South Carolina House of Representatives
|South Carolina House of Representatives|
|2013 session start:||January 8, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Bobby Harrell, Jr., (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Bruce Bannister, (R)|
|Minority leader:||J. Todd Rutherford, (D)|
| Democratic Party (46) |
Republican Party (78)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art III, South Carolina Constitution|
|Salary:||$10,400/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (124 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (124 seats)|
|Redistricting:||South Carolina Legislature has control|
As of June 2013, South Carolina is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.
Article III of the South Carolina Constitution establishes when the South Carolina State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives is a part, is to be in session. Section 9 of Article III states that the Legislature is to convene on the second Tuesday of January each year. Section 9 allows the General Assembly to recede from session for up to thirty days by a majority vote of the legislative house seeking to recede. Furthermore, one or both houses can recede from session for more than thirty days if that action is approved by two-thirds of the members.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 8 through June 6.
Due to a hacker successfully stealing the personal information of 6.4 million people from the state's Department of Revenue computer system, computer security will be a top priority. Other issues include improving the state's roads and bridges and addressing healthcare.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from January 11 through June 7.
Legislators addressed a budget surplus of $900 million. Major agenda issues included tax reform, job security measures, reforming the state retirement system, and creating a new school funding formula.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in regular session from January 11 through June 2.  On June 2, Governor Nikki Haley attempted to call the Legislature into an "emergency" special session to begin on June 7 to create the new South Carolina Department of Administration. A lawsuit was filed by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, in which he contended that Haley's call for a special session was unconstitutional, and that it violated the state Constitution's requirement of separation of powers among the governor, legislature and courts.  On June 6, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled 3-2 against Governor Haley, stating that her order violated the Legislature's ability to set its calendar and agenda. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. South Carolina was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, South Carolina House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 56||Mike Ryhal||1.1%||9,577||Dennis DiSabato, Jr.|
|District 75||Kirkman Finley, III||2.2%||14,142||Joe McCulloch|
|District 39||Ralph Shealy Kennedy||2.2%||13,265||Phil Perry|
|District 53||Ted Vick||3.6%||12,371||Richie Yow|
|District 8||Don Bowen||5.8%||12,987||Ted W. Luckadoo|
|District 26||R. Raye Felder||5.9%||11,211||Jeremy C. Walters|
|District 3||B.R. Skelton||7%||10,112||Ed J. Harris|
|District 90||Bakari Sellers||10.5%||15,029||Dan Lawrence|
|District 97||Patsy Knight||10.9%||15,457||Ed Carter|
|District 78||Beth Bernstein||12.7%||14,282||Joan Brady|
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 30, 2010. The primary election day was June 8, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $6,654,588 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, South Carolina House of Representatives|
|House Republican Caucus of South Carolina||$195,500|
|Palmetto Leadership Council||$82,000|
|South Carolina Trucking Association||$78,750|
|South Carolina Farm Bureau||$65,507|
|Carolina Commerce Fund||$57,000|
|South Carolina Dental Association||$56,250|
|Palmetto Business Council||$56,000|
|South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association||$55,958|
|South Carolina Association of Realtors||$52,750|
To be eligible to serve in the South Carolina House of Representatives, a candidate must be:
- A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
- 21 years old at the filing deadline time
- A resident of the district at the filing deadline time
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the House, a special election must be held to fill the vacant seat. If candidates plan to seek the nomination through a party convention, the filing period begins on the third Friday after the vacancy happened. The qualifying deadline is ten days after the filing period opens.
If a candidate plans to seek the nomination via petition, all signatures must submitted to the appropriate filing officer no later than sixty days before the election. All signatures must be verified by the filing officer no later than 45 days before the election.
A primary election must be held on the eleventh Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. If necessary, a primary runoff must be held on the thirteenth Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. The special election is held on the eighteenth Tuesday after vacancy occurs. No special election can be held less than 60 days before the general election.
The Legislature is tasked with legislative redistricting. In particular, the Senate Judiciary Committee has the responsibility of setting criteria for new districts.
South Carolina's population grew 15.3 percent to 4.6 million, making it the 10th fastest growing state in the country. However, this led the state's majority-minority districts to pale in light of the ideal district sizes (37,301 for the House and 100,551 for the Senate). On June 15, 2011, both chambers passed Senate-originated maps, and the U.S. Department of Justice cleared the maps in November 2011. As of July 2012, a federal decision upholding the maps was being appealed by the state Democrats; the 2012 elections are not affected.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of June 2013|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the South Carolina Legislature are paid $10,400 a year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive $131 a day for meals and housing for each statewide session day and committee meeting. Per diem is tied to the federal rate.
When sworn in
South Carolina legislators assume office the Monday after the election.
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. 
|Current Leadership, South Carolina House of Representatives|
|State Speaker of the House||Bobby Harrell, Jr.||Republican|
|State House Speaker Pro Tempore||James Lucas||Republican|
|State House Majority Leader||Bruce Bannister||Republican|
|State House Minority Leader||J. Todd Rutherford||Democratic|
The South Carolina House of Representatives has 11 standing committees:
- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Education and Public Works Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Ethics Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Interstate Cooperation Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Invitations and Memorial Resolutions Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Judiciary Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Operations and Management Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Rules Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
- Ways and Means Committee, South Carolina House of Representatives
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the South Carolina State House of Representatives for the first three years while the Republicans were the majority for the last 19 years. The South Carolina House of Representatives is one of nine state Houses that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. South Carolina was under Republican trifectas for the final 11 years of the study.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official website of the South Carolina House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the South Carolina House of Representatives
- South Carolina House of Representatives on Wikipedia
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ WJBF, "South Carolina Lawmakers Start Legislative Session Vowing To Protect Your Information And Improve Roads," January 8, 2013
- ↑ The State, "Legislative key issues," January 8, 2012
- ↑ 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- ↑ The State, Haley tells court she has right to call special session, 6 June 2011
- ↑ Wltx.com, SC Supreme Court Rules Against Nikki Haley's Extra Session, June 6, 2011
- ↑ TheSunNews.com, The Carolinas | S.C. House to have special session in June, 6 May 2011
- ↑ The Island Packet, S.C. Senate OKs new congressional districted anchored in Beaufort County, June 29, 2011
- ↑ 2010 session dates for South Carolina legislature
- ↑ Sunlight Foundation Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information, accessed June 16, 2013
- ↑ South Carolina Election Commission "2012 Calendar"
- ↑ Follow the Money: "South Carolina House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Qualifications for running for South Carolina House of Representatives
- ↑ South Carolina State Legislature "South Carolina Code"(Referenced Statute 7-13-190 (A)-(B))
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 South Carolina State Legislature "South Carolina Code"(Referenced Statute 7-13-190 (B))
- ↑ The State, "Democrats appeal redistricting lawsuit," March 20, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- ↑ NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- ↑ South Carolina House Leadership