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           Statehouse Report #7
        Monday, February 28, 2011

                                      Protecting Your Tax Dollars

It's hard not to miss all of the news surrounding the budget deficits in Wisconsin, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois and others.

As our session starts to shift towards the budget in the coming weeks, I want to stress that we will work in the direction that our voters have made clear is their direction. Namely, we will prioritize spending, protect “core” government services and cut the size of government.

Our first weeks of this session have put us in a great position to accomplish these goals by passing bills to make government spending more transparent and introducing others that streamline (reduce) the size of government. I am proud to be a sponsor on these bills and ask you to track their progress in my Bill Summary below.

I also want to state that my voting on the budget will reflect my strong belief that the money being spent is not the government’s money -- it is your money. And, I will fight to make sure that your money is not wasted or spent recklessly.

Times are indeed tough. And our state is facing another major cut in revenue. Rather than raising taxes to cover higher budget requests (as some call the “easy way out” and the way that North Carolina and Georgia chose), my colleagues and I think we should make cuts in spending.

I know that cutting certain programs is not always popular. But I also believe that, in lean times, our conservative philosophy should dictate that government live like a family. When families are struggling, we tighten our belts and spend less. Government should be no different. While the budget cuts might be painful in the short-term, they will make South Carolina a better, more stable place to live, work and raise our families.

Having said all of that, I would like to share great news that the State Senate has passed Voter ID. They did make amendments to the bill, but my colleagues in the House and I look forward to advancing the key idea of protecting your ballot.

Lastly, the Charter School bill that I wrote about last week passed in the House. We hope that our peers in the Senate push this bill forward quickly, so our Charter Schools do not fail.

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.3760, “Veteran Status License,” A Bill to amend Section 56-1-140, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to the issuance and contents of a South Carolina driver's license, so as to, upon the licensee's request and proof of eligibility, include a veteran status designation on the driver's license; and to amend Section 56-1-3350, as amended, relating to the issuance of special identification cards, so as to, upon the card holder's request and proof of eligibility, include a veteran status designation on the special identification card -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

H.3728, “Date of Education and Economic Development Act,” A Bill to amend Section 59-59-30, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to the implementation of the Education and Economic Development Act, so as to extend the date by which the act must be implemented fully -- Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.

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.

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.

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.

H.3498, "Construction Professional Contracts" -- Referred to 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.

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.

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.

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.

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,” A Bill to amend Section 41-35-67, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to unemployment benefits to aliens, so as to provide the Department of Employment and Workforce shall screen an applicant for unemployment benefits using the e-verify program -- 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.

H.3154, “Protecting Students from Sexual Battery,” A Bill to amend Section 16-15-342, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to the offense of criminal solicitation of a minor, so as to increase the penalty for the offense; and by adding Section 16-3-760 so as to create the offense of sexual battery with a student and to provide penalties based on the age of the student -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3129, “Illegal Aliens Enforcement,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Article 15 to Chapter 3, Title 23 so as to entitle the article "Illegal Aliens Enforcement", to provide for procedures for verification of a person's immigration status under certain circumstances and to provide for the warrantless arrest of persons suspected of being present in the United States unlawfully; by adding Section 16-9-470 so as to create the offense of willful failure to complete or carry an alien registration document under certain circumstances, to provide penalties for the various degrees of the offense; and by adding Section 16-9-480 so as to create the offense of unlawfully hiring and picking up workers at different locations while impeding traffic, to create the offense of entering motor vehicles stopped in rights-of-way to be hired to work at a different location, and to provide penalties for violations -- 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,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Article 17 to Chapter 1, Title 1 so as to enact the "South Carolina Truth in Spending Act of 2011" to provide that each agency, department, and institution of state government and each local governmental entity shall maintain a detailed transaction register of all funds expended each month and post that register online, to provide that each agency, department, and institution of state government and each local governmental entity shall post online all of its credit card statements and the credit card statements for credit cards issued to public officials and employees for public use, and to provide that each local governmental entity annually shall post online a listing of its full time employees grouped by class along with the number of full time positions in each class and the average salary in each class -- 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.

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.

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.