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SC Public Policy Update - February 20, 2015

February 20, 2015

What's New

Even after starting late because of inclement weather in the Upstate, the House of Representatives and Senate were in session this week and also held subcommittees and committees meetings.

The House did spend time giving final reading to several bills this week. Members had a lengthy discussion on H.3191, a bill that would create the Office of FOIA Review, before ultimately passing it on Thursday.

The House of Representatives passed H.3192, regarding meeting agendas this week. Representative Weston Newton (R-Beaufort) said the bill was in response to a Supreme Court ruling in 2014. The bill requires that an agenda be posted 24 hours prior to a meeting. It also requires a 24-hour notice of changes to the agenda.

The House Ways and Means Committee adopted their budget on Thursday after a long week of deliberations. The Committee adopted the BEA revenue estimate of $7,518,473,000 and approved the transfer of $571,182,163 to the Tax Relief Trust Fund leaving a total of $6,947,290,837 in recurring funds.  Non-recurring revenue totaling almost $237M included $127.7M from Capital Reserve Fund; $19.7M from Contingency Fund; $19.2M from BEA Certified Surplus and $70M from the Tobacco Settlement. The House also approved a nearly $500 million Bond bill for building and infrastructure projects.

More details on the budget proposal can be found here.

The Senate spent most of the week debating S.3, the Domestic Violence bill. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Larry Martin (R-Pickens) opened the debate by saying he considered the bill one of the most important pieces of legislation for this session. He called domestic violence “a stain on our state.” They briefly discussed S.475, related to eliminating the South Carolina State University Board. Senator Courson stated that the bill will be taken up next week. 

Top News Articles

Richland, other SC counties frustrated, challenged by dwindling state aid
Midlands counties and others around the state are increasingly frustrated with the S.C. Legislature after years of funding cuts and rising mandated costs.
 

State House rally: ‘SC State is not going to close’
More than 1,000 supporters of South Carolina State University gathered Monday at the State House to rally against a legislative proposal to close the school for two years.
 
Local government funding bill unanimously approved
The House budget-writing committee today unanimously approved a bill that changes the payment system for local governments and seeks to end a point of friction between county officials and lawmakers that has simmered for years. Read more.

Boeing’s North Charleston plant cranking up production of extended 787-9
Boeing South Carolina’s first 787-9 Dreamliner emerged from the main hangar in North Charleston just a few weeks ago.

Vice President Joe Biden, in Columbia, pushes $478 billion federal spending plan for roads
Vice President Joe Biden stopped in Columbia on Wednesday to tout federal legislation that would pump nearly $500 billion into transportation infrastructure and workforce development.
 

Lawmakers move to sack SC State trustees, president
State officials would take over S.C. State University temporarily after firing the trustees of the financially troubled school under a plan approved Wednesday by S.C. House budget writers.

S.C. Senate rejects effort to remove gun ban from domestic-violence bill
An effort to remove a proposed gun ban from a domestic-violence bill was soundly rejected Wednesday by the South Carolina Senate.

A Bid for Guns on Campuses to Deter Rape
As gun rights advocates push to legalize firearms on college campuses, an argument is taking shape: Arming female students will help reduce sexual assaults. Read more.

BMW ranks as nation's top automotive exporter in 2014
Spartanburg County-based automaker BMW announced it was once again the nation's top automotive exporter in 2014. Read more.

Governor’s income tax cut sidelines roads funding plans
Attempts to marry two competing roads plans have failed so far in the South Carolina House, delaying efforts to come up with a plan to fund the state’s decaying roads and bridges.

Cell phone service fees advance in the SC senate
Amid objections from major cellphone carriers Verizon Wireless, Sprint and others, a Senate subcommittee Thursday moved forward a bill that would extend a state universal landline service fee to cellphone users in South Carolina.
 
House budget panel approves borrowing $500 million for projects
House budget writers Thursday approved borrowing nearly $500 million for building and infrastructure projects.
 

SC Ports Authority to build operations center near BMW in Spartanburg County
The South Carolina Ports Authority said it will build a “site operations center” at BMW Manufacturing Co.'s Spartanburg County campus. Read more.

An inside look at Boeing S.C.’s Dreamliner facilities
Boeing South Carolina’s 7,500 employees build 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners along with their Washington state counterparts. See the inside of Boeing South Carolina’s Dreamliner facilities as Vice President and General Manager Jack Jones talks about overcoming workforce and production issues, handling rate increases and preparing to transition leadership to Beverly Wyse. Read more

Newly Introduced Legislation

EDUCATION: 
S. 475 Leatherman:A JOINT RESOLUTION TO REMOVE THE CURRENT MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY AND DEVOLVE THE BOARD'S POWERS UPON A NEW APPOINTED BOARD

ENVIRONMENTAL: 
S. 467 Grooms: RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA SOLID WASTE POLICY AND MANAGEMENT ACT, TO EXCLUDE STEEL ELECTRIC ARC SLAG FROM THE DEFINITION OF SOLID WASTE 
H. 3693 Sandifer: SO AS TO IMPOSE CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS IN THE EVENT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL DEVELOPS A STATE PLAN FOR REGULATING CARBON MONOXIDE EMISSIONS FROM COVERED ELECTRIC GENERATING UNITS

GOVERNMENT: 
H. 3192
 Newton: RELATING TO PUBLIC NOTICE REQUIREMENTS OF PUBLIC MEETINGS

HEALTHCARE: 
S. 474 O'Dell: RELATING TO CHAPTER DEFINITIONS, SO AS TO ADD AND DEFINE THE TERM "AUTHORIZED HEALTH CARE PROVIDER"

TAX/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: 
H. 3671 Horne: SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE SALES TAX EXEMPTION ON CERTAIN ITEMS NO LONGER APPLIES

TECHNOLOGY: 
H. 3682
 Finlay:SO AS TO ENACT THE "BAD FAITH ASSERTION OF PATENT INFRINGEMENT ACT"

 

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.

Firm clients who wish to receive individualized legislative updates, bill monitoring, or lobbying services may discuss options with Bob Coble.  He can be reached at 803-253-8211 or bcoble@nexsenpruet.com

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