Leftover bills could pass as legislature returns for special session

South Carolina lawmakers return for a special session this week, primarily with the goal of passing a new state budget and allocating the remaining federal COVID-19 aid – along with considering legislation to address absentee voting for the upcoming election. But under the rules passed by lawmakers earlier this year (called the “sine die” resolution) […]

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SC State House Happenings

Legislative update: What lawmakers passed and what’s still in play

South Carolina lawmakers met last week (May 12) to take up legislation dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, and to pass a resolution funding state government through the year until they can return and write an official budget. But they also took the opportunity to pass and introduce a handful of other bills too, some entirely […]

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SC State House Happenings

House, Senate pass competing resolutions to fund state government, COVID-19 emergency

Yesterday, the General Assembly met to pass a continuing resolution to ensure that state government will be funded through the end of the fiscal year in June and until they pass a full budget. Instead, the House and the Senate ended up passing two separate continuing resolutions, which are identical except for provisions regarding Santee […]

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Local governments’ emergency power grabs

Local governments all over the state are adopting emergency measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak – but not all of them are making their emergency declarations and ordinances easily accessible.  State law allows local governments to pass emergency ordinances in one meeting without giving the public any notice or a chance to read them first, […]

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Lawmakers call for federal constitutional convention

Legislation calling for an Article V convention to amend the U.S. Constitution has been gaining traction lately. An Article V convention has never happened before, and the U.S. Constitution contains no rules for how it would operate. Should any of this legislation pass and a convention be called, anything will be possible at that convention […]

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Property rights threatened by new eminent domain bill for private companies

EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PIPELINE COMPANIES? A recently filed bill (S.1100) would give private petroleum pipeline companies the power to condemn state residents’ property through eminent domain. It would also classify these companies as public utilities and subject the construction and expansion of pipelines to state approval. . How it would work Eminent domain is a […]

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Road-naming bills: Political favors for politicians

Last September, the Department of Transportation (DOT) Commission voted to rename the “John N. Hardee Expressway” in Columbia to the “Columbia Airport Expressway” following Hardee’s guilty plea to a federal evidence-tampering charge and subsequent arrest in a prostitution sting. This is not the first time a South Carolina politician has faced criminal charges after having […]

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Lawmakers double down on Second Amendment attacks

MULTIPLE BILLS ATTACK SOUTH CAROLINIANS’ RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS A growing number of bills filed by lawmakers would erode South Carolinians’ Second Amendment rights. In recent weeks, five bills were introduced that push for gun confiscation powers, banning certain firearms, and severely limiting their access – all of which would violate the rights […]

Lawmakers attempt to divert gas-tax dollars to pay local transportation officials

Three recently filed bills would pay certain local transportation officials (appointed by lawmakers) out of their counties’ local share of gas-tax revenue. H.4819 would pay each member of the Union County Transportation Committee (CTC) $75 for each meeting attended, for up to ten meetings. S.994 would pay each member of the Lee County CTC $100 […]

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Bills to watch in 2020: Part two

It’s a new year in the Palmetto State, and that means South Carolina’s legislative session is about to begin – on January 14 to be exact. While it’s impossible to predict every desired policy change on lawmakers’ agenda, the primary takeaways from the 250-plus bills prefiled for this year include more spending of taxpayer dollars, […]

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