The week ahead in the State House is scheduled to include:
• The Senate still needs one more vote on ethics reform -- a key bill for both 2014 gubernatorial foes. Senators have not finished talking about amendments. More than 60 have been proposed, enough to delay the bill for quite some time unless senators agree to clear the decks.
• The Senate Judiciary Committee will take up a public-integrity unit and a statewide texting while driving ban on Tuesday. The unit is part of the sweeping ethics reform. A texting ban failed to get off the floor last year. The hope is a cleaner bill with stiffer penalties might have a chance of success.
• A bill that would ban abortions at 20 weeks or later tops the House Judiciary Committee's agenda Tuesday. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Wendy Nanney, R-Greenville. The bill also would require physicians to determine the age of the fetus before performing an abortion, and increase reporting requirements to include the age and race of the pregnant woman and method of abortion.
• Common Core opponents will get another shot Wednesday to show their support for a Senate bill that would roll back the K-12 education standards in South Carolina. Lawmakers have offered a compromise aimed at giving state's more control over standards without asking teachers suddenly to abandon them. S.C. Parents Involved in Education -- run by Sheri Few, who's running for the GOP nomination for state schools' chief -- is encouraging Common Core foes to attend the 9 a.m. meeting Wednesday and "Wear your stop Common Core buttons!"
• Truthful Tuesday, a protest movement started this year, will rally in the State House lobby at 11 a.m. for a "Day of Shame." The group will protest the state's rejection of Medicaid expansion through the federal Affordable Care Act. Participants are encouraged to "let your legislators look you in the eye, hear from you, and know that we aren’t going anywhere until they do right by the people of South Carolina," according to the organization's website.
• "Yes! I'm a Feminist," organized by the Women's and Gender Studies Community Advisory Board of College of Charleston at 5:30 p.m. in Charleston. Hosts include former S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert Busch, who ran unsuccessfully against Sanford's ex-husband for Congress last year.
• U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-North Charleston, is hosting a discussion featuring current and former black senators next month in Washington, "Honoring our Past and Celebrating our Future: Discussing Personal Journeys and a Nation’s Progress with America’s Black Senators," at 9:30 a.m. at the Library of Congress in Washington.
• Democrat Ed Greenleaf, a Columbia resident will kick off his bid against U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Springdale, at 5 p.m., at the Seibels House and Garden, 1601 Richland Street. Greenleaf, who works for BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary Palmetto GBA, has never run for political office.
Public safety, health rules threatened: Scores of regulations that protect public safety, health and the environment are in jeopardy because of a bill that quietly passed the S.C. House of Representatives last week. An amendment to a judicial ethics bill says many regulations should expire five years from the date they become effective – meaning the rules would disappear right away since a majority are more than five years old, several lawmakers said Monday. Full story
Proposed defense cuts would hit SC: S.C. politicians slammed budget and personnel cuts U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel proposed Monday. The cuts could hit some S.C. military bases, including Columbia’s Fort Jackson, while protecting others. Hagel recommended shrinking the Army to its smallest size since before World War II, which could scale back operations in training facilities including Fort Jackson. Full story
Barbecue owner, segregationist dies: Maurice Bessenger was famous for his barbecue, and for flying Confederate flags and passing out literature advocating for slavery at his West Columbia Piggie Park eatery. Bessinger has died at 83. Full story
Embattled Richland elections director fired: A board overseeing Richland County's elections and voter registration office fired its director, Howard Jackson, after eight months. Jackson was hired the previous director was demoted following a disastrous November 2012 election left people waiting in lines, sometimes seven hours long, to cast ballots. Full story
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Gov. Nikki Haley public schedule today
• 12:20 p.m.: Address the Rotary of Greenville in the Westin Poinsett Hotel
Haley talks Guard cuts, legalizing marijuana, and Chris Christie at D.C. governors' meeting: Gov. Nikki Haley talked about proposed National Guard cuts, legalizing marijuana in South Carolina and the future of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after a governors' meeting with President Barack Obama on Monday. Full story
More than Common Core: Some candidates running for state Superintendent of Education say there are more issues than Common Core education standards, which have dominated the campaign so far. Full story
Another makes official bid for state schools' chief: Molly Spearman, executive director of the S.C. Association of School Administrators has officially entered the race for state Superintendent of Education, becoming the tenth candidate, eighth Republican, seeking the seat. Full story
DeMint leads Heritage from policy to politics: Under former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, the once policy-driven conservative Heritage Foundation has transformed into a political organization fueled by the Tea Party. Full story
Club for Growth releases Congressional Scorecard: How did South Carolina's congressional delegation do? Full story
State House meetings today
• 10 a.m. Joint Bond Review Committee (Gressette Room 105 /Agenda
Full body meets at noon
• 9:30 a.m.: Special Subcommittee to Review the Investment of State Retirement Funds (Gressette Room 308 /Agenda
• 10:45 a.m.: Finance Natural Resources and Economic Development Subcommittee Budget Hearing (Gressette Room 407 /Agenda
• 11 a.m.: Leadership Aiken County Government Day (Gressette Room 307)
• 3 p.m.: Finance Committee on S.511, S.1000 and H.3561 (Gressette Room 308 /Agenda
• 3 p.m.: Gressette Room 105 -- Judiciary Committee (Gressette Room 105 /Agenda
• Upon adjournment of Finance Committee Finance Retirement and Employee Benefits Subcommittee on S.897, S.952, S.954, S.962 and S.1008 (Gressette Room 308 /Agenda
Full body meets at noon
• 9:00 a.m.: South Carolina State University (Blatt Room 110)
• 11 a.m.: Majority Caucus (Blatt Room 112)
• Upon adjournment of the House: Majority Caucus (Blatt Room 112)
• Upon adjournment of the House: Minority Caucus (Blatt Room 305)
• 2:30 p.m.: Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee (Blatt Room 410 /Agenda
• 1½ hours after the House adjourns: EPW K-12 Subcommittee on H.3435, H.3532, H.3648 and H.4413 (Blatt Room 433 /Agenda
• 2:30 p.m. or 1½ hours after the House adjourns: Judiciary CommitteeAgenda Available (Blatt Room 516 /Agenda
• 2:30 p.m. or 1½ hours after the House adjourns: LCI Public Utilities Subcommittee on H.4731 (Blatt Room 403 /Agenda
• 2:30 p.m. or 1½ hours after the House adjourns: Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee (Blatt Room 427 /Agenda
• 4:30 p.m. Legislative Black Caucus (Blatt Room 427)
• The Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina reception (6 p.m., Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center)
• S.C. Association of Conservation Districts reception (7 p.m., Seawell's)
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