The Docket

A continually updated list of bills, issues, or other public policy initiatives being discussed or decided on this legislative session, which have the potential to impact the arts. 

Dedicated mostly to state issues, "The Docket" will be most active during the SC Legislative Session (Jan-May + Vetoes), but will address national items as needed. Issues are classified as "In Play" for those being decided on currently, "On the Horizon" for those coming up for discussion, or "Retired" for those that have been decided on or ended.

Last Updated: 5/10/17


NATIONAL - NEA Funding At Risk

Summary: The Trump administration issued its "skinny budget" on March 16, and it included the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Status: Read our update.

Additionally: the President issued a recommendation for the current fiscal year to cut the NEA by $15 million. Read our update on this issue here.

SC Arts Commission Budget
Summary: Agency is requesting recurring increases of $750,000 in grant funds and $500,000 in Education Improvement Act (EIA) Partnership funds. Agency Budget Request
Status: Increase of $350,000 passed the Senate. Now heads to Governor (4/21/17)
- Increase of $350,000 passed the House, now heads to the Senate. (3/15/17)
- House Ways & Means Committee recommended $350,000 increase in recurring grant funds, and $70,000 increase in EIA funds. (2/23/17)
- Agency presented their budget to their Senate subcommittee on 2/7/17.
- Agency presented their budget request to their House subcommittee on 1/17/17.
- Gov. Haley Executive Budget proposes level-funding, with no increase (1/11/17)
- Agency request submitted. Currently in the Ways & Means Economic Development, Natural & Cultural Resources Subcommittee (1/5/17)
Summary: Allows manufactures of beer/wine/liquor to donate product directly to nonprofit organizations.
Status: Passed Second Reading in the House (5/9/17)
- Referred to House Judiciary. (3/22/17)
- Given third reading by the Senate, now heads to House for approval. (3/21/17)
- Reported out of Committee with favorable recommendation. (2/23/17)
- Referred to Subcommittee in Judiciary (1/18/17)
- Referred to Judiciary Committee (1/10/17)
Summary: Makes adjustments to the selection process for the Poet Laureate of South Carolina. New process would add recommendations of the Arts Commission instead of purely the choice of the Governor.
Status: Passed Senate on 3rd reading and sent to the House. Referred to House Judiciary Committee. (3/7/17)
- Passed on Second Reading 41-0 (3/2/17)
- Reported out of Committee with favorable recommendation. (2/23/17)
- Introduced and referred to Committee of the General (2/1/17)
Summary: Legislation regarding new school accountability measures for SC public schools.
Status: Passed Second Reading in the Senate (5/9/17)
- Referred to Senate Education Committee (4/11/17)
- Passed House (4/5/17 - Vote Record)


State Implementation of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Summary: ESSA, the federal education legislation replacing No Child Left Behind, goes into effect next school year (17/18). SC Department of Education will be finalizing implementation methods during this session.

Status: The potential changes in the implementation rules of ESSA stemming from a new Secretary of Education have many states putting a hold on putting their accountability measures into action until maybe this Fall.
- Some items have been discussed in Subcommittees towards the end of 2016. Task Forces for specific areas met over the Summer of 2016, including one specifically for the Arts.

Bills at the Statehouse

Click the bill number for the full text.

Summary: Requiring movie theaters, sports arenas, and concert venues to install and operate metal detectors.
Status: Referred to Judiciary Committee (1/10/17)
Summary: Requires a nonprofit organizations receiving a contribution from a State agency to provide certain financial disclosures.
Status: Referred to Ways & Means Committee (1/10/17)
Summary: Allows Marching Band to be accepted in lieu of physical education instruction in public schools.
Status: Referred to Education & Public Works (1/10/17)
Summary: Allows creation of “Promenade Pride Districts” by local political subdivisions. Further, any improvement or addition to any real property located within the district is exempt from any property tax levied by the political subdivision for seven years.
Status: Referred to Ways & Means Committee (1/10/17)
Summary: Allows certain American Indian tribes in South Carolina to use wild animal products (not prohibited by Federal gov't) in arts and crafts offered for public sale.
Status: Referred to Committee on Agricultural, Natural Resources, & Environmental Affairs (1/18/17)
Summary: Requires any nonprofit receiving $100 or more from a state agency to file quarterly reports on the expenditures related to received funds.
Status: Referred to House Ways & Means (3/7/17)
- Introduced (3/7/17)
Summary: Allows Marching Band to be accepted in lieu of physical education instruction in public schools. (Senate version of H.3071 above)
Status: Referred to Senate Education Committee (1/24/17)


Lt. Governor Constitutional Issue

Summary: A typo in a ratified referendum to the state's constitution from 2012 has led to an unclear pathway to deciding who replaces Lt. Gov Henry McMaster when he becomes Governor should Gov. Nikki Haley be confirmed as UN Ambassador.

Status: Senator Hugh Leatherman was re-elected as Senate President Pro-Tem. (1/25/17)
- Senator Kevin Bryant was elected as Senate President Pro-Tem, for 20 minutes, before being sworn in as the next Lt. Governor of South Carolina. (1/25/17)
- Senator Hugh Leatherman resigned his post as Senate President Pro-Tem ahead of Haley's confirmation. (1/24/17)
- Nikki Haley was sworn in as the new UN Ambassador. Henry McMaster was sworn in as the 117th Governor of South Carolina (1/24/17)
- The SC Supreme Court has ruled that the Senate Pro-Tem shall become Lt. Gov upon McMaster's presumed assumption of the Governor post after Haley's confirmation as UN Ambassador. (1/18/17)
- The SC Supreme Court will hear the case on January 18 at 2:30pm (1/11/17)
- H.3159 proposed to clarify language (1/10/17)
- Legislators have called on the SC Supreme Court to make a ruling on the matter (1/5/17)