The South Carolina House of Representatives finished up an extensive amount of committee work in preparation for Crossover Week. Each year, lawmakers spend roughly 4 months hearing testimony and crafting legislation. The end of that 4-month period concludes with the beginning of the crossover period which lands on May 1st for 2015. The crossover period simply demands that no more legislation can be considered by House or Senate, forcing each body to act on the legislation passed by the other body instead of new items in the remaining days of the session. In short, if a bill is going to be passed this year, it has to make it out of at least one chamber prior to this deadline.
If there is a particular piece of legislation you’re concerned about that hasn’t been passed leading up to crossover date, I hope you’ll contact me about it.
This week, the House debated and passed a bill that I co-sponsored allowing Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP) holders from other states to have reciprocal rights in South Carolina (H. 3025). Upon third reading on Tuesday, the bill will head to the Senate.
House Committees passed numerous pieces of legislation, some of which I have listed below:
House Ways and Means Committee
Certificate of Need H3250
Needy Children’s Clothing Tax Exemption H3062
Giving Back to Our Veterans Act H3147
Capitol Police Force H3022
Wetlands Conservation Act H3868
Property Tax Grace Period for Deployed Military H3149
House Judiciary Committee
Body Cameras for Law Enforcement H3997
Overdose Prevention H3083
Protecting Homeowners H3248
Humane Methods of Animal Euthanasia H3343
Patent Infringement Act H3682
Uniform Interstate Family Support Act H3766
House Education Committee
In-State Tuition Rates for Military Personnel and Their Dependents H3037
Pilot Program for GED Camps H3353
Jurisdiction of State Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education H3170
Sign Language Interpreters H3390
Snow Days H3512
Hearing Officers for Teacher Dismissal H3560
The bills listed above along with many others head to the House Floor next week where a whirlwind of debate will occur. I’ve highlighted two of these.
Body Cameras for Law Enforcement H3997
Recent events have prompted many to look at the viability of body cameras for law enforcement officers. This week the House Judiciary Committee approved a measure developing a pilot program administered by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council to study the use of body cameras on law enforcement officers. The program would span 3 counties and 6 municipalities on an opt-in basis. The Training Council will report their findings to the General Assembly after a 6 month period. Both civil liberties organizations and the law enforcement community support this pilot program and the bill moves to the House floor for debate next week.
In-State Tuition Rates for Military Personnel H3037
Rep. Joe Daning (R-Berkeley) sponsored H3037 which grants in-state tuition rates to active duty military and their dependents. Currently, active duty military personnel who have been stationed in South Carolina do not receive in-state tuition rates. This bill grants them that privilege and allows them and their dependents to continue receiving an in-state tuition rate as long as they remain continuously enrolled. I’m look forward to supporting this measure on the House floor next week.
Each year we recognize a Teacher of the Year. I’d like to give my congratulations to this year’s Abbeville County School District recipient Leslie Schaffer, along with my sincere appreciation for each of our educators in South Carolina.
As always, it is an honor to serve you and your family in the General Assembly. If you ever find yourself in need of assistance navigating state government, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with my colleagues in the House, don’t hesitate to contact me at home at (864) 366-4112 0r email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.