Members of the South Carolina General Assembly have been very responsive to the needs of independent colleges and universities thus far during the current legislative session.
The budget as approved by the House contains the full $1.6 million increase requested by the SC Tuition Grants Commission. This appropriation is a very positive development – in recent memory the House has not approved the full commission request.
Should it be approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, the maximum grant will increase from $3,300 to $3,450.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (S.298) has been amended to allow for two years of increases to the Tuition Grants Program in the state budget, followed in subsequent years by automatic cost-of-living increases.
Before passing the House, the bill to overhaul K-12 education (H.3759) was amended to include private colleges and universities in the provision that creates an advisory committee to review and make recommendations regarding dual enrollment in South Carolina. Members of the Education Subcommittee recognized the importance of independent higher education have a “seat at the table” and unanimously approved the amendment.
Lastly, we have announced that Sen. Vincent A. Sheehen will be this year’s SCICU Legislative Champion. Please click here to read the news release.
Other bills of interest include:
S.0007 (Malloy, Climer, Goldfinch, et.al.)
Increases liability limit for a public agency from $600,000 to $2 million (may affect cap on not-for-profits as well).
Status: Reported out of Judiciary Committee.
Creates an individual income tax credit for each clinical rotation for which a physician, an advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant serve as the preceptor for a medical school-required clinical rotation.
Status: Passed Senate; referred to House Ways and Means Committee.
S. 683 (Sheheen)
Concurrent resolution to recognize April 8 through 12, 2019 as “Independent Colleges and Universities Week” and April 10, 2019 as “Independent Colleges and Universities Day” in South Carolina.
H.3156 (Norrell, Magnuson, and Ligon)
Permits Palmetto Fellows to defer for one year using the award.
Status: Referred to Education and Public Works Committee
Enacts the “Student Loan Bill of Rights Act” which creates within CHE a student loan ombudsman, and requires greater scrutiny in licensing of prospective student loan servicers not associated with a bank or credit union.
Status: Referred to Education and Public Works Committee.
H.3577 (Allison, Taylor, Felder)
Authorizes private and public institutions of higher education to offer alternate teacher certification programs.
Status: Carried over in the Education and Public Works Committee, awaiting amendments.
H.3936 (Davis, Daning, Chellis, et.al.)
Permits technical college students to be eligible for Palmetto Fellows Scholarships.
Status: Reported out of Education Committee.
Requires the police departments of private colleges and universities to make public information regarding crimes and complaints.
Status: Referred to Judiciary Committee.
NOTE: Please click here for updates on Federal legislative matters that may impact higher education in South Carolina.