What’s happening at the statehouse this week

by | March 4, 2019 3:20 pm

This week, a handful of important bills are getting their first committee hearing, while other bills that have passed the committee process will be deliberated on the floor.

Tonight, there will be a public hearing for the Senate’s version of the education omnibus bill, which would create a new committee to monitor students from K-12, and beyond. The Senate bill also amends teacher pay, the Read to Succeed program, and school district consolidation, among other things. The hearing will be held at 6pm tonight at the McCormick Middle School gym (agenda here).

The House’s version of the education omnibus bill is now on the House floor calendar, and lawmakers may discuss it this week as a full body for the first time. In the Senate, a bill (S.298) that would give colleges and universities the ability to create powerful – and unaccountable – mini-governments called “enterprise divisions” is scheduled for debate. This proposal is also being pushed via a standalone bill, which is scheduled for subcommittee on Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday, a bill (S.110) that would authorize a new charge on SCANA customers is getting its first subcommittee hearing. This new revenue stream would be used to refinance the V.C. Summer debt, but there is no guarantee in the bill’s language that the V.C. Summer charges currently on customers’ bills would be lifted or reduced. Moreover, the charge would be backed by a legislative guarantee – much like the Base Load Review Act that authorized the debt to begin with.

Finally, the Senate committee to study the sale of Santee Cooper (separate from the joint evaluation and recommendation committee) is having its first meeting on Tuesday.

 

House floor session

  • H.3029 – Requires executive committees for political parties to hear certain complaints
  • H.3243 – Increases filing fees for deed, mortgage, lease, etc.
  • S.326 – Resolution directing SLED give $250K to Firefighters Association for PTSD costs (SCPC analysis)
  • H.3759 – K-12 education omnibus bill. Creates Zero to Twenty Committee, criteria for school district consolidation, more requirements for reading coaches
  • H.3145 – Allows the ORS to audit electric cooperatives and imposes additional transparency requirements on cooperative boards and meetings, as well as additional regulations on how their elections may be conducted
  • H.3263 – Exempts armed service members and their spouses from certain occupational licensing
  • H.3417 – Transfers illegal immigration unit to SLED
  • H.3031 – Shortens voter registration window
  • H.3046 – Amending definition of “terrorism”, includes penalties
  • H.3355 – Bans use of cell phones while driving
  • H.4054 – Allows for the submission of less than three candidates to serve as director of Dept of Employment and Workforce (for just this year)

Senate floor session

  • S.214 – Collecting sales tax from online retailers (SCPC analysis)
  • S.397 – County sheriffs have some power as municipal police officers to enforce certain laws
  • S.362 – Creates solar energy tax credit
  • 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.455 – Veterans’ spouses receive temporary occupational licenses
  • S.18 – Allows DUI offenders to enroll in the interlock ignition program
  • S.439 – Raises cap on port cargo tax credit, greater decision-making power for Coordinating Council for Economic Development
  • S.132 – Offers more flexibility for physicians assistants
  • S.277 – Regulation for speech language pathologists
  • S.298 – Ties General Fund revenues to higher education funding, creates “enterprise divisions”
  • S.540 – Allows for the submission of less than three candidates to serve as director of Dept of Employment and Workforce (permanent change to law)
  • S.156 – Bans cell phones in prisons (SCPC analysis)

Monday – 3/4/19

Public hearing in McCormick, 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 – 3/5/19

House committee meetings

Judiciary subcommittee

  • H.3602 – Person with relationship with patient can make healthcare decisions on their behalf

Education Committee

  • H.3759 – K-12 education omnibus bill. Creates Zero to Twenty Committee, criteria for school district consolidation, more requirements for reading coaches
  • H.3936 – Technical college students eligible for Palmetto Fellows scholarship
  • H.3789 – Amends drivers’ license fees, regulations
  • H.3952 – Regulations for golf carts and mopeds

Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs subcommittee

  • H.3725 – Creates advisory council for certain pediatric conditions
  • H.3621 – Regulation and fines for athletic trainers
  • H.3703 – Increases number of times physical therapists can take licensure test
  • H.3821 – Expands power of advanced practice registered nurses
  • H.3807 – Prohibits minors from using tanning equipment

Senate committee meetings

Select Committee on Santee Cooper

Transportation subcommittee

  • S.473 – requires car rental businesses to have liability insurance, and states that the insurance must be exhausted before the company can be sued directly.
  • S.509 – Creates licensing requirement for non-franchise owned car dealerships that has to be renewed annually

 

Wednesday – 3/6/19

House committee meetings

LCI subcommittee

  • H.3780 – Creates program to expand broadband to rural areas

Ways and Means subcommittee

  • H.3778 – Raises cap on port cargo tax credit, greater decision-making power for Coordinating Council for Economic Development

Judiciary subcommittee

  • H.3322 – Overhauls sentencing guidelines

Ways and Means Committee

  • Budget briefing

Senate committee meetings

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.413 – Allows NCIS officers to carry firearms and enforce state laws
  • S.396 – Stronger age verification requirements for online nicotine sales
  • S.276 – Unlawful to threaten or damage a person or building with dangerous weapon

LCI subcommittee

  • S.481 – Expands power of State Fire Marshal
  • S.278 – Mandatory licensing for locksmiths, includes fees

Education subcommittee

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

Banking & Insurance subcommittee

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

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
  • S.206 – Renames the governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council

 

Thursday – 3/7/19

House committee meetings

Ways and Means Committee

  • Budget briefing

Judiciary subcommittee

  • H.3968 – Ends the practice of civil asset forfeiture, places strict parameters on criminal asset forfeiture
  • H.3951 – Stricter requirements for becoming sheriff, including no conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude

Tax Review Committee

  • Sales tax exemptions and sales tax reform

Senate committee meetings

Family & Veterans’ Services subcommittee

  • S.498 – Gives Children’s Trust Fund access to records maintained by Dept of Social Services and Dept of Children’s Advocacy
  • S.531 – Release of children’s’ information must be accompanied by confidentiality order

Corrections & Penology Committee

  • S.155 – Provides early release criteria for inmates who complete 65% of sentence

Medical Affairs subcommittee

  • S.463 – Gives more flexibility to pharmacists in refilling prescriptions
  • S.525 – Repeals abolition of environmental impact fee

 

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