A peek into the 2013 legislative session occurred this week when House members and senators prefiled more than 260 bills. At the bottom of this column, you can find links that list all of the bills. Below are some highlights.
Major Senate prefiled bills
Voting access. S. 2 (Campsen) calls for the “Equal Access to the Ballot Act” which would correct a snafu from this year that kept more than 250 off state and local ballots. It would allow candidates to only file electronic candidate forms. S. 70 (Malloy) relates to online filings.
Bingos. S. 3 (L. Martin) would clarify that allowed bingo, raffles and special events aren’t exceptions for state gambling laws, with other provisions. H. 3025 (Henderson) is similar.
Early voting. S. 4 (Scott) would establish early voting procedures , with several provisions. S. 67 (Malloy) also calls for early voting. H. 3005 (Sellers) and H. 3153 (Clyburn) are similar.
Jaidon’s Law. S. 5 (Peeler) calls for approval of “Jaiden’s Law,” a proposal to amend provisions related to custodial rights and visitation, with provisions on child abuse and substance abuse. H. 3102 (Forrester) is similar.
Common law marriage. S. 11 (L. Martin) calls for the end of common-law marriage, with exceptions.
Leadership PACs. S. 13 (Rankin) calls for prohibition of political action committees organized by certain statewide officials, with other provisions.
Highway fund. S. 14 (Grooms) calls for a “Palmetto Highway Improvement Fund” with credits deriving from revenue surpluses.
Fairness. S. 15 (Grooms) calls for the “Taxpayer Fairness Act” to limit the state Revenue Department’s interpretation of tax laws. H. 3020 (Merrill) is similar.
Ballot initiative. S. 16 (Grooms) calls for a constitutional amendment for initiative petitions and referenda to repeal or enact laws.
Heirs property. S. 18 (Hayes) calls for reform of the state heirs’ property laws.
Hygiene. S. 21 (Ford) calls for school instruction to students on personal hygiene.
Restructuring. S. 22 (Sheheen) calls for state restructuring by adding a Department of Administration with several other provisions. S. 28 (Campsen) is a different version of the same concept.
Identity theft. S. 26 (Sheheen) would establish an identity theft reimbursement fund because of the Department of Revenue computer hacking that compromised identities of virtually all South Carolina adults. H. 3028 (Merrill) calls for the state to fund identity theft protection for five years. H. 3029 (King) would allow taxpayers to get a tax break on purchases of ID theft protection.
Trust funds. S. 40 (Campsen) calls for a constitutional amendment related to how state trust funds can be used.
Wetlands. S. 48 (Campsen) calls for the Wetlands Restoration Act to for repair of some impoundments.
Constitutional officers. S. 50 (Campsen) calls for a constitutional amendment to remove the state comptroller general from being a constitutional officer. S. 51-S. 54 (Campsen) calls for the same for the S.C. secretary of state, adjutant general, state superintendent and state agriculture commissioner. S. 109 (Bright) relates to the state superintendent.
Party registration. S. 59 (Fair) calls for voting registration by party for participation in primaries.
Board of Regents. S. 68 (Malloy) calls for a state college and university Board of Regents to oversee state colleges and replace individual boards of trustees, with several provisions. H. 3132 (G.M. Smith) is similar.
Voter ID. S. 69 (Malloy) would amend state voter ID laws to allow voters to cast provisional ballots, with several provisions. H. 3003 (Rutherford) would permit photo college IDs to be used for voter identification.
Judicial funding. S. 72 (Malloy) calls for a constitutional amendment to appropriate a fixed percentage of state appropriations to fun the state’s judiciary.
False claims. S. 73 (Malloy) calls for the S.C. False Claims Act to define liabilities and more for false or fraudulent claims, with several provisions.
Sex change. S. 80 (Bright) would prohibit state funds from being used for prisoner sex change surgery.
Abortion politics. S. 84 (Bright) calls for the “Personhood Act of South Carolina” that establishes life begins at fertilization. S. 87 (Bright) is a measure calling for life to begin at conception.
Higher ed funding. S. 86 (Bright) calls for a constitutional amendment to fund higher education institutions “on a uniform and nondiscriminatory per pupil basis.”
Magistrate exclusion. S. 88 (Bright) would prohibit state senators, family members and legal associates from representing people before magistrates the senator recommended.
Term limits. S. 97 (Cleary) calls for term limits in the House (12 years) and Senate (16 years). H. 3006 and 3007 (Clemmons) are similar. H. 3008 (Ballentine) calls for a constitutional amendment on term limits.
Religious freedom. S. 103 (Bright) would prohibit restrictions on free speech or religion during any government meeting.
Shorter session. S. 108 (Bright) calls for shorter sessions for the General Assembly.
Unemployment benefits. S. 112 (Bright) would keep part-time workers from receiving unemployment benefits.
Major House prefiled bills
Lobbying. H. 3002 (King) would prohibit the governor’s office from using public funds to lobby the General Assembly.
Dual degree. H. 3016 (Bowen) calls for a cooperative dual credit program to allow students to work on a high school diploma and college degree at the same time.
Drug crimes. H. 3037 (Rutherford) calls for drug-related offenses to be excluded from “No Parole Offenses.” H. 3050 (G.M. Smith) would revise definitions for “No Parole Offenses.”
Public safety. H. 3043 (Pitts) calls for restructuring the Department of Public Safety with many provisions. H. 3120 (Crosby) would create a state police department, with several provisions.
Behavioral health. H. 3054 (G.R. Smith) calls for restructuring of the Division of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services and Department of Mental Health into the Department of Behavioral Health Services, with many provisions.
Magistrates. H. 3056 (Rutherford) would require magistrate candidates to be screened by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission before they are appointed.
Home invasion. H. 3067 (Gilliard) would create the “Home Invasion and Drive-by Shooting Accountability and Protection Act,” with many provisions.
Supreme Court. H. 3090 (Pitts) calls for a constitutional amendment to add two justices to the state Supreme Court.
Obamacare. H. 3096 (Clemmons) would prohibit a state health benefit exchange from being established or operated by the state.
Sex abuse. H. 3104 (Stavrinakis) would require the state Board of Education to develop training materials and programs about sexual abuse, with other provisions.
Earned income tax credit. H. 3107 (Cobb-Hunter) calls for a refundable earned income tax credit based on the federal credit.
Pay raise. H. 3108 (King) calls for a pay hike for state lawmakers to $50,000 a year, with several provisions.
Zero-based budgeting. H. 3109 (Crosby) calls for the state to use zero-based budget reviews.
Senior exemption. H. 3113 (Spires) would exempt all seniors from property taxes.
Remove food tax exemption. H. 3114 (Spires) would delete the state sales tax exemption on unprepared food.
Fair tax. H. 3116 (Taylor) calls for enactment of the fair tax, with many provisions.
Info restructuring. H. 3117 (Loftis) would establish the Department of State Chief Information Officer, with several provisions.
No texting. H. 3118 (Gilliard) would prohibit drivers from texting while driving.
No talking. H. 3121 (Bowen) would prohibit drivers from driving and talking on the phone at the same time, with several provisions.
Regulatory reform. H. 3128 (Bedingfield) calls for reform of the say the state handles regulations by deleting automatic approvals, among other things.
No lobbying. H. 3152 (Merrill) would prohibit use of public funds for lobbying.