Allows for placement of shoreline perpendicular wingwalls
  • S.370 – Provides licensing exemption for navigable waters permits
  • H.3698 – exemption for recreational docks outside of critical area
  • H.3699 – DHEC to defer to federal government in determining recreational doc construction

Education subcommittee

  • S.419 – K-12 education omnibus bill. Creates Zero to Twenty Committee, criteria for school district consolidation, more requirements for reading coaches

Judiciary subcommittee

  • S.110 – Creates a new legislative guarantee for utility debt
  • S.332 – States that utility customers are entitled to certain renewable options, creates a new net metering program (customer-based solar generation), and require both investor-owned utilities and state-owned utility Santee Cooper to incorporate small renewable power companies into their rate-making proceedings

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