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"If we didn't have something to argue about we'd be even more boring than we are now."


Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) on the occasional disagreement with his good friend Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)


$5 million
That's the expected value of a planned U.S. headquarters by Swiss firm Belimed, a hospital equipment supplier. The Charleston headquarters will employ 75 people, paying an average wage exceeding $68,000. Source: The State


28
That's the number of College of Charleston graduates currently volunteering in the Peace Corps, putting the college 16th on the Corps' top 25 list of schools with between 5,000 and 15,000 students. Clemson was ranked 21st with 25 volunteers.


$100 million
That's the amount in North Carolina incentives that brought a planned Google facility to the Charlotte region. The company says it has not ruled out Goose Creek for further expansion plans. Source: The State


Legislative Round-Up
• It's hard to know what the impetus was behind Rep. Wallace Scarborough's proposed legislation to allow force when spotting a trespasser, but it digs up the James Island Republican's arrest last summer when his gun accidentally went off after two South Carolina Electric and Gas workers came on his property to check his power line.
Charges against Scarborough were dropped, but he has introduced legislation that would make a property owner exempt from civil action for the injury of a person trespassing on their property or for using reasonable force when removing a person from their property. The bill has been referred to the Judiciary Committee (H.3231).

• Some restaurateurs have opined recently that smoking bans are just the beginning in the government's attempts to legislate on private property. Well, they may have been right. Sen. Robert Ford (D-Charleston) introduced a bill this week that would ban trans fats from restaurants (S. 301). With Senate leader Glenn McConnell against such nanny state regulations, the bill is likely dead in the water, along with proposed statewide smoking bans. Other bills introduced this week would prevent students from having pagers in school (S. 299) and prevent a parent or other person from smoking if a child of "preschool age" is in the car (H. 3253).

• The House drew attention Wednesday when Republican leaders pushed through a bill that shutters party caucus meetings to public view (H. 3297). The party had fought unsuccessfully for years to keep the press and public out of the meetings so that they could talk strategy without showing their hand to Democrats.
"Caucuses ought to be able to discuss strategy and how they're going to deal with the other side of the aisle as a group," House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R-Charleston) told the Associated Press.

• A bill likely heading to the House floor this week would allow restaurateurs to have day-long drink specials one day a week in addition to the standard happy hour from 4-8 p.m. (H.3186).--GH

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