News from the House of Representatives
Code of Laws
On Tuesday the House gave second reading to a bill by Representative Stephen Goldfinch that cleans up outdated sections in the South Carolina Code of Law. Representative Goldfinch’s bill repeals code sections relating to sending or accepting a challenge to fight, seduction under the promise of marriage, adultery or fornication, unlawful operation of public dancing halls on Sunday, unlawful work on Sundays, the prohibition on railroads removing their lines from towns with more than 500 inhabitants, and the prohibition on minors playing pinball. The House gave the bill third reading on Wednesday and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Eartha Kitt Day
A bill by Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter declaring January 17th of each year as “Eartha Kitt Day” in South Carolina was given final approval by the House this week. The legislation is in honor of the late Eartha Mae Kitt, a nationally and internationally known actress, singer, and native South Carolinian. The legislation also promotes cultural tourism in South Carolina in order to enhance the economic well-being and improve the quality of life of all South Carolinians. The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration.
Legislation by Representative Anne Thayer establishing limitations on the number of foster children who may be placed in a foster home received approval from the House this week. Thayer’s bill specifies that a foster home may not provide full-time care for more than five children, excluding the foster parents’ own children and other children who are household members, with a maximum of eight children. There are exceptions in the bill to keep a sibling group together, to keep a child in the child’s home community, to return a child to a home in which the child was previously placed, to comply with an order of the court, or if it is in the best interest of the children as determined by the court or department. The bill will now be vetted by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
South Carolina Day of Service
On Wednesday the House gave second reading to a bill by Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope that declares the third Saturday of May of each year as “South Carolina Day of Service”. The bill encourages all South Carolinians to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand to make a positive difference in our great state. The bill received third reading on Thursday and was referred to the Senate Invitations 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 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
Petroleum Pipeline Study Committee
This week the Senate gave final approval to a bill by Senator Shane Massey creating the Petroleum Pipeline Study Committee. The committee is to study matters related to the presence of petroleum pipelines in South Carolina. Three House Members, three Senators, the Director of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the Executive Director of the Office of Regulatory Staff, one member representing environmental or conservation organizations appointed by the Governor, and one member representing the SC Petroleum Council appointed by the Governor will compose the study committee. The study committee’s report for the General Assembly that sets forth findings and recommendations regarding matters related to the presence of petroleum pipelines in South Carolina is due by June 30, 2017. If the report contains findings or a recommendation that further work is needed, the study committee may continue its work until June 30, 2018, at which time the study committee must be dissolved. The bill was referred to the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee for its consideration.
After many months of debate, the Senate gave final approval to legislation this week to a road funding plan. The final Senate version of the bill spends $400 million of the state’s excess revenue on roads without raising the gas tax. The state’s surplus is expected to be $1.2 billion this year. The legislation also gives the Governor the authority to appoint the commissioners of the Department of Transportation with advice and consent of the Senate. In making appointments to the commission, the Governor shall take into consideration factors such as residence in rural or urban areas so as to represent all segments of the population of the State. The legislation now returns to the House for its consideration of the Senate version of the bill.
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.
- March 29-31