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           Statehouse Report #13
          Tuesday, April 21, 2011

                                     Battle for Voter ID Continues


I share mixed results with you this week on one of the most important bills I have co-sponsored this session - the Voter ID Bill.

As I am a firm believer in a cup being half-full, I will start with the good news about this bill. The fight to protect the integrity of your vote is not over and our hard-fought efforts thus far are not lost.

Now for the bad news. The State Senate voted against our bill - a bill that would require voters to present a government-issued ID to prove his or her identity when they go to vote. They insisted on including the same unrelated provisions that killed Voter ID last year.

I am disappointed that, even though Republicans are an overwhelming majority in the Senate with enough votes to end a Democrat filibuster, the Senate was swayed and influenced so heavily by a minority party bent on killing the bill.

Back to the good news. Voter ID was only one vote away from becoming law, making it the closest the Assembly has been to passing this bill. Although the State Senate voted down the “clean” Voter ID Bill, the Attorney General’s Office gave an official opinion giving strong arguments that support our House version. Although the State Senate voted down the “clean” Voter ID Bill, a groundswell of grassroots support came forward like never before to advocate this legislation. Although the State Senate voted down the “clean” Voter ID Bill, I am optimistic that a compromise can be reached in the joint conference committee to pass a constitutional Voter ID bill that will protect your ballot.

Please follow my Facebook and Twitter pages closely for updates on the Voter ID bill.

As I have done and will continue to do, I have listed below the status of the bills that I have sponsored or co-sponsored for this session. They are as follows:

H.4096, “Graduation Data Release,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 59-1-505 so as to require the State Department of Education to release high school graduation rate data based on race or ethnicity by September First of each year; to amend Sections 59-1-450, 59-1-452, as amended, 59-1-453, 59-6-10, 59-16-70, 59-18-120, as amended, 59-18-310, as amended, 59-18-320, as amended, 59-18-350, as amended, 59-18-900, as amended, 59-18-920, as amended, 59-18-950, 59-18-1500, as amended, 59-18-1510, as amended, 59-18-1530, as amended, 59-18-1540, as amended, 59-18-1570, as amended, 59-18-1590, as amended, 59-18-1700, as amended, 59-18-1930, as amended, 59-21-440, 59-21-600, 59-21-1210, 59-24-65, 59-26-20, as amended, 59-28-150, 59-28-190, 59-28-200, as amended, 59-28-210, 59-29-170, 59-29-220, 59-40-70, as amended, 59-40-230, 59-50-20, as amended, 59-59-170, 59-63-65, 59-139-10, 59-139-40, 59-139-60, and 59-150-325, all relating to the Education Oversight Committee, to change certain references from the Education Oversight Committee to the Department of Education, the State Board of Education, or the Superintendent of Education, and to delete certain references to the Education Oversight Committee; to repeal Sections 59-6-15, 59-6-16, 59-6-17, 59-6-20, 59-6-30, 59-6-100, and 59-6-110 all relating to the business education partnership and education improvement program monitoring; to repeal Section 59-21-1220 relating to the campus incentive program; to repeal Sections 59-24-100 and 59-24-110 both relating to the school principal incentive program; to repeal Section 59-28-220 relating to recommendations for employer tax credit incentives; to repeal Section 59-139-50 relating to a plan for technical assistance; and to repeal Section 59-141-10 relating to national education goals -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

H.4093, “Armed Forces Honor,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 1-1-715 so as to designate the honor and remember flag as the official state emblem of the service and sacrifice by those in the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line of duty -- Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

H.4092, “Campus Smoking,” A Bill to amend Section 44-95-20, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to places where smoking is prohibited, so as to provide that smoking is not allowed in buildings on campuses of public institutions of higher learning when it is prohibited by the governing body of the institution and to provide that a governing body is not precluded from establishing a smoke-free campus -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public.

H.4063, “Property Forfeiture,” A Bill to amend Section 44-53-530, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to controlled substances and forfeiture procedures for property seized accordingly, so as to allow petition to the magistrates court if the value of the property seized is less than seven thousand five hundred dollars, to require notice to owners of record, lienholders of record, and other interested parties by certified mail, and to provide that a petition for forfeiture is not subject to a filing fee -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.4062, “Pawnbroker Pledged Goods Database,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 40-39-85 so as to create the "Pawnbroker Pledged Goods Database" to serve as a central, statewide, electronic repository of records concerning goods received by a pawnbroker in a pawn transaction, to provide time limits by which the Department of Consumer Affairs must establish this database and by which a pawnbroker must submit information to the database, to provide the database must be secure and available to law enforcement, to provide for reporting methods a pawnbroker must follow in the event record reporting to the database is not possible due to computer or electronic malfunction, and to provide penalties for violations; and to amend section 40-39-10, relating to definitions concerning pawnbrokers, so as to define the term "database" -- Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

H.3994, “Lifeguard Safety,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 44-1-245 so as to provide that public swimming pools operated by the state, or a political subdivision of the state, must have one lifeguard for every forty swimmers and if there are more than forty swimmers, there must be one lifeguard for every twenty swimmers, with more to be added if needed -- Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs. Recalled from Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

H.3993, SC Fair Tax Act,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Chapter 34 to Title 12 so as to enact the "South Carolina Fair Tax Act", to provide for the purposes of the act and definitions, to provide for judicial guidance for interpretation of the act and the imposition of the tax, to provide for credits and refunds, to provide for a family consumption allowance, to provide for the administration of the tax by the department of revenue, to provide for penalties for violations of the act, and to provide for collections, appeals, and taxpayer rights; to provide for special rules related to intermediate sales, taxable gaming services, purchases by the federal government, government enterprises, mixed-use property or services, and not-for-profit organizations; to provide for taxation of financial intermediation services, to provide for additional matters related to the sale of a copyright or trademark, certain exclusions from taxation, taxation related to the purchase of taxable property or services subject to an employee discount, taxable property or services given as a gift, prize, reward, or as remuneration for employment by a registered person, and to provide for tax treatment for inventory held by a trade or business on the close of business on December Thirty-First of the year that this act is enacted; to provide for funding to the homestead exemption fund, the state public school building fund, the South Carolina Education Improvement Act of 1984 Fund, funding for municipalities and counties, and the Tourism Expenditure Review Committee; to provide for a special vote to amend or repeal this act within three years of its enactment and referendum for changes after the fourth year; and to repeal Chapters 6, 8, 11, 13, 16, 36, 58, and 62 of Title 12 -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3989, “Replacement of ‘Retarded’ with ‘Persons with Intellectual Disabilities,’” A Bill to amend Section 44-7-130, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina,1976, relating to the definition of terms used in the state certification of need and health facility licensure act, including the definition of "intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded", so as to substitute "persons with intellectual disability" for "the mentally retarded"; to amend Chapter 20, Title 44, relating to the South Carolina mental retardation, related disabilities, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries act, including the creation, governance, and operation of the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Chapter 21, Title 44, relating to the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Family Support Services, Section 44-23-10, and Articles 3 and 5 of Chapter 23, Title 44, relating to provisions applicable to both mentally ill and mentally retarded persons, Chapter 26, Title 44, relating to the rights of mental retardation clients, all so as to change the term" mental retardation" to "intellectual disability" and the term "mentally retarded" to "person with intellectual disability"; to provide that the terms "intellectual disability" and "person with intellectual disability" have replaced and have the same meanings as the former terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded"; and to direct state agencies, boards, committees, and commissions and political subdivisions of the state and the code commissioner to substitute the term "intellectual disability" for "mental retardation" and the term "person with intellectual disability" for "mentally retarded" in rules, regulations, policies, procedures, statutes, ordinances, and publications when these rules, regulations, policies, procedures, statutes, ordinances, or publications are amended, revised, or republished -- Referred to Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

H.3884, “Term-Limit Trustees” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3895, “Appearance Bond” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3793, “Bath Salts - Schedule 1 Drugs” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3768, “High School Concussions” -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

H.3760, “Veteran Status License” -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

H.3728, “Date of Education and Economic Development Act” -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

H.3713, “Eliminate Point of Sale” -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means. Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment.

H.3664, “Right to Carry Ammunition” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3659, “Palmetto Public Safety Act” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3658, “SC Employer Free Speech Act” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary. Committee Report: Favorable.

H.3645, “Uniform Traffic Tickets” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3641, “Zero-Base Budget” -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3585, "Krewe of Charleston" -- Introduced and Adopted.

H.3580, “Across-the-Board Expenditure Reductions” -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3563, “Streamline into Dept. of Health and Wellness” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3559, “Illegal Automobile Compartments” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3547, “Flight Log Transparency” -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3517, "Cop Shooting Bill" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3508, "Unserved Areas" -- Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry. Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment. Roll Call Yeas 109, Nays 0. Read Third Time and Sent to the Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. Referred to Subcommittee.

H.3507, "Repeal Federal Law by 2/3 Vote" -- Referred to Committee on Invitations and Memorial Resolutions. House Committee Report: Favorable. Roll Call Yeas 72, Nays 44. Sent to the Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. Referred to Subcommittee.

H.3498, "Construction Professional Contracts" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary. Recalled from Committee on Judiciary.

H.3469, “Streamline Dept. of Corrections” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3449, "Construction Liability Insurance" -- Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

H.3423, "Open Hunting" -- Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs.

H.3422, "Gold-Award Earning Girl Scout and Eagle Scout Hunting Requirements" -- Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs.

H.3408, "Freedom of Conscience Act" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary. House Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment. Roll Call Yeas 69, Nays 41. Read Third Time and Sent to Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Medical Affairs.

H.3407, "Educational Opportunity Act" -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3406, "No Abortion on State Exchange Health Plans" -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3403, "Born Alive" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary. House Committee Report: Favorable. Roll Call Yeas 91, Nays 22. Read Third Time and Sent to Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary.

H.3395, "Murder during Official Duties" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3375, "South Carolina Fairness in Civil Justice Act of 2011 - Tort Reform" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary. House Committee Report: Favorable. Roll Call Yeas 100, Nays 7. Read Third Time and Sent to the Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. Senate Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment.

H.3374, "Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact" -- Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment. Unanimous consent for Third Reading. Read Third Time and Sent to the Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry. Senate Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment. Senate Committee Amendment Adopted. Senate Roll Call Yeas 32, Nays 2. Senate Read Third Time and Sent to House with Amendments. House Roll Call Yeas 106, Nays 0. Signed by Governor into Law.

H.3372, "Electronic Collar" -- Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment. Unanimous consent for Third Reading. Read Third Time and Sent to the Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

H.3368, "Limit the General Fund" -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means. Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment. Roll Call Yeas 76 Nays 35. Read Third Time and Sent to Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Finance.

H.3346, "Solar Energy Equipment Tax Credit" -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3315, "Charleston Recognition" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3297, “Limiting School Bureaucracy Pay” -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

H.3292, "Bear Arms in Car"-- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3291, "Streamline Agencies into SC Department of Law Enforcement and Public Safety" -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3269, "Anti-Obamacare"-- Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

H.3228, “No Benefits to Illegal Aliens” -- Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

H.3185, "Higher Education Transparency Act of 2011"-- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works. House Committee Report: Favorable. Roll Call Yeas 110 Nays 0. Read Third Time and Sent to Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Education. Senate Committee Report: Favorable.

H.3163, "Moped" -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works. House Committee Report: Favorable with Amendment.

H.3154, “Protecting Students from Sexual Battery” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3129, “Illegal Aliens Enforcement” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3103, "American Flag"-- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3095, "Transfer Fees"-- Referred to Committee on Judiciary. Roll Call Yeas 110 Nays 2. Read Third Time and Sent to Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. Referred to Senate Subcommittee.

H.3091, “House Schedule” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3080, “House Schedule” -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3067, “South Carolina Truth in Spending Act of 2011” -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

H.3004, "Roll Call Voting"-- Referred to House Committee on Ways and Means. Roll Call Yeas 104, Nays 0. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. Referred to Senate Subcommittee. Senate Committee Report: Majority Favorable with Amendment; Minority Unfavorable. Minority Report Removed. Senate Roll Call Yeas 42, Nays 0. Senate Committee Amendment Adopted. Senate Roll Call Yeas 35, Nays 7. Read Third Time and Sent to House with Amendments. Senate Roll Call Yeas 33, Nays 11. House Roll Call Yeas 110, Nays 0. Signed by Governor into Law.

H.3003, "Voter ID"-- Referred to House Committee on Judiciary. House Committee Report: Favorable. Roll Call Yeas 74, Nays 45. Read Third Time and Sent to Senate. Referred to Senate Committee on Judiciary. Senate Committee Report: Favorable. Senate Roll Call Yeas 26, Nays 17. Read Third Time and Sent to House with Amendments. House Returned to Senate with Amendments. Senate Non-Concurrence in House Amendment. Senate Roll Call Yeas 28, Nays 15.

I hope this report is helpful in following my work serving you. I thank you again for the privilege of serving you in Columbia. If I can ever be of assistance, or if you have an idea or opinion on an issue, please do not hesitate to contact me at 843-452-4722 or at info@petermccoy.org.