South Carolina Legislative 2007-2008 Session

In the last stretch of this Legislative session, we had before us the two major threats of a Statewide smoking ban AND the threat of a fairly steep increase in taxes on tobacco products. These threats are very real and will not return again next year without your effort.


Smoking Ban Threat


Here is the situation as of April 2008: The State Supreme Court has ruled that state law does not pre-empt local laws from passing their own smoking bans. Their justification, other than the usual Health trumps Freedom argument, is that the state law in question is placed in a section that deals with minors and tobacco, not smoking laws.... here is the state law in question:


16-17-504A: “...Any laws, ordinances, or rules enacted pertaining to tobacco products may not supersede state law or regulation. Nothing herein shall affect the right of any person having ownership or otherwise controlling private property to allow or prohibit the use of tobacco products on such property.”


That second line, how exactly does that pertain to minors and only minors?


Anyway, that is the State Supreme Courts stupidity for the year. They should have waited one more day before issuing the ruling - April Fool’s day would have been more appropriate. Barring another lawsuit challenge that actually highlights the fraud of the health claim, the Tin dictators of South Carolina towns and counties are now free to sign away people’s freedoms. Whatever help I can give I will, but it is up to you, locality by locality, to stop them as best as you can.


Anyway, the South Carolina State Legislature did not take action on a smoking ban from last year (probably S-186, with some odd number of amendments), because of the Supreme Court’s ruling and, ironically, the lobbying effort of the Antis! (because that state-wide ban, as projected to pass, would have been softer than many local bans - and it would have pre-empted them).


Vigilance, people! Hound your elected reps to death and find out where your reps and their challengers, for the upcoming primary and general election, stand on the issue and vote accordingly.


Cigarette Tax Increase


In May 2008, the Senate has approved a 50 cent increase on cigarette taxes to be used for healthcare and anti-smoking efforts. The House allowed this to go to the Governor, who vetoed it. There but for the grace of some conservative principles (and hedged bets by some legislators), the House failed to override the Veto - the tax is DEAD for this year.


This Year - the collection of false conservatives that let this threat happen are still there and will be there next year, unless you take action....


An Election Year


We also have an opportunity this year, as the Entire State Senate and House are up for re-election this year - and this allow the opportunity to unseat some of the bastards in office that quietly but diligently work to take our freedoms.


On the main South Carolina page you will find details on all those who are guilty of smoking ban and tax increase support. You will also find a summary of key house and senate races and where people stand on our freedoms. Use this information to choose the best candidates in state primaries and vote the nanny-state assholes out of office.

SC Legislators Guilty of Smoking Ban Legislation


Senate – Guilty of Smoking Ban Legislation


Dick Elliott, [D], district 28 – Dillon, Horry, Marion and Marlboro Co.


Michael L. Fair, [R], district 6 – Greenville County


Robert Ford, [D], district 42 – Charleston County


Chauncey K. Gregory, [R], district 16 – Lancaster and York Counties


Darrell Jackson, [D], district 21 – Richland County


John M. “Jake” Knotts, Jr. [R], district 23 – Lexington County


Joel Lourie, [D], district 22 – Kershaw and Richland Counties


Larry A. Martin, [R], district 2 – Pickens County (vocal support)



House – Guilty of Smoking Ban Legislation


Joan B. Brady, [R], district 78 – Richland County


Gilda Cobb-Hunter (Mrs. Terry), [D], district 66 – Orangeburg Co.


William F. “Bill” Cotty, [R], district 79 – Kershaw and Richland Co.


Ben A. Hagood, [R], district 112 – Charleston Co. (vocal support)


Gloria Arias Haskins, [R], district 22 – Greenville County


Harry B. “Chip” Limehouse, [R], district 110 – Berkeley & Charleston Co. (vocal support)


James H. Merrill, [R], district 99 – Berkeley and Charleston Counties


Edward H. “Ted” Pitts, [R], district 69 – Lexington County


J. Todd Rutherford, [D], district 74 – Richland County


Bakari T. Sellers, [D], district 90 – Bamburg, Barnwell and Orangeburg Co.


B. R. Skelton, [R], district 3 – Pickens County


A side note regarding this list:

Notice that approximately half of those guilty are Republicans. As a Republican-Libertarian, this really turns my stomach. And the party wonders why it is slowly losing favor with Freedom lovers!

SC Legislators Guilty of Tax Increase Legislation


All bills of note this year originated in the House, so the following list is of House Members who sponsored legislation:


Paul L. Agnew, [D], district 11 – Abbeville and Anderson Counties


Terry Alexander, [D], district 59 – Florence and Marion Counties


Jimmy C. Bales, [D], district 80 – Richland County


William K. Bowers, [D], district 120 – Colleton and Hampton Cos.


Lester P. Branham, [D], district 61 – Florence County


Curtis Brantley, [D], district 122 – Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper Cos.


Robert L. Brown, [D], district 116 – Charleston and Colleton Cos.


William “Bill” Clyburn, [D], district 82 – Aiken and Edgefield Cos.


Gilda Cobb-Hunter (Mrs. Terry), [D], district 66 – Orangeburg Cos.


William F. “Bill” Cotty, [R], district 79 – Kershaw and Richland Cos.


Laurie Slade Funderburk, [D], district 52 – Kershaw County


Jerry N. Govan, Jr., [D], district 95 – Orangeburg County


Carl L. Gullick, [R], district 48 – York County


Kenneth F. Hodges, [D], district 121 – Beaufort and Colleton Cos.


Lonnie Hosey, [D], district 91 – Allendale and Barnwell Cos.


Joseph H. Jefferson, [D], district 102 – Berkeley County


Douglas Jennings, Jr., [D], district 54 – Chesterfield and Marlboro Cos.


Lanny F. Littlejohn, [R], district 33 – Cherokee and Spartanburg Cos.


David J. Mack III, [D], district 109 – Charleston County


Walton J. McCled, [D], district 40 – Lexington and Newberry Cos.


Vida O. Miller, [D], district 108 – Charleston and Georgetown Cos.


Dennis C. Moss, [D], district 29 – Cherokee, Chester and York Cos.


Harry L. Ott, [D], district 93 – Calhoun, Lexington and Orangeburg Cos.


Rex F. Rice, [R], district 26 – Greenville and Pickens Counties


J. Todd Rutherford, [D], district 74 – Richland County


Bakari T. Sellers, [D], district 90 – Bamburg, Barnwell and Orangeburg Co.


James E. Smith, Jr., [D], district 72 – Richland County


Ted Martin Vick, [D], district 53 – Chesterfield County


J. Seth Whipper, [D], district 113 – Charleston County


Robert Q. Williams, [D], district 62 – Darlington and Florence Cos.


In the Senate, I only have a few names by public declarations:


  1. Thomas C. Alexander, [R], district 1 – Oconee and Pickens Cos.


  1. John M. “Jake” Knotts, [R], district 23 – Lexington Co.


  1. Hugh K. Leatherman, Sr., [R], district 31 – Darlington and Florence Cos.

A comprehensive summary of all bills in the legislature in 2007-2008 regarding Smoking Bans and Tobacco Tax increases


Please note: bills starting with S originate from the Senate, H originate from the House


Smoking Bans:


S-103: Ban smoking in private school offices and anywhere outdoors on school property


Sponsors: Jackson, Lourie, Gregory, Fair, Ford and Knotts


Comment: Made it to house Judiciary Committee (passed Senate), can’t confirm, but have heard it passed House. About my only objections to this bill are a) teachers have nowhere to go to take a smoke break and b) parents cannot smoke in their own cars while waiting to pick up their kids if on school grounds.



S-185: Ban inside government buildings, no exceptions.


Sponsors: Gregory, Knotts, Elliott and Lourie


Other Declared Supporters: Larry Martin,


Comment: Stalled in Senate Medical Affairs Committee



S-186: What grew into the “compromise” that almost passed. This bill, still a great threat in 2008, will ban but allow certain places to license for smoking, if they have a booze license and forbid under-agers. Will preempt all local ordinances.


Sponsors: Gregory, Knotts, Lourie and Jackson


Comment: made it through Senate Judiciary Committee, but not acted on by Senate.



S-209: Comprehensive Ban


Sponsor: Elliott


Comment: Died on arrival at Senate Medical Affairs Committee



S-271: Comprehensive Ban


Sponsor: Ford


Comment: Died on arrival at Senate Medical Affairs Committee


H-3119: Smoking Ban – leaving private clubs and cigar bars alone.


Sponsors: Rutherford, Merrill, Haskins, E.H. Pitts, Cobb-Hunter,

Sellers, Brady and Cotty


Comment: Died in House Judiciary Committee



H-3639: Bill to erase pre-emption of state law


Sponsors: Skelton and Brady


Comment: In House Judiciary Committee




Tobacco Tax Increases:


H-3415: 30 Cent increase per pack, half used for smoking cessation and health care fund, the other half to general revenue.


Sponsors: Hosey and Jefferson


Comment: Died in House Ways and Means Committee



H-3562: 93 cent increase per pack, to fund a small business health care fund and, apparently, anything else they can think of.


Sponsors: Whipper, J.E. Smith, Rutherford, Jefferson, Sellers,

Bales, Brantley, R. Brown, Clyburn, Hosey, Mack, Williams and Bowers


Comment: Died in House Ways and Means Committee



H-3567: 30 cent increase per pack, to go into the general fund and (possibly) fund a groceries tax decrease.


Sponsors: Rice, Gullick, Cotty and Agnew


Those who voted for it in the House:






























In Senate Finance Committee, raised to 50 cents by the committee and dedicated all to Health uses, including smoking cessation programs


Those who voted for it in the Senate:














Without a formal vote, the House, with little in amendment, pretty much concurred with it. It was then sent to the Governor, who vetoed it. Below is the record of votes from the House in trying to override the veto. These are the Guilty in the Senate who tried to override the veto. The override failed, thus this tax increase for 2008 is now dead. Whatever you might think of the original votes against us, the below people are committed to raising taxes on us, stupidity of use notwithstanding.
























H 3152: 32 cent increase per pack, to fund a small business health care fund and several other general departments.


Sponsors: Agnew, Cobb-Hunter, Jennings, Littlejohn, Cotty, McLeod, Miller, Branham, Funderburk, Govan, Hodges, Vick, Ott, Bales, Sellers, Alexander, Bowers and Moss


Comment: Died in House Ways and Means Committee


Agnew

Anthony

Bannister

Bowers

Brantley

Chellis

Cobb-Hunter

Crawford

Funderburk

Hagood

Harrell

Herbkersman

Howard

Jennings

Limehouse

Mack

Merrill

Moss

Ott

Perry

M. A. Pitts

Sandifer

Skelton

J. R. Smith

Taylor

Walker

Allen

Bales

Bingham

Brady

Breeland

Clemmons

Coleman

Dantzler

Gambrell

Hamilton

Harrison

Hiott

Huggins

Kelly

Littlejohn

Mahaffey

Miller

J. H. Neal

Owens

Pinson

Rice

Scarborough

D. C. Smith

Stavrinakis

Toole

Whipper

Anderson

Ballentine

Bowen

Branham

Ceips

Clyburn

Cotty

Delleney

Gullick

Hardwick

Harvin

Hosey

Jefferson

Knight

Lucas

McLeod

Mitchell

J. M. Neal

Parks

E. H. Pitts

Rutherford

Simrill

G. R. Smith

Stewart

Vick

Whitmire

Alexander

Cleary

Elliott

Gregory

Jackson

Leatherman

Malloy

McGill

Pinckney

Scott

Short

Anderson

Cromer

Fair

Hayes

Knotts

Leventis

Martin

O'Dell

Rankin

Setzler

Thomas

Ceips

Drummond

Ford

Hutto

Land

Lourie

Matthews

Patterson

Reese

Sheheen

Williams

Alexander

Anthony

Bowers

Breeland

Clyburn

Crawford

Govan

Harvin

Howard

Jennings

Mack

Miller

J. M. Neal

Parks

Rutherford

Sellers

J. E. Smith

Weeks

Allen

Bales

Branham

G. Brown

Cobb-Hunter

Dantzler

Gullick

Hiott

Huggins

Kennedy

Mahaffey

Mitchell

Ott

Pinson

Scarborough

Skelton

Stavrinakis

Whitmire

Anderson

Ballentine

Brantley

R. Brown

Cotty

Funderburk

Hart

Hodges

Jefferson

Knight

McLeod

J. H. Neal

Owens

Rice

Scott

F. N. Smith

Vick

Williams