Last week was the 16th week of the 2018 legislative session. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 10, so there are 2 weeks left in the legislative session. Here are the highlights from last week in the Senate:
VC SUMMER – The Senate and House of Representatives have so far disagreed over the language of S. 954. The resolution will now go to a conference committee of three Senators and three House members to work out a compromise. I will serve on that conference committee. I am optimistic we can get an agreement.
PSC ELECTIONS – On May 10, the General Assembly will elect three members of the seven-member Public Service Commission. There is one member from each of the seven congressional districts. Last week, a joint committee charged with screening and nominating candidates released its report nominating three candidates for each seat. The candidates are as follows:
2nd Congressional District:
Bruce K. Cole
Elliott F. Elam, Jr. (incumbent)
John A. McAllister, Jr.
4th Congressional District:
Thomas J. Ervin
David R. McCraw
William Kevin Newman
6th Congressional District:
Florence P. Belser
Brenda L. Williams
Justin T. Williams
TURKEY HUNTING SEASON – Historically, turkey hunting season has been March 15–May 1 for one Game Zone and April 1–May 1 for the rest of the state. However, in 2015, the General Assembly changed the season temporarily to March 20-May 5 statewide. The temporary change, scheduled to expire this year, was made to allow SC DNR time to study to the turkey population in South Carolina and make recommendations to the legislature about hunting season and bag limits going forward.
Last week, the Senate passed H. 4807, a bill that would extend the March 20–May 5 season into 2019, as well. We expect DNR will have completed its study by next year so the legislature can establish permanent guidelines.
COMBATING COUNTERFEIT PRESCRIPTIONS – The Senate passed H. 3826, a bill that would require certain prescriptions to be written on tamper-resistant prescription pads.
OPIOID ANTIDOTES – South Carolina, like most other states, has seen a significant increase in opioid-related deaths in recent years. The General Assembly has considered several pieces of legislation to combat this problem. Last week, the Senate passed H. 4600, a bill that would allow community organizations working to fight substance abuse the ability to provide opioid antidotes to at-risk persons.
ALCOHOL SALES AT FESTIVALS – The Senate passed H. 3138, a bill that would authorize liquor-by-the-drink sales at very large festivals around the state.
VISION TESTS FOR DRIVER’S LICENSES – The Senate passed H. 4672, a bill that would reinstate the requirement for residents to have a vision test prior to receiving or renewing a driver’s license.
REPORTING OF CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT – The Senate passed H. 4705, a bill that would add religious counselors to the list of professionals required to report to law enforcement if the person has reason to believe a child has been abused or neglected.
DISMEMBERMENT ABORTIONS – The Senate agreed to debate H. 3548, a bill that would prohibit dismemberment abortions except in those cases where the mother’s life is at risk. This debate should begin on Tuesday.
Also, for those who have contacted me about having a debate and vote on Personhood, I expect the Senate will consider an amendment to enact Personhood legislation as an amendment to this bill.
LAST WEEK’S MEETINGS
On Tuesday morning, I visited Saluda High School and met with Superintendent Harvey Livingston, Principal Sarah Longshore, and students in a couple different classes. I enjoyed the visit and was very impressed with the students and the educational programs at Saluda High School.
On Tuesday night, I attended Edgefield County Republican Party’s meeting.
TOWN HALL MEETINGS – In March and April, I held nine town hall meetings across our senate district. We had some large crowds and some small crowds, but I really appreciate those who took the time to come out.
I hope I provided you with meaningful updates on what has been happening in the legislature, and I know I learned a lot from your questions and comments. Thanks again for your input. If you would like for me to schedule another meeting in your area, please let me know.
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
Cell Phone: (803) 480-0419