This past January, House Republicans drafted a comprehensive legislative agenda containing conservative reform items that you asked for last November, from growing our economy to increasing government transparency and efficiency. This session, your House Republicans have rolled up our sleeves and gone to work as promised.
This last week of session, I’m pleased to report to you that House Republicans have passed through the House each and every item on our agenda – in just five months. The following is the status of each of these items.
2011-2012 SC House Republican Caucus Legislative Agenda Report
Create Jobs in a Stronger Economy
Lawsuit Abuse Reform – Tort Reform is a top priority to further protect our state’s businesses from the threat of unjustified, debilitating lawsuits while preserving everyone’s access to our legal system. Versions of H. 3375 have now passed both the House and Senate. If a compromise can be reached, meaningful Tort Reform stands a good chance of becoming law this year.
“Bill Wylie Entrepreneurship Act” – This legislation will allow South Carolinians to claim an income tax credit for investing in small business start-ups in our state. H. 3779 passed the House and has been sent to the Senate.
“Point of Sale” Revisions – Reforming our Point of Sale reassessment requirements will greatly strengthen our real estate market and bring fairness to this system. H. 3713 has passed the House and has been sent to the Senate.
Transparency and Government Reform
On the Record Voting – The House again approved a statute providing for more recorded votes by lawmakers. The “Spending Accountability Act”, H. 3004, passed the House and has since become law.For more info on its passage in the House, read here.
Higher Education Transparency – The Caucus is fighting to open the books of state colleges and universities to the public. H. 3185 passed the House and is currently on the Senate floor. For more info on the passage of the House’s version of the bill, read here.
Agency Restructuring – We continue to search for cost savings and operational efficiency in state agencies. H. 3066 (the “SC Restructuring Act of 2011”/Department of Administration Bill), along with other restructuring bills addressing elected constitutional officers, passed the House and are in the Senate. Read more info on these bills here.
Voter ID – Voters should be required to present a photo ID as proof of their identity when they vote. H. 3003 passed the House and subsequently went to conference committee, where a clean version of Voter ID was agreed upon. The clean version of Voter ID that focuses on the ballot integrity in our elections has now been signed into law. For more info, read here and watch the bill signing here.
Shortening the Legislative Session – The House will work to shorten the legislative session, work more efficiently, and save taxpayers money. H. 4145 has passed the house and is in the Senate.
Education Funding Reform – Reforming our antiquated, 30-year-old funding formula to make education funding more equitable and effective is a priority for our state. H. 3716 received passage in the House and is currently in the Senate.
Charter School law revisions – Ensuring a healthy and vibrant public charter school choice for parents is essential for a strong education system in our state. H. 3241 has passed the House and is currently in the Senate. For more info, read here.
Born Alive legislation and Obamacare Abortion Opt-Out – This legislation ensures that babies born alive after an attempted abortion procedure must be saved and that S.C. Doctors will not be mandated to perform abortions if required to by Obamacare. H. 3403 has passed the House and been sent to the Senate.
Limiting Government Power
Repeal Amendment – A U.S. constitutional amendment where two-thirds of states can vote to repeal unfair, overreaching federal law. H. 3507 passed the House and is currently in the Senate. For more info, read here.
The SC Taxpayer Fairness Act – We will expand and update our state’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights to ensure law-abiding taxpayers are treated with respect and that government agencies enforce tax law in a fair manner. H. 3419 has passed the House and is currently in the Senate. For more info, read here.
Illegal Immigration Reform
Strengthening illegal immigration reform in South Carolina is key in securing our state’s economic future. S. 20 passed both the Senate and House, and the amended bill is now back in the Senate.
Following the House adjourning Sine Die this Thursday, ending regular session business, your State Representatives will be back in Columbia in a matter of weeks as to finalize the Budget and the House’s Redistricting Plan.
Because of your continued activism and support of the House’s reform items this legislative session, you have proven the power of your voice in the legislative process. Thank you for all that you’ve done and your continued feedback.
Please remember that your input on our Republican agenda and other reform items is key – you can always leave a post on The Speaker’s Facebook Page and reply to The Speaker’s Twitter Feed, and remember to check back on the latest news from the State House.
Again, thank you for your continued interest and please let me know if I can ever be of service.
SC Speaker of the House