Schedule of public meetings in the South Carolina General Assembly:
SENATE: (All meetings in Gressette building, unless noted otherwise)
9:00 a.m. (R00m 207) — A finance subcommittee will hear budget requests from the Department of Mental Health, Human Affairs Commission, Governor’s Office of Executive Policy and Programs, and the School for the Deaf and Blind.
9:00 a.m. (Room 308) — A judiciary subcommittee will hear testimony on the proposed “Born Alive Infant Protection Act” by Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston). The bill would redefine a “person” to include any infant that is born alive. The idea of such legislation is extend legal protection to an infant that survives a failed attempt at induced abortion.
9:00 a.m. (Room 406) — Another finance subcommittee will listen to budget requests from the state Department of Corrections and the Department of Pardon, Probation, and Parole Services.
9:30 a.m. (Room 105) — A labor panel will hear testimony on a “Right to Work” bill that passed the House last month. Among other things, the bill would require unions to register more of their financial data with the state Department of Labor.
10:00 a.m. (Room 209) — The Fish, Game and Forestry Committee will hear testimony from Department of Natural Resources director John Frampton, whose rocky departure from the agency has consumed much of the committee’s time.
10:00 a.m. (Room 308) — A Medical Affairs panel will examine a pair of bills, including one by Sen. Kevin Bryant that would allow a person to get a permit to dig a well, even if their property has access to water lines… Another bill by Sen. Danny Verdin (R-Laurens) is the Senate version of a bill that tries to crack down on Horry County’s waste laws, which some Republicans say creates a government-sponsored monopoly.
11:00 a.m. (Room 209) — An agriculture subcommittee will examine a pair of bills by Sen. Verdin. One would make it a crime to tamper with a person’s crops… A second bill would abolish the Migrant Farm Workers Commission and instead place its responsibilities under the existing Commission on Minority Affairs.
11:00 a.m. (Room 105) — A judiciary subcommittee will try to make some changes to a bill by Rep. Mike Gambrell (R-Honea Path) that would change state laws dealing with government-sponsored internet providers. The intention is to prevent those entities from competing with the private sector. The bill has already passed the House.
11:00 a.m. (Room 207) — A transportation subcommittee will work on a bill by Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) that reforms the state Department of Transportation. A key part of the legislation, which eliminated the seven-member commission that approves construction projects, was shot down in committee last week.
HOUSE: (All meetings in Blatt building, unless noted otherwise)
9:00 a.m. (Room 516) — A Criminal Laws panel will hear public testimony on several pieces of legislation, including one by Rep. Peter McCoy (R-Charleston) that would not allow a convicted murderer to be released on parole if that person was also found guilty of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, burglary, or certain other crimes.
9:00 a.m. (Room 403) — The Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee will take up a collection of bills, including the House version of a bill that would create new regulations of the cottage food industry. Rep. Bill Sandifer (R-Seneca) is the main sponsor.
9:00 a.m. (Room 429) — A Higher Education panel will consider a bill by Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Columbia) that would allow colleges to charge lower tuition rates for active-duty military personnel and their families stationed abroad. The bill passed the Senate last month.
9:00 a.m. (Room 410) — An agriculture subcommittee will consider a proposal by Rep. Nelson Hardwick (R-Surfside Beach) that would create the “South Carolina Fresh on the Campus” program within the state Department of Agriculture, with the purpose of encouraging locally-grown and healthier foods in schools.
9:00 a.m. (Room 511) — The Election and Ethics Laws subcommittee will hear from the public on a bill by Rep. Tom Young (R-Aiken) that would end open primaries in South Carolina. In other words, only registered members of the Republican and Democratic parties would be eligible to vote in their respective primaries.
9:00 a.m. (Room 427) — A occupational licensure committee will discuss new regulations for several different professional licenses– including one that would require massage therapists to be at least 18 years old.
2:30 p.m., or 1.5 hours after adjournment (Room 516) — The Constitutional Laws subcommittee will hear from the public on several bills– most notably a proposed constitutional amendment by Rep. Sandifer that would allow for the recall elections of public officials.
2:30 p.m., or 1.5 hours after adjournment (Room 511) — The Special Laws subcommittee will listen to testimony on a bill by Sen. Ray Cleary (R-Georgetown) that would exempt interest on Individual Retirement Accounts from being used in bankruptcy cases. The bill has already passed the Senate.