MORNING BUZZ: S.C. House budget bull's-eye shifts to 'pornographic content,' nude modeling

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN and JAMIE SELF on March 11, 2014 

College of Charleston

PHOTO COURTESY OF COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON

Round one of the "Let's Take Colleges to Task" ended with S.C. House 1, State Universities 0.

Now it's time for Round Two.

To recap, lawmakers voted Monday against restoring $70,000 taken from the budgets of the College of Charleston and University of South Carolina-Upstate for assigning a couple of gay-themed books to freshmen.

Now everyone gets to play.

On Tuesday, the House will decide whether to withhold $1 million from each public college until they ban using "pornographic content" (definition TBD) in classes and requiring students to take a class that includes a nude model.

Plus, schools have to start teaching the Constitution and Bill of Rights called for in a 90-year-old law that's unenforceable because it needs updating.

If a bill - like one introduced earlier this session -- doesn't work to get the founding documents taught on campuses, perhaps a $1 million will.

Full story

Buzz Clicks

SC bad for business?: Prominent Columbia businessman and national shopping center developer Terry Brown told Rotarians Monday that clownish acts by top politicians and strange legislative policies tarnish South Carolina’s reputation and may repel businesses from locating here. “It’s just not helpful for business to have a Confederate flag sitting on the front lawn of the Capitol,” said Brown, 52, an Army veteran who was brought up in Georgia and who is chairman and CEO of Edens, the nation’s largest privately owned shopping center developer. It is headquartered in Columbia. Full story

Paying for primaries: Taxpayers would foot some of the bill for South Carolina’s first-in-the-South presidential primaries under a proposal backed by both major parties. The bill, which lawmakers advanced Monday to the full House Judiciary Committee, clarifies the State Election Commission is responsible for conducting the contests. It does that by deleting from state law a reference to the 2008 election cycle. Full story

NAACP opposes McConnell for CofC president: Civil rights leaders say they oppose Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell, a Civil War re-enactor, for president of the College of Charleston. State and local leaders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People held a news conference Monday on the school's campus. Some people held posters of McConnell dressed in Confederate garb. One of the signs said "No Thanks." Full story

How Sanford defines "shutdown": U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., said in an interview that was posted on YouTube that the "government didn't shut down" during the government shutdown, BuzzFeed reports. Full story

He said it: “I just hope we don’t lose Alaska.: "The more (President Barack) Obama talks to (Russian President Vladimir) Putin the worse we do," U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, joked on Fox News Radio on Monday. Full story

Proposal to drop security for SC's #2 rejected: State Rep. Bakari Sellers, the only Democrat to announce a run for lieutenant governor this year, introduced an amendment to remove $375,358 in proposed funding for a security detail for the state's No. 2 office, but the S.C. House rejected the amendment, as some representatives worried about how to pay for the State Law Enforcement Division agents who would be reassigned if taken off the detail. Full story

"Southern Charm" draws less than a million: Less than a million people -- half of one percent of cable viewers -- watched last week's first episode of "Southern Charm," the Bravo television show featuring ex-S.C. Treasurer Thomas Ravenel. Full story

Colon cancer prevention expanding: Increased funding and more participation by physicians this year will allow the S.C. Colon Cancer Prevention Network to increase the number of free colonoscopies it can provide – from about 100 per year to 800. Each of those procedures has the potential to send out ripples that will improve the health of many more than the patients checked. Full story

Business as usual: It was business as usual on Monday, USC preparing for its SEC tournament date with Auburn with no welcome-back chants for Frank Martin, who spent Saturday in Tennessee watching his daughter’s cheerleading competition while the Gamecocks were in Mississippi, beating Mississippi State to conclude the regular season. Suspended for the game due to a verbal haranguing of a player last week, Martin spent the time reflecting on what he has done in his career and then proudly congratulating his players for winning a tough game.Full story

No fees for plastic: Lawmakers say fees charged by local governments for paying taxes with credit cards is an unfair burden, and they want to eliminate them. But some local governments say those fees cover only what credit card companies charge them.Full story

Lawmakers eyeing expansion of mental health courts: Some state lawmakers are considering expanding mental health courts as a way to divert mentally ill defendants out of jails and prisons. Full story

Nancy Mace launches campaign HQ: Nancy Mace drew a small crowd at the grand opening of her U.S. Senate campaign headquarters Monday. Mace is one of six Republicans who have said they are running to unseat Sen. Lindsey Graham in June. Full story

Gov. Haley's schedule

• 1 p.m.: Address the Greenwood Rotary Club

• 3 p.m.: Hold constituent meetings, Park Plaza, Suite 102, Greenwood County Council Office, 600 Monument St., Greenwood

State House today

Senate

Full body meets at noon

Big issue: Debate continues on the bill to slow Affordable Care Act enforcement

3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 207 -- Finance Constitutional Subcommittee

  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 307 -- Finance Natural Resources and Economic Development Subcommittee Budget Hearing

  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 308 -- Finance Special Subcommittee to Review the Investment of State Retirement Funds on H.3021

  • 3:00 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Judiciary Committee
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6627)

    House

    Full body meets at 9:30 a.m.

    Big issue: Budget amendments

    8:00 am - 9:30 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Sportsmen's Caucus Breakfast

  • 9:00 am -- Blatt Room 403 -- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

    Who's schmoozing today

    1-3 p.m.: S.C. Baptist Convention, State House grounds

    6-8 p.m.: 2014 Florence County Legislative Day Committee, Columbia Museum of Art

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