Staff reports | The House Ways and Means committee this week formally introduced its annual budget bill and related bills in preparation for next week’s floor debate on how the state will spend about $8 billion in general fund revenues.
Lawmakers introduced just under 100 other bills during the week, with highlights described below.
IN THE SENATE
Case management. S. 516 (Gregory) would require county clerks of court to report dispositions of state court cases to the State Law Enforcement Division within 10 work days, with several provisions and particular attention to domestic violence.
Gun loophole. S. 527 (Hembree) seeks to close the so-called Charleston loophole in gun registrations by making it illegal to sell or trade guns to anyone under 18 or someone who is believed to meet “a certain category,” with several provisions.
Board elections. S. 532 (Peeler) seeks to set April 5 as being the day that lawmakers elect candidates to state university and college boards.
Competency-based education. S. 534 (Hembree) calls for the Education Oversight Committee to design and pilot school accountability models that focus on competency-based education, with many provisions.
Party registration. S. 536 (Rice) calls for voter registration by party, with several provisions.
IN THE HOUSE
Asset forfeiture. H. 3918 (Clemmons) seeks a new law related to property subject to forfeiture after someone has been convicted of a crime and which private property is protected, with many provisions.
Rural transformation. H. 3922 (Anthony) seeks to create the Rural County Transformation Fund to provide funding to projects in eligible rural counties.
Common law marriage. H. 3925 (Spires) seeks to make common law marriage invalid after Jan. 1, 2018, with several provisions.
Concealed handguns. H. 3930 (Pitts) seeks to overhaul state laws on carrying handguns – from prohibiting them in certain places without an owner’s permission to relaxing rules on concealed weapons, with several provisions.
Vouchers. H. 3934 (S. Rivers) seeks to allow $5,000 tax credits for parents of home-schooled children or those who attend private schools. In a related bill, H. 3935 (S. Rivers) proposes to allow nonprofits to provide scholarships to pay the education costs of students attending public or private schools, with several provisions.
School bus seat belts. H. 3945 (Robinson-Simpson) seeks to have all school buses to have lap belts by 2020.