February's Legislative Update
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Here is my Legislative Update for the month of February. The House made progress on a number of important issues this month. Here are some highlights. As always, I am interested in hearing your thoughts and concerns on the issues.
Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW February 8, 2013
Investing in Cyber-Security A bill, H.3528, was introduced that would establish a new state agency, the Department of Information Security, to provide a comprehensive framework for ensuring the effectiveness of information security controls over information resources that support state operations and assets. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Shortening Legislative Session A bill, H.3340, that shortens the South Carolina General Assembly’s legislative session passed the House. Under this law, instead of beginning the second Tuesday in January, session would begin the second Tuesday in February. It would also require the General Assembly to adjourn Sine Die no later than the first Thursday in May. The bill was sent to the Senate.
Clarifying Role of Solicitors A bill, H.3247, clarifies the role of the circuit solicitors in the administration of the General Sessions court docket and provides that this ability to administer the docket shall not interfere with the court’s ability to protect a litigant’s rights. The bill passed the House and was sent to the Senate.
Protecting a Child’s Due Process Rights A bill, H.3520, was introduced that prohibits a child’s parent or guardian from waiving the child’s right to counsel when the Family Court proceeding may result in the detention or confinement of the child. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW February 11, 2013 – FURLOUGH
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW February 22, 2013
Keeping Guns Out of the Hands of the Mentally Ill A bill, H.3560, was introduced to require South Carolina to report people adjudicated by the courts for mental illness to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System in order to prohibit them from obtaining a firearm legally. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Privatizing the State Lottery A bill, H.3555, was introduced to streamline state government and save taxpayer dollars by hiring a private contractor to organize and conduct the South Carolina Education Lottery. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Government Restructuring A bill, H.3541, was introduced to amend the South Carolina Constitution in order to make the office of Adjutant General an appointed position by the Governor, instead of being popularly elected by the voters. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Hate Crimes Legislation A bill, H.3589, was introduced that provides a penalty for anyone convicted of a crime with the intent to assault, intimidate, or threaten a person based on their race, gender, religion, age, national origin, or sexual orientation. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW February 25, 2013
The business of the House continued during this week with a few noteworthy events, and a great deal of committee and subcommittee work.
Closing out Black History Month with Activism: On the State House grounds Tuesday, The South Carolina NAACP held its 2013 Legislative Day, including a press conference voicing support for Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires any changes in voting laws in certain states to be pre-cleared by the United States Justice Department. The Voting Rights Act is currently being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court.
Increasing Flexibility in the Budget: This week, the House approved and sent the Senate H.3501, a joint resolution that suspends the statutory requirement for including 4.5% of the previous year’s state General Fund in the Local Government Fund for the next two budget years. Under this measure, counties would be authorized to transfer among appropriated state revenues, as needed, to ensure the delivery of services. Democrats opposed the measure due to the fact that it would shift a revenue burden onto local governments and municipalities.
Making Infrastructure Investments: A bill, H.3412, that requires all revenue produced by car taxes in South Carolina must be credited to the state non-federal aid highway fund for road projects, passed the House.
Restructuring the Department of Insurance: A bill, H.3642, was introduced to popularly elect the Director of the Department on Insurance in South Carolina. Currently, the Governor appoints the Director. The bill was referred to the Judiciary Committee.
Ensuring Healthy School Lunches: A bill, H.3726, was introduced to ban certain junk foods from public school lunch programs and vending machines. The bill was referred to the Education and Public Works Committee.