This Week in South Carolina

SC Senate Legislative Update March 20 - 24, 2017

By G. Jackson

The S.C. State House

The Senate Finance Committee continued its work this week on the state budget with the goal of advancing it to the floor for full Senate debate. Areas of interest in the approximately $8 billion budget includes K-12 education funding, higher education funding, improving the health of the state’s pension system and cleanup costs for Hurricane Matthew. The Finance Committee is scheduled to resume deliberations on Tuesday.

The infrastructure funding package, H. 3516, also remains on the Senate’s contested calendar, but some movement on it is expected next week.

SC House Legislative Update

By G. Jackson

The S.C. House of Representatives

Legislative Update
March 21, 2017
Vol. 34, No. 11

The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3720, the General Appropriation Bill, and H.3721, the joint resolution making appropriations from the Capital Reserve Fund, which together comprise the $26.9 billion FISCAL YEAR 2017-2018 STATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET. The budget includes $7.9 billion in recurring state general fund revenue, $29 million in nonrecurring Fiscal Year 2016-2017 certified surplus, and $139 million in Capital Reserve Funds.

State House Update: Opioid Bills Progress, Roads Bill Stalls, Open Carry Bill Advances

By G. Jackson

S.C. State House update

This week in the South Carolina State House, several bills tackling the growing opioid overdose problem advanced in both the House and Senate, a bill to allow people to openly carry a handgun hit the House floor after receiving no testimony, the ongoing State House corruption investigation slowed the confirmation process for two of Gov. Henry McMaster's appointees to the S.C. Ports Authority board, and a $500 million bond bill took shape during  a House budget panel meeting.

SC Senate Legislative Update March 13 - 17, 2017

By G. Jackson

The South Carolina State House

The Senate this week set the stage for debate in the coming weeks on two significant pieces of legislation, a bill addressing the state’s infrastructure system and the state’s general appropriations bill.

The Senate Finance Committee voted to give a favorable report to H. 3516, advancing it to the Senate floor for debate. The bill aims to address longterm infrastructure needs through increasing the motor fuel user fee two cents per year over six years. When fully implemented, it’s estimated to generate approximately $792 million.

SC Senate Update March 6 - March 10, 2017

By G. Jackson

The S.C. Senate

The Senate this week approved third reading of H. 3726, a bill that aims to make the state’s pension system more financially sound. The House version of the bill was moved forward after the Senate adopted all amendments from a companion bill, S. 394. The goal of the legislation is to make the retirement system financially solvent and make sure the benefits promised to state employees are provided.

SC House Passes Anti-Semitism Bill

By G. Jackson

Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach, discusses his anti-Semitism bill on the floor of the S.C. House on March 9, 2017.

South Carolina representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday that would combat a rising tide of anti-Semitism on college campuses across the country.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Alan Clemmons, R-Myrtle Beach, said South Carolina college campuses have not seen an increase, but by strengthening the definition of anti-Semitism, they will be better protected.

SC Senators Push Tighter Gun Reforms

Sens. Marlon Kimpson, Greg Hembree and Greg Gregory on March 8, 2017.

A bipartisan group of South Carolina senators filed two bills Wednesday to reform gun purchase background checks and penalties on prohibited people from buying guns.

Sen. Marlon Kimpson, D-Charleston, along with Republican Sens. Greg Gregory, of Lancaster, and Greg Hembree, of North Myrtle Beach, want background-check waiting periods extended from three days to five days while the state improves its reporting process to the federal government. The aim is to close the Charleston loophole in the system that let Emanuel A.M.E. Church shooter Dylann Roof purchase a gun.

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