MORNING BUZZ: Vincent Sheheen launches 'Women's Agenda'

Posted by ANDREW SHAIN and JAMIE SELF on March 12, 2014 

S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen (left) and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley

As Republican Gov. Nikki Haley tries to win voters with a typically Democratic issue of education funding, her presumed challenger in November is tackling an issue close to the state CEO.

Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen has started a statewide tour trying to woo women voters.

Sheheen is promising to push for equal pay, reductions in violence against women and more women-owned small businesses, his campaign said Wednesday. He also pledges to increase the number of women on college boards and other leadership jobs statewide.

The Camden attorney already met with women in Spartanburg and Rock Hill this weekend. He plans to visit Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Greenville and Aiken over the next three weeks, his campaign said. No schedule was released.

Sheheen held similar meetings statewide with small business owners last year.

The senator's campaign said his "Women's Agenda" plan includes calling for an audit on state employees pay based on position and gender to see if women are getting smaller paychecks for equal work as men. If elected governor, he would issue an executive order requiring agencies pay employees equally.

Sheheen also wants to expand the definition of domestic abuse to include teenage couples and women under 18, increase penalties for domestic abuse convictions and protect funding for rape crisis centers and women's shelters.

Getting to the Common Core

The Senate Education Committee is expected to take up a bill today that would, in its original form, repeal Common Core K-12 education standards in South Carolina. A Senate education subcommittee passed a version of the bill that does not roll back the standards, already being taught in schools across the state, and instead focuses on getting the state out of a testing consortium with other states and attempts to address data privacy and other concerns raised by critics. That compromise is opposed by some Common Core opponents -- led by Republican activist Sheri Few, who is running for state Superintendent of Education. The committee meets at 10 a.m. in the Gressette Building, Room 105.

$24 billion about to slide across the State House lobby

The S.C. House gave second reading for next year's $24 billion spending plan at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Representatives come back at 10 a.m. Wednesday for a final vote before sending the budget across the second-floor State House lobby to the Senate.

The House spending proposal includes a 1.5 percent pay raise for state employees, 31 new State Law Enforcement Division agents, at least $65 million for an education initiative backed by Gov. Nikki Haley and temporary takeover of the John de la Howe School for at-risk youth by the state Department of Juvenile Justice.

The budget does not include $70,000 taken away from two public colleges for having freshmen read gay-themed books this school year.

Find out what House members accepted and rejected in the budget Tuesday.

Buzz Clicks

Obamacare allies make a 2nd stand: State and local government employees would be instructed to give up their “bias” toward the Affordable Care Act if a bill banning use of state resources to assist the federal program becomes law, a state senator said Tuesday. Earlier Tuesday, activists opposed to the legislative effort to impede the federal health-care law did some blocking of their own. For the second week, the protesters stood in the driveway to the State House parking garage and were issued a dozen citations, mostly for disorderly conduct, when they did not quickly move back to the sidewalk. The tickets followed last week’s protest, when 11 protesters were hauled off in Columbia police patrol cars and charged with blocking the roadway. Full story

Legal muscle for MOX?: U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Rep. Joe Wilson are asking state prosecutors to explore legal avenues to keep the Savannah River Site mixed-oxide fuel project up and running, as President Barack Obama's administration signals that the project needs to be put on hold. Stalling the project would violate an international nonproliferation agreement with Russia, the S.C. Republicans say. Full story

SC's federal health insurance: About 36,600 South Carolinians have purchased health insurance from the federal marketplace. Full story

Juvenile Justice to takeover school for at-risk youth: House approves state Department of Juvenile Justice takeover for state school for troubled youth. Full story

Gowdy bill would help sue president: A bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-Spartanburg, would allow the U.S. House and Senate to sue the president. The Republican-controlled House is expected to vote on the bill today. Full story

State bill could protect property heirs: The Beaufort Gazette reports: "A bill before state lawmakers could offer better protection for Beaufort County heirs property owners, who are sometimes bullied out of ownership by third parties, according to local leaders. The new protections would give families and judges handling the sale of heirs property a better chance to either hang on to the property or fetch a fair-market price at a sale, state Sen. Tom Davis said." Full story

Chasing down criminals, or not: Greenville News takes a look at a USA Today study of when local law enforcement agencies seek extradition of fugitives and when they don't. Full story

State House today

House

Full body meets at 10 a.m.

Big issue: State budget debate

Senate

Full body meets at 2 p.m.

Big issue: Slowing enactment of the Affordable Care Act in South Carolina

9:00 am -- Gressette Room 407 -- Finance Criminal Justice Subcommittee Budget Hearing

(Contact Info: 803-212-6640)

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 207 -- Finance Health and Human Services Subcommittee Budget Hearings
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6640)

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 307 -- Fish, Game and Forestry Subcommittee
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6340)

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 406 -- Joint Legislative Committee to Screen Candidates for College and University Boards of Trustees
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6438)

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.894
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6634)

  • 9:00 am -- Gressette Room 408 -- Transportation Subcommittee on Golf Cart Permits
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6400)

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 105 -- Education Committee
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6250)

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 307 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.356
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6634)

  • 10:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.552
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6634)

  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.3247
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6634)

  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 209 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on H.3247
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6634)

  • 11:00 am -- Gressette Room 307 -- Judiciary Subcommittee on S.256
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6634)

  • 11:30 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Banking and Insurance Committee on S.1026 and S.1065
    (Contact Info: 803-212-6240)

    Live Broadcast - Audio Only

    Who's schmoozing today

    8-10 am: S.C. Forestry Association, Room 112 Blatt Building

    Noon-2 p.m.: S.C. National Guard luncheon, State House Grounds

    6:30-10:00 p.m.: Citadel Alumni Association BBQ, State Fairgrounds

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