As you know, things move much more quickly in the SC House than the SC Senate. Here’s what’s up in the House and, hopefully, we can carry some of these issues to the finish line.
Voter ID (H. 3003) has now been set for Special Order in the State Senate and is on the calendar for debate next week. We are hopeful that the Senate will move quickly in taking up this reform that will create a more secure electoral process. Please pass this message along and let your Senator know you care about this bill.
The first month of this legislative session has flown by and I couldn’t be more pleased with what House Republicans have been able to accomplish so far this year. Here’s a quick briefing on the latest news from the State House:
Lawsuit Abuse Reform Overwhelmingly Passes House
In an effort to halt the abuse of frivolous lawsuits on South Carolina businesses, the House passed “South Carolina Fairness in Civil Justice Act of 2011” (H. 3375) by a vote of 100-7. More commonly referred to as Tort Reform, this bill will lift the burden of excessive, unjust lawsuits off businesses owners, create a better economic environment for the private sector to grow jobs and make our state even more attractive for businesses looking to set roots in our South Carolina. Click here to read more about the passage of this House Republican agenda item and you can also listen here for my personal thoughts on how much Tort Reform means for the business climate in South Carolina.
The “Repeal Amendment” On Deck for Debate
In the era of an overreaching Federal Government, the “Repeal Amendment” (H. 3507) will give states the constitutional power to repeal individual federal acts of Congress. As the Speaker of the House, I have joined a coalition of State Speakers from around the country in order to regain the balance of power between states and an overly intrusive federal government. Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about the need for the “Repeal Amendment” when securing South Carolina’s status as a Right-to-Work state (read the article here), and as the debate over Obamacare continues, the urgency to restore the balance of power only increases. Keep up with the latest news on the “Repeal Amendment” and the debate this week on The Speaker’s Facebook Page and The Speaker’s Twitter Feed.
Charter School Bill on House Floor Next Week
An integral part in growing a secure economy in South Carolina is developing a competitive workforce, and that means building competitive schools. The Charter School Bill, H. 3241, would expand on measures taken in 2005 and 2008 to develop a more competitive Charter School District and better prepare future generations for their role in an ever-changing economy. This bill is now on the House calendar. You can watch the debate live here when we take it up, and we’ll keep you posted.
Government Restructuring Measures Pass Subcommittee
In an effort to limit the scope of government and increase efficiency, the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee passed bills this week that would restructure the Budget and Control Board under a new Department of Administration under the Executive Branch and call for the Governor to appoint constitutional officers. The South Carolina Restructuring Act of 2011 (H. 3066) and bills regarding the statewide constitutional officers (H. 3152 and H. 3070) are all items of the House Republicans’ 2011 Agenda, and we’ll continue to update you on the status of these reforms.
As always, I’d love to hear from you via email, on The Speaker’s Facebook Page and in reply to The Speaker’s Twitter Feed. And, we’ll continue to use these tools to notify you of important action alerts, bill assignments, and scheduling. If you haven’t yet signed on to these, please do so now by clicking on these links, so you can more easily follow these important debates.
Thank you for staying up to date with conservative reforms in the House and for your continued feedback. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if I can ever be of assistance.
Sincerely, Bobby Harrell, SC Speaker of the House, www.BobbyHarrell.com