LEGISLATIVE UPDATE : February 4 – February 13, 2017
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU — We believe that two-way communication is vital to the foundation of representative government. Thomas Jefferson observed that the government closest to the people is one that serves them best. We want to hear what issues are most important to you — take the SC Senate Republican Caucus survey today!
On The Floor:
PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESSES FROM MANDATES — All across the nation, runaway councils, school boards and unelected public service groups are issuing mandates that harm mom-and-pop businesses. The Senate passed S. 218 that limits political subdivisions from mandating business standards that can harm family owned and operated small businesses and do not fit the statewide policy. The House now has this business-friendly bill for consideration
TAXPAYER INFLATION PROTECTION — S.46 passed by the Senate requires the Department of Revenue to adjust tax brackets by the full inflation adjustment each year as opposed to one-half of the adjustment as currently practiced. This protects taxpayers as incomes rise with inflations, but tax brackets remain unchanged.
FOUR-LEGGED PROTECTORS — Did you know that bomb dogs can cost upwards of $60,000 and take 6 months to be received by a requesting agency? Police dogs and horses are tremendously important to public protection and protection of law enforcement. S.6 increases the penalties for persons who tortures, injures, mutilates, kills or in other ways harms a police dog or horse.
21st CENTURY PRISON PROTECTION — The Senate gave its final approval to S.176 limiting the range a drone can fly within a correction facility and local detention center. Last week, Senator Katrina Shealy wrote an article in The State Newspaper that discusses the millions of drones sold a year and the need for proactive, drone policies to protect our law enforcement community.
VICTIM STATEMENT PAROLE PRESERVATION — The Senate unanimously supported a measure to allow victims and immediate family members to provide written statements to a Parole Board for consideration during a parole hearing. The statements can be carried over to subsequent hearings, providing the victim still stand by their statement. This bill removes a burdensome difficult parole process to continually plague a victim and protects victims’ statements privacy.
OPENING SCHOOL DAY DISCRETION — The Senate has approved allowing school district Board of Trustees the discretion to begin the 2017-2018 school year as early as Thursday, August 17. A solar eclipse’s path is expected to pass over South Carolina during this time period, and allows students the opportunity to use the solar eclipse as an additional learning experience.
COASTAL CAROLINA CHAMPIONSHIP TAGS — The Senate gave a key second reading vote to allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue “Coastal Carolina University 2016 College Word Series Champions” special license plates. Chants’ fans may soon be able to commemorate the victory with their own special vehicle tag.
Around The State:
MAJORITY LEADER TALKS THIS WEEK IN SC — Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey sat down with USC Dean of Mass Communications Charles Bierbauer and Senate Minority Leader on SCETV’s new program “This Week In South Carolina to discuss the state of infrastructure, pension and education. CLICK HERE TO WATCH NOW.
NEW DELEGATION CHAIR FOR SPARTANBURG DELEGATION — The Spartanburg County Legislative Delegation elected Senator Scott Talley to serve as delegation chairman for the forthcoming two year term. READ MORE.
DEEPEST PORT IN THE SOUTHEAST — The Port of Charleston received key approval recently to move forward with the Harbor Deepening Project to deepen the port to 52 feet, making it the deepest port in the Southeast. Our ports are a vital resource to our state and a reflection of great cooperation. Today nearly 1 in 10 jobs are connected to our port.
JOB EXPANSION ANNOUNCED IN AIKEN COUNTY — Fluid automation products, ASCO, announced plans to expand their operations in Aiken County creating 86 new jobs for South Carolina residents. Learn more about the expansion and job openings here.
COAST TO COAST 3,300 MILES FOR CLEAN WATER — Scott Parker a seventh grader from Hanahan is on a mission to raise awareness for 1.8 billion people across the world who lack access to safe water, the Moultrie News says. He plans to ride his bike from the California coast to Charleston to raise $500,000 for clean water improvements initiatives across the world. READ MORE.