Statehouse Update Jan 17-19

South Carolina statehouse grounds

Last week two important bills passed their respective legislative committees. S.39 would create Education Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) that provide funding for low-income K-12 students to attend private school, pay for textbooks and transportation expenses, and more. S.164 would eliminate Certificate of Need requirements for most state healthcare providers, which requires an extensive approval process before the construction or expansion of facilities or making certain purchases. The bills now head to the Senate floor.

As of Tuesday morning, Jan 16, the following bills are on the Statehouse calendar.

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Regulation
  • S.361 – Removing a requirement that the SCDOT Commission give prior approval before extra work can be added to construction contracts. Instead, the commission must ratify contract extensions at the next meeting. A Senate Transportation subcommittee will take up the bill on Tuesday, Jan 17 at 10:00am. (not streamed)
  • H.3209 – Lifting approval requirements for certain development projects through the end of the year. A House Judiciary subcommittee will take up the bill on Wednesday, Jan 18 at 1:15pm (livestream here)

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Budget and spending
  • S.381 – This bill will ratify last year’s two constitutional amendments raising our state reserve funds, a measure supported by SCPC. Ratification is the last step in the process of amending the state Constitution. The Senate Finance Committee will take up the bill on Tuesday, Jan 17 at 3:00pm. (livestream here)

Budget hearings

The legislative budget process starts with state agencies presenting their spending requests to House budget subcommittees. Lawmakers will use the information received here to write the first draft of the state budget. The following subcommittees meet this week:

Criminal justice budget subcommittee

  • 1/17/23 upon House adjournment – Hearing from the Department of Public Safety, Law Enforcement Training Council, and SLED. (livestream here)
  • 1/18/23 at 11:30am – Hearing from the Department of Corrections and Department Of Juvenile Justice. (livestream here)

Transportation and regulatory budget subcommittee

  • 1/17/23 1.5 hours after House adjournment – Hearing from the Public Service Commission, Office of Regulatory Staff and Department of Insurance. (livestream here)
  • 1/18/23 10:00am – Hearing from the Department of Transportation, Department of Motor Vehicles and State Transportation Infrastructure Bank. (livestream here)
  • 1/19/23 upon house adjournment – Hearing from the Department of Consumer Affairs, Human Affairs Commission and Commission for Minority Affairs. (livestream here)

Public education and special schools subcommittee

  • 1/17/23 upon House adjournment – Hearing from the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, Will Lou Gray, and ETV. (livestream here)
  • 1/18/23 at 10:00am – Hearing from the State Library and S.C. First Steps. (livestream here)

Healthcare subcommittee

  • 1/18/23 10:00am – Hearing from the Public Employee Benefit Authority and Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. (livestream here)
  • 1//19/23 upon House adjournment – Hearing from the S.C. Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare, Department of Health and Environmental Control, and Area Health Education Consortium. (livestream here)

Higher education subcommittee

  • 1/17/23 2:30pm – Hearing from Clemson University, Tuition Grants, and Lander University. (livestream here)
  • 1/18/23 at 11:00am – Hearing from the S.C. Technical College System, S.C. State University and Coastal Carolina University. (livestream here)

Constitutional budget subcommittee

  • 1/17/23 2:30pm – Hearing from the Inspector General, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Comptroller General. (livestream here)
  • 1/18/23 at 10:00 – Hearing from the Office of State Treasurer, State Fiscal Accountability Authority and Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. (livestream here)
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Government transparency

As of Tuesday, Jan 17, most regular legislative meetings for the week are set to be livestreamed, including all the House budget subcommittee hearings. However, a handful of committee meetings dealing with bills appear as if they will not be streamed, though that could change. Our latest research report identified livestreaming and video archiving as essential for transparency as they keep a lasting public record of meetings.

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One Comment on “Statehouse Update Jan 17-19”

  1. Pingback: Statehouse Update Jan 24-26 | The South Carolina Policy Council