News from the House of Representatives
2016 House Budget Debate
The House completed its work on the General Appropriations Bill and the Capital Reserve Fund this week. The House came into session at 1:00pm on Monday and was able to vote on all sections of the budget that did not contain an amendment. On Tuesday the House came into session at 9:00am and worked until almost midnight to give the bills second reading. Some of the amendments discussed and adopted by the House included a 2% pay raise for state employees, $415 million to the Department of Transportation for road repair and maintenance, and money to the Judicial Department for three new Circuit Court judges. After working through approximately 110 amendments, the House gave the General Appropriations bill second reading by a vote of 111 to 1. The House also gave second reading to the Capital Reserve Fund by a vote of 113 to 0. The House returned to session at 11:00am on Wednesday and gave the General Appropriations Bill third reading by a vote of 111 to 1 and the Capital Reserve Fund third reading by a vote of 114 to 0.
Additional House Furloughs
The House of Representatives has announced that they will furlough for three weeks during this session. The remaining weeks are listed below. The House will return to session on Tuesday, April 12th at 12:00pm.
- March 29-31
- April 5-7
News from the Senate
On Tuesday the primary to fill the vacancy in Senate District 4 was held. The unofficial results from the State Election Commission are below. Representative Mike Gambrell and Rockey Burgess will be in the runoff scheduled for Tuesday, April 5th.
Mike Gambrell – 45.5%
Rockey Burgess – 31.9%
Tripp Padgett – 14.0%
Willie Day – 6.2%
Mark Powell – 2.3%
Comprehensive Health Education Programs
On Thursday the Senate concurred with the House on a bill by Representative Don Wells that provides that each student must receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation at least once during high school. The instruction must include hands-only CPR and it must include awareness in the use of an automated external defibrillator. School districts must use a program developed by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or an instructional program that is nationally recognized and based on the most current national evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines for CPR. School districts must begin complying with the legislation no later than the 2017-2018 school year. The bill now goes to Governor Haley for her signature.
The Senate gave final approval to a bill this week by Senator Kevin Bryant relating to refugees in South Carolina. The legislation requires that sponsors placing refugees in South Carolina pursuant to the federal Refugee Resettlement Program to enroll the refugee with the Department of Social Services within thirty days of the refugee entering the State. DSS is to send the enrollment information of refugees in South Carolina to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. In order to register with DSS, the sponsor is to provide the refugee’s name, address, telephone number, job status, name and contact information of the refugee’s employer, all state, local, or federal assistance provided to the refugee, criminal record, and any other information that the department determines to be relevant. The registration information is to be maintained by the department on a database and the database is not to be made available to the public. The bill received second reading by a vote of 39-6 and, by unanimous consent, will receive third reading on Thursday. The bill will then be sent to the House for its consideration of the matter.
2016 Senate Budget Calendar
The Senate Finance Committee has released the Senate’s tentative 2016 budget calendar, which is listed below.
- April 12-14: Full Committee Deliberations
- April 19-21: Final Senate Finance Committee Version Printed
- April 26-28: Senate Floor Debate
- May 3-5: Senate Floor Debate
- May 10-12: Bill Returned to the House, Conference Committee
- May 17-19: Conference Committee
- May 24-26: Conference Report Delivered to the Governor
- May 31-June2: Vetoes
The Senate has announced that they will furlough for one week during this session. The week is listed below. On Wednesday the Senate also voted to furlough on Thursday, March 24th. The Senate will return to session on Tuesday, April 5th at 12:00pm.
- March 29-31