End of Session SC Legislature Report ~ 6-20-10
Compiled by Kendra Linkowski
S.C. lawmakers adjourned the regular session June 3 although they met on certain topics in June.
This was year 2 of a 2-year session so issues not resolved must be reintroduced and go through the entire process again starting in January. There were bills that were sponsored and introduced that will serve as models for the legislation coming back up next session. Perhaps some seeds were planted and they will think about them from now to January, and be eager to work on them in 2011.
Now is a GOOD time to start working the state legislators to get bills pre-filed for 2011. http://www.nvcca.net/documents.html lists bills in the Platform for Liberty (a collection of model legislation that can be customized for any state). There are many other useful documents at this link.
Starting January, go to the State House sometimes and listen to hearings. Stop by your senator’s or congressman’s office to say thanks or give an opinion.
This list does not cover all bills, but includes ones I knew of that specifically relate to inalienable rights or were hot topics.
Some of the legislation that was discussed in the 118th Session:
GUN RIGHTS: S-593 was signed into law on June 2. Bottom line for what it means to the people of SC? There is no change in the law for non-CWP holders. Non-CWP holders will still be committing a felony if they enter upon any school grounds with a firearm in their vehicle or on their person. See http://www.scfirearms.org/Legislative/LegislationUpdate.html for more bills on guns.
THE BUDGET: June 17: http://www.heraldonline.com/2010/06/17/2250647/sc-senate-begins-budget-veto-debate.html
Technical schools, public libraries, and health programs were saved from Gov. Mark Sanford’s veto pen.
VOTER ID: The House passed a compromise between House and Senate GOP members, which created 8 days of early voting, but in only one location per county, and limited current absentee voting.
Read Rep.Jenny Horne’s (House District 94) explanation of the budget here:
SENTENCING REFORM: Comprehensive revamp of sentencing guidelines to emphasize alternative punishment for non-violent offenders, putting more emphasis on parole and probation; passed the Senate.
SENATE RULES CHANGES: Proposes to record all senators who answer the daily quorum call as voting on the winning side of any voice vote, unless the senator specifies otherwise or has official leave; sits in priority status for debate on the Senate calendar.
H3386: Calling for a Constitutional Convention was a bad idea and fortunately it died:
Become familiar with the SC State Constitution this summer: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/scconstitution/scconst.htm
TORT REFORM: Caps punitive damages at $350,000 civil personal injury cases and allows seat belt usage as admissible evidence in court; passed the House, is behind several other priority-status bills awaiting debate in the Senate
GOV./LT. GOV. ON SAME TICKET: Seeks a change in the State Constitution so that the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket beginning in 2014; Passed the House.
IMMIGRATION: Rep. Eric Bedingfield (www.scstatehouse.gov/members/bios/0140340893.html) introduced a carbon copy of the Arizona Immigration bill which is making headlines – H 4919 in the SC Assembly.
We had a press conference at the State House in late May to draw attention to S-1446 and to show solidarity with Arizona (and the other 35 states in one phase of adopting this bill or another).The AZ-style bill mandates law enforcement to check the legal status of anyone they stop, detain or arrest if the law officer has reasonable suspicion the person is in the United States illegally. This had little chance of passing this session with just weeks to go but you can BET this bill will be introduced right off the bat in the 2011 session. We must also demand that our 2008 Immigration Reform Bill be funded and enforced.
S-0155: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976; ENACTED THE “MILITARY PARENT EQUAL PROTECTION ACT”
TEXTING WHILE DRIVING: Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell said at two days left in session with a still unfinished state budget, the Senate did not have time to work out concerns over a texting ban.
http://www.thesunnews.com/2010/06/02/1508000/sc-texting-while-driving-ban-flops.html#ixzz0qEDvRLf3 This was an incomplete law and rightly didn’t pass. Consider all of the things we do while driving besides texting: eating, doing makeup, talking on the phone or to passengers, letting small dogs drive…
ABORTION: There were a number of bills- http://www.scstatehouse.gov/cgi-bin/query.exe
S.1172: Governor Sanford joined legislative leaders and children’s advocates to sign S.1172, legislation aimed at speeding up and improving the process transitioning SC children in foster care into permanent adoptive homes.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE REFORM: http://sc.statehouseblogs.com/2010/06/03/press-release-gov-sanford-signs-unemployment-insurance-reform-bill/
Senator Mike Rose sponsored a bill to require that by 7-1-10, the Child Support Enforcement Division of DSS create an employer New Hire Reporting Program and a state directory of new hires…(which could easily be used to track illegal aliens by the way). It went through a lot of discussion but failed in the end.
There is a bill that was passed about 11 years ago called SC New Hires, so why are they enacting another one?? http://www.scnewhire.com/scnhintro.htm Anyone want to look into that?
WARRANTLESS SEARCH: We were watching bill S-191. There were enough votes in the House to over-ride the Governor’s veto on this. This takes rights from ex-convicts who have served their time and may well extend into our rights incrementally.
Speaking of warrantless and illegal: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8167533318153586646&hl=en#
If you are stopped by the police, you don’t need to tell any more than your rights indicate.
These Liberty Platform Bills did not pass:
H4840 – The “No Chippin’ Chickens Act” [against the National Animal Identification System – NAIS] Rep. Jeff Duncan, the Chairman of the Agriculture committee introduced H4840. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess118_2009-2010/bills/4840.htm
We want to hold Rep. Duncan in high esteem for taking on Cargill and Digital Angel and Monsanto, and of course, the feds with this ground shaking piece of legislation.
Unfortunately I believe Duncan lost his re-election June 8.
H-4470 – to Disconnect the SSN from all state forms, licenses, etc. (Religious Freedom issue as well)
H-4501 – Declaring gold & silver coin “legal tender” for SC. This has a lot of good reasoning behind it.
H-4502 – The United States Senate Accountability Act: Resuming charge of our State Senator’s agendas. This bill will return constitutional principles to the role of state senator. We need to rein in senators like Lindsey Graham with Rep. Pitts’ bill! We need to teach the subject of “Federalism” and state’s rights to the S.C .Legislature, and compel the accountability of our U.S. Senators to it.
To follow a bill in the future use this link: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/lits/litsindex.html
Some old and new bills will be pre-filed before January, 2011.
Here is the Bill Summary Index if you want to search: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/reports/hupdate/hupdate.htm
The State legislature will fire up in the fall with some new faces.
Prepare for 2011: Learn how to work your state legislature: