Politics

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.

SC Senate Update Feb. 27 - March 3, 2017

By G. Jackson

The S.C. Senate

The Senate on Thursday approved third reading of S. 394, which aims to make the state’s pension system more financially sound. The bill now heads to the House. The legislation is a companion bill to H. 3726, which was read the third time by the House on Wednesday. The Senate’s version was approved unanimously on a 41-0 vote. The goal of the bill is to make the retirement system solvent and make sure the benefits promised to state employees are provided.

The Senate is expected to address the House version this upcoming week.

Bills approved by the Senate this week include:

House Gives Key Approval to Roads Bill

By G. Jackson

The S.C. House of Representatives

The S.C. House gave key approval to a bill that would raise about $600 million annually to fix deteriorating roads across the state. The bill will soon reach the Senate where debate is expected to again focus on the 10-cent per gallon gas tax increase and the need for more reform to the S.C. Department of Transportation.

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