Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Here is my first Legislative Update for 2014. My goal is to continue to keep you informed about the latest issues currently being addressed at the State House.
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
January 24, 2013
The House of Representatives adopted the conference committee report on S.22, the “SOUTH CAROLINA RESTRUCTURING ACT OF 2014”, legislation that provides for comprehensive changes to the organization and oversight of state government. The Senate subsequently adopted the conference report and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation abolishes the State Budget and Control Board and transfers the majority of the board’s functions, including facilities management, property services, vehicle fleet management, information technology, and human resources responsibilities, to a new Department of Administration that is established in the executive branch and headed by a director who is appointed by the Governor upon the advice and consent of the Senate. Composed of the same five public officials that make up the current Budget and Control Board (the Governor, Treasurer, Comptroller General, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee), the State Fiscal Accountability Authority is established to assume some of the board’s key responsibilities relating to the state’s finances.
The House concurred in Senate amendments to S.308 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation replaces the current prohibition on carrying a pistol or firearm into a business that sells alcoholic liquor, beer, or wine for on-premises consumption with new provisions, commonly referred to as RESTAURANT CARRY PROVISIONS, that afford concealed weapon permit holders new legal authority to carry their firearms into bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve beer, wine, or alcoholic liquor. A concealed weapon permit holder making use of these restaurant carry provisions is not allowed to consume alcohol on the premises. A concealed weapon permit holder must also comply with a proprietor’s requests to remove his firearm from the place of business or to leave the premises. A proprietor can prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons into the business by posting signs that comply with notification requirements. A concealed weapon permit holder who violates any of these restrictions is subject to a misdemeanor criminal offense that carries a fine of up to two thousand dollars and/or imprisonment for up to two years, and must have his concealed weapon permit revoked for a period of five years. Also, the legislation makes REVISIONS TO THE REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS FOR RECEIVING A CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT. Notably, the legislation provides that the permit is valid for five years rather than four years, broadens criteria for acceptable photographic identification, allows the State Law Enforcement Division to make all contact with a permit applicant through online communications if an applicant submits his application online, eliminates the requirement that an education course must be a minimum of eight hours, and allows individuals with pertinent military or law enforcement training to complete only the portion of the class reviewing state law. The legislation provides that a property owner or an agent acting on his behalf, by express written consent, may allow individuals of his choosing to enter the property carrying a concealed weapon regardless of any posted sign to the contrary. Additionally, the legislation provides that a CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT HOLDER MAY SECURE HIS WEAPON UNDER A SEAT IN A VEHICLE, or in any open or closed storage compartment within the vehicle’s passenger compartment.
The House sustained the Governor’s veto on H.3342, relating to BENCH WARRANTS. This legislation provides that, after an initial appearance, a circuit court judge may not issue a general sessions court bench warrant for failure to appear in court upon motion by a solicitor, unless the solicitor has conspicuously posted a list of potential bench warrants at the appropriate courthouse and on the solicitor’s Internet website at least forty-eight hours before the bench warrant is requested.
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
January 31, 2014
Session Canceled for the week due to inclement weather.