News from the House of Representatives
Mother Emanuel Nine Day
On Thursday the House gave final approval to a concurrent resolution by Representative Wendell Gilliard declaring June 17, 2016 as Mother Emanuel Nine Day. The resolution acknowledges that on June 17, 2015 nine African Americans were murdered during a bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston and the tragic event shocked not only South Carolina, but the entire nation. The resolution encourages every state agency and all South Carolinians to pause and reflect on the horrific tragedy that occurred and to contemplate the state of race relations in their community.
Property Tax Assessments
The House approved legislation this week relating to the treatment of agricultural real property, mobile home, and lessee improvements to real property, so as to classify off-premises outdoor advertising signs as personal property. The legislation also provides certain circumstances that an off-premises sign site must be taxed at its value which existed before the erection of the sign. The House adopted the Ways and Means Committee amendment which specifies that upon the site owner providing written or electronic notice to the county assessor that his affected property was assessed other than as provided by the legislation, county tax officials shall adjust values and assessment ratios to reflect the provisions of the legislation. The bill received third reading on Thursday before being referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
Quarterly Income Tax Withholdings
On Tuesday the House gave second reading to a bill by Representative Brian White relating to the quarterly income tax withholdings. The legislation changes the due date of the fourth quarter return from the last day of February to the last day of January. The bill was vetted by the House Ways and Means Committee and received second reading by a vote of 112-0. The House gave the bill third reading on Wednesday then the bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
2016 House Budget Calendar
The House Ways & Means Committee has released the House’s tentative 2016 budget calendar, which is listed below. Please note that the schedule has been updated and the full House deliberations have been pushed back until March 21st.
- March 1-3: Appropriation Bill Printed
- March 8-10: Printed Appropriation Bill Distributed to All House Members
- March 15-17: Printed Appropriation Bill Distributed to All House Members
- March 21-24: House Floor Budget Deliberations
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.
- March 29-31
- April 5-7
News from the Senate
Emergency Anaphylaxis Treatment Act
On Wednesday the Senate gave second reading to a bill by Senator Ray Cleary known as the Emergency Anaphylaxis Treatment Act. The legislation adds a definition for “epinephrine auto-injector” and requires the Department of Health and Environmental Control to develop a training and certification program for individuals who administer epinephrine auto-injectors. The bill received third reading on Thursday and was referred to the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee.
Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Review Committee
A bill by Representative Murrell Smith establishing the Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Review Committee received second reading in the Senate on Wednesday. The Committee would be established under the Department of Health and Environmental Control to review and study maternal deaths and is to report the findings to the General Assembly. The bill received third reading on Thursday and was returned to the House.
Patient Right to Try Act
Legislation by Senator Paul Campbell creating the Right to Try Act was approved by the Senate this week. The bill provides for eligible patients’ right to try investigational drugs, biological products, or devices to combat a terminal illness. The legislation provides that an eligible patient give informed consent prior to using an investigational drug, biological product, or device and provides protection from liability for doctors prescribing and manufacturers of an investigational drug, biological product, or device. The bill received third reading on Thursday and was referred to the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee.
Petroleum Pipeline Study Committee
On Thursday the Senate gave second reading to a joint resolution by Senator Tom Young creating the Petroleum Pipeline Study Committee. The Committee is to study matters related to the presence of petroleum pipelines in South Carolina, including, but not limited to the various types of petroleum products and byproducts that are transported by pipeline, the federal requirements for petroleum pipeline siting and monitoring, the state responsibilities as to the regulation of petroleum pipeline siting and monitoring, the possible environmental implications, the potential economic development implications for South Carolina, whether other states permit petroleum pipeline companies to exercise eminent domain, and whether a bonding requirement can and should be imposed as a prerequisite for any private company seeking to install a petroleum pipeline in South Carolina. The Senate must give the resolution third reading before it is sent to the House for its consideration.
The Senate has announced that they will furlough for one week during this session. The week is listed below.
- March 29-31