The Weekly Rewind – January 12th

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HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
January 12, 2018

Lawmakers returned to the State House on January 9, 2018, to commence the second regular session of the 122nd South Carolina General Assembly.

The House of Representatives took up the Governor’s vetoes on H.3720, the General Appropriation Bill for the Fiscal Year 2017-2018 STATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET. In addressing vetoes, legislators had to contend with a revenue shortfall that has left the state with approximately $34 million less in non-recurring spending than the estimates from the Board of Economic Advisers that were used in approving the budget. The House voted to sustain some of the Governor’s vetoes, including $4.9 million in nonrecurring revenue allocated to the Department of Health and Human Services to support various medical contracts. The House voted to override vetoes on other items, including Education Lottery Funds devoted to leasing and purchasing new school buses in the amount of $17.5 million from the Lottery Expenditure Account and $3 million in unclaimed prize money along with whatever balance may remain in the unclaimed prize fund. Vetoes that the House voted to override have been sent to the Senate for consideration.

The House approved S.456, addressing SOUTH CAROLINA TECHNICAL COLLEGE MOTORCYCLE SAFETY COURSES, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides that a person who holds a motorcycle beginner’s permit who has failed the motorcycle driver’s license test three or more times must successfully complete a South Carolina Technical College motorcycle safety course, or its equivalent, in lieu of passing the motorcycle driver’s license test, in order to obtain a motorcycle license. All courses must be at least eight hours in length and be taught by an instructor accredited through a training program in which the procedures for accreditation are equivalent to those set forth in ‘Manual of Rules and Procedures’ published by the National Safety Council. All courses must include successful completion of an examination equivalent to the Department of Motor Vehicles motorcycle skills test. The legislation also provides that any driver with a Class M (motorcycle) endorsement who has accumulated driver’s license points shall have the number of his points reduced by four upon proving to the satisfaction of the Department of Motor Vehicles that he has successfully completed an accredited South Carolina Technical College motorcycle safety course or its equivalent. No person’s points may be reduced more than one time in any three year period using these provisions.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4036, a bill AUTHORIZING THE STATE INSPECTOR GENERAL TO CONDUCT FINANCIAL AUDITS OF LOCAL PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICTS at the request of state or local public officials who have complaints of possible school district financial mismanagement. The legislation expands the State IG’s authority to perform government audits by providing that the State Inspector General, for good cause shown upon request of any state or local public official or entity, may conduct financial and forensic audits of school districts. Audits must be completed and copies furnished to the relevant parties at the conclusion of the fiscal year following when the request was made, unless the State Inspector General explains in writing to the requesting parties compelling reasons why the audit cannot be completed during this time frame.

Comments

  1. Doug Taylor says:

    I didn’t get a chance to share my opinion on one of the vetoes you had to vote on. How did you vote on allowing the state employees insurance carrier to cover dependent birth control prescriptions? I believe that the state plan should include this benefit. Contraceptives can be expensive and the cost of an unintended pregnancy will probably cost the state more in the long run. Access to contraceptives is also an effective strategy for reducing teen births in our state.

    I look forward to hearing back on how you voted and rationale. Thanks.

    • Doug, this was the Governor’s message on Veto #4

      Veto 4 Part IB, Page 441, Section 108, Public Employee Benefit Authority – Proviso 108.12, PEBA Contraceptives for Dependents

      This proviso was not requested by the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority (PEBA), which manages the State Health Plan, and constitutes an $8 million annual unfunded mandate. I urge you to sustain this veto because any coverage or benefit additions to the state health plan should be fully funded.

      Chairman White was the only one to speak on the veto and the veto was sustained because it did not receive the 2/3 vote required to override the veto. 58 yea 54 no. I voted no.

      Later in the day, Rep Arrington asked for the House to reconsider the veto. This time Rep. Bernstein spoke on the veto and the veto was again sustained because it didn’t receive the 2/3 vote rerquired to override the vetoe. 56 yea 44 no. I voted no.

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