Here are the highlights from last week’s action in the Senate –
REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT – The Senate passed S. 997, a bill that would require all refugees resettled in SC to enroll with the Department of Social Services and for that information to be shared with SLED. The bill would also hold a refugee’s sponsor liable if the refugee harms another person via reckless or intentional conduct. The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.
STATE BUDGET – The House of Representatives passed its version of the 2016-2017 state budget last week. Among the highlights in the House budget are an additional $415M on roads and bridges, pay increases for all state employees and teachers, and more money to schools. The budget will now go through the committee process in the Senate before the full Senate begins debate in about a month.
CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMITS – Last week a Senate Judiciary subcommittee approved H. 3799, a bill that would require SC to recognize concealed weapons permits issued by GA. If SC does that, GA would then recognize SC permits. The bill should be on the full Judiciary Committee’s agenda for April 5. I will keep you updated.
RELEASE OF POLICE DASH-CAM VIDEOS – The Senate Judiciary Committee approved language that would require law enforcement agencies to release dash camera videos in most cases. The bill, S. 913, now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
EXEMPT MILITARY RETIREMENT FROM INCOME TAXES? – The Senate Finance Committee passed H. 3147, a bill that would exempt military retirement pension income from income taxes. The full Senate should consider the bill soon.
GENERAL ASSEMBLY WORK SCHEDULE – For the past several years, the General Assembly has taken some time off around Easter. The House of Representatives will not meet this week or next week. The Senate will not be in session this week. Therefore, unless there is significant news to report, I probably will not send an update next week.
Last Week’s Meetings
On Tuesday night, I attended a re-election campaign kickoff for Rep. Ralph Kennedy in Saluda.
On Wednesday morning, I attended Edgefield County School District’s annual Business and Community Partners breakfast.
On Thursday afternoon, I attended the official swearing-in ceremony for John Few as the newest Associate Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court.
VETERANS AFFAIRS OFFICERS – Each county has a Veterans Affairs Officer whose purpose is to assist veterans and their families with filing, presenting, and prosecuting all claims which they have for money compensation, hospitalization, training, and insurance benefits under federal law. If you have questions about veterans’ benefits or the services these officers provide, you can contact the officers at:
304 Gray Street
PO Box 236
Edgefield, SC 29824
Donald D. Moss
610 South Mine Street
P.O. Box 276
McCormick, SC 29835
108 South Rudolph Street
Saluda, SC 29138
Phone: (864) 445-4500 Ext. 2268
Fax: (864) 445-2808
WANT TO SEE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACTION? – The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 12:00, Wednesdays at 2:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet Tuesday afternoons, Wednesday mornings, and Thursday mornings. You can watch live coverage of the Senate, House of Representatives, and committees here.
OUR SENATE DISTRICT – Senate district 25 consists of all of Edgefield County and parts of Aiken, Lexington, McCormick, and Saluda Counties. If you’d like to see the district map, go here.
SPEAKING WITH GROUPS – Several groups, clubs, and classes around our Senate district have invited me to attend their meetings and provide legislative updates. If you would like for me to come speak with your group, please let me know.
EMAIL UPDATES – If you know of people in or around District 25 who do not receive my updates but would like to get them, please email their names and email addresses to me. You can also forward this email to them and encourage them to sign up for the updates at www.senatormassey.com.