Palmetto Sunrise: Why Senators believe CDV reform is done for the year

Senator Larry Martin speaks in the Senate at the South Carolina Statehouse Tuesday June 3, 2014. Grace Beahm/Staff

COLUMBIA — Some of the proponents of the Senate’s criminal domestic violence reform bill will likely take to the podium today to voice frustration with the House’s decision to pass their own version of reform.

By approving its own bill instead of adopting or amending the Senate’s, the House may have ended any chance of strengthening the state’s penalties for domestic violence or taking guns away from convicted batterers this year.

“We had a good working bill, and why they had to recreate the wheel, I’m not sure,” said Sen. Katrina Shealy, R-Lexington.

With less than 30 days left in the legislative calendar, Senators like Shealy and Larry Martin, R-Pickens, say there’s not enough time left to pass CDV reform this year.

Usual protocol is that when both chambers want something, both sides introduce legislation. Then, the bill that gets sent to the other chamber first becomes the main vehicle for it to become law. Lawmakers of the chamber that failed to pass the bill first add amendments with the language they included in their own version.

So, when the Senate passed its version of criminal domestic violence reform in February, its members expected that the House would simply add what they had in their bill to the Senate’s version.

But that’s not what happened, setting up both chambers on a collision course over whose bill is the best. And with the Senate set to discuss road funding reform, potentially ethics reform and the budget in the coming weeks, the chances of advancing the House’s version of criminal domestic violence reform in the Senate before the end of session are slim.

The House will argue that they passed their bill, “and that’s all we can do,” Martin said. But those are just theatrics, he added.

“For whatever reason, they’re over there singing praises for this bill,” Martin said. “But it gets us no closer to enacting a bill.”

“I don’t get it,” he added. “I just don’t’ get it.”

In other news:

Bill protecting people recording police filed (The Post and Courier)

Senate to consider bond bill proposal (The Greenville News)

Jay Jordan wins House 63 seat (Morning News)

Climber scales Table Rock daily to push mental health court bill (The Greenville News)

It’s Walker and Bush in tightening S.C. race, new in-state poll finds (The Post and Courier)

DHEC to hold Certificate of Need public meetings (The Post and Courier)

Haley predicts union will fail to organize Boeing plant (The Greenville News)

Public meeting on Palmetto Pipeline set for Aiken County (Savannah Morning News)

SACS interviews South Carolina State trustees; Senate to consider House bill ousting board (The Times and Democrat)