The House of Representatives will be on furlough during the week preceding Easter to lower operating costs and save taxpayer dollars. The House will reconvene on April 23.
The House of Representatives approved and sent the Senate H.4380, the “SAMANTHA L. JOSEPHSON RIDESHARING SAFETY ACT”. The legislation revises South Carolina’s Transportation Network Company Act, which governs the operations of digital ride hailing companies, to provide new requirements that allow Transportation Network Company vehicles to be more readily distinguished from other vehicles. Under the new requirements, a Transportation Network Company vehicle must make use of an illuminated sign displaying the company’s proprietary trademark or logo that allows the vehicle to be recognized in darkness. The legislation establishes requirements for this sign and other identifying emblems to be returned to the Transportation Network Company when a driver ceases to be employed by the company.
The House amended Senate amendments to H.3420, legislation PREVENTING YOUTH ACCESS TO VAPING, CIGARETTES, AND OTHER TOBACCO AND NICOTINE PRODUCTS. The Senate subsequently concurred in those amendments and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation updates the “Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention Act of 2006” to prohibit minors under the age of eighteen from entering retail establishments that primarily sell tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or both, unless the minor is actively supervised and accompanied by an adult. The legislation provides for a more expansive definition of “alternative nicotine product” that specifically includes vaping. The legislation revises the restrictions governing Internet commerce and other remote sales to provide for the use of a method of mailing, shipping, or delivery that requires the signature of a person at least eighteen years of age before a tobacco product or alternative nicotine product will be released to the purchaser, unless the remote seller employs certain alternative protections to ensure age verification. The legislation requires every local school district in the state to adopt, implement, and enforce a written policy prohibiting at all times the use of any tobacco product or alternative nicotine product by any person in school buildings, in school facilities, on school campuses, and in or on any other school property owned or operated by the local school administrative unit. The policy also must prohibit the use of any tobacco product or alternative nicotine product by anyone attending an off-site school‑sponsored event when in the presence of students or school personnel.
The House approved S.205 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides an additional duty for the Department of Aging’s ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND RELATED DISORDERS RESOURCE COORDINATION CENTER by charging the center with facilitating the coordination and integration of educational initiatives for health care providers on the importance and value of early detection and timely diagnosis of cognitive impairment, validated cognitive assessment tools, and increasing understanding and awareness of early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia and how to reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3929, a joint resolution making provisions for TEMPORARY ENHANCED AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE MISSED SCHOOLS DAYS in light of the flooding experienced by areas of the state in recent months, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation provides that, during the 2018‑2019 School Year, a local school district may waive the requirements of making up days beyond the three days forgiven by the local school district for any days missed during the 2018‑2019 School Year because of snow, extreme weather conditions, or other disruptions requiring schools to close.
The House approved S.514 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides for the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue ‘CLEMSON UNIVERSITY 2018 FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS’ SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES. License number ‘1’ is reserved for the Clemson University Head Football Coach.
The House amended, approved and sent the Senate H.3403, a bill authorizing public school districts to create COMPETENCY‑BASED SCHOOLS that are designed to improve progress towards attaining state education goals through a curriculum that allows students to pursue their own inquiries, take ownership of learning, and master competencies along a personalized and flexible pathway. The legislation establishes a protocol that allows a school district to establish a competency-based school by obtaining a waiver from the State Department of Education that allows the program to be exempt from certain requirements for the purposes of accountability and accreditation. The Department of Education is charged with developing separate evaluation criteria and guidelines for schools implementing competency-based education, conducting a biennial review of such schools, and reporting findings. If the biennial review shows that the goals or objectives of the competency-based school are not being met, the exemptions granted for that school may be revoked. The department is also directed to develop a process to ensure that schools and districts are not penalized for the purposes of
accreditation and to ensure that students are not penalized when transferring between schools with and without competency-based systems. The Commission on Higher Education and State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education must establish policies to provide fair and equitable access to institutions of higher education and technical colleges for students with competency‑based credits or diplomas, scholarships, and financial aid for graduates of schools implementing innovative school models and using nontraditional diplomas and transcripts.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3577, a bill providing authority for ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMS FOR EDUCATOR PREPARATION AND CERTIFICATION as a means of addressing current teacher shortages. The legislation establishes a protocol allowing for the approval of alternative route providers and programs for educator preparation and certification. The legislation establishes criteria that apply to alternative programs housed within an institution of higher education. The State Department of Education is required to provide an annual report on the total number of individuals employed in this state, by district, with certificates issued by institution of higher education alternative programs to the State Board of Education and the General Assembly. The State Board of Education, through the State Department of Education, is charged with developing and implementing a seven-year cyclical evaluation process for all alternative route educator preparation providers and programs.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4413, a STATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET CONTINUING RESOLUTION. This joint resolution makes provisions for the continuing authority to pay the expenses of state government if the 2019‑2020 Fiscal Year begins without a general appropriations act for that year in effect.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3596, a bill addressing ROLLBACK PROPERTY TAXES ON RECLASSIFIED AGRICULTURAL LAND. The legislation revises provisions relating to classification of property and assessment ratios for purposes of ad valorem taxation, so as to limit rollback taxes to three years, rather than the current five years, when land classified as agricultural real property is applied to another use.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3210, a bill providing for the HIGH GROWTH SMALL BUSINESS JOB CREATION ACT REAUTHORIZATION. The legislation reauthorizes the High Growth Small Business Job Creation Act for an additional six years, so that the act is set to be repealed at the end of 2025.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3998. This bill enacts the “WORKFORCE AND SENIOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT” to allow a taxpayer eligible for a federal low‑income housing tax credit to claim a state tax credit for developing housing for those with lower incomes. Once an affordable housing project becomes eligible for this state tax credit, for that year and for the next ten calendar years, all property that makes up the qualified project is exempt from all fees and taxes imposed by the municipality in which it is located. This exemption includes such taxes and fees as property taxes, impact fees, development fees, sewer fees, wastewater fees, sanitation fees, infrastructure fees, administrative fees, permit fees, and planning fees.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3730, a bill establishing the felony criminal offense of TRAFFICKING IN FENTANYL to address situations involving amounts at least four grams of fentanyl, fentanyl‑related substances, or mixtures. Violators are subject to a term of imprisonment of not more than ten years and a fine of up to fifty thousand dollars for a first offense, and a term of imprisonment of not more than twenty years and a fine of up to one hundred thousand dollars, for a second or subsequent offense.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3728, legislation that expands the PRESCRIPTION MONITORING PROGRAM, requiring the Department of Health and Environmental Control to include and maintain information in the prescription monitoring program on the administering of opioid antidotes in a hospital emergency department or by a first responder.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3036, “DYLAN’S LAW”. This bill requires the Department of Environmental Control to add tests for certain neonatal genetic disorders and diseases to the existing newborn screening program. The legislation establishes the Newborn Screening Advisory Committee to review the feasibility and advisability of including additional metabolic, genetic, and congenital disorders in the neonatal testing.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4004, the “PHYSICIAN ORDERS FOR SCOPE OF TREATMENT (POST) ACT”. The legislation establishes a protocol that allows a patient with an advanced illness to execute a POST form that consists of a set of medical orders, signed by a patient’s physician, addressing key medical decisions consistent with patient goals of care concerning treatment at the end of life that is portable and valid across health care settings. This set of medical orders concerning what life sustaining care is to be administered applies only to situations where the patient has been diagnosed with a serious illness or, based upon medical diagnosis, may be expected to lose capacity within twelve months. A Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) Advisory Council is established to advise the Department of Health and Environmental Control in the areas of POST program design, standards, data collection and evaluation, quality improvement, funding, and program evaluation.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3231, a bill addressing GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE. The legislation revises the ground for divorce of physical cruelty to provide that this ground shall be construed to include willful or other abhorrent conduct or treatment which destroys or tends to destroy the mental and physical wellbeing, happiness, and welfare of the other and renders continued cohabitation unsafe or intolerable.
The House approved and sent the Senate was H.3967, relating to RESTRAINING INMATES WHO ARE PREGNANT OR IN POSTPARTUM RECUPERATION. The legislation details the safety methods and restrictions that are to be followed in correctional facilities and other settings for using wrist restraints or other types of restraints on inmates who are pregnant or have been determined to be in postpartum recuperation.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4318, a bill establishing revised WILD TURKEY HUNTING provisions. Recently, the General Assembly has provided for temporary wild turkey hunting season and bag limit revisions that extend until July 1, 2019, while the Department of Natural Resources was conducting its study of the state’s wild turkey population. Drawing upon DNR’s study as well as testimony from hunters and other stakeholders, this legislation replaces temporary wild turkey hunting measures with long term provisions. The legislation provides for a 42-day-long hunting season the would run from March 20 until April 30 in Game Zones 3 and 4 and from April 1 until May 12 in Game Zones 1 and 2. The legislation establishes bag limits of one per day with three per season for residents and two per season for non-residents. For resident hunters, there is established a five dollar fee with three tags and for nonresidents a one hundred dollar fee with two tags. There continues to be no cost for a set of wild turkey tags for those under the age of sixteen, lifetime licensees, and gratis licensees. It is unlawful to take a female wild turkey unless authorized by DNR. Provisions are made for a ‘Youth Turkey Weekend’ for turkey hunters under eighteen years of age. During this weekend preceding the start of a game zone turkey season, license or tag requirements are waived for a youth turkey hunter and the bag limit is one male wild turkey, which shall count towards the season bag limit. The legislation also provides for the implementation of an electronic harvest reporting system that involves scanning in information using smartphone cameras or calling in reports.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3174. This bill establishes technical specifications for ELECTRIC‑ASSIST BICYCLES and bicycles with helper motors and provides that those who operate these low-speed electrically assisted bicycles are subject to all statutory provisions that apply to bicyclists. The legislation includes labelling requirements for these bicycles. The legislation specifies that electric-assist bicycles and bicycles with helper motors are not mopeds.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4439, a bill designating the sixteenth day of July of each year as ‘ATOMIC VETERANS DAY’ in South Carolina to recognize those who participated in aboveground nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, served with the United States military occupation forces in or around Hiroshima and Nagasaki before 1946, or were held as prisoners of war in or near Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4211. In accordance with recent changes in federal law, this bill revises provisions relating to the ISSUANCE OF BONDS FOR INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, so as to provide for certain public notice requirements.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3703, a bill dealing with the LICENSURE EXAMINATION REQUIREMENTS FOR PHYSICAL THERAPY. The bill applies to physical therapists and physical therapist assistants. Currently, an applicant may attempt the licensure examination a total of three times. This bill will increase the attempts to six. However, if an applicant fails the examination a fifth time, the applicant must take courses and furnish evidence of completing these courses before taking the examination a sixth time.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4412, a bill to authorizing the imposition of the EDUCATION CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS SALES AND USE TAX in certain situations.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3205, a bill that makes revisions to the Catawba Indian Claims Settlement Act to eliminate an obsolete CATAWBA INDIAN TRIBE FEE EXEMPTION.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3080, a bill addressing ALCOHOL SALES AT FESTIVALS. The legislation revises provisions for the issuance of beer and wine permits and alcoholic liquor licenses that allow sales at multiple locations on multiple days at a festival on one application.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4075, a bill providing for the DISCONTINUATION OF COUNTY OFFICER OFFICE INSPECTIONS. The legislation repeals the legal requirement for the Attorney General, and circuit solicitors, to inspect county officer offices. The legislation makes revisions recommended by the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s study of the Prosecution Coordination Commission.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4008. This bill revises Heritage Trust Program provisions by REPEALING PROVISIONS FOR HERITAGE TRUST REVENUE BONDS since this bond debt has been retired. The legislation makes revisions recommended by the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s study of the Department of Natural Resources.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4010. This bill revises provisions for land acquired under the HERITAGE TRUST PROGRAM, so as to remove the maximum acreage limitation. The legislation makes revisions recommended by the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s study of the Department of Natural Resources.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3351. This bill makes provisions for the DISPOSITION OF CERTAIN DUPLICATIVE MATERIAL IN THE POSSESSION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY to another public or nonprofit institution by gift or sale, and provides for the use of resulting proceeds. The legislation makes provisions for annual reporting requirements and the retention and use by the department of certain proceeds generated by its operations. The legislation implements recommendations arising from the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s review of the Department of Archives and History.
The House approved and sent the Senate on H.3485, legislation addressing DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY FUNDING. This bill implements recommendations arising from the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s review of the Department of Archives and History. The legislation revises provisions for the income tax credit for making qualified rehabilitation expenditures for a certified historic structure, so as to remove a provision allowing the Department of Archives and History to establish fees. The legislation provides that a taxpayer claiming the credit must pay a fee to the Department of Archives and History for the State Historic Preservation Grant Fund. The legislation charges the department with developing an application process. The legislation adds the Department of Archives and History to the list of check off options on the income tax return which taxpayers use to make voluntary contributions. Such voluntary contributions must be used by the department to purchase or preserve collections with significant historical value to the state.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4017. This bill revises Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism provisions to establish updated objectives for the SOUTH CAROLINA FILM COMMISSION. This bill makes revisions recommended by the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s study of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4019. This bill makes revisions recommended by the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s study of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The legislation revises Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism provisions to remove references to residential areas on HUNTING ISLAND.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4020, legislation addressing PRT COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DUTIES. This bill makes revisions recommended by the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s study of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The legislation adds duties relating to community development to the general powers and duties of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism and repeals provisions relating to the agency’s division of community development.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4021, relating to the USE OF CABINS AT STATE PARKS. This bill makes revisions recommended by the House Legislative Oversight Committee’s study of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The legislation removes the prohibition on swimming and rental or use of cabins at state parks.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3737, a bill revising the membership of the RICHLAND‑LEXINGTON AIRPORT COMMISSION.
The House approved and sent the Senate to H.3307, a bill making provisions for a searchable online DATABASE ON PROPERTY SEIZED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FORFEITED.