South Carolina House of Representatives
Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND CONSTITUENT SERVICES
Room 212, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C. 29211, (803) 734-3230
NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION'S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
The budget legislation fully funds the state's reserve accounts that are used to cope with revenue shortfalls. The growth in appropriations under the proposed budget falls within the spending limitations criteria that the House has approved in several bills in recent years. The budget accommodates the redirection of motor vehicle sales tax revenue to fund highway, road, and bridge maintenance, construction, and repair which the House recently approved by sending the Senate H.3412. Phased in over the course of two years, this redirection credits tax revenue collected on the sales of motor vehicles, except for revenues supporting the Education Improvement Act, to the State Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund so that the total, representing $82.8 million, will ultimately serve as a dedicated funding source for the state's infrastructure needs. Additionally, the budget legislation devotes $60 million in unobligated general fund revenue generated during the current fiscal year to bridge rehabilitation and replacement. For Fiscal Year 2013-2014, the budget legislation transfers to the Non-Federal Aid Highway Fund certain fuel tax monies from the Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Agriculture and these agencies are provided general fund appropriations to supplant this loss of revenue.
$25 million from the Capital Reserve Fund is included to provide at least one additional year of consumer protection services for citizens whose personal financial information was compromised as a result of the Department of Revenue computer security breach of 2012. Any remaining funds are to be used for state agency cyber security improvements. The budget legislation repays the $20 million dollar loan from the Insurance Reserve Fund for costs associated with the data breach and fully funds DOR's $7.5 million request for a new information technology system.
The budget legislation does not include an expansion in eligibility for the state's Medicaid Program as allowed by the federal "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" of 2010. Instead, the proposed budget includes a redirection of Medicaid spending under a new comprehensive Medicaid Accountability and Quality Improvement Initiative to be undertaken by the state Department of Health and Human Services upon approval by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). A total of up to $35 million ($10.5 million in state funding) is devoted to the Healthy Outcomes Initiative which would provide financial incentives for hospitals to reduce reliance on comparatively expensive emergency room treatment. This initiative involves participating in price and quality transparency efforts and entering into agreements with primary care providers to help meet the needs of chronically ill uninsured patients through home visits and care in other settings outside the emergency room. $20 million ($6 million in state funding) is provided to pay 100% of the uncompensated care costs at designated rural hospitals. New Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payment accountability provisions are included for uncompensated care payment claims-level data improvements. $10 million is devoted to a primary care safety net program for the treatment of low-income, uninsured patients that involves Federally Qualified Health Centers, rural health clinics, free clinics, and Welvista. $8 million is provided to enhance a telemedicine program at the Medical University of South Carolina. $1.6 million is devoted to an initiative to enhance rural provider capacity by leveraging the state's Graduate Medical Education program, Supplemental Teaching Payments, and teaching hospitals to encourage physicians to work in underserved areas, expanding the use of telemedicine to allow rural areas to take advantage of medical expertise from elsewhere in the state, and providing for targeted placement and support of OB/GYN services in at least four counties with demonstrated needs. $7 million is provided for the Optional State Supplement that assists elderly, blind, or disabled individuals in paying for community residential care facilities.
Should the federal Department of Health and Human Services notify the states that it will accept applications for waivers for Medicaid eligibility for non-disabled childless adults whose income is up to 100% of the Federal Poverty Level, a proviso authorizes the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to submit an application for this waiver which must include strategies for improving health outcomes, purchasing the most healthcare for the least possible cost, and continuing implementation of coordinated care.
The state's maintenance of effort for the Medicaid program is fully funded with $157 million. $5 million is included for an across the board rate increase for nursing home services.
The Department of Health and Human Services is charged with coordinating a multi-agency initiative to combat obesity in the state.
Of the cigarette surtax funds received by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, $1 million must be used for Best Chance Network breast cancer screenings and $1 million must be used for Colorectal Cancer Awareness/Protection initiatives.
The proposed budget devotes around $175 million new dollars to K-12 education for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
$77 million in new funding is directed to the Education Finance Act, with $20.5 million used to maintain the current base student cost of $2,012 in the face of enrollment growth and an additional $56.4 million used to increase the base student cost to $2,100 for each student.
Funds provided should be sufficient for school districts to award their teachers a salary step increase.
The budget legislation suspends state-funded teacher salary supplements for National Board Certification for new applicants during the coming fiscal year and requires a study on the effectiveness of the state's National Board Certification incentive program.
Around $13 million dollars is devoted to school transportation for the maintenance and upkeep of the state's school bus fleet. $10.5 million from the Capital Reserve Fund is included for the purchase or lease of new school buses.
School districts are directed to make use of funding flexibility provisions to ensure that district-approved safety precautions are in place at every school.
Funding for charter schools is increased by $12.1 million.
Over $36 million is set aside in a contingency fund to replace the possible loss of federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds. Should the state prevail in its lawsuit regarding its funding of education for students with disabilities the contingency fund will, instead, be distributed to the school districts using the Education Finance Act funding formula.
Full funding is provided for the LIFE, HOPE, and Palmetto Fellows higher education scholarship programs. The National Guard Tuition Repayment Program is provided an additional $2.85 million to address recent shortfalls.
The state's colleges and universities receive nearly $12 million in General Fund increases and $10 million in one-time funding. A proviso is included that prohibits the state's institutions of higher learning from making use of state aircraft for athletic recruiting purposes.
$7.5 million is devoted to worker training through the Ready SC Program at the state’s technical colleges. $5.5 million is included for System-wide Infrastructure and Workforce Development at the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education. $2.5 million is provided for the Board's Manufacturing Skills Standards Council Initiative.
$13.3 million is provided for the Deal Closing Fund that the Department of Commerce uses to recruit new business to the state. $1 million in capital reserve funds is included for the Department's Business Incubator Program.
In response to a recent initiative for regionalizing services at the Department of Employment and Workforce which closed several unemployment offices in rural areas, DEW is directed to use up to $1.5 million of its funding to provide all counties affected by the recent closures with functioning Unemployment Insurance centers to assist with both unemployment insurance claims and reemployment training. DEW is afforded funding flexibility for the purpose of maintaining Unemployment Insurance centers in each county.
$3 million is included for tourism sales and marketing at the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism the Department $4 million is included for the destination-specific tourism advertising program.
Increased costs for operating the state's health insurance plan are addressed through a 6.8% increase in employer premiums and no increase in the premiums paid by employees, but an increase in co-payments and deductibles of up to 20%. The State Budget and Control Board is prohibited from making unauthorized adjustments to State Health Plan premiums. The House having approved H.3501, legislation to suspend for another year the statutory requirement for distributing 4.5% of the previous year’s state General Fund amount to the counties and municipalities, the budget legislation keeps local government funding at its current level of $212 million.
$1.7 million is included for a 3% pay raise for correctional officers at the state's maximum security prisons and the Department of Corrections is provided $9.7 million for capital projects.
Total funding for the State Law Enforcement Division is increased by $4.4 million.
$1.8 million in nonrecurring revenue is directed to provide for vehicle replacement at the State Law Enforcement Division, the Department of Public Safety, and the Department of Natural Resources.
$1 million is provided for 25 new parole agents.
$8.5 million is provided for the restoration of the general fund base of the Department of Juvenile Justice, addressing budget cuts sustained by the agency during the recent years of recession.
An additional $4.2 million is provided for agency operations at the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
$2 million from the Capital Reserve Fund is included for Forestry Commission firefighting equipment and funding is provided for 12 new firefighters.
$5 million is provided to the Election Commission for a new statewide voting system.
The Arts Commission continues to be funded at current state dollar levels.
The budget legislation continues the funding rationale that eliminates all general funds for South Carolina Educational Television, but allows SCETV to retain revenue derived from contracts for the use of its broadcast towers, signal spectrum and other facilities and services in order to fund its operations.
The Lt. Governor's Office on Aging is afforded $4.2 million for home and community based services and caregivers.
The Legislative Update is on the Worldwide Web. Visit the South Carolina General Assembly Home Page (http://www.scstatehouse.gov) and click on "Publications," then click on "Legislative Updates." This will list all of the Legislative Updates by date. Click on the date you need. Also available on the website is a bill summary index, where bills referenced in one or more issues of the Legislative Update are listed in numeric order. Links to the specific text of the Legislative Update issue are provided in the bill summary index.
NOTE: THE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE IS AVAILABLE TO LEGISLATIVE TRACKING SUBSCRIBERS. YOU MAY REGISTER FOR THIS FREE SERVICE ON THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOME PAGE BY CLICKING ON "TRACK LEGISLATION" (ON THE VERTICAL MENU BAR).