A daily review of what’s making news in South Carolina state government.
— A state House panel has advanced legislation that would allow the use of medical marijuana in South Carolina. A medical panel voted 3-0 on Tuesday — with one legislator abstaining — to send the measure to the full House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee after listening to dozens of patients testify they believe cannabis can ease their chronic pain or PTSD. But law enforcement officials had concerns about drugs without FDA approval that are technically illegal under federal law.
— All bartenders and servers will be required to complete a training course before they can serve alcohol in South Carolina under legislation that is headed for the state Senate floor. The proposal which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday would require servers be trained on how to recognize problem drinkers and the potential liability their establishments face if that individual later gets into a DUI-related crash. The legislation is nicknamed “Alli’s Law” after an Upstate teen killed in a drunk driving collision.
— A House budget panel moved Tuesday to shut down a state-run school for at-risk students, according to The State newspaper. The plan, passed as an amendment to the state budget, would suspend and terminate all employees at the John de la Howe School in McCormick County after July 1. Remaining state budget money then would be given to Clemson University’s Public Services Activities program to evaluate the agricultural educational programs that could be offered at the site.
— Senators on the Judiciary Committee also moved forward on automatic stays. These are temporary restraining orders opponents can request after South Carolina’s environmental agency grants a permit or license. The stays block the grant, pending an appeal to a judge. Some senators want to place a time limit on the stay before a judge must rule on the case.