SC Statehouse Report – May 2, 2016

Last week marked the time during the legislative session when a bill has to pass one chamber or the other to have a realistic chance to become law.

The crossover date is May 1 and among the bills that didn’t make it is the controversial “bathroom bill” that would require transgender people use the public restroom of their gender at birth and the gender of which they identify.

However, despite that “setback,” one of the bill’s authors, Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg), wants to attach similar wording in the state budget.

“Basically, the budget amendment would say that any local subdivision that passes an ordinance that requires businesses to allow men in women’s restrooms, then we would take the aid to subdivisions, their state funding, away,” Bright said.

The bill had plenty of opposition, from both sides of the aisle, so an amendment may have the same.

Plus, it could face a veto from Governor Haley.

 

A number of bills, however, did pass one chamber last week.

One that passed both the Senate and the House will include licensed dentists and oral surgeons as “emergency medical providers.”

That bill will now go to Governor Haley and since it’s had no opposition at all, it will likely become law.

The sponsor of the bill is Rep. Russell Fry (R-Surfside Beach).

 

The South Carolina state senate passed two bills that deal with animals.

One would require veterinarians to label all prescription drugs given to an animal’s owner in accordance with state and federal law.

Failure to do so would mean a fine of not more than $500.

The bill’s two sponsors are senators Thomas McElveen (D-Sumter) and Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden), who represents a good part of Chesterfield County.

The other “animal bill” allows the issuing of “No More Homeless Pets” license plates.

Once the plates make a profit, that money would go to grants to support local animal spaying and neutering programs.

Sen. Sheheen is this bill’s sponsor.

Both bills are now in a House committee.

 

The House passed a bill last week that will enable you to check a box on your state income tax form to donate to “Habitat for Humanity.”

Among the sponsors are representatives Greg Duckworth (R-North Myrtle Beach), Roger Kirby (D-Lake City), Robert Ridgeway (D-Manning), Mike Ryhal (R-Carolina Forest), Jeff Johnson (R-Conway), Richie Yow (R-Chesterfield), Grady Brown (D-Bishopville) and Robert Williams (D-Darlington).

The bill is now in the Senate.

 

The House also passed a bill that will allow a county that has a barrier island or a municipality within such county to pass a law that would allow you to operate a golf cart at night if that cart has working lights.

That would apply to Horry and Georgetown counties.

The bill’s two sponsors are both from the Hilton Head area.

The bill is now in the Senate.

 

And the House passed a bill Wednesday (4/27) that would add a valid South Carolina Concealed Weapons Permit to the list of identification forms/cards that will enable you to vote.

Among the sponsors of the bill are Representatives Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach), Jeff Johnson (R-Conway), Richie Yow (R-Chesterfield), Robert Williams (D-Darlington), Jay Jordan (R-Florence), Stephen Goldfinch (R-Murrells Inlet), Greg Duckworth (R-North Myrtle Beach), Wayne George (D-Mullins), Jackie Hayes (D-Dillon), Russell Fry (R-Surfside Beach), Kevin Hardee (R-Loris), Mike Ryhal (R-Carolina Forest), Roger Kirby (D-Lake City) and Cezar McKnight (D-Kingstree).

The bill is now in the Senate.

 

And another bill that passed both chambers will make each January 17 “Eartha Kitt Day” in South Carolina.

The day won’t mean any time off from a work or a disruption in state services but it recognizes Kitt, who was born January 17, 1927, in North, South Carolina, in Orangeburg County.

Kitt was a noted actress and singer, and won a couple Emmy Awards.

Orson Welles once called her “most exciting woman in the world”.

Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day, 2008, at the age of 81.

One of the bill’s sponsors is Rep. Cezar McKnight (D-Kingstree).

The House passed the bill unanimously but six senators voted “nay.”

None of those six opposing votes came from local lawmakers.

The bill becomes law upon the approval of Governor Haley.

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