News from the House of Representatives
The House of Representatives was on furlough this week and will return to session at 12:00pm on Tuesday, April 12th.
News from the Senate
Senate Republican Caucus
Senator Harvey Peeler (R-Gaffney) resigned as the leader of the Senate Republican Caucus on Tuesday after holding the position for eleven years. Peeler cited the need to focus on his upcoming primary election in announcing his resignation. The Senate Republican Caucus met on Wednesday afternoon and elected Senator Shane Massey (R-Edgefield) as the new Majority Leader.
Special Election Runoff
The republican primary runoff to fill the vacancy in Senate District 4 was held on Tuesday. Representative Mike Gambrell won the runoff with 57.6% of the vote. Gambrell does not face any opposition in the general election, which will be held on Tuesday, May 17th.
Adjournment of the General Assembly
On Thursday the Senate gave second reading to a bill by Senator Tom Young relating to adjournment of the General Assembly. The bill changes the date for the mandatory adjournment of the General Assembly from the first Thursday in June to the second Thursday in May. The regular annual session of the General Assembly can be extended if the House of Representatives fails to give third reading to the annual general appropriations bill by March first, if a forecast reduction is submitted by the Board of Economic Advisors after April 10th for the next fiscal year, or if a concurrent resolution is adopted by a two-thirds vote of the Senate and House of Representatives. The bill must receive third reading by the Senate before being sent to the House.
Cervical Cancer Prevention Act
The Senate gave third and final reading to a bill by Representative Beth Bernstein on Wednesday creating the Cervical Cancer Prevention Act. The legislation provides that beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the Department of Health and Environmental Control may offer the cervical cancer vaccination series for adolescent students. Adolescent students include children enrolling in the seventh grade in any school, public, private, or home schooling program in South Carolina. No student is required to have the cervical cancer vaccination series before enrolling in or attending school and consent of a parent or guardian is required for a student to receive the vaccination. The bill now goes back to the House for its consideration.
On Tuesday the Senate gave second reading to a bill by Senator Chip Campsen relating to invocations to open meetings of deliberative bodies. The bill defines a public invocation as a prayer or invocation and must not be exploited to proselytize or advance any one, or to disparage any other faith or belief or coerce participation by observers of the invocation. Deliberative public bodies may adopt a policy to permit a public invocation before each meeting of the public body, for the benefit of the public body. The bill received third reading on Wednesday and was sent to the House for its consideration.
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