December 22, 2014

On Tap: March 6

Schedule of meetings around the Statehouse Tuesday

–The Budget and Control Board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in Room 252 of the Edgar Brown building. There are several bureaucratic and administrative matters that require the Board’s approval, although most are minor matters (see agenda here).

–Members of the House and Senate will screen five candidates for three seats on the state Employment and Workforce appeals panel. The panel handles cases stemming from a person who feels they unfairly lost their jobless benefits. The screening will be at 10:00 a.m. in Gressette Room 308.

SENATE: (All meetings in Gressette unless noted otherwise)
3:00 p.m. (Room 308) – The Senate Finance Committee will take up several bills, including one by Sen. Larry Martin (R-Pickens) that would give local governments more freedom in how they use tax revenue for redevelopment projects. Legislators will also debate a bill by Sen. Harvey Peeler (R-Gaffney) that targets the Occupy movement by restricting camping on the Statehouse grounds.

3:00 p.m. (Room 105) – The Senate Judiciary will attempt to catch up with 18 bills on its calendar. At the top is a resolution by Sen. Glenn McConnell (R-Charleston) to create a Commission on Streamlining of Government and Reduction of Waste. The commission would be tasked with doing do what its name implies.

HOUSE (All meetings in Blatt unless otherwise noted)
1.5 hours after House adjourns (Room 521) – The Ways & Means Committee will debate two high-profile bills. One by Rep. Brian White (R-Anderson) would allow parents to deduct the cost of private school on their state income taxes and offer tax credits for companies and individuals who donate to a scholarship program for low-income students… A second bill by Rep. Jim Merrill (R-Charleston) is the much-ballyhooed pension reform package that lawmakers have spent months crafting.

2:00 p.m. (Room 433) — A transportation subcommittee will discuss a bill by Rep. Bill Crosby (R-North Charleston) that would require the stat Department of Transportation to conduct a noise study whenever it plans to build, expand, or improve a highway.

2:30 p.m. (Room 516) — The Judiciary Committee will take up several bills, including one by Rep. Phyllis Henderson (R-Greer) that would ban “sweepstakes machines” under the state’s video poker laws… The committee will also examine a bill by Rep. Joan Brady (R-Columbia) that would make “sexting” a crime.

2:30 p.m. (Room 403) — An insurance subcommittee will discuss a bill by Rep. Bill Herbkersman (R-Bluffton) that would try to encourage economic growth by allowing a person to loan part of their Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to a charity. That charity would then be required to insure the loan to make sure it is repaid.

2:30 p.m. (Room 427) — A medical occupational regulation subcommittee will hear public input on a bill by Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Camden) that would exempt some physicians from needing a license to practice acupuncture, provided their exemption is approved by the state’s licensing agency. The bill has already passed the Senate.

3:00 p.m. (Blatt 433) — The full Education and Public Works Committee will discuss a bill by Sen. Jake Knotts (R-Lexington) that would create a special veterans’ status on state ID cards for military veterans who request it. The bill recently passed the Senate.

Upon adjournment of Insurance subcommittee (Room 403) — A business and commerce panel will hear testimony on a bill by Rep. Robert Williams (D-Darlington) that would require businesses to allow customers to use their restrooms.