Senators are scrambling to fix how county election commissions are set up– because the way they were originally formed is probably unconstitutional. Upstate voter activist Ned Sloan has sued South Carolina and the General Assembly over how lawmakers used their power to make local laws that did not apply statewide. Single county state legislation is unconstitutional. (READ MORE)
Sloan has changed the Legislature’s way of doing business in the past. One of his lawsuits stopped the unconstitutional practice of “bobtailing” bill together that are unrelated.
Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin , R-Pickens, wants to beat Sloan to it by undoing current county election commissions and voter registration boards. His bill (S. 866) would have the governor appoint a joint election commission with the recommendation of the state legislators from that county.
Seven counties have split offices: Greenville, Spartanburg, Greenwood, Richland, Williamsburg, Horry and Dillon, so lawmakers are wrestling with how to allow them to stay intact.
The Senate approved an amendment that would give more weight to Senate lawmakers’ recommendations and would create more party balance. All of those have to be worked through and the bill passed along to the House before May 1, or the county boards stay as they are. That would mean Sloan’s lawsuit moves forward and the potential for the upcoming election to be declared unconstitutional.
That kind of scenario is fresh in the minds of lawmakers, after hundred of candidates were dumped from the 2012 primary ballot over a technicality.
“If (the decision) happens right in the election cycle, which is entirely possible, we can have a real problem on our hands if the very folks who are conducting the elections are put out of business,” Martin told South Carolina Radio Network.
— DHEC and lawmakers today are responding to the South Carolina Supreme Court decision upholding state’s certificate of need law. The 1971 statute requires that hospitals and other care providers must justify the need to expand or build facilities
Gov. Haley opposes the program as government meddling in the free market.In a line-item budget veto last year, Gov. Nikki Haley stopped CON funding, thus the Department of Health and Environmental Control stopped its enforcement. In a 4-1 ruling, state’s high court said that DHEC is required to fund the CON program, regardless of the 2013–2014 Appropriations Act’s failure to appropriate funding for the program. Read more.
— Senator Floyd Nicholson’s legislation to strengthen health screenings for school workers passed out of the South Carolina Senate without any hurdles and now heads to the House. The bill (S. 1084) addresses some of the issues around a tuberculosis outbreak at Ninety-Six primary school in Greenwood County last year.
Nicholson’s bill establishes tuberculosis testing and requires employees of schools and child care centers throughout the state to be TB-free. The requirements would apply to individuals applying for employment, to all existing employees and to employees returning to employment in consecutive years in public or private schools, kindergartens, nurseries, or childcare centers throughout South Carolina.