From the Dome to Your Home: May 8, 2015
The House of Representatives and Senate were in session this week and held subcommittee and committee meetings. The Senate spent all of its time on the floor debating the state budget.
Senate debates the budget all week
The Senate began debating the Senate Finance Committee's version of the budget on Monday afternoon and adjourned Thursday night after giving the bill third and final reading. Next, the budget will return to the House with the Senate changes.
The Senate's budget includes $212.6 million in the Local Government Fund for Fiscal Year 2015-2016. This total includes $200.1 million as the base funding level and $12.5 million in one-time money. This total is the same amount as the current year and $81.9 million less than full funding. It is the same amount as the House version of the budget.
Senate Finance Committee members included a proviso that would allow municipalities to use surplus victim assistance funding to purchase body cameras for sworn officers, however, during the debate on the floor senators voted to remove the proviso. The Senate version of the budget has $3.4 million in the Department of Public Safety budget that includes $2.4 million base funding and $1 million onetime funding for 2,000 body cameras.
The budget also includes the proviso that requires cities and towns to negotiate an agreement with the circuit public defender to provide indigents with a public defender in municipal court. The proviso prohibits the circuit public defender from providing indigent defense in municipal court without an agreement with the city or town. For more information on the state budget bill, contact Melissa Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.933.1251.
Body camera bills stalled in the House
Both the House and Senate versions of body camera legislation have stalled on the House floor
. S47 is the Senate bill that requires law enforcement officers to wear body cameras if funding is provided. H3997 is the House bill that instructs the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council to conduct a body camera pilot project with six municipalities and three counties. The House voted to adjourn debate on both bills until later in the month. For more information on the body camera bills, contact Tiger Wells (email@example.com) at 803.933.1270.
House nonconcurs on Senate amendments for meeting agenda bill
The House Judiciary Committee amended and approved S11, the Senate bill that requires an agenda for all regularly scheduled meetings of a public body. The committee amended the bill to strike all of the language in S11 and replace it with the language in the House version of the bill, H3192, which requires an emergency finding before an action item could be added to an agenda at the time of a regularly scheduled meeting. The full House approved the amended version of S11 and returned it to the Senate with those amendments. The Senate amended the bill with the Senate version and returned it to the House. The House nonconcurred with the Senate amendments sending the bill to a conference committee. For more information on the agenda bill, contact Tiger Wells (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.933.1270.
Hearing on business license legislation cancelled this week
A subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee had H3490, Rep. Quinn's bill to cap business license taxes at $100, on its agenda for Wednesday but the meeting was cancelled late Tuesday afternoon. A new meeting date has not been announced. For more information on the business license bill, contact Melissa Carter (email@example.com) at 803.933.1251.
Weekly bill introductions
Committee action this week
House Agriculture, Natural Resource and Environmental Affairs Environmental Affairs I subcommittee
H4016 - Establishes that the Stormwater Management and Sediment Reduction Act does not allow DHEC to bypass current law - favorable report with an amendment. The amendment clarifies that local governments cannot bypass the Administrative Procedures Act.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Establishes that the Stormwater Management and Sediment Reduction Act does not allow DHEC to bypass the applicable provisions and procedures in the SC Administrative Procedures Act.
House Education and Public Works Transportations subcommittee
S211 - Allows political subdivisions to create separate golf cart paths on streets and roads - favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Allows political subdivisions to create separate golf cart paths on streets and roads within its jurisdiction.
H3440 - Makes several changes to the current law on mopeds - adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires a moped to be registered, carry insurance and may not be operated on a public road with a speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour.
House Labor, Commerce and Industry Banking and Consumer Affairs subcommittee
S375 - Allows a local governing body to deposit surplus public funds - favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Allows a local governing body to deposit all or a portion of surplus public funds in its control or possession collateralized by FDIC.
House Judiciary Committee
S255 - Requires removal of arrest records on websites if the charges have been dismissed or discharged - favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires removal of arrest records on websites within 30 days if the charges have been dismissed, discharged or the person is found not guilty.
H3521- Prevents a court or other enforcement authority from enforcing foreign law - recommitted to the subcommittee
Summary of the bill as introduced: Prevents a court or other enforcement authority from enforcing foreign law.
H3685 - Adds a $5 surcharge on all monetary penalties imposed by municipal courts - adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires a $5 surcharge on all penalties imposed by a general sessions, magistrates or municipal court for misdemeanor traffic or non-traffic offenses where an electronic ticket or citation was issued.
H3325 - Uniform Partition of Heirs" Property Act - favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Creates procedures for a court to follow in determining the value of the property and factors for a court to consider for different types of partitions.
Senate Judiciary subcommittee
H3191 - Creates the Office of Freedom of Information Act Review within Administrative Law Court - carried over
Summary of the bill as introduced: Creates the Office of Freedom of Information Act Review within Administrative Law Court and reduces the time in which a public body has to respond to requests from 15 days to ten days.
House Judiciary Constitutional Laws subcommittee
H3745 - Allows ethics violation actions to be commenced until four years after leaving office - adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Allows ethics violations actions to be commenced until four years after a public official, public employee or public member leaves office.
House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Agriculture subcommittee
H3564 - Requires permitting and expansion for surface water withdrawals - adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires permitting for new withdrawals and for expansion of existing registrations for surface water withdrawals for agricultural uses.
House Labor, Commerce and Industry Public Utilities subcommittee
S304 - Extends contracts to buy power for additional periods of time - favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Allows for the renewal or extension of contracts between a joint power and energy agency and member municipalities to buy power for additional periods not to exceed 50 years from the date of the renewal or extension.
House Judiciary Criminal Laws subcommittee
S133 - Requires automatic expungement of non-violent crimes that occurred before the age of 16 - favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires automatic expungement of non-violent crimes that occurred before the age of 16 years old.
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