The South Carolina House concluded its first week of sessions by unanimously passing a bill to require more voting on the record.
The House passed H.3004, less than a day after recalling it from committee. The bill, which would require any new laws to pass the General Assembly by roll-call vote, is identical to a bill the House passed last year which died in the Senate.
Roll-call voting is when legislators vote alphabetically, and their subsequent votes are recorded. Currently, such votes are only required if the bill involves taxes, funding, or certain other issues.
The Senate will take up the bill in the coming weeks. The Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday approved a change in that body’s rules to allow roll-call voting for any bill “having the full effect of law.”. If the Senate approves the changes, that would effectively allow the practice for at least this session.
Many senators are concerned, however, that a statutory law such as H.3004 would not hold up in court if a future Senate wished to change its rules back again. For that reason, Sen. Larry Martin (R-Pickens) and others are working to craft a constitutional amendment that would require roll-call voting.
-Meanwhile, Republicans in a House subcommittee passed H.3003, which would require all voters to show a photo ID in order to vote. The bill would also require the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue free identification cards for those over 17 who do not have drivers licenses. The bill did not include early voting, which was sought by Democrats as part of a compromise. The bill passed by a 3-2 vote along party lines.
– The Senate unanimously confirmed two of Gov. Nikki Haley’s nominees for her Cabinet. Bobby Hitt, a former BMW spokesman, was approved as the next Secretary of Commerce. Catherine Templeton was also confirmed as head of the state Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Templeton faced some questions from a few senators who were concerned that she planned to live in Charleston during her term.
Templeton originally said she planned make the trip to Columbia “Tuesday through Thursday,” which caused Sen. Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) to say he thought she should be in the capitol every day of the week until the legislative session ends. Templeton promised that she would work “five days a week,” but said several boards she oversees are in Charleston.