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SC Public Policy Update - December 8, 2016

December 12, 2016

What's New

HOUSE AND SENATE ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION

Senate Rule Change

The Senate held its reorganization session on December 6, 2016.  After hearing speeches from new members, the Senate took up and passed several changes to its rules.  Notable changes in the Senate rules include:

  • Changing the meeting time of committees: 
    • The Finance and Judiciary Committees will now meet at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays.
  • Changing the start time of session: 
    • The Senate will now go into session at 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and 12 p.m. on Wednesdays.
  • Eliminating “Minority Reports:”
    • Minority reports would be eliminated in an effort to limit individual senator’s ability to intentionally slow down the legislative process on bills that have won approval in committee.
    • The daily objection limit for senators will be increased from three to five.
    • The duration of “cloture” now applies for the duration of a bill’s debate, not just for a day.
  • Debating “Special Order” bills:
    • “Special Order” legislation will now be considered before the “Uncontested” and “Contested” portion of the calendar; and
  • Adding a new “Consent” section: 
    • This section will include bills and resolutions (containing no amendments) that would be voted on as a block with one recorded roll call vote.
    • Members with concerns about a bill can move the legislation from this new section to the “Uncontested Calendar” at any time.

The Senate also held election for its officers where members re-elected Senator Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) as President Pro Tempore by a vote of 36-9.  Senators voting in opposition were Senators Bennett, Campsen, Climer, Davis, Grooms, Hembree, Massey, Rice, and Timmons.

The Senate will convene the session on Tuesday, February 10th, 2017.

SENATE COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

The Nexsen Pruet State House Update is published as a service to our attorneys, clients, and friends.  It is intended to be a high level overview of the weekly activity at the South Carolina State House and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation.

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