The Buzz

April 8, 2014

MORNING BUZZ: Ethics reform, DSS deaths start off week at State House

The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

Happening today at the S.C. State House

• A House panel will take up proposed changes to the state's ethics laws in an effort to reconcile differences between versions that already passed the House and Senate. The biggest difference between the two versions is who gets to police state lawmakers for possible ethics violations -- the lawmakers, who currently have that authority, or an independent panel that some say is necessary to ensure fairness. (Upon adjournment of the Judiciary Committee, Blatt Building Room 516)
• A bill that would allow the S.C. Department of Social Services to release information about children with DSS histories who have died may come up in the Senate Judiciary Committee. (3 p.m., Gressette Building Room 308)
• A proposal to help make the College of Charleston the state's third full-fledged research university is on the agenda of the House Ways and Means committee. (1 1/2 hours after adjournment, Blatt Building Room 521)
• A group of faith leaders will hold a vigil and rally sponsored by the NAACP to pray at 11 a.m. for "the removal of the environment of evil that permeates the South Carolina State House" on the north side of State House. "There are members of the General Assembly who have said they will not help the poor, the least and left out because they have decided to “Let the children die!”

Who's schmoozing the S.C. General Assembly today: S.C. Realtors Association, luncheon for legislators and staff (1-3 p.m., State House grounds)...S.C. Association of Municipal Power Systems, reception for legislators (6-8 p.m., The Clarion)...Claflin University, reception for legislators and staff (6-8 p.m., Capital City Club)

Senate meetings

Full body meets at noon

• 3 p.m.: Finance Committee on S.569, S.897, H.3125, H.4701 and H.4702 (Gressette Room 105 / Agenda )
• 3 p.m.: Judiciary Committee (Gressette Room 308 / Agenda )

House meetings

Full body meets at noon

• 10 a.m.: EPW Motor Vehicles Subcommittee on H.3904, H.4997 and H.5014 (Blatt Room 433 / Agenda )
• 10 a.m.: Ways and Means Property Tax Subcommittee (Blatt Room 523 / Agenda )
• 11 a.m.: Ways and Means K-16 Building Need and Utilization Study Committee (Blatt Room 521 / Agenda )
• 1½ hours after the House adjourns: Ways and Means Committee (Blatt Room 521 / Agenda )
• 1½ hours after the House adjourns: Education and Public Works K-12 Subcommittee on S.160, H.4061 and H.4914 (Blatt Room 433 / Agenda )
• 2:30 p.m.: Agriculture Wildlife Subcommittee (Blatt Room 410 / Agenda )
• 2:30 p.m.: or 1½ hours after the House adjourns: Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee (Blatt Room 427 / Agenda )
• 2:30 p.m.: or 1½ hours after the House adjourns: Judiciary Committee (Blatt Room 516 / Agenda )
• 2:30 p.m.: or 1½ hours after the House adjourns: LCI Health Insurance Subcommittee on H.4996 (Blatt Room 403 / Agenda )
• Upon adjournment of the Health Insurance Subcommittee: LCI Banking and Consumer Affairs Subcommittee on H.4800 (Blatt Room 403 / Agenda )
• Upon adjournment of the Judiciary Committee: Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee (Ethics Reform) (Blatt Room 516)

Joint meetings

• 10 a.m.: Joint Bond Review Committee (Gressette Room 105 / Agenda )


Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that her pick for the next chief of the state’s Highway Department has extensive experience with federal highway administrators and grants programs that will benefit the state. At a State House press conference, Haley named Janet Oakley, a federal transportation policy expert with more than 30 years of experience, to head the S.C. Department of Transportation, overseeing the state’s decaying road system and $29 billion in needed road repairs.

Gov. Nikki Haley is heading on a 10-day trade mission to India in November in hopes of introducing her home state to her parents’ home country. Haley, the nation’s second Indian-American governor, will visit New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and the Punjab state, where her parents were born.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will headline the South Carolina Republican Party’s Silver Elephant Dinner, a major GOP fundraising event in the early primary state that doubles as a must-do stopover for ambitious politicians with an eye on the White House.

The head of S.C. Trooper Association plans to travel Wednesday to Washington to put the brakes on a move to allow larger, heavier trucks on the nation's highways, The (Charleston) Post and Courier reports. David Latimer, executive director of the Troopers Association, said he strongly opposes any increases to truck sizes or weights because of the safety threat.

Sheri Few, president of S.C. Parents Involved in Education and a candidate for S.C. Superintendent of Education , says it was "just an innocent mistake" that led a Twitter account for her tax-exempt nonprofit organization to send out messages promoting her as a political candidate, The Charleston City Paper reports.

The state of South Carolina has built a connection with Germany that is smoothed by a cultural familiarity that makes the future bright for further investments in the state, Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday in Greenville, The Greenville News reports.

Five Republican candidates bidding for the seat held by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, will participate in a debate hosted by the Aiken Republican Club on April 16, The Aiken Standard reports.

Read more: Aiken Republican Club hosting debate for U.S. Senate candidates | Aiken Standard Follow us: @aikenstandard on Twitter | aikenstandard on Facebook

Politics today: Myrtle Beach Republican Women, Greater Carolina Forest Republican Women and Georgetown County Republican Women will meet 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Dunes Golf and Beach Club. Speakers will be S.C. lieutenant governor candidates Pat McKinney and Mike Campbell and U.S. Senate candidate Bill Connor.

And finally, a moment with T-Rav...: Former State Treasurer Thomas Ravenel announced after his reality show Monday night that he will run as an independent if U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Seneca, wins GOP nod in June. Ravenel, who was a Republican when he resigned his statewide seat in 2007 after a cocaine charge, said he wants to offer voters a more Libertarian choice. The star of "Southern Charm" was asked in post-show show when was the last time he used cocaine. "Is that a trick question?" T-Rav shot back. "I gave that up a long time ago. ... I wasn't that big into it."

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