Last week was the 9th week of the 2018 legislative session. Here are the highlights from the Senate:
CAPITAL PUNISHMENT – South Carolina law provides two methods of execution: lethal injection and electrocution. However, the law allows the inmate to select the method, and inmates almost always select lethal injection. Like many states, South Carolina has not been able to purchase the drugs to carry out a lethal injection execution for the last few years because pharmaceutical companies have refused to sell the drugs out of fear of retaliation from death penalty opponents. While South Carolina has not carried out a death sentence since 2011, there are 36 inmates on death row, some of whom are nearing the end of their appeals. Last week the Senate passed S. 872, a bill that would require the Department of Corrections to use electrocution to carry out a death sentence if the inmate selects lethal injection and the necessary drugs are not available. The House of Representatives will now consider the bill.
SUDDEN UNEXPECTED INFANT DEATH SYNDROME– The Senate passed S. 891, a bill that would require South Carolina hospitals to offer a video presentation to all new mothers on safe sleep practices and the causes of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome. The bill now goes to the House.
COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR PROBATIONERS – The Senate passed S. 949, a bill that would give probation officers, local governments, and charitable organizations immunity if a person serving probation is injured while performing community service as a condition of probation. The idea is to encourage more community service by probationers, especially litter pick-up. The House will now consider the bill.
COMPOUNDING PHARMACIES – The Senate passed H. 3926, a bill that gives guidance and clarification for pharmacies that compound drugs. The Senate passed the same version as the House, so the bill now goes to Governor McMaster.
MITIGATION OF FLOOD DAMAGE – South Carolina currently has a program to help residential property owners mitigate hurricane damage. Last week, the Senate voted to expand that program to flood mitigation, as well, by passing S. 11. The bill now goes to the House.
RETIRED EDUCATOR CERTIFICATES – The Senate passed H. 3513, a bill that would allow retired educators to obtain certificates for the purpose of serving as specialized substitute teachers. The bill will now be returned to the House of Representatives to consider Senate changes.
RULES FOR ADOPTIONS – The Senate passed H. 3442, a bill that updates the guidelines for adoptions by nonresidents. The bill also would allow South Carolina residents to petition for adoption when the Department of Social Services has temporary custody of a child. The Senate amended this House bill, so the bill will not go back to the House.
UNWANTED CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES – The Senate passed S. 755, a bill that would require county sheriffs to offer the general public a drop box to dispose of unwanted controlled substances. The House will now consider the bill.
CHILD ADVOCATE – The Senate passed S. 805, a bill that would create a state child advocate within a new Department of Children’s Advocacy. The new department would be responsible for ensuring children receive adequate protection and care from services or programs offered by all state agencies that deal with children. The bill should go to the House this week.
CREDIT UNIONS – The Senate passed S. 337 , a bill that would expand opportunities for credit unions to serve communities in South Carolina, especially those communities that are underserved by banking institutions. The bill will now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.
GOVERNOR/ LT. GOVERNOR JOINT TICKET – The Senate gave a crucial 2nd reading (all bills require 3 readings or votes) to H.4977, a bill that would establish the framework for the Governor and Lt. Governor running on a joint ticket. Voters approved a constitutional change in 2012 to allow for the top two executives to run as a joint ticket beginning with this year’s election. In previous attempts to set the rules for this year’s election, the House of Representatives has insisted on salary increases for judges and all constitutional officers. This latest version does not deal with pay, so I am hopeful we can finalize the election rules this week.
LAST WEEK’S MEETINGS
On Tuesday morning, I attended a Code to the Future presentation at Rocky Creek Elementary School in Lexington. The work these elementary students have done on coding, an exciting component of STEM education, is impressive!
On Tuesday night, I held a town hall meeting at Lexington High School.
On Wednesday, Leadership North Augusta visited the State House. It was a busy day, so I had just a few minutes with the group, but I really appreciate of these young professionals stepping up to make North Augusta an even better place.
On Thursday night, I held a town hall at Gilbert High School.
On Saturday, I attended the 6th annual Edgefield County Agriculture Day.
TOWN HALL MEETINGS – I held two meetings in Lexington County last week. Here is the schedule for upcoming meetings:
Merriwether Middle School
Edgefield County Council Chambers
Midland Valley High School
LBC Middle School
Belvedere Elementary School
I hope to have meetings scheduled for Saluda and McCormick Counties soon.
WANT TO SEE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ACTION? – The Senate meets in statewide session on Tuesdays at 2:00, Wednesdays at 12:00, and Thursdays at 11:00. Committees and subcommittees meet Tuesday mornings, 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.
P.O. Box 551
Edgefield, SC 29824
Email – email@example.com
Cell Phone – (803) 480-0419