Senate confirms 4 cabinet directors
The state Senate unanimously confirmed four state cabinet directors Thursday, including the first head of a new state agency.
Budget and Control Board director Marcia Adams was confirmed to run that agency’s successor, the Department of Administration. The new agency starts July 1.
Also winning confirmation were: Sylvia Murray, Department of Juvenile Justice; Rick Reames, Department of Revenue; and Christian Soura, Department of Health and Human Services.
All four directors won confirmation by a 33-0 vote.
Panel advances bill to drop wait for in-state tuition for vets
A state Senate panel has approved a bill dropping the one-year wait time required before out-of-state veterans can get in-state tuition rates at state colleges and universities.
The higher education subcommittee approved the measure Thursday, sending it to the full Senate Education Committee.
A similar measure fell just short of gaining lawmakers’ approval last year.
Backers of the proposal say it will bring more military retirees to the state and boost the quality of South Carolina’s workforce. They also argue it makes the state more “military friendly” and will blunt Pentagon moves to close or reduce the size of the state’s military installations.
However, representatives from The Citadel told senators that while they want to help veterans, the change will cost that Charleston school nearly $2 million in lost tuition.
Panel asked to ban more abusers from possessing guns
A S.C. House panel has opened debate on a bill intended to curb domestic violence in South Carolina, a week after the Senate passed its version.
Activists at Thursday’s meeting urged House members to at least match the Senate’s provisions that ban many convicted abusers from possessing a gun for a decade.
Greenville retiree Craig Stine said the move is absolutely necessary to save lives, since most S.C. domestic violence deaths involve guns. He and other attendees said the goal is to remove abusers’ easy access to guns.
The panel took no action.
State Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, said her bill includes a lifetime gun ban for those convicted of the most violent domestic violence crimes.
Both the Senate and House domestic-violence bills tier penalties based on the harshness of abuse, giving prosecutors more options.