Legislative Update- June 5, 2015

June 5, 2015 in Legislative Updates by Tommy Pope

Tommy discusses the last day of session and reviews the progress this session.

**PLEASE NOTE: Upon reviewing the video, I recognized at 55 seconds a buzzing noise began. I considered re-shooting the video, but I thought it was symbolic of that irritating clamor at the end of session that can distract our focus from what’s really important! -TPope**

An Endless Art

May 29, 2015 in Legislative Updates by Tommy Pope

Tommy catches up on the last two weeks.  He discusses the domestic violence bill, being part of the conference committee for police body cameras, York County GOP meeting, and where ethics and roads currently stand.  He also talks about the additional funding and his thoughts on what to do with it.

State House Report #19

in Legislative Updates by Tommy Pope

Senate Inaction, Supreme Court Chief Justice & College Savings Plan

 The final week of the legislative session is upon us, and with most of the House’s major work complete, all eyes were trained on the Senate.

Budget: The Senate recently completed its budget debate. After my colleagues and I made some changes this week, we sent it back to the Senate in order to move the final budget to a House-Senate conference committee. However, because it took the Senate so long to finish the budget the first time, we will most likely have to return to Columbia after the final day of session to complete it.

Grassroots Success: Thank you to all of those who responded to our “Finish the Job” campaign and contacted your senators. Thanks to weeks of effort from so many in the grassroots, the Senate finally passed H.3114, the pro-life Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. There are many important reforms and pieces of legislation passed by the House that are stuck in the Senate. Don’t let up now. For a detailed description of other items stuck in the Senate, click here.

Senate Filibustering: Based on the filibustering going on in the Senate as of late, we took the responsible steps of passing a continuing resolution to make sure that if the Senate can’t pass a budget, government would not shut down.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Election: This week the House met with the Senate in a joint assembly to elect our state’s next Supreme Court Chief Justice. In a unanimous decision, members of both chambers selected Justice Costa Pleicones to lead the high court. This marks the first new Supreme Court Chief Justice in 15 years.

College Savings: If you or someone you know had a baby on May 29, that person is eligible for a grant of $529 to start a 529 college savings plan. The privately funded grant is available to anyone opening an account for their child by August 30. Contact the State Treasurer’s Office for more information.

June 4th is “Sine Die”–the official end of the session. I’ll update you next week on when the House will have to return to session to consider the budget, any outstanding conference committee reports, or governor’s vetoes.

As always, it is a privilege to serve you in the South Carolina House. If you ever need help with state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me.

House Ways and Means Chairman Issues BEA Statement

May 22, 2015 in Legislative Updates by Tommy Pope

House Ways and Means Chairman Issues BEA Statement

White will Introduce Supplemental Appropriations Bill


(Columbia, SC) – S.C. House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White (District 6-Anderson) issued the following statement prior to the next week’s Board of Economic Advisors meeting.

On Friday, May 29th, the B.E.A. meets to review the official estimate that state budget writers use to formulate the annual appropriations bill.  In recent months, state revenues for the current fiscal year have consistently been higher than predicted and it is likely that the B.E.A. will increase the estimate due to higher than expected revenues.  For the first time in seven years, the state of South Carolina will close this fiscal year’s books with general fund revenues that reach a pre-recession level.

“South Carolina’s economy is booming and indications are that the B.E.A. will certify a significant amount of additional money available to appropriate by the General Assembly.  Since the general appropriations bill has already advanced through the legislative process and rather than have six representatives and senators attempt to spend a large amount of new money in conference committee, I plan to introduce a supplemental appropriations bill on Tuesday.  A thorough vetting by the entire General Assembly though the normal budget process will allow the House and Senate the opportunity to discuss and debate how this new money should be appropriated,” stated Chairman White.

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