By Representative Shannon Erickson (R) Beaufort
The SC House adjourned its first regular session of the 119th General Assembly on Thursday, June 9, and as of last update, will return on Tuesday, June 14 to deal with the budget, vetoes and SC House Redistricting.
Below are some highlights from this past session and where these bills stand currently. This is a snapshot of the work done by your SC House, and I have tried to compile some of the more highly asked about topics. There will be further information as we conclude the budget process and redistricting sessions.
Thank you for the honor of serving you in the SC House of Representatives. I hope that you will find this information useful and pertinent. Please know that I appreciate all of the emails, calls, letters and visits during the last legislative session and hope that you will call on me anytime I can be of service to you or your family.
Lawsuit Abuse Reform: Tort Reform is a top priority to further protect our state’s businesses from the threat of unjustified, debilitating lawsuits while preserving everyone’s access to our legal system. Versions of H. 3375 have now passed both the House and Senate. Enrolled for ratification (6/2).
Bill Wylie Entrepreneurship Act: This legislation will allow South Carolinians to claim an income tax credit for investing in small business start-ups in our state. H. 3779 passed the House and has been sent to the Senate. Passed the House (4/14). In Senate Finance Committee.
Point of Sale Revisions: Reforming our Point of Sale reassessment requirements will greatly strengthen our real estate market and bring fairness to this system. H. 3713 has passed the House and the Senate. Enrolled for ratification (6/2).
TRANSPARENCY AND GOVERNMENT REFORM
On the Record Voting: The House again approved a statute providing for more recorded votes by lawmakers. The Spending Accountability Act, H. 3004, passed the House and has since become law. Signed by Governor (4/12).
Higher Education Transparency: The House is fighting to open the books of state colleges and universities to the public. H. 3185 passed the House and is currently on the Senate floor. Passed by House (2/2).
Agency Restructuring: We continue to search for cost savings and operational efficiency in state agencies. H. 3066 (SC Restructuring Act of 2011 and Department of Administration Bill), along with other restructuring bills addressing elected constitutional officers, passed the House and are in the Senate. Passed by House (3/2). Senate Didn’t Approve Third Reading (6/2).
Spending Caps: House Republicans passed spending caps for the sixth time in 15 years. H. 3368 passed the House and is now in the Senate. Passed by the House (3/10). In Senate Finance Committee.
Voter ID: Voters should be required to present a photo ID as proof of their identity when they vote. H. 3003 passed the House and subsequently went to conference committee, where a clean version of Voter ID was agreed upon. The clean version of Voter ID that focuses on the ballot integrity in our elections has now been signed into law. You may watch the bill signing here. Signed by Governor (5/18).
Shortening the Legislative Session: The House will work to shorten the legislative session, work more efficiently, and save taxpayers money. H. 4145 as passed the house and is in the Senate. Passed by House (5/5). In Senate Judiciary Committee.
State Agency Fee & Fine Transparency: Citizens & businesses should be aware of what fees and fines are generated by state agencies. This bill would require all new or changing fees and fines be voted on by the General Assembly. H. 3051. Passed by House (4/29). In Senate Finance Committee.
Education Funding Reform: Reforming our antiquated, 30-year-old funding formula to make education funding more equitable and effective is a priority for our state. H. 3716 received passage in the House and is currently in the Senate. Passed by House (3/9). In Senate Finance Committee.
Charter School law revisions: Ensuring a healthy and vibrant public charter school choice for parents is essential for a strong education system in our state. H. 3241. Passed by House (2/24). Senate Gave Second Reading (6/1) now held up by
Sen. John Scott.
School Calendar & Teacher In-Service Flexibility: This legislation allows for districts (whole or portions) to transition the required school days into hours of instruction and days of teacher in-service into hours of required in-service permitting them to best utilize their finite resources. H. 3035. Passed by House (5/4). In Senate Education Committee.
LIMITING GOVERNMENT POWER
Repeal Amendment: A U.S. constitutional amendment where two-thirds of states can vote to repeal unfair, overreaching federal law. H. 3507 passed the House and is currently in the Senate. Passed by House (2/16). In Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee.
The SC Taxpayer Fairness Act: We will expand and update our state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights to ensure law-abiding taxpayers are treated with respect and that government agencies enforce tax law in a fair manner. H. 3419 has passed the House and is currently in the Senate. Passed by the House (3/10). In Senate Finance Committee.
Illegal Immigration Reform: Strengthening illegal immigration reform in South Carolina is key in securing our state’s economic future. S. 20 passed both the Senate and House, and the amended bill is now back in the Senate. Passed by House (5/25). Senate carried over the bill (6/2).
Rep. Shannon S. Erickson, R-Beaufort, represents SC House District 124. She can be reached at 843-263-1867.