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           Statehouse Report #8
          Monday, March 7, 2011

               Restructuring Government and Primary-Sponsoring Another Bill

Restructuring government. Streamlining government.

People speak often about these ideas as they discuss the many Commissions on Streamlining Government in multiple states, most notably in Louisiana and Michigan. And, people speak often about these ideas as they discuss the basis of local and national organizations such as the Government Efficiency Movement (GEM) in New Jersey.

Now the conversation can switch to our great state. Now people can speak about the sweeping changes our State House passed last week to consolidate more of our state’s administrative power; give them to our Governor; and, most importantly, offer you - the voter - the opportunity to assist in this process.

The first piece of legislation approved Wednesday moves fourteen divisions of the Budget and Control Board to a new department: the Department of Administration. Most of these offices (from General Services to Employee Insurance Programs, from the State Information Technology Division to Procurement Services, from Veterans’ Affairs to the Office of Executive Policy, from the State Energy Office to others) largely provide administrative or inter-governmental services, rather than providing services directly to the people of South Carolina.

Our legislation will not only streamline government (and offer a potential reduction in overhead expenses), but it will also strengthen our state’s chief executive by giving our Governor more power over the executive branch of government that she heads.

The other two restricting bills will now be up to you!

The House voted for two constitutional amendments that you, the voters, will decide upon. Namely, do you want the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to run on the same ticket? And do you want the State Superintendent of Education to be appointed by the Governor or elected?

I believe giving you the power to vote on these constitutional amendments and to settle this debate once and for all is the right thing to do.

I also wanted to share with you that I have introduced my second primary-sponsored bill. H.3768, the High School Concussion Bill, will require the Department of Education to develop and distribute model policies concerning the nature and risk of concussions sustained by student-athletes. It will require that each local school district develop its own policy; require the review of the policy by student-athletes and their parents or guardians; and, most importantly, require the removal from play and medical evaluation of a student athlete believed to have sustained a concussion during play.

I have received tremendous bi-partisan support for this bill with 18 co-sponsors, including Rep. John Hayes (D - Dillon/Horry) who is an athletic director and head football coach. We believe that it is our responsibility to protect our young student-athletes from any lifelong problems caused by concussions. The bill is very similar to legislation passed in neighboring states of Virginia and Georgia. For the safety of our student-athletes, let’s hope this bill moves quickly through the Committee on Education and Public Works and the General Assembly.

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.3793, “Bath Salts - Schedule 1 Drugs,” A Bill to amend Section 44-53-190, as amended, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to materials, compounds, mixtures, and preparations classified as Schedule I controlled substances, including Hallucinogenics, so as to add Methylone, MDPV, Mephedrone, Methoxymethcathinone, and Fluroromethcathinone, commonly referred to as "Bath Salts", to the list of Schedule I Drugs -- Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

H.3768, “High School Concussions,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 59-63-95 so as to require the Department of Education to develop and distribute model policies concerning the nature and risk of concussions sustained by student athletes, to require each local school district to develop its own policy, to require the review of the policy by student athletes and their parents or guardians, to require the removal from play and medical evaluation of a student athlete believed to have sustained a concussion during play, to allow for the evaluation to be undertaken by a volunteer health care provider, and to provide that local school districts are not required to enforce the provisions of this section -- 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, “Point of Sale,” A Bill to amend the Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding Section 12-37-3135 so as to provide that when a parcel of real property and improvements thereon previously subject to property tax undergoes an assessable transfer of interest and the value of the parcel as determined at the time of the assessable transfer of interest is greater than the value of the parcel used in the property tax assessment on the parcel for the most recently completed property tax year, there is allowed an exemption of an amount of the fair market value of the parcel sufficient to eliminate any increase in the value of the parcel; to amend Section 12-37-3140, as amended, relating to determining fair market value, so as to make a conforming change; and to amend Section 12-60-30, as amended, relating to definitions in the revenue procedures act, so as to clarify the definition of property tax assessment -- Referred to Committee on Ways and Means.

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.

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” -- 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” -- 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.

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.