2017 Legislative Session Year-end Report

The South Carolina Legislature adjourned sine die on May 11 for the 2017 session year, the first year of a two-year session.  The session was marked by a changing of the guard in the Governor’s office with newly installed Republican Governor Henry McMaster replacing outgoing GOP Governor Nikki Haley, who resigned to become UN Ambassador in the Trump administration.

The year’s biggest controversy was settled by the legislature, ending three years of passionate debate on how to pay for much-needed road maintenance and improvements across the state.

After Veto and Override, Roads Funding Plan Effective July 1

On May 9, the House and Senate approved the roads funding plan with veto-proof majorities. Gov. Henry McMaster (R), who previously promised to veto the bill, wasted no time and vetoed the legislation before the end of the day, with a veto message posted on Facebook. On May 10, after several rousing speeches on the floor about executive leadership, or lack thereof on this issue, the House voted 95-18 to override the governor’s veto and the Senate followed with a 32-12 vote to override.

Revenue Generation

Effective July 1, 2017, the legislation will increase the state’s 16.75 cents per gallon gas tax to a total of 28.75 cents per gallon by the year 2022. The legislation’s 12 cents per gallon increase, named the motor fuel user fee, will be phased in as a 2 cents per gallon increase in each of the six years of the plan. The state’s gas tax has not been subject to inflation indexing over the last 30 years, which will not change since the final legislation does not include the Senate’s inflation indexing provision.  This was a big win for SCACS.

The legislation requires that all revenues raised from the 12 cents per gallon increase be placed into the newly created Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund, which is required to use these funds exclusively for repairs, maintenance and improvements to the existing transportation system.

Other fees were also increased or introduced to raise revenue for the trust fund, including a $16 increase on every biennial registration and license fee in the state and an increase in the vehicle sales tax, now called the Infrastructure Maintenance Fee.

The legislation is expected to raise approximately $630 million each year for road repairs after full implementation. The plan is estimated to cost a South Carolina driver who travels 15,000 miles in a car that gets 25 miles per gallon about $1.40 per week in additional motor fuel user fees after full implementation.

Tax Relief

Several of the Senate’s various tax credit and rebate proposals, originally intended to offset the cost of the increase to the state’s taxpayers as well as help make the legislation veto-proof, are included in the final legislation. The legislation includes the main tax relief program proposed by the Senate, the motor fuel user rebate, which will be a refundable income tax credit for preventative maintenance on the state’s registered private passenger vehicles. The legislation also implements a state earned income tax credit that will be a nonrefundable credit equal to 125 percent of the federal earned income tax credit. The state’s students also received an increase in the cap on their refundable income tax credits for higher education tuition, which will now be up to $1,500 for two- and four-year programs. Finally, in an effort to lower the cost of business in the state, manufacturers will get a small break on their property assessment ratios phased in over the six-year plan.

DOT Governance Reforms

Additional Department of Transportation (DOT) reforms were also included in the final legislation. Legislators opted to add another at-large member to the DOT Commission, the governing body of the DOT, to make full commission membership an odd number to avoid tie votes. All nine commissioners will be appointed by the governor and vetted in some manner by the legislature in a plan inspired by the Ethics Commission appointment process. The seven congressional district seats on the commission will be vetted and confirmed by the legislation delegations of the relevant congressional district, which will now include all legislators who represent any portion of the congressional district. The two at-large members will be confirmed by the House and the Senate.

Other key issues of interest to SCACS

UST Regulations approved by the legislature

The General Assembly finalized new regulations for underground fuel tanks this year.  SCACS worked closely with SCPMA, SC DHEC and legislative leadership throughout the year-long process to guarantee that the new regulations were acceptable to our industry.

Bill limiting the placement of beer & wine coolers defeated in House committee

In a big win for SCACS, a House 3-M sub-committee chaired by Rep. Richie Yow (R – Chesterfield) unanimously adjourned debate on H. 3547, sponsored by Rep. Chris Hart (D – Richland), which would have banned placement of beer and wine coolers in close proximity to the entrance doorway of a retailer.

Ban on local government benefit preemption ordinances signed into law

  1. 218, a bill banning local governments from mandating employee benefits sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey (R – Edgefield), was strongly supported by SCACS and other business groups.  The legislation passed both houses and was signed into law Gov. McMaster in April.  This was a big win for SCACS and the business community after a multi-year effort to gain passage of this important legislation, as this is a growing problem for employers in other states.

Business license standardization 

  1. 3650, the business license standardization act sponsored by House LCI Chairman Bill Sandifer (R – Oconee), which would simplify the process of applying for business licenses in the state was the subject of much debate in the House this year.  The bill received a favorable report in the House LCI committee in February after overcoming fierce opposition from the SC Municipal Association.  However, this same opposition was able to block the bill on the floor preventing a vote.  In March, Chairman Sandifer moved to recommit the bill to his committee for further work.

The other dominant issues this session were the annual state budget debate, efforts to fix the state’s ailing state employee pension fund and a legislative battle over control of the state’s higher education system.

FY2018 Budget

On June 12, Gov. McMaster utilized his line-item veto power to remove $56.4 million in spending from the legislature’s $8 billion budget. The governor’s veto message focused on transparency in spending taxpayer dollars in light of the recently passed gas tax increase. Here are some highlights of Gov. McMaster’s vetoes:

  • $20.5 million allocated for school bus upgrades because the funding is dependent upon the lottery raising more than projected and lottery money should be spent on scholarships as promised.
  • $8 million for mandatory contraceptive coverage for dependents of state employees receiving benefits from the state health plan.
  • $6.2 million to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism; $3.3 million for sports marketing grants; and $4.9 million for medical contracts because they are vaguely named “port projects.”
  • The legislature’s cuts to the S.C. Conservation Bank, which effectively restores funding to the agency at its current levels, because “South Carolina deserves a reasoned debate about the Bank’s future and mission through normal legislative processes, not the budget.”
  • The provision expanding the counties’ power to spend gas tax money on nonpaving projects.

The legislature may override the governor’s vetoes with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate, but legislators have suggested they would not return before the end of June. The state’s budget takes effect July 1, 2017, and if the legislature does not return before the end of the year to address the vetoes, the affected agencies will not have access to the funds until well into their fiscal year.

First Part of Pension Systems Fix Finalized, Phase II Begins

After months of study and discussion, Gov. McMaster signed legislation authorizing a plan to fix the state’s ailing retirement system. Despite approving the legislature’s efforts to shore up the plan, Gov. McMaster told lawmakers to continue their work. He believes the state needs a deferred compensation, or 401k-style, plan to offer to state employees, as opposed to the current defined-benefit plan, which promises the state’s employees an exact monthly payment based on length of service and salary.

The approved plan, which went into effect immediately upon the governor’s signature, decouples and raises the employer and employee contribution percentages. The employer contribution will be raised, by 2 percent, to 13.56 percent on July 1 for FY2018, and will then increase by 1 percent each year until FY2024, for a total of 7 percent over the course of the plan. By the end of the plan, the employer contribution will be 18.56 percent. The employee contribution will also be increased on July 1 from 8.66 percent to 9 percent, but will be capped at 9 percent for the following years.

On June 6, the legislature approved the second piece of “Phase I” of the pension system fix, providing state funding in the FY2018 to state agencies, cities, counties and other local entities to cover half of the required 2 percent increase in payroll allocation.

The Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review, who crafted the plan, met on May 9 to map out its continued study and discussion on improving the system. Discussion over the interim will cover deferred compensation plans or hybrid plans for future state employees. The committee asked interested parties to submit input regarding potential plans or any other ideas for improving the state’s pension system.

Legislature Attempts to Strip Power from State College Oversight Agency

The Commission on Higher Education (CHE) took a hit in the budget, and not just with a loss of funds. The budget conferees agreed to remove the CHE’s authority to review college construction or renovation projects. Under the legislature’s plan, capital improvement projects for the state’s colleges would be reviewed by the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

The House has had serious concerns about the mission and authority of the CHE throughout this legislative session. House leaders have stated that they are trying to focus CHE’s manpower on academic program oversight, instead of requiring the CHE’s limited staff to stretch resources to do multiple jobs that could be done by other oversight bodies.

On June 12, in his veto message to the legislature, Gov. McMaster restored the Commission on Higher Education’s power to review capital improvement project proposals from the state’s colleges and universities, stating that “the CHE must be allowed to exercise its oversight authority.”

Special Election Results 

On June 20, former state Rep. Ralph Norman (R-York) defeated Archie Parnell (D-Rock Hill) in the special congressional election to fill the state’s vacant U.S. House seat. Norman will serve the remainder of former Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s term; Mulvaney resigned to lead the Office of Management and Budget after an appointment by President Trump. Norman narrowly defeated Rep. Tommy Pope (R-York), House Speaker Pro Tempore, by a 221 vote margin in a primary runoff just three weeks before the special election.

On May 30, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant’s (R) vacant Senate seat was filled, after businessman Richard Cash (R-Anderson) defeated a last-minute write-in campaign from supporters of his primary opposition, Carol Burdette, former Pendleton, S.C., mayor. Sen. Cash was sworn in on June 6, and immediately began his work on the Senate floor.

Several House seats were also filled in the last month of the session. Ronnie Young (R-Aiken), chairman of the Aiken County Council, was elected to fill the vacant seat of former Rep. Chris Corley, who resigned from the House in January after an arrest on domestic violence charges from an incident in December 2016. Bruce Bryant (R-York), a former York County sheriff, was elected to fill Norman’s vacant House seat after a quiet and uneventful campaign against Democratic challenger Bebs Barron Chorak. Wendy Brawley (D-Richland) was elected to fill the vacant seat of former Rep. Joe Neal, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Brawley, the former chair of the Richland One School Board, easily defeated Republican challenger Bill Strickland in the special election.

Ongoing State House probe continues

The SLED investigation that has hung over the State House in recent years continues with two more legislators indicted in recent months, longtime State Senator John Courson (R – Richland) and Rep. Rick Quinn (R – Lexington).  The investigation headed up by Special Prosecutor David Pascoe, has centered on the GOP political consulting firm, Richard Quinn & Associates, of which Courson and Quinn are both closely associated.  Rep. Quinn is the son and business partner of the elder Quinn.

Attorneys representing the Quinn’s recently attempted unsuccessfully to have Pascoe kicked off of the case and disallow evidence seized in a raid of their downtown Columbia offices.  With Pascoe remaining on the case and the evidence still in play, expectations are that more indictments could be soon to follow.

Upcoming Special Elections

Two House Democrats resigned from their seats this spring, leaving additional vacancies that must be filled. Rep. Seth Whipper (D-Charleston) resigned to accept a position as a magistrate and Rep. Harold Mitchell (D-Spartanburg) decided to step down in early May, citing health reasons.

SCACS House Actions

SCACS Senate Actions


June Legislative Video

 


 

State House News: June 19th – 23rd  

June 23, 2017

On June 20, former state representative Ralph Norman (R-York) defeated Archie Parnell (D-Rock Hill) in the special congressional election to fill the state’s vacant U.S. House seat. Norman will serve the remainder of former representative Mick Mulvaney’s term, who resigned to lead the Office of Management and Budget after an appointment by President Trump.

Two vacant House seats were also filled on June 20. Bruce Bryant (R-York), a former York County Sheriff, was elected to fill Norman’s vacant House seat after a quiet and uneventful campaign against Democratic challenger Bebs Barron Chorak. Wendy Brawley (D-Richland) was elected to fill the vacant seat of former Rep. Joe Neal, who passed away unexpectedly earlier this year. Brawley, the former chair of the Richland One School Board, easily defeated Republican challenger Bill Strickland in the special election.

Ethics Probe Leader Beats Disqualification Motion

On June 23, the disqualification motion filed by the legal team representing Rep. Rick Quinn (R-Lexington) was denied. Rep. Quinn faces two counts of misconduct in office and sought to disqualify David Pascoe, the state solicitor leading the team of investigators in the state’s ongoing ethics probe, before the beginning of the trial. The court determined that Pascoe will remain on the case, stating that the integrity of the judicial system had not been compromised, as Rep. Quinn’s legal team argued.

Rep. Quinn is the third legislator in six months to be indicted during the investigation, and his team argued thatPascoe wrongfully viewed documents seized in a raid on a business run by Rep. Quinn’s father that would be constitutionally protected as attorney-client privilege.

SC Superintendent Takes Over Failing School District

On June 19, the state’s education Superintendent Molly Spearman announced her decision to take control of Allendale County schools, one of the state’s four lowest-performing districts and a plaintiff district in the long-running Abbeville lawsuit for school equity.

Spearman’s decision to declare a state of emergency in Allendale and take over the district’s operations was not her first choice, but the school board’s continual efforts to prevent the state department’s involvement in assisting the board in efforts to improve management and academic performance left her no choice. Spearman noted that the district’s school board has failed to improve the district’s academic performance despite receiving more funding per student than most districts in the state. Allendale has received over $17,000 a year per student from combined federal, state, and local funding efforts aimed at increasing the district’s academic performance, but the results remain dismal.

The Allendale County School District responded by filing a lawsuit on June 21 aimed at stopping the takeover. School board leaders argue that Spearman does not have the authority to simply take control of the district, but their attorney conceded that they do need assistance, also implying the need for additional funding, to improve the district’s academic performance.

Please use this link to download or share this report.

Please contact a member of the McGuireWoods Consulting team if you would like more detailed information.

Gov. Jim Hodges, Senior Advisor

Billy Boan, Senior Vice President

Robert Adams, Senior Vice President

Amber S. Barnes, Vice President

Brian Flynn, Vice President

Robin Crawford, Assistant Vice President

Kayleigh Hall, Assistant Vice President

 

State House News: June 12th – 16th  

June 16, 2017
Over $50 Million in Spending Vetoed by Governor
On June 12, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) utilized his line-item veto power to remove $56.4 million in spending from the legislature’s $8 billion budget. The governor’s veto message focused on transparency in spending taxpayer dollars in light of the recently passed gas tax increase.  Gov. McMaster’s vetoes highlighted this message:
·         $20.5 million allocated for school bus upgrades because the funding is dependent upon the lottery raising more than projected and lottery money should be spent on scholarships as promised
·         $8 million for mandatory contraceptive coverage for dependents of state employees receiving benefits from the state health plan
·         $6.2 million to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, $3.3 million for sports marketing grants, and $4.9 million for medical contracts because they are vaguely named “pork projects”
·         The legislature’s cuts to the S.C. Conservation Bank, which effectively restores funding to the agency at its current levels, because “South Carolina deserves a reasoned debate about the Bank’s future and mission through normal legislative processes, not the budget.”
·         The provision expanding the counties’ power to spend gas tax money on non-paving projects
The legislature may override the governor’s vetoes with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and Senate, but legislators have suggested they would not return before the end of June. The state’s budget takes effect July 1, 2017 and if the legislature does not return before the end of the year to address the vetoes, the affected agencies will not have access to the funds until well into their fiscal year.
Governor Restores Power to State College Oversight Agency
Gov. Henry McMaster (R) also restored the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHE) power to review capital improvement project proposals from the state’s colleges and universities. The legislature’s budget provision only required review by the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority, both bodies that have legislative representation. In his veto message, the governor stated that “the CHE must be allowed to exercise its oversight authority.”
Please use this link to download or share this report.
Please contact a member of the McGuireWoods Consulting team if you would like more detailed information.
Gov. Jim Hodges, Senior Advisor
Billy Boan, Senior Vice President
Robert Adams, Senior Vice President
Amber S. Barnes, Vice President
Brian Flynn, Vice President
Robin Crawford, Assistant Vice President
Kayleigh Hall, Assistant Vice President

June 2, 2017

Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant’s (R) vacant Senate seat was filled on May 30, after businessman Richard Cash (R-Anderson) defeated a last-minute write-in campaign from supporters of his primary opposition, Carol Burdette, former Pendleton, S.C., mayor.

Ronnie Young (R-Aiken), chairman of the Aiken County Council, was elected to fill a vacant seat in the House, handily defeating two other candidates on the ballot. Young replaces Chris Corley, who resigned from the House in January after an arrest on domestic violence charges from an incident in December 2016.

Budget Conference Committee Concludes Work

The conference committee working to bring the House and Senate versions of the state’s FY18 budget together announced its conference report on May 31. Approved funding includes $60 million to increase the state’s per student allocation to $2,425 for public schools, $12 million for the state’s colleges and universities, and $10 million for the Local Government Fund.

The second piece of the pension system fix was also approved, providing state funding to state agencies, cities, counties and other local entities to cover half of the required 2 percent increase in payroll allocation. The increase is part of the statutory fix to help shore up the state’s ailing pension fund and will go into effect July 1, 2017, for FY18.

The Commission on Higher Education (CHE) took a hit in the budget, and not just with a loss of funds. The conferees agreed to remove the CHE’s authority to review college construction or renovation projects. These projects will now be reviewed by the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

The House and Senate will return to Columbia on June 6 to consider the conference report.

Please use this link to download or share this report.

Please contact a member of the McGuireWoods Consulting team if you would like more detailed information.

Gov. Jim Hodges, Senior Advisor

Billy Boan, Senior Vice President

Robert Adams, Senior Vice President

Amber S. Barnes, Vice President

Brian Flynn, Vice President

Robin Crawford, Assistant Vice President

Kayleigh Hall, Assistant Vice President

2017 Legislative Session!

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores Legislative Updates will be posted weekly.

The House met on 5/23 as required by the Sine Die Resolution in order to take up the budget and vetoes, but due to the lack of business before the House, members were informed that unless they had other official business to attend to, it was unnecessary for them to attend session. 

The Senate met briefly to ratify acts and approve S. 671, which received third reading and was sent to the House on 5/24.

·         5/23 – Attended Senate Finance Committee for S. 671 (joint resolution for continuing authority to pay the expenses of state government if the 2017-2018 fiscal year begins without a general appropriations act), which received a favorable report

·         5/23 – Attended Budget Conference Committee

·         5/24 – Attended reception for Rep. Chandra Dillard (D-Greenville) and Rep. Roger Kirby (R-Florence)

 

Click here for the Session newsletter


May Legislative Video

State House News: May 15th – 18th 

May 18, 2017

The May 16 GOP runoff for the 5th Congressional District nomination was too close to call, triggering an automatic recount under state law. Former Rep. Ralph Norman (R-York) appeared to narrowly defeat Rep. Tommy Pope (R-York) by about 200 votes. Over 35,000 votes were cast in the runoff, with unofficial results showing 17,772 for Norman and 17,572 for Pope. The results should be certified on May 19, and the winner of the runoff will face Democrat Archie Parnell and several third-party candidates in the June 20 general election.

Democrat Wendy Brawley won the Democratic primary runoff on May 16 in her bid to win the vacated seat of Rep. Joe Neal, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year. Brawley will face Republican Bill Strickland in the June 20 general election.

Ongoing Ethics Probe Leads to Another Indictment

On May 16, another Republican lawmaker was indicted on public corruption charges in the state’s ongoing ethics investigation. Rep. Rick Quinn (R-Lexington), who faces two counts of misconduct in office, stated that he is “asking for a speedy trial so this can be resolved as quickly as possible.”

 

Rep. Quinn is the third state lawmaker to be indicted in the last six months after investigation by Pascoe, a state solicitor for Calhoun, Dorchester, and Orangeburg. Rep. Quinn is a former majority leader in the House, and currently serves on the House Judiciary Committee.

Budget Conference Update

The budget conferees have been working this week to come to an agreement on the state’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year. They plan to meet again the afternoon of May 18 at some point, but the meeting time has yet been announced after the original 11AM meeting was postponed. Conferees are still hopeful that a conference report will be complete before the House and Senate return to Columbia next Tuesday, May 23.

Please use this link to download or share this report.

Please contact a member of the McGuireWoods Consulting team if you would like more detailed information.

Gov. Jim Hodges, Senior Advisor

Billy Boan, Senior Vice President

Robert Adams, Senior Vice President

Amber S. Barnes, Vice President

Brian Flynn, Vice President

Robin Crawford, Assistant Vice President

Kayleigh Hall, Assistant Vice President

 


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, May 12

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores

· 5/8 – Attended H. 3516 (roads bill) conference committee. The conference committee finalized and signed their report after free conference powers were granted to them. The Senate approved the conference report and on 5/9, the House approved the conference report and the bill was ratified. It was sent to the Governor for consideration that evening, who promptly vetoed the bill.

·   5/9 – Attended the first budget conference committee (H. 3720 and H. 3721), which was purely organizational

·   5 /10 – Attended budget conference committee. The conferees decided to meet again next Tuesday to begin their negotiations. Sen. Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence), Senate Finance Chairman, told the Senate that he hopes to have a conference report on the budget to for floor consideration on when they return on 5/23.

·  5/10 – The House voted to override Gov. McMaster’s veto of H. 3516 (roads bill) by a 95-18 vote. Shortly after, the Senate also voted to override the veto by a 32-12 vote, with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Please see the attached document which explains the new law.

· 5/11 – The House and Senate adjourned Sine Die and will return on 5/23 to take up the budget and vetoes

Please find your bill charts and Session newsletter attached.

Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act Fact Sheet 

House Actions 4-28

Senate Actions 4-28

Week 16 News


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, May 5

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores

· 5/2 – Attended House Judiciary Committee for S. 275 (breweries), which received a favorable report after two attempts to amend the legislation

o   The first amendment proposal removed the provision to allow a brewpub to offer tastings on premise if they receive a liquor license. This was proposed as a way to deal with the issue of brewpubs operating on all three tiers of the system. Debate was adjourned on the amendment.

o   The second amendment changed the amount of the tastings to 24 ounces, 12 of which would be of higher content beers and ales, which was proposed to align the bill more with the state’s current liquor licenses. The amendment was tabled by voice vote.

· 5/2 – Attended reception for Sen. Mia McLeod (D-Richland) and Sen. Margie Bright Matthews (D-Colleton)

· 5/2 – Attended reception for Rep. Ivory Thigpen (D-Richland), Rep. Will Wheeler (D-Lee), Rep. Lucas Atkinson (D-Marion), and Rep. Michael Rivers (D-Beaufort)

·5/2 – Attended Senate Republican Caucus reception

·5/3 – The House non-concurred with the Senate’s amendments to H. 3516 (S.C. Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act, roads bill/gas tax).  Sen. Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley), Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw), Sen. Ross Turner (R-Greenville), Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York, Majority Leader), Rep. Todd Rutherford (D-Richland, Minority Leader), and Rep. Brian White (R-Anderson, Ways and Means Chairman) were appointed to the conference committee.

·  5/3 – S. 359 (unfair trade practices for motor fuel retailers) received third reading in the House and was returned to the Senate with amendments, which the Senate concurred with. The bill was enrolled on 5/4.

· 5/3 – Attended reception for Rep. Laurie Funderburk (D-Kershaw)

·  5/3 – Attended Senate Democratic Caucus reception

Please find your bill charts and Session newsletter attached.

House Actions 4-28

Senate Actions 4-28

Week 16 News

 

Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, April 28

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores

· 4/24 – Attended DHEC underground storage tank regulations briefing

· 4/25 – Attended House Judiciary Committee

o   S. 359 (unfair trade practices for motor fuel retailers) received a favorable report as amended

o   H. 3138 (special permits for beer and wine at festivals) and S. 275 (breweries) were not taken up due to time constraints

· 4/25 – Attended reception for Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw), Sen. Mike Fanning (D-Fairfield), and Sen. Glenn Reese (D-Spartanburg)

·4/26 – Attended reception for Sen. Ronnie Sabb (D-Williamsburg), Sen. Kevin Johnson (D-Clarendon), and Sen. Kent Williams (D-Marion)

· 4/26 – Attended Keep the Majority reception

· 4/27 – SCACS Legislative Breakfast, took SCACS members to the lobby for a Senate introduction by Sen. Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg) and Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) and a House introduction by House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White (R-Anderson)

· 4/27 – H. 3516 (roads bill) received third reading in the Senate and was returned to the House with amendments. It was amended on the Senate floor on 4/26 to include tax relief provisions.

· 4/27 – Attended SCACS board meeting

Please find your bill charts and Session newsletter attached.

House Actions 4-28

Senate Actions 4-28

Week 16 News

Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, April 14

  • 4/18 – Attended House Education and Public Works Motor Vehicle Subcommittee for H. 3989 (vehicle inspections). Debate was adjourned on the bill.
  • 4/18 – Debate began on the Senate floor on H. 3516 (roads bill, S.C. Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act). On 4/19, the Senate Finance Committee amendmentwas adopted on the Senate floor. Debate continued on the bill on 4/20, as the Senate continued to take up amendment proposals on the floor.
  • 4/18 – Attended reception for Rep. Russell Ott (D-Calhoun)
  • 4/18 – Attended reception for House Republican Caucus
  •  4/18 – Attended reception for Rep. Garry Smith (R-Greenville)
  • 4/18 – Attended reception for Sen. William Timmons (R-Greenville)
  • 4/19 – Attended House Ways and Means Legislative Subcommittee for S. 381 (cigarette tax stamp revision), which received a favorable report
  • 4/19 – Attended reception for Sen. Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington)
  • 4/20 – Attended House Judiciary Special Laws Subcommittee for S. 359 (unfair trade practices act for motor fuel retailers), which received a favorable report as amended

Please find your bill charts and Session newsletter attached.

The State: Gov. McMaster to agencies: Slash regulations that hurt businesses

The Post & Courier: South Carolina House members call out Senate, Gov. Henry McMaster to get on board with gas tax

Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, April 7

  • 4/4 – Attended reception for Rep. Mike Anthony (D-Union) and Rep. Jackie Hayes (D-Dillon)
  • 4/5 – Attended House 3M Local Government Subcommittee for H. 3547 (portable containers). Debate was adjourned on the bill.
  • 4/5 – Attended House Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee for S. 275 (breweries) and H. 3138 (special permits to sell beer and wine). Both bills received a favorable report.
  • 4/6 – The Senate placed H. 3516(road improvement plan, gas tax) on interrupted debate status, meaning debate on the bill can commence on April 18 following the legislature’s Easter furlough.
  • 4/6 – The budget bills, H. 3720and H. 3721, received third reading on the Senate floor. The bills will head to conference committee the week of 4/25.
  • 4/6 – Crossover deadline. All bills not passed out of the chamber of origination will require a special motion to continue forward during this session.

 

The House and Senate will both furlough next week. As the House and Senate will not meet, you will not receive a weekly report next Friday, April 14.

 

Please find your bill charts and Session newsletter attached.

House Actions 4-07

Senate Actions 4-07

Week 13 News

The State: McMaster urges lawmakers to borrow up to $1 billion for road repairs


April Legislative Video: 


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, March 31

  • 3/28 – Attended House Judiciary Committee for H. 3549 (permits for on-premises consumption of liquor), which received a favorable report, and H. 3865 (S.C. Pregnancy Accommodations Act), which received a favorable report as amended
  • 3/28 – Attended reception for Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg)
  • 3/30 – Attended House LCI Business and Commerce Subcommittee for H. 3327 (restroom access for retail sales customers). Debate was adjourned on the bill.

Please find your bill charts, bill introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

House Actions 3-31

Senate Actions 3-31

Week 12 News

Week 12 Bill Introductions


March Legislative Video: 


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, March 24

  • 3/21 – S. 359 (unfair trade practices for motor fuel retailers) received third reading on the Senate floor and was sent to the House
  • 3/21 – Attended reception for Rep. James Smith (D-Richland) and Rep. Beth Bernstein (D-Richland)
  • 3/21 – Attended reception for Sen. John Scott (D-Richland) and Sen. John Matthews (D-Orangeburg)
  • 3/22 – Attended House Judiciary Special Laws Subcommittee

o   H. 3865 (S.C. Pregnancy Accommodations Act) received a favorable report. The legislation will not apply to small businesses under 15 employees or if the requirements cause undue hardship to the business.

o   H. 3599 (S.C. Equal Pay for Equal Work Act) was carried over due to time constraints, after heated testimony and debate

  • 3/22 – Attended Senate General Committee for H. 3908 (state emergency management standards regulations), which received a favorable report
  • 3/23 – Attended House Judiciary General Laws Subcommittee for H. 3549 (alcoholic liquor licenses), which received a favorable report
  • 3/23 – Attended House Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee for H. 3921 (S.C. Anti-Money Laundering Act), which was given a favorable report then retracted. Debate was then adjourned on the bill.
  • 3/23 – Participated in conference call with SCACS Executive Committee

 

Please find your bill charts, bill introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

House Actions 3-24

Senate Actions 3-24

Week 11 News

Week 11 Bill Introductions

 


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, March 17

  •  3/13 – House budget debate began on the floor
  • 3/14 – Attended Senate Finance Committee for H. 3516 (infrastructure maintenance trust fund, gas tax increase) which was amended then received a favorable report

o   After a two hour question and answer period with DOT Secretary Christy Hall and the subcommittee members, the Committee approved the additional year of the 2-cent increase proposed by the subcommittee with a perfecting amendment, reserving their rights for floor debate. Although several amendments have been proposed, the Committee generally agreed that the entire body should hear and discuss them on the floor, especially those on DOT governance issues that the subcommittee removed from the bill.

o   Several Senators, including Sen. Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee), expressed concern about the removal of the House’s governance provisions, as well as the potential exclusion of tax relief in the bill. Some worried that because the Committee did not consider amendments on these issues, they may not be germane during the floor debate. Sen. Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley), chairman of the subcommittee, stated that the reform efforts and other topics were not included Senate version in an effort to get the funding portion out of the Senate quickly.

  • 3/15 – H. 3720 (budget bill) and H. 3721 (capital reserve fund) received third reading and were sent to the Senate
  • 3/16 – Filmed SCACS legislative video update

 

Please find your bill charts, bill introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

The Post and Courier: South Carolina Sen. John Courson indicted on ethics charges

The State: Senate battle lines drawn over gas-tax hike

House Actions 3-17


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, March 10

  • 3/7 – Attended Senate Finance Special Transportation Subcommittee for H. 3516 (gas tax and infrastructure maintenance bill)
  • 3/7 – Attended reception for Sen. Shane Massey (R-Edgefield), Majority Leader
  • 3/8 – Attended Senate Finance Special Transportation Subcommittee for continued discussion of H. 3516 (gas tax and infrastructure maintenance bill). The bill was amended to add an additional year of the 2-cent increase, for a total increase of 12 cents-per-gallon over 6 years. This will generate an additional $200 million in revenue over the course of the funding plan for road maintenance and improvements, for a total of $800 million. The bill then received a favorable report as amended and will likely be on the Senate floor for debate next week.
  • 3/8 – H. 3900 (Doc. 4702 cigarette tax stamp amendments) received second reading in the House. On 3/9, the bill received third reading and was sent to the Senate.
  • 3/8 – Attended reception for Rep. Rita Allison (R-Spartanburg), House Education and Public Works Chair
  • 3/9 – Attended Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee for S. 359 (unfair trade practices for motor fuel retailers), which received a favorable report as amended. The bill moves jurisdiction and records to the Attorney General’s office from the Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • 3/9 – Attended House Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee for S. 376 (joint resolution approving DHEC regulations regarding underground storage tanks) and S. 453 (joint resolution approving DHEC regulations regarding WIC vendors), which both received a favorable report
  • 3/9 – Attended House Ways and Means Legislative Subcommittee for H. 3058 (Boost Lottery Game for disadvantaged students). Debate was adjourned on the bill, as the subcommittee felt the legislature would be overstepping their bounds by telling the Lottery Commission what games to administer.
  • 3/9 – Attended House Ways and Means Legislative Subcommittee for H. 3777 (cigarette tax stamp revision). Debate was adjourned on the bill.
  • 3/9 – Met with Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) regarding SCACS convention

 

Please find your bill charts, bill introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

The State: Senate panel OKs higher, 12-cent-agallon gas-tax hike

The State: SC Gov. McMaster opposes raising state’s gas tax

House Actions 3-10


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, March 3

  • 2/28 – Attended Clemson Night reception
  • 2/28 – Attended Senate Finance Transportation and Regulatory Subcommittee for State Infrastructure and Department of Transportation budget discussion
  • 3/1 – Attended Senate LCI Professions and Occupations Subcommittee for S. 359 (unfair trade practices for motor fuel retailers), which was amended and received a favorable report
  • 3/2 – Attended House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee for S. 218 (political subdivisions may not mandate an employee benefit), which was carried over
  • 3/2 – Attended House Regulations Business and Commerce Subcommittee for S. 376 (approving DHEC regulations regarding underground storage tanks Doc. 4706), which received a favorable report

o   DHEC stated that the regulation amends state regulations to incorporate the federal regulations, while maintaining state specific requirements. DHEC also commented that a working group and stakeholders thoroughly discussed the proposal.

o   Rep. Chip Huggins (R-Lexington) commented that the regulation seems retrospective and asked if it will require owners to dig tanks up to come into compliance. DHEC said it would not.

o   The SC Petroleum Marketers Association testified that they were heavily involved in these discussions and that even though these are costly regulations, they are okay with them. It will be costly, but they would rather have DHEC regulating the issue, not EPA. There are no new provisions that are most stringent than the federal government, which is key.

  • 3/2 – Attended House Regulations Health Subcommittee for Doc. 4671 (DHEC – WIC vendors), which received a favorable report

Please find your bill charts, bill introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

House Actions 3-03


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, February 15-16

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores

·         2/15 – Attended Senate Finance HHS Subcommittee for S. 381 and Reg. 117-1600 (tax stamp implementation)

·         2/15 – Attended Senate Judiciary Subcommittee for S. 275 (breweries and brewpubs), which received a favorable report

·         2/15 – Attended reception for Rep. Bill Sandifer (R-Oconee), House Labor, Commerce and Industry Chairman

·         2/15 – Attended reception for Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman

·         2/15 – Attended reception for Senate GOP Caucus

·         2/15 – Attended reception for SC General Assembly Women’s Caucus

·         2/16 – Attended House Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee for Doc. 4702 (DOR – tobacco stamp amendment), which passed unanimously

Please find your bill charts, weekly introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

 South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores , House and Senate Bill Introductions (February 14-16) 

State House News: February 13th-17th

House Bill Status Report as of 02/17/2017

Senate Bill Status Report as of 02/17/2017

 


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, February 2-9

· 2/7 – Attended House Ways and Means Legislative Subcommittee for H. 3516 (state infrastructure funding), which was amended then received a favorable report

–  Testified in support of the bill

· 2/7 – Attended Senate Democratic Caucus Winter Reception

·2/8 – Attended House LCI Executive Subcommittee for H. 3650 (SC Business License Standardization Act) and H. 3651 (business license taxes). Both bills were amended then received favorable reports.

·2/8 – Attended portrait dedication and reception for Sen. Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence), President Pro Tempore

· 2/9 – Attended Senate Judiciary Subcommittee for S. 126 (mandatory responsible alcohol server education), which received a favorable report

· 2/9 – Attended House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee for H. 3650 (SC Business License Standardization Act) and H. 3651 (business license taxes). The committee passed additional amendments concerning how telecommunications tax is paid and collected, then received favorable reports as amended.

·2/9 – Attended House Ways and Means Committee for H. 3516 (state infrastructure funding), which was amended and received a favorable report

 

Please find your bill charts, weekly introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

 South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores , House and Senate Bill Introductions (February 7-9) 

State House News: February 6th-10th

House Bill Status Report as of 02/10/2017

Senate Bill Status Report as of 02/10/2017

 


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, January 31-February 2

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores

· 1/31 – MWC hosted Senate Democratic Caucus Lunch

· 2/1 – Attended House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee for H. 3529 (auxiliary containers, plastic bags), which received a favorable report

· 2/1 – Attended reception for Rep. Brian White (R-Anderson), House Ways & Means Chairman

· 2/2 – Attended Senate Medical Affairs Committee for Reg. 4706 (DHEC – underground storage tank control regulations), which received a favorable report, and Reg. 4671 (DHEC – WIC vendors), which must be withdrawn and resubmitted to change the date

Please find your bill charts, weekly introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

 South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores , House and Senate Bill Introductions (January 31- February 2) 

State House News: January 30th – February 3rd

House Bill Status Report as of 02/03/2017

Senate Bill Status Report as of 02/03/2017


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, January 24-26

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores

·         1/24 – Attended House Republican Caucus meeting

·         1/24 – Attended reception for House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D-Richland)

·         1/24 – Attended swearing in of Gov. Henry McMaster

·         1/25 – Attended House LCI Business and Commerce Subcommittee for H. 3529 (regulation of auxiliary containers/plastic bags), which was amended and received a favorable report

·         1/25 – Spoke with Gov. McMaster’s staff to invite the Governor to the SCACS Convention

·         1/25 – Attended reception for Gov. Henry McMaster

·         1/25 – Attended reception for Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington)

·         1/26 – Attended Senate LCI Committee for S. 218 (political subdivisions cannot mandate an employee benefit), which received a favorable report

·         1/26 – Attended House Regulations and Administrative Procedures Business Subcommittee for Doc. 4702 (DOR – tobacco stamp amendment), which received a favorable report

·         1/26 – Attended House Tax Policy Review Committee, where staff announced the House LCI Committee was finalizing a bill to create a standard business licensing system that allows online filing. The Review Committee also decided to wait on new data that will be available in March before continuing their study.

Please find your bill charts, weekly introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

 South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores , House and Senate Bill Introductions (January 24-26) 

State House News: January 23rd – 27th

House Bill Status Report as of 01/27/2017

Senate Bill Status Report as of 01/27/2017


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, January 17-19

South Carolina Association of Convenience Stores

· 1/17 – Attended House Republican Caucus meeting

· 1/17 – Attended House Republican Caucus BRT Reception

· 1/18 – Attended Senate LCI Employment Subcommittee for S. 218 (political subdivisions may not mandate an employee benefit), which received a favorable report

· 1/19 – Attended Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee for Reg. 4671 (WIC vendors) and Reg. 4706 (underground storage tank control regulations). Both regulations received favorable reports and were sent to the full committee for consideration.

Please find your bill charts, weekly introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

The State: S.C. House GOP leaders propose 10-cent gas-tax hike

 SC Association of Convenience Stores, House and Senate Bill Introductions 

State House News: January 16th- 20th 

Senate Bill Status Report as of 1/19/2017

House Bill Status Report as of 1/19/2017


Weekly Legislative Update for Friday, January 13

  • 1/10 – Attended House Republican Caucus meeting
  • 1/12 – Attended RLGA Reception for Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster

Please find your bill charts, weekly introductions, and Session newsletter attached.

House Actions 1-13

Senate Actions 1-13

Week1_News_Jan13

Week 1 Bill Introductions


2016 Legislative Session Report:

Road Improvement Funding

During the final week of the legislative session, the South Carolina Legislature passed legislation to fund much-needed road improvements across the state. The bill allows the state to borrow $2 billion to begin road improvements for interstates and bridges, many of which were severely damaged after the historic October 2015 floods, and does not allow a tax increase to fund the projects. The bill also grants the Governor the authority to appoint all eight members of the Department of Transportation Commission, which governs the SCDOT.

Governor Nikki Haley unenthusiastically approved the legislation one week after its passage. In a message to the Senate and the House, Governor Haley stated that she signed the bill only because it is better than nothing. She ended her message by stating that “[o]ur business is unfinished.”

Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) agreed with Governor Haley and stated that road improvement funding will be revisited in 2017 “because we didn’t do the job this year.”

2016-2017 Budget

At the end of May, legislators agreed to the budget for the upcoming fiscal year beginning on July 1. The $7.5 billion budget includes a 3.25% pay increase for state employees, $11 million for the local government fund, and $30 million for beach nourishment.

Governor Haley line-item vetoed $41 million worth of spending in the legislature’s plan, but most funding was restored on Wednesday’s special, one-day session. Wednesday’s veto overrides included $2.3 million for the Department of Archives and History for Architectural Heritage Preservation, $100,000 for driving tours to historic African-American sites in rural South Carolina, and $3 million for the Medal of Honor Museum.

However, the Governor’s line-item veto of the study to move the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum to the Charleston area was sustained on Wednesday, as Representative Chip Limehouse (R-Charleston) stated on the floor that the Department of Administration would conduct the study with or without the appropriated funds.

Ethics Reform

In his final speech on the Senate floor after being defeated by his primary opponent, Senator Wes Hayes (R-York) called for the Senate to pass ethics reform on Wednesday.

After much debate and compromise, the Senate later unanimously passed legislation to require independent investigations of complaints against legislators. An additional ethics bill which requires all officeholders to report private sources of income also passed the legislature on Wednesday. Governor Haley has advocated for the legislation since 2012 and is expected to approve both bills.

June Primaries

On Tuesday, June 14, several incumbent legislators lost their re-election bids to party opponents in the state primary. Representatives Doug Brannon (R-Spartanburg), Donna Hicks (R-Spartanburg), Ralph Kennedy (R-Lexington), and Wendy Nanney (R-Greenville) will not be returning to the House in 2017 after losses in Tuesday’s primaries.

Governor Haley focused her attention on four major Senate GOP primaries, but only one of her challengers succeeded. Senator Wes Hayes (R-York, Banking and Insurance Committee Chairman) was defeated by former York County GOP Chairman Wes Climer of Rock Hill.

Senators Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence, President Pro Tempore and Finance Committee Chairman) and Luke Rankin (R-Horry, Ethics Committee Chairman) defeated their Haley-endorsed primary challengers on Tuesday. Representative Stephen Goldfinch’s (R-Georgetown) bid for retiring Senator Ray Cleary’s District 34 seat will be decided in the June 28 runoffs. Representative Goldfinch will face attorney Reese Boyd of Murrells Inlet, who is endorsed by Governor Haley.

Several other incumbents face June 28 runoffs including Senators Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg), Creighton Coleman (D-Fairfield), Mike Fair (R-Greenville, Corrections and Penology Committee Chairman), and Larry Martin (R-Pickens, Judiciary Committee Chairman), as well as Representative Bill Bowers (D-Hampton).

Senate Actions 6-16

House Actions 6-16


Legislative Update 5.5.16:

  • 5/3 – Senate budget debate began
  • 5/3 – Attended House Majority Caucus
  • 5/3 – Attended reception for Representative Laurie Funderburk (D-Kershaw)
  • 5/3 – Attended reception for Senate Democratic Caucus
  • 5/4 – Attended House Agriculture Environmental Affairs I Subcommittee for H. 5207 (SC Beverage Container Recycling Act). The Subcommittee adjourned debate on the bill.
  • 5/4 – The budget received third reading in the Senate by a vote of 36-5
  • 5/4 – Attended reception for Senator Shane Massey (R-Edgefield, Senate Majority Leader)
  • 5/4 – Attended reception for Senator Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington, Senate Minority Leader)

Post & Courier: S.C. Senate approves $7.5 billion state budget

The Senate met in perfunctory session on Thursday, May 5th.

The House and Senate will be off on Tuesday, May 10th for the state holiday. The House will remain furloughed on May 11th – 12th.

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below.

Capitol Columbia Report 5-5-16


Legislative Update 4.29.16: 

  • 4/26 – Attended Senate Banking and Insurance Subcommittee for H. 4554 (SC Anti-Money Laundering Act). The bill was carried over.
  • 4/26 – Attended House Republican Caucus
  • 4/26 – Attended reception for Senator Marlon Kimpson (D-Charleston)
  • 4/27 – Attended House Labor, Commerce and Industry Ad-Hoc Subcommittee for H. 4967 (Business License Compliance Reform Act). No action was taken on the bill.
  • 4/27 – Attended Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Subcommittee for S. 938 (implement an adjusted minimum wage). The bill was carried over.
  • 4/27 – Attended Women’s Caucus luncheon
  • 4/27 – Attended reception for Representatives Bill Bowers (D-Hampton), Mandy Powers Norrell (D-Lancaster), Patsy Knight (D-Dorchester), Robert Ridgeway (D-Clarendon), and Leola Robinson-Simpson (D-Greenville)
  • 4/27 – Attended reception for Senators Karl Allen (D-Greenville) and Kent Williams (D-Marion)
  • 4/27 – Attended reception for Representative Chip Huggins (R-Lexington)
  • 4/28 – Attended Senate Judiciary Subcommittee for H. 3006 (Sunset on Regulations). No action was taken on the bill.

The Senate will debate the budget next week, May 3-5.

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below.

House Actions 4-29

Senate Actions 4-29


Legislative Video from 2016 Retail Day: 

SCACS Leg Table Tent


Legislative Update 4.22.16: 

  • 4/19 – 4/21 – Attended Senate Finance Committee meetings on the budget
  • 4/19 – Attended House Republican Caucus
  • 4/19 – Attended House Labor, Commerce and Industry Public Utilities Subcommittee for S. 277 (State Telecom Equity in Funding Act), which was amended and received a favorable report
  • 4/19 – Attended Senate Judiciary Committee for S. 1139 (events occurring on premises of business establishments), which received a favorable report as amended
  • 4/19 – Attended reception for Representative Shannon Erickson (R-Beaufort)
  • 4/20 – Attended House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee for S. 277 (State Telecom Equity in Funding Act), which was amended and received a favorable report
  • 4/20 – Attended reception for Representatives Bill Clyburn (D-Aiken), Carl Anderson (D-Georgetown), Harold Mitchell (D-Spartanburg), and Chandra Dillard (D-Greenville)
  • 4/20 – Attended reception for John Scott (D-Richland) and Darrell Jackson (D-Richland)
  • 4/20 – Attended reception for Representatives Bill Herbkersman (R-Beaufort) and Gary Simrill (R-York)
  • 4/20 – Attended SCACS social at Grill Marks
  • 4/21 – Attended SCACS Legislative Breakfast and Retail Day
  • 4/21 – Attended SCACS Planning Meeting and Board Meeting

Greenville News: Senate bill would send $3 billion to roads, bridges

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below.

House Actions 4-22

Senate Actions 4-22

Capitol Columbia Report 4-22-16

Week 15 Bill Intros


Legislative Update 4.15.16: 

  • 4/12 – Attended House Republican Caucus
  • 4/12-4/14 – Attended Senate Finance Committee meetings on the budget
  • 4/12 – Attended reception for Representatives Robert Brown (D-Charleston), Roger Kirby (D-Florence), Joe McEachern (D-Richland), and Russell Ott (D-Calhoun)
  • 4/12 – Attended reception for Senators Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley) and Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley, Senate Transportation Chairman)
  • 4/13 – Attended reception for House Ways and Means members Representatives Mike Anthony (D-Union), Jackie Hayes (D-Dillon), Lonnie Hosey (D-Barnwell), and Joe Neal (D-Richland)
  • 4/14 – Attended House Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee for H. 4793 (Auxiliary Container).  The subcommittee took no action on the bill.
  • 4/14 – Attended House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee for S. 277 (State Equity in Telecom Act), which was referred back to subcommittee
  • 4/14 – Attended Senate Judiciary Subcommittee for S. 428 (Alli’s Law: Responsible Alcoholic Beverage Server Training Act) and S. 1139 (SLED alcohol conviction reporting). No action was taken on S. 428. S. 1139 was amended and received a favorable report.

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below.

House Actions 4-15

Senate Actions 4-15

Capitol Columbia 4.15.16


Legislative Video Update: 


 Legislative Update 4.8.16: 

  • 4/4 – Filmed legislative update video
  • 4/5 – Senator Harvey Peeler (R-Cherokee) resigned his position as Senate Majority Leader on Tuesday.  Senator Shane Massey (R-Edgefield) was elected by the Republican Caucus as the new Majority Leader on Wednesday.
  • 4/5 – Attended reception for Senator Luke Rankin (R- Horry), Senate Ethics Committee Chairman

Aiken Standard: Shane Massey seeks to change Republican Party image as new Senate majority leader

The House remained on furlough this week and will convene at noon on April 12th.

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below:

House Actions 4-8

Senate Actions 4-8

Capitol Columbia 4.8.16


Legislative Video Update: 


 Legislative Update 3.25.16: 

  • 3/21 – House budget debate began
  • 3/22 – Attended Senate Finance Committee for S. 1075 (natural gas alternative fuel gas tax incentive).  The bill was amended and received a favorable report.
  • 3/23 – Attended breakfast for Representative Neal Collins (R-Pickens)
  • 3/23 – Attended reception for Senator Wes Hayes (R-York, Senate Banking and Insurance Committee Chairman)
  • 3/24 – Filmed SCACS legislative update video

The State: House OKs 2% Pay Raise for SC Employees, Nearly $400 Million for Roads

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below:

House Actions 3-24

Senate Actions 3-24

Week 11 Bill Intros

Capitol Columbia 3.24.16

The House and Senate will both furlough next week, March 29th-31st.  The House will remain on furlough April 5th-7th.  Due to the House and Senate both being on furlough next week, you will not receive a weekly report on Friday, April 1st.

 


 

Legislative Update 3.18.16: 

  • 3/14 – Governor Haley signed H. 4151 (Stamp Tax on Tobacco Products)
  • 3/15 – Attended the House Republican Caucus meeting
  • 3/15 – Attended Senate Finance Sales and Income Tax Subcommittee for S. 1075 (Natural Gas, Alternative Fuel Tax Incentive), which was amended and received a favorable report
  • 3/15 – Attended reception for Representative Leon Stavrinakis (D-Charleston)
  • 3/16 – Attended reception for Representatives Todd Rutherford (D-Richland), Pat Henegan (D-Marlboro), and MaryGail Douglas (D-Fairfield)
  • 3/16 – Attended reception for Representative Beth Bernstein (D-Richland)
  • 3/16 – Attended reception for Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington)

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached.

House Actions 3-18

Senate Actions 3-18

Capitol Columbia 3.18.16


Legislative Update 3.11.16: 

3/8 – Attended the House Republican Caucus meeting

3/8 – Attended House Judiciary Committee meeting on H. 4554 (SC Anti Money Laundering Act).  The bill received a favorable report as amended.

3/9 – Attended breakfast for Senator Thomas Alexander

3/9 – Attended House Keep our Majority reception

3/10 – Attended breakfast for Senator Shane Massey

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below:

House Actions 3-11

Senate Actions 3-11

Capitol Columbia 3.11.16


Legislative Update 3.4.16: 

3/1 – Attended the House Republican Caucus meeting

3/3 – Attended House Judiciary Criminal Laws Subcommittee for H. 4554 (Anti-Money Laundering Act).  The bill was amended and given a favorable report.

Post and Courier: Senate Road Plan Draws Mixed Reviews

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below:

House Actions 3-4

Senate Actions 3-4

Capitol Columbia 3.4.16

Week 8 Bill Intros


Legislative Update 2.26.16: 

2/23 – Attended the House Republican Caucus meeting

2/24 – Attended reception for Rep. James Smith (D-Richland)

2/24 – Attended reception for Rep. Weston Newton (R-Beaufort), Chairman of the

House Legislative Oversight Committee

2/25 – Attended Senate Medical Affairs Committee for S. 550 (DHEC Reorganization).  The bill was referred to subcommittee.

The State: House Panel Approves Budget

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached below:

House Actions 2-26

Senate Actions 2-26

Week 7 Bill Intros

Capitol Columbia 2.26.16


Legislative Update 2.19.16: 

2/16 – Attended the House Republican Caucus meeting

2/16 – Attended Senate Finance Committee for H. 4151 (Cigarette Stamp Tax).  The bill was given a favorable report as amended.

2/16 – Attended reception for Congressman Mick Mulvaney

2/17 – Attended reception for Representative Mike Gambrell

2/17 – Attended reception for Senator Creighton Coleman

2/18 – H. 4151 received second reading in the Senate by a vote of 34-3

The House is on furlough this week, February 16-18.  They return next Tuesday, February 23rd.

The House Ways and Means Committee will debate the budget next week.

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached.


Legislative Update 2.5.16: 

2/2 – Attended the House Republican Caucus meeting

2/2 – Attended Senate Finance Committee for H. 3579 (Infrastructure Finance Reform and Tax Relief Act). No action was taken on the bill. Senator Leatherman told members that he had invited SC DOT officials to testify before the committee next Tuesday and added that he expects to send the bill to the floor for debate the following week.  On Thursday, there was extended and heated debate on the Senate floor about the Senate’s failure to take up the bill for consideration yet.

2/2 – Attended House Regulations & Administrative Procedures Environmental & Natural Resources Subcommittee for R. 4565 (Underground Storage Tanks), which was given a favorable report.

o   DHEC offered an amendment to the existing underground fuel tank regulations, which were adopted in 1997, which will make the requirements for tanks in close proximity to water much less onerous.  As amended, this provision of regulations will still go into effect in December of 2018, but will no longer require double-walled tanks as long as the tank owner has been deemed to be in substantial compliance with existing tank regulations for the last three years.

o   The newly revised regulations would allow for tank owner to correct a problem(s) identified during DHEC’s annual tank inspection and not be required to go to a double walled tank.  This requirement would only be enforced in a case where a tank owner was found to be substantially out of compliance for a period of three years.

o   Mihir Mehta, DHEC’s Underground Tank Management Director compared this system to the SC driver’s license points program where a driver doesn’t lose his license for getting a 2-point ticket.  Only after accumulating 12 points, does a driver lose his driving privileges.  In this system, a tank owner would have to be a flagrant offender to be forced to go to double walled tanks.

o   Please see the attached copy of the regulation, which goes to full committee next.

2/2 – Attended reception for House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister

2/3 – Attended reception for House Ways & Means Chairman Brian White

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached.

House Actions 2-5

Senate Actions 2-5

Reg 4565

Week 4 Bill Intros

Capitol Columbia 2.5.16


Legislative Update 1.29.16: 

1/26 – Attended House Republican Caucus meeting

1/26 – Attended Senate Finance Committee for H.3579 (SC Infrastructure Finance Reform and Tax Relief Act). The Committee took no action.

1/26 – Attended Senate Judiciary Committee meeting for H. 3682 (Bad Faith Assertion of Patent Infringement Act), which was favorably reported out of committee as amended

1/26 – Attended S.C. Chamber Business Speaks Legislative Town Hall and Reception

1/27 – Attended Senate Finance Committee for H.3579 (SC Infrastructure Finance Reform and Tax Relief Act). The Committee again took no action, but heard information from state staff regarding the consequences of the gas tax hike and how projections were calculated.

1/27 – Debate on H. 3878 (Increase State Tax Brackets) was adjourned until 2/3.

1/27 – Attended SCACS board meeting and taped SCACS video legislative update

1/27 – Attended Reception for House LCI Chairman Bill Sandifer

Please find your bill charts and Capitol Columbia Report attached.

House Actions 1-29

Senate Actions 1-29

Capitol Columbia 1.29.16


Legislative Update 1.22.16: 

1/19 – Attended House Republican Caucus meeting

1/19 – Attended House Republican Caucus Reception


 

Legislative Update 1.15.16: 

1/12 – Attended the House Republican Caucus meeting

1/13 – Senate Standing Committees were reassigned due to the recent deaths of two Senators.  Attached you will find an updated list of committee assignments.

1/13 – Met with Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) regarding gas tax

1/13 – Attended Senate Democratic Caucus Reception

House Actions 1-15

Senate Actions 1-15

2016 Senate Committee Assignments

Capitol Columbia 1.15.16