SC Senate Legislative Update Feb. 20-24, 2017

Sen. Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, in the S.C. Senate.

The Senate voted Thursday to set S. 394 for special order, giving it priority status on the calendar. The legislation, which is a companion bill to H. 3726, aims to make the state retirement system more financially sound in the long-term. The bills reduce the unfunded amortization schedule from 30 years to 20 and change the assumed annual rate of return from investments from 7.5 percent to 7.25 percent. The bill is expected to receive significant attention this week.

Bills approved by the Senate this week include:

S. 107 - Sponsored by Senators Chip Campsen, Brad Hutto, Shane Massey and Greg Hembree: Establishes the procedure by which a person nominated as governor selects a lieutenant governor as a joint ticket running mate and requires the State Election Commission to ensure they are elected jointly beginning with the 2018 general election.

S. 297 - Sponsored by Senator Katrina Shealy: Extends the time period by which a security officer may perform the duties of a security office while the issuance of a registration certificate from SLED is pending.

S. 168 - Senators Katrina Shealy, Thomas McElveen and Kevin Bryant: Increases the penalties for solicitation of prostitution, establishing or keeping a brothel or house of prostitution, or causing or inducing another to participate in prostitution.

S. 118 - Senators Chip Campsen, Gerald Malloy, Greg Hembree and Tom Davis: Increases the civil jurisdiction of the magistrate’s court from $7,500 to $10,000 and requires that, except for landlord and tenant cases, any case with an amount in controversy equaling or exceeding $5,000 must be ordered for mandatory mediation.


Look ahead to next week and beyond: On Tuesday, the Senate will join the House in a joint assembly where the Clemson University’s Championship winning football team and Head Coach Dabo Swinney have been invited to appear.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday voted to advance S. 105 to the Senate floor. This bill pertains to state permitting decisions in that it revises the automatic stay provisions in the Administrative Procedures Act when a license or permit is challenged.

The Senate is anticipated to continue debate on S. 245, sponsored by Senators Brad Hutto and Greg Hembree, which conforms language concerning trafficking in specified drugs with language concerning distribution and possession of controlled substances. The bill aims to give law enforcement the flexibility to keep up with technology as new synthetic drugs are produced that don’t meet the strict definitions currently in the law.


Compiled by South Carolina Senate Pro Tempore Communications Director Michael Ulmer.