What’s happening at the SC State Capitol Tuesday:
SENATE (All meetings in Gressette):
3:00 p.m. (Room 105) — A property tax subcommittee will take up a bill by Rep. Kenny Bingham (R-Cayce) that would make it easier for developers to get a discount on their property taxes for subdividing their land. Right now, the minimum is 10 lots, but Bingham’s bill makes it five. The bill passed the House last year.
–Once that subcommittee adjourns, a K-12 Education funding panel will meet afterwards. The panel will discuss how much to set aside for special education in South Carolina. The state nearly lost $111 million in federal funding last year for making two years of cuts to special ed without the Department of Education’s permission.
3:00 p.m. (Room 308) — The Senate Judiciary Committee will meet and take up a slew of agenda items. At the top of the list is a bill by Rep. Mike Gambrell (R-Honea Path) that would set strict rules for government-sponsored broadband networks, in an effort to make sure they do not have an unfair advantage over private companies. The bill cleared the House last year, but has since bumped through Senate committees.
HOUSE (All meetings in Blatt):
2:30 p.m. (Room 427) — The full Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee will take up quite a few bill and proposed regulations. At the top of the agenda is a bill by Rep. John King (D-Rock Hill) that would require death certificates to be sent electronically to all parties involved.
Approx. 90 minutes after House adjourns (Room 521) — The House Ways and Means Committee will also have a full slate of bills to work through, including two that are meant to collapse the income tax brackets for individuals and small businesses. At the top of the committee’s agenda, however, is a bill by Rep. Brian White (R-Anderson) that would create the Breast Cancer and Colorectal Cancer Screening and Treatment Trust Fund. The money for the trust fund would come from cigarette tax money to the tune of $2.5 million each year.
2:30 p.m. (Room 410) — The full Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee will take up several bills, including one by Rep. Phillip Lowe (R-Florence) that would allow for the hunting of coyotes, armadillos, and wild hogs at night on private property.
2:30 p.m. (Room 516) — The Judiciary Committee will meet and take up several bills. At the top of the list is a bill by Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) that would extend court orders for protection from domestic violence to also include pets. Specifically, the legislation would prohibit any harm coming to an animal owned by the person requesting the protection, by classifying the animals as personal property.
2:30 p.m. (Room 403) — A business and commerce subcommittee will consider several pieces of legislation, most notably a bill by Rep. Bill Sandifer (R-Seneca) that would increase the fines for lying about income when applying for unemployment benefits. Right now, a person can be fined from $20-$100. The new bill would increase those penalties to $5,000 for a first offense, and up to $15,000 for multiple offenses. It would also make it a felony to falsely obtain more than $2,000 in benefits.
3:00 p.m. (Room 433) — A higher education panel will discuss a proposal by Rep. Jerry Govan (D-Orangeburg) that would make major changes to the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees. It would trim the board from 13 members to 11 and give the alumni the power to vote for three members (instead of all being picked by the General Assembly). It would also require an election for the entire board in 2012.
3:30 p.m. (Room 108) — A licensing regulations panel will look at a series of proposed regulations that impact South Carolina businesses. One would allow for out-of-state contractors to be licensed by South Carolina in the event of an emergency.
4:00 p.m. (Room 433) — The motor vehicles subcommittee will take up proposals to create special license plates for prisoners of war, the Marine Corps, the Naval Academy, and Gold Star Families.