In recent days, the state budget and the crossover deadline had the attention of legislators in the SC General Assembly.
The state budget is being debated in the Senate this week – the House, having already passed its version of the budget, is on furlough this week. The version which passed the Senate Finance Committee and sent to the Senate floor included the $1.6 million increase in funding for the Tuition Grants Program. It also includes additional funding for public universities, on the grounds that they keep mandatory tuition and fees flat next year. This arrangement does not cover non-mandatory fees, which are not paid by all students, nor room and board.
Last week the General Assembly hit the crossover deadline – any bills that hadn’t passed at least one house and moved to the other are functionally dead this year. But since we are in the first of a two-year legislative cycle, they can be resurrected next year.
So, which bills important to SCICU crossed over, and which didn’t? Speaker Lucas’ education bill H.3759 (SC Career Opportunity and Access for All) passed the House, but has encountered slow going in the Senate. Unfortunately, Sen. Sheheen’s Higher Education Opportunity Act (S.298) which, among other provisions, would have brought predictability to funding for the Tuition Grants Program, did not move out of the Senate.
Other bills that made the crossover which we are tracking include:
S.0007 (Malloy, Climer, Goldfinch, et al.) Passed Senate/ W&M
Increases liability limit for a public agency from $600,000 to $2 million (may affect cap on not-for-profits as well).
Status: Reported out of Judiciary Committee.
S.314 (Alexander) Passed Senate/W&M
Creates an individual income tax credit for each clinical rotation for which a physician, an advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant serve as the preceptor for a medical school-required clinical rotation.
Status: Passed Senate; referred to House Ways and Means Committee.
H.3577 (Allison, Taylor, Felder) Passed House/Education
Authorizes private and public institutions of higher education to offer alternate teacher certification programs.
Status: Carried over in the Education and Public Works Committee, awaiting amendments.
H.3936 (Davis, Daning, Chellis, et al.) Passed House/Education
Permits technical college students to be eligible for Palmetto Fellows Scholarships.
Status: Reported out of Education Committee.
H.3398 (Clary, Norrell, Loftis, et al.) Passed Both House and Senate
Makes permanent the Tucker Hipps Transparency Act, which requires public universities to report wrongdoings by fraternities and sororities.