State House Update – Week of April 27 – May 1

The House met this week before taking another one week furlough the week of May 4. The primary focus this week was trying to get bills out of committee and passed on the Floor to meet the “crossover deadline.” Under the legislative rules, any House legislation that needs Senate approval too has to be out of the House before May 1 – commonly called the “crossover deadline”. Unfortunately, many good bills did not make the deadline and are held up in committee or on the Floor. In many cases, this is disappointing that much needed reform legislation will probably not pass this year. Nevertheless, this is the first year of a two year session so many of these bills will hopefully be ready to come out early in the 2010 session.

Bills of interest that came up this week on the House floor included the following: First, the bill creating the Department of Workforce under the Governor’s cabinet was debated and a motion sending the bill back to the Judiciary Committee narrowly passed. I was disappointed in this development. When the House returns the week of May 12, there will be an effort to resurrect this legislation again on the House Floor.

Second, the House passed a bill creating the Tax Realignment Commission (TRAC Commission). This bill is the first step in comprehensive tax reform on the state level.

Third, the House passed legislation allowing small locally owned oil companies to blend ethanol fuel versus buying this type of fuel solely from big oil companies. If the bill becomes law, then the cost of certain fuels to consumers should be reduced at the pump.

Finally, the House passed legislation defining renewable energy sources and ensuring that nuclear energy is part of any future statewide energy policy. With the Savannah River Site in our community, nuclear energy development and investment is important for our nation, state, and county.

In the Judiciary Committee, a bill reforming the State Ports Authority passed. However, a bill requiring candidates in elections to disclose campaign contributions within 48 hours of receipt is being held up. An effort is underway to get this bill out of the House and on to the Senate this session.

As to the budget, the Senate passed its version of the state budget late Wednesday. The budget will now come back to the House the week of May 12.

Locally, Harry and Margaret Shealy and Andy Cox of Aiken visited this week at the House Chamber during Conservation Day. I enjoyed talking with each of them about concerns of the Conservation community including funding for the Conservation Land Bank.

We continue to work on ways to improve the Avondale Water System serving Graniteville, Vaucluse and portions of Warrenville. I am hopeful that we will find a solution in the next couple of months.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you. Please let me know if I can help you in any way.


  1. You neglected to mention the Rice Amendment to the TRAC bill to consider FairTax or the introduction of H-3992, the South Carolina FairTax Act by Rep. Rex Rice (R-Pickens).

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