Bills before the S.C. legislature this week | The Press and Standard

by | April 23, 2018 3:59 pm

From the S.C. Policy Council:

There are three weeks left in this year’s session, and both the House and the Senate are in their typical end-of-session flurry. The calendars for both chambers are quite full, with a significant possibility of surprises if lawmakers decide to suspend rules and ram additional legislation through.

One example of this happened last week. The Senate agreed to allow a newly filed bill to bypass the committee process and receive a second-reading vote last Friday in a “phantom session.” This bill – S.1183 – would allow the Richland County legislative delegation to transfer special purpose commissioner appointment power from governor to county council (SCPC analysis). There are serious constitutional implications with this legislation, which is on this week’s third reading calendar.

Another significant bill on the Senate calendar is H.3529, which would prohibit local governments from banning plastic bags (SCPC analysis).

Meanwhile, the Senate budget will go to the House for a vote on the Senate amendments. As a rule the budget differences are ironed out in conference committee, and that committee will probably be appointed this week.

The House is also scheduled to consider the Senate’s version of  S.954, which would mandate temporary rate reductions for SCE&G customers and delay a Public Service Commission ruling until the end of the year. The House language would have temporarily lifted all of the V.C. Summer rate hikes, while the Senate’s language lifts a portion of them and requires investor-owned utilities (not just SCE&G) to pass their tax savings from the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on to their customers. If the House does not concur in the Senate’s amendments, the bill will go to conference committee.

Several other noteworthy bills are on this week’s House calendar: S.805, which creates a new state agency with unaccountable powers and serious privacy and due process concerns (SCPC analysis); H.3521, allowing the medical use of cannabis; and H.5000, which would restructure the state pension system (SCPC analysis). The latter bill was recalled from committee and placed on the floor calendar last week.

As bills and issues covered in our annual publication Best & Worst of the General Assembly 2017 appear on the legislative calendars, we color-code them according to their status in Best & Worst and link to the appropriate page. To view this week’s full calendar online, click here.

On the House and Senate Floor:

  • Senate budget amendments
  • Senate amendments to S.954 – Delaying PSC decision and lowering rates temporarily (SCPC analysis)
  • S.805 – Creates Department of Children’s Advocacy (SCPC analysis)
  • S.812 – Nonprofit raffles can offer larger prizes
  • H.1116 – Establishing Greenville Health Authority
  • S.190 – Revising SC’s nonprofit laws
  • H.5000 – revising the state pension system structure – recalled from committee (SCPC analysis)
  • H.3886 – Further regulations on homeowners’ associations
  • H.3722 – Bond bill (SCPC analysis)
  • S.27 – State superintendent of education appointed by governor (SCPC analysis)
  • H.4480 – More stringent texting and driving laws
  • H.3521 – Compassionate Care: medical use of cannabis (SCPC analysis)
  • S.1183 – Richland delegation may transfer special purpose commissioner appointment power from governor to county council (SCPC analysis here and here)
  • H.4592 – Increasing borrowing limit for Spartanburg special purpose district
  • S.189 – Overhauling SC’s LLC regulatory laws
  • S.777 – Permitting liquor to be sold at soccer games
  • S.516 – Expedited law enforcement/court reporting for background check system
  • H.3529 – Prohibiting local governments from banning plastic bags (SCPC analysis)
  • H.3138 – Festival permits for selling beer and wine
  • H.4672 – Must have eye exam to renew drivers license
  • S.137 – Constitutional amendment making superintendent of education gubernatorial appointment (SCPC analysis)
  • S.324 – Retired officials can carry concealed anywhere (similar to H.3025 – SCPC analysis)
  • S.148 – Additional fee for magistrate court civil filings
  • S.431 – Unlawful to threaten schools
  • S.833 – Local govts can require property owners to keep property clean
  • S. 212 – Compassionate Care: medical use of cannabis (SCPC analysis)
  • S.547 – Calling a constitutional convention to rewrite the US Constitution (SCPC analysis)
  • S.1026 – Greenville Health System board of trustees
  • S.1119 – Advisory referendum regarding Greenville Health System
Tuesday – 4/24/18House committee meetings

Education & Public Works

  • S.937 – Extends temporary devolution of Denmark Technical College Area Commission
  • S.857 – Restructures Wil Lou Gray Opportunity school board
  • S.709 – Requiring annual fire and safety drills in public schools
  • S.888 – School faculty members may receive pay for unused sick days (SCPC analysis)
  • S.302 – Marching band instruction equivalent to physical education

3-M Committee

  • H.4958 – Allowing pharmacists to dispense maintenance medication
  • H.4978 – Amending athletic trainer regulations
  • H.5002 – Beauty salons may now offer barbering
  • H.5097 – Licensing requirements for hair designers
  • S.345 – More practice freedom for nurse practitioners (SCPC analysis)
  • S.962 – Licensing for addiction counselors

Senate committee meetingsFinance Committee

  • S.407 – Tax credits for agribusiness and rural jobs
  • H.3895 – Revises Office of Revenue & Fiscal Affairs
  • H.4077 – Exceptional needs tax credit

Wednesday – 4/25/18Joint session to elect college & university trustees (MUSC, USC, SC State, etc.) – 12pm

House committee meetings

LCI Committee

  • S.916 – Extends tax credit for buying energy efficient homes
  • S.810 – Allowing counties to further regulate pawnbrokers

Senate committee meetings

Labor and Employment subcommittee

  • H.4093 – Creates South Carolina Employment First Oversight Commission

Education Committee

  • H.3068 – Regulations regarding student athletes and their agents
  • H.4182 – Creating unaccountable mini-governments within universities (SCPC analysis)
  • H.5042 – Further regulations for schools with at-risk budget practices
  • H.4810 – School Metal Detector Study Committee
  • H.4596 – Competency-Based schools

Fish, Game and Forestry subcommittee

  • H.4715 – A new fee for watercraft dealer demonstration numbers

Professions and Occupations subcommittee

  • H.4915 – Speech-language pathology assistant must practice under supervision
  • H.3038 – Licensure for locksmiths (SCPC analysis)
  • H.4601 – Regulations for addiction counselors

Thursday – 4/19/18
House committee meetings
LCI Committee

  • S. 877 – Caps the surety bond amount for appraisal management registration
  • S.916 – Extends tax credit for buying energy efficient homes
  • S.810 – Allowing counties to further regulate pawnbrokers

Senate committee meetings

LCI Committee (no agenda)

Higher Education subcommittee

  • H.3311 – Creates new workforce program, tax credits

Agriculture Committee

  • H.5063 – Agriculture department doesn’t have regulatory control over home-based food production

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