A bill set for fast-track passage in the South Carolina Senate in January aims to eliminate Obamacare in the state. The law could become a model for other states fed up with the federal health-care law.
House Bill 3101, titled the “South Carolina Freedom of Health Care Protection Act,” passed the state House of Representatives last April by a 65-34 vote. The bill now heads to the GOP-controlled Senate with special-order priority, setting up the likelihood that South Carolina will become the first state to exempt citizens and businesses from all participation in the Affordable Care Act.
State Sen. Tom Davis, the bill’s sponsor who recently wrapped up study committee hearings for H3101 in Columbia, Charleston and other cities, says that the proposed legislation renders the Affordable Care Act void or inoperable through a handful of provisions.
“It will essentially have five components to it, all of which in my judgment are legal, effective, and within the state’s power to do,” Davis, a Republican from Beaufort, said in an interview.
The bill’s main component prohibits agencies, officers and employees of the state of South Carolina from implementing any provisions of the Affordable Care Act, leaving implementation of the national health-care law entirely in the hands of a federal government that lacks the resources or personnel to carry out the programs it mandates.
This provision, according to Davis, comes from the anti-commandeering doctrine established in case law that says feds can’t compel states to enforce federal laws.
“What the Supreme Court said in Printz v. United States is that states are not merely political subdivisions of the federal government to carry out what the federal government does; they are sovereign entities,” Davis said. “Congress can pass laws, but it cannot compel the states to utilize either their treasury or personnel to implement those federal laws.”
Additional provisions of H3101 further neuter the Affordable Care Act by outlawing state exchanges, issuing tax deductions to individuals equal to the tax penalties levied by the federal government, and directing the state attorney general to sue over whimsical enforcement of the law. Taken together, the provisions effectively repeal the federal law for the people of South Carolina.
Davis adds that lawmakers in Columbia are considering two additional provisions: one that outlaws Medicaid expansion, and another that suspends the licenses of insurers who receive federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.
Given the sizable majority of Republicans in the South Carolina Senate – along with moderate Democrats who may support the bill out of fear of voter wrath – H3101 is likely to pass in short order and be signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley, who has led the Palmetto State’s resistance against nationalized health care.
With just a month to go before the fireworks begin, political forces on the left and right are gathering for battle. On one side are local activists, including the Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Laurens County Tea Party groups, which are mobilizing the grass roots to meet at the Capitol in January to support the bill.
On the other side are opponents of H3101, whose main efforts consist of calling lawmakers racists and questioning the authority of states to oppose federal laws. Such attacks are likely to ring hollow in light of the dozens of state and local governments that have recently rejected federal marijuana laws, the Real ID Act, provisions of National Defense Authorization Act, federal gun control, and even U.S. immigration law. State and local governments governed from both sides of the political spectrum are increasingly flexing their Tenth Amendment muscles against perceived federal overreach.
With the federal health law’s popularity plummeting nationwide, Obamacare supporters have reason to be concerned. If South Carolina’s Freedom of Health Care Protection Act becomes law, the bill could go viral and spread to other states.
The South Carolina House passed a bill Wednesday that not only declares ObamaCare to be “null and void,” it criminalizes the controversial healthcare plan’s implementation in the state.
As reported by The Washington Times, the state’s Freedom of Health Care Protection Act intends to “prohibit certain individuals from enforcing or attempting to enforce such unconstitutional laws; and to establish criminal penalties and civil liability for violating this article.”
The measure permits the state Attorney General, with reasonable cause, “to restrain by temporary restraining order, temporary injunction, or permanent injunction” any person who is believed to be causing harm to any person or business with the implementation of ObamaCare.
Earlier this year in her state of the state address, Gov. Nikki Haley said that South Carolina does not want and cannot afford the president’s plan, “not now, not ever.” Obviously, the governor was serious.
Any bets as to how long it will take Barack Obama’s Justice Department to sue South Carolina?
The thing is, it looks like the case would take quite awhile to proceed, given the fact that Eric “My People” Holder has already sued Arizona and Alabama over their immigration laws, and is considering similar lawsuits against Utah, Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina itself.
Maybe Holder could do a twofer against the Palmetto state and kill two birds with one stone.
The Illinois House, without debate, has struck down the amendatory veto Governor Pat Quinn issued to House Bill 183 by a 77-31 vote, allowing residents to carry concealed firearms. The Illinois Senate has now followed suit and also voted against Quinn’s veto by a margin of 41-17.
With the passage of the bill, Illinois becomes the last state in the union to allow its residents to carry concealed firearms.
The Illinois State Police must now be ready to process an anticipated 300,000 first year applications within six months. Residents must pay $150 and non-residents will be required to pay $300, in addition to 16 hours of required training, to apply for the five-year permit.
See Illinois State Police FAQ’s regarding the legislation here.
After a one-woman filibuster and a raucous crowd helped derail a GOP-led effort to restrict Texas abortions, Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that he’s calling lawmakers back next week to try again.
Perry ordered the Legislature to meet July 1 to begin 30 more days of work. Like the first special session, which ended in chaos overnight, the second one will include on its agenda a Republican-backed plan that critics say would close nearly every abortion clinic across the state and impose other widespread limits on the procedure.
“I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas,” Perry said in a statement. “Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn.”
The first session’s debate over abortion restrictions led to the most chaotic day in the Texas Legislature in modern history, starting with a marathon filibuster and ending with a down-to-the wire, frenetic vote marked by questions about whether Republicans tried to break chamber rules and jam the measure through.
The governor can convene as many extra sessions as he likes and sets the agenda of what lawmakers can work on. Also listed on the session’s agenda are separate bills to boost highway funding and deal with a juvenile justice issue.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who oversees the flow of legislation in the Senate, hinted that another special session was coming when he told lawmakers “see you soon” after the first session adjourned.
Many of the same abortion rights groups that staged Tuesday’s night’s protests took to Twitter on Wednesday, promising they had more in store.
The entire process starts over, with bills that must be filed by individual lawmakers, undergo a public hearing and be passed out of committee before they can be considered by both chambers.
Still, supporters are likely to draft a measure similar to the one that nearly passed during the first special session. It sought a statewide ban on undergoing the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which anti-abortion activists claim a fetus can feel pain – despite a lack of scientific evidence to support that.
That bill also would have forced many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities to be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.
Democrats put their hopes of thwarting the bill Tuesday in the hands of Wendy Davis, a state senator clad in pink running shoes, for a daylong attempt to talk the bill to death. Over the duration of the speech, Davis became a social media star, even becoming the subject of a tweet from President Obama for her efforts.
But just before midnight, Republicans claimed she strayed off topic and got help with a back brace – two things that are against filibuster rules – and cut her off.
That cleared the way for a vote.
But when Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst shouted into the microphone, trying to call the final votes, nobody seemed to hear him. Some 400 supporters jammed into the gallery had taken their feet with a deafening roar, drowning out his voice. It was, as some claimed, a “people’s filibuster” – an attempt by protesters to finish what Davis had started more than 11 hours earlier.
“Get them out!” Republican Sen. Donna Campbell shouted to a security guard. “… I want them out of here!”
As the crowd clapped and shouted “shame, shame, shame,” Dewhurst gathered Republican lawmakers around Secretary of the Senate Patsy Spaw to register their votes. Democrats ran forward, holding up their cellphones, which showed it was past midnight.
But Dewhurst and other Republicans insisted the first vote was cast before midnight by the Legislature’s clock and that the bill had passed.
By the time decorum was restored and the 19-10 vote in favor of the measure was recorded, the clock read 12:03 a.m. Confusion took over: The Republicans had passed the bill, but did it count? Were the votes tallied in time?
Reporters checked the Senate’s official website and saw the vote registered on Wednesday, after the deadline. But a short time later, the website was updated to show the vote on Tuesday. Sen. Chuy Hinojosa produced two official printouts of the vote, each showing a different day for the same vote.
After protests from angry Democrats, senators met privately with Dewhurst for more than an hour. Eventually, he returned to the then-empty Senate chamber and declared that while the bill had passed, he didn’t have time to sign it, so it wasn’t approved. In return for declaring the measure dead, Democrats promised not to question the date of the vote any further.
While altering a public record is illegal, stopping the clock to allow for a vote or changing the journal before it is published are long traditions in the Texas Legislature and unlikely to lead to a prosecution.
The law’s provision that abortions be performed at surgical centers means only five of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics would remain in operation in a state 773 miles wide and 790 miles long with 26 million people. A woman living along the Mexico border or in West Texas would have to drive hundreds of miles to obtain an abortion.
Conservatives and anti-abortion campaigners joined Dewhurst in condemning the “unruly mob” for violating the Senate’s decorum by screaming obscenities at Republican backers of the bill.
Texas Democrats, though, see an opportunity to capitalize just months after setting up a grassroots organization called “Battleground Texas” with a $36 million cash infusion. And they circled around Davis — the teen mom turned Harvard Law School grad whose Twitter followers rocketed from 1,200 to 83,000 in just 24 hours.
“As Sen. Wendy Davis most powerfully emphasized, Democrats are not afraid of a fight,” said Gilberto Hinojosa, Texas Democratic Party chairman. “Last night was a turning point in that story of Texas.”
A Virginia lawmaker who drew gasps from his colleagues when he brandished a borrowed AK-47 during an anti-gun speech Thursday was found guilty in 2002 of committing a vicious 1999 assault, was sanctioned for legal misconduct while prosecuting a rape case, spent six months in jail for contempt of a federal court, and saw his law license revoked in 2003.
Democratic Delegate Joseph Morrissey brought the rifle to the floor of the House of Delegates to demonstrate how easy it is to carry firearms in Virginia. Republican Delegate Todd Gilbert interrupted Morrissey’s speech to ask him to remove his finger from inside the gun’s trigger-guard – a basic gun-safety practice.
“I don’t think you should be able to possess an assault rifle,” Morrissey told ABC News on Friday.
But while Morrissey introduced a gun-control bill Thursday aimed at reducing criminal violence in Virginia, he has a history that involves physical violence of another kind.
Morrissey paid a man $500,000 in 2007 to settle a 2002 court judgment against him, related to a 1999 physical assault.
According to legal brief filed by the victim’s attorneys, Morrissey shouted, “I’m going to kill you. I’m going to beat your head in,” before beating the victim and “smash[ing] his head into the corner of a brick wall.”
The 2003 revocation of Morrissey’s law license followed that courtroom reckoning, but by then his disciplinary record in the legal profession was already a lengthy one.
After he applied for the reinstatement of his law license, the Virginia State Bar listed a litany of Morrissey’s misdeeds when it published his petition.
That list included the December 1993 suspension of Morrissey’s law license for six months following a complaint from a rape victim in a case he prosecuted. Morrissey, she said, allowed her rapist to plea-bargain his case down to a misdemeanor after his father paid $50,000- half to the victim and the other half to charities Morrissey chose. She also testified that Morrissey hid the details of the plea-bargain from her.
The bar had already sanctioned Morrissey in June of that year when it learned of his misconduct in a felony drunk-driving case. Without asking the court’s permission, Morrissey issued a new arrest warrant with a reduced charge of misdemeanor reckless driving. He was required to write a formal letter of apology to the judge.
By that time, the bar was accustomed to hearing about Morrissey.
It forced him to attend legal ethics training after he represented a criminal defendant in the same case in which he had previously prosecuted him. Another reprimand came for engaging in a fist fight with a defense attorney whose client he was prosecuting.
In 1999, the bar suspended Morrissey’s law license again, this time for three years, after he made “public statements about the identity, testimony or credibility of prospective witnesses” in a federal court case.
Morrissey was convicted on two counts of contempt of court in that case, and sentenced to 90 days in jail plus three years of probation. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia also disbarred him, effectively denying him future access to plead cases in federal court.
In a separate case that contributed to that suspension of his law license, Morrissey was cited for contempt in Chesterfield County, Va. after he directed an angry outburst at a judge during a sentencing hearing.
After he was released from jail, Morrissey violated the terms of his probation by “attempting to circumvent the conditions of probation and lying to [his] probation officer,” according to the Virginia State Bar. As a result, he spent an additional 90 days in jail and his law license was formally revoked.
The bar issued a recommendation to the Supreme Court of Virginia in May 2011, arguing that Morrissey’s petition for reinstatement should be denied. The court disagreed, ruling in December 2011 that he could have his law license back after ten years of disbarment.
Morrissey’s AK-47 stunt on Thursday likely pleased at least one man.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported in 2010 that one witness in his license reinstatement hearing was longtime gay-rights activist Guy Kinman, who said he missed Morrissey’s headline-grabbing antics.
“When I pick up the Times-Dispatch, generally his name is not there” anymore, Kinman explained.
“Some of the drama is gone. Where are you Joe? Any drama freaks among us would wish the old Joe were here.”
California is broke. Instead of fixing the budget, California legislators enacted 725 new laws to burden their citizenry. Here are a few examples:
AB 119 prevents insurance companies from charging different rates for men and women for identical coverage.
AB 715 makes a change to the California Green Building Standards code. The change will require new California buildings to be energy efficient.
AB 12 allows foster youth to acquire state services until the age of 21.
AB 97 bans the use of trans-fats in food facilities.
Do Leftist Nanny Staters EVER learn? Apparently not! Faced with crippling debt, the legislature
doubles, triples down on the same big government idiocy that got them into that debt! Some more lowlights from the legislating orgy!
AB 1871 allows people to lease out their cars when they are not being used—alleviating the need to purchase additional insurance.
SB 1317 allows the state to slap parents with a $2,000 fine if their K-8 child misses more than 10 percent of the school year without a valid excuse. It also allows the state to punish parents with up to a year in prison for the misdemeanor.
Now, to be fair not all the bills are bad, or unneeded, but, many are, and the time and energy used to write, debate, and pass these bills waste time that SHOULD be spent on serious matters, like massive budget shortfalls! And, sadly, the same is true of many, if not most state legislatures across America. We focus a lot on federal waste and pork, but we must not forget the waste at the state level.