May 7, 1996
Vol. 13, No. 17
South Carolina House of Representatives
David H. Wilkins, Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH
Room 309, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C.
29211, (803) 734-3230
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WEEK IN REVIEW
conference committee appointed
Representatives Ron Townsend, Harry Stille, and Lewis Vaughn were appointed as conferees on
S. 1117, also known as the "Public School Facilities
Act." The bill distributes $70 million dollars of school construction and renovation money collected from the
disposal of low level radioactive waste in the state. Senators adopted a
distribution formula based fifty per cent on a school district's need for projects, twenty-five per cent on a
district's effort to meet these needs for themselves, and twenty-five per cent on a
district's wealth as reflected in the Education Finance Act (EFA) funding formula. The House proposed a
formula based sixty per cent on the number of students in a school district, and forty per
cent on a district's wealth as reflected in the EFA formula.
concurrence in Senate amendments, to be ratified
H. 3140 originally deleted the requirement that the State
Board of Voting Machine Commissioners furnish a model at each polling place to teach voters how to
use voting machines. The bill was amended to allow illustrations in the place of model machines.
H. 3268 provides that the murder of a witness during any
stage of the criminal process, is an aggravating circumstance which may result in the imposition of the death
penalty. H. 3858
authorizes family court judges
to suspend or restrict the driver's license of a juvenile delinquent. H. 4159 originally prohibited the distribution of Bingo profits to out-of-state
charities. Senators amended the bill to provide for a complete revision of Bingo laws. It now is similar to
H. 4557, which passed the House and currently is
in the Senate Finance Committee. Designed to ensure that charities and the state get promised profits, the bill
requires that operators pay 16.5% of each card's face value. License fees will
vary according to expected collections, and may provide an additional $7 million dollars annually.
H. 4701 authorizes financial institutions to open new
accounts at public events, such as trade shows, and at businesses, such as grocery stores. The Senate
amendment concerns examination fees paid by financial institutions. H. 4801 provides that a candidate who has a current statement of economic
interest on file with his supervisory office does not have to file a similar statement when
declaring his candidacy or submitting a petition for
nomination. H. 4830 enacts the "Uniform Limited Liability Company Act." The bill revises
for limited liability companies, and conforms these to recent federal regulatory changes. It also permits
disclosure of taxpayer records to the Secretary of State under certain conditions.
nonconcurrence in Senate amendments, to conference committee
S. 1315 revises the South Carolina/Georgia border based on
North American Datum 1927. Earlier the House amended the bill to provide that 1996 candidates for
sheriff do not have to submit a fingerprint review until forty-five days before the November election. Many
candidates were unaware of the need to do so, and have missed the current deadline.
However, the Senate deleted the provision concerning
sheriff's candidates, preferring instead to submit
separate legislation (S.
1380) to rectify these
concerns. That bill received third reading in the Senate last week.
nonconcurrence in Senate amendments, returned to the Senate
H. 3228 provides that both custodial and noncustodial parents
are entitled to participate in their children's school activities unless prohibited by a court
order. Senators amended the bill to provide that the
court may not restrict a custodial parent from moving
anywhere in the state without a compelling reason. Representatives deleted that
provision and returned the measure to the Senate.
provides that no insurance policy containing drug coverage shall exclude experimental drugs used in
treating cancer which have not been specifically approved for that purpose by the federal Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) when these drugs have been advocated as successful treatments by at
least two medical journals. Senators amended the bill to require payment for drugs used in organ transplants
as well. The House amendment tidied up the language,
without making major changes.
received third reading, to be ratified
S. 501 provides that a local government may not impose a
moratorium on a permitted construction project without first publishing a two-week notice in a local
newspaper. The measure also requires at least two readings be held a week apart before the moratorium may
be imposed. S. 1122
extends through July 1, 1996 the
deadline for applying for agricultural use valuation for property tax year 1995. S. 1226 enacts the "Alzheimer's Special Care Disclosure Act." The bill
requires that any facility licensed to offer an Alzheimer's special care unit include in its policies and
procedures the form of care provided that is specific to treatment of Alzheimer's
Disease. This measure is similar to H. 4702 which passed
the House and now is in the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee. S. 1278 deletes the executive
director of the Criminal Justice Academy as a
member of the Commission on Prosecution Coordination. Instead the director of the Department of
Public Safety would serve in his place. S. 1361 repeals risk
classifications and territories for auto insurance. Rather than promulgated in its agency
regulations, the Department of Insurance prefers that these plans be established by order instead. A similar
bill, H. 4956, earlier passed the House and has
been assigned to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.
received third reading, amended, returned to the Senate
S. 571 concerns sales tax exemption certificates used in making
various tax exempt purchases. The bill deletes the requirement that the purchaser sign the
invoice. S. 642 enacts the "Motor Vehicle Financial
Responsibility Act." It alters renewal procedures for self-insurer certification for fleets containing more
than twenty-five vehicles. The House amendment provides that financial statements must be prepared by
certified public accountants. S. 774 provides that the
five per cent surcharge on rental vehicles is a sales tax which must be kept in a segregated account. This
revenue is not subject to creditor liens by the renter or rental company. The House
amendment exempts the surcharge from liens by airports. S. 949 provides students with a fourth opportunity to pass the Education Entrance
this year. A similar bill, H. 4453, is on the contested calendar
for second reading in the House. S. 1033 requires that
the Attorney General establish a youth mentor program which combines church and community resources.
Participation in the program may be ordered by the Family Court as a pretrial diversion
option, as an alternative case disposition for nonviolent offenders, or as a condition of probation. The bill is
similar to H. 4900
which remains in the House
Judiciary Committee. S.
1043 requires health maintenance
organizations (HMO's) to pay for hospital stays of up to two days after vaginal deliveries and three
days after caesarian sections. S. 1195 enacts the "Higher
Education Accountability Act." The bill authorizes the Commission on Higher Education to reduce
duplication and to coordinate services in the state's higher education system by expanding, reducing, or
eliminating programs. Funding for institutions would be conditional upon meeting specific
performance standards set by the Commission. Representatives amended this measure to reflect provisions
included in the House version, H. 4637, which is on
the Senate calendar for second reading.
received third reading, sent to the Senate
H. 4343 provides for a referendum allowing voters to
determine whether to abolish the Office of Secretary of State. Duties of the office would be divided
among the Governor's Office, the Attorney General's Office, and other state agencies. Savings are estimated
to be $300,000. H.
is the bill which
stipulates how the duties of the Office of Secretary of State would be divided. The measure proposes that the
ministerial duties would be vested in the Governor's
Office. The Department of
Commerce would be responsible for chartering corporations and registering trademarks. Elections activities
would become part of the State Election Commission, while regulation of charities would
rest with the Attorney General's Office along with duties related to service of process for out of state
concerning public school
attendance, provides that a child could attend a South Carolina public school only if he lives with a parent or
legal guardian who is a resident of that school district. The bill includes a
grandfather clause providing that a child who currently owns property assessed for at least three hundred
dollars ($300) in a school district, may continue to
attend school in that district.
H. 4522 prohibits the clerk of court from charging a fee for
filing a petition for an order for protection from domestic abuse. The bill also provides that no
mutual order of protection may be granted unless both parties consent, or the court believes there is need for
such an order. H.
utility's costs, requires that the Public Service Commissioner review and set fuel costs, which may be
recovered from customers. These reviews would be done every twelve months rather than every
six as is done currently. The bill allows a utility to include air pollution control devices as part of fuel costs
rather than capital costs. Also, an electric utility
operating a nuclear power
plant at ninety per cent net capacity would be required to make every reasonable effort to minimize the cost
of operating the facility. H. 4546 allows an
electric utility to sell or transfer property without a hearing before the Public Service Commission, which is
currently required. H.
4670 relates to unlawful
neglect of children and helpless persons. The bill expands the categories of persons caring for children or
helpless persons to include persons living in caretakers' homes and/or having
recurring access to the children or helpless persons. Also included are those who have been given
responsibility for supervising children or helpless persons. H. 4686 enacts the "South Carolina Credit Union Act." The measure establishes
parity between state and federal credit unions. It preserves state chartered credit unions,
and updates laws governing their activity. The bill also provides for review of records every two years. In
addition, loans of more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) would require certified
appraisal, while those less would require only inspection. H. 4765 updates the state's controlled substance schedule for depressant drugs,
bringing the law
into conformity with federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards. H. 4782 shields registered mortgage loan brokers from civil liability for third
party violations of the Federal Truth in Lending Act, and establishes provisions for satellite offices and
registration fees. H.
4795 stipulates that a
creditor providing a real estate loan notify the borrower in writing of its preference of attorney.
H. 4838 allows a
driver who commits a traffic violation in
another state to produce a canceled check as proof of payment of the fine. H. 4861 creates the Real Estate Commission under the administration of the
Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. It conforms this Commission to a uniform framework for
the organization and operation of other professional and occupational boards. H. 4902 enacts the "South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank Act." The
proposed legislation creates the bank to make loans and to provide other public
transportation facilities. H. 4959 addresses the issue of
consensual teenage sex. The bill provides that a person is guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the
second degree when the victim is a minor between fourteen and sixteen years old and there is more than four
years difference in their ages. Violators could be sentenced to twenty years. If there
is less than four years age difference, an offender is guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor, which is a
misdemeanor. He must be imprisoned not more than three years, rather than the current
twenty years. H.
approves regulations of the
Commissioners of Pilotage for the Port of Charleston. The regulations strengthen the authority of bar and
harbor pilots during docking maneuvers, and increase
registration fees. H. 4979 authorizes revision of existing capital improvement bonds to provide
for the Cheraw State Fish Hatchery and nearly $1.5 million dollars for the Turbeville Correctional Institution.
concurrent resolution adopted
Representatives approved H. 4982 which congratulates Hootie
and the Blowfish for bringing recognition to South Carolina through their music. H. 4994 sets 12:00
noon on Wednesday, May 29th as the time to elect two circuit
court judges and a family court judge.
received second reading
S. 1293 provides that a crime victim receive a free copy of
the incident report pertaining to his case. The ten dollar ($10) fee for this document would be
paid by the offender. The bill also addresses restitution payments and hearings. It permits the Attorney
General or his designee to attend these hearings. The House version of this measure,
H. 4657, also received second reading in the House last
Representatives tabled H.
4848 which provides that the five
per cent surcharge on rental vehicles is a sales tax
which is not subject to liens. The bill was
killed because a similar measure, S. 774, which received third
reading in the House last week, was enrolled for ratification.
The House continued H.
4394 which authorizes each school
district to designate one employee to receive training in conflict resolution and peer mediation. The
training would be offered through the State Department of Education as in-service training. That employee
would in turn train other district employees in these techniques.
S. 517 was recommitted to the Ways and Means Committee.
The bill affects a person who leaves employment with the state after ten but before twenty years of
service. Under the measure, if this person is rehired by the state within five years after leaving, he may have
leave benefits reinstated to reflect full credit for the number of years worked.
H. 3812 was recommitted to the Judiciary Committee. The
joint resolution calls for a voter referendum to determine whether state and local governments should
prohibit hiring or awarding contracts based on a person's or group's race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national
origin. H. 4340 was recommitted to the
Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs Committee. The bill provides for a special guest
fishing license, permitting fishing from inland docks only by a person without a
current fishing license. Property owners would pay fifty dollars ($50) annually for the license which must be
posted on the dock. H.
4785 also was recommitted
to the Agriculture Committee. This measure conforms the organization and operation of the state board of
veterinarians with professional and occupations boards. H. 4810 was recommitted to the Judiciary Committee. Concerning entrapment,
the bill prohibits underage undercover agents from attempting to purchase alcohol from an
establishment unless there is documentation of at least two instances in which the business sold these beverages
S. 1176, which enacts the "South Carolina Credit Union Act
of 1996," was recalled from the Labor, Commerce, and
Industry Committee. The bill provides for the
organization, operation, and supervision of cooperative nonprofit thrift and credit associations known as credit
unions. The House version of this bill, H. 4686,
received third reading in the House last week and was sent to the Senate
for consideration. S.
1358 was recalled from the
Judiciary Committee. The bill provides that the Department of Revenue rather than the State Treasurer will
administer provisions of the "Uniform Unclaimed Property Act." S. 1361 was recalled from the
Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee. The
joint resolution approves regulations of the Department of Insurance concerning auto insurance.
The regulations repeal risk classifications and territories. Rather than promulgated in agency regulation, these
provisions would be established by order instead. A similar bill, H. 4956, passed the House and is now in the Senate Banking and Insurance
Committee. S. 1395
was recalled from the Judiciary
The bill provides that municipalities which did not adopt one of four specified forms of government within
fifteen months after December 31, 1977, are considered to have forfeited their articles
of incorporation. These articles would not be reinstated until the municipalities certify to the Secretary of
which forms of government they adopted. H. 3827,
concerning auto insurance, was recalled from the Labor, Commerce,
and Industry Committee. The measure limits rates charged by the reinsurance facility. H.
3931 also was recalled from the Labor, Commerce, and Industry
Committee. The bill provides for a presumption of total and permanent disability due to a fifty per
cent or more loss of use of the back. Among other provisions included in the measure is a stipulation that
mental illness resulting from work-related stress is not compensable.
Three bills were placed on the contested calendar for second reading last week. S. 21 legalizes the practice
tattooing for nonmedical purposes. An amendment
to the bill prohibits tattooing of the neck and head.
requires vehicles driven by a person without a license to be impounded at the driver's expense.
The measure provides for different impoundment periods for a first, second, and third offense. It also
establishes a thirty day grace period after license expiration during which a vehicle would
not be impounded. H.
increases the penalty for a third
or subsequent offense of cruelty to animals. Currently an offender may be fined up to two thousand
dollars ($2,000) and imprisoned up to two years. This bill provides that a third or subsequent offense is a
misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) and a
sentence of not more than three years. A similar bill,
S. 1263, passed the Senate and was assigned to the House Agriculture, Natural
Environmental Affairs Committee last week.
Senators approved their version of the $4.4 billion dollar 1996-97 budget and the supplemental budget as
The budget includes $20 million dollars for a three year phase in of an optional
all day kindergarten for five year olds. Governor David Beasley's voucher plan was struck down. The House
did not include any funding for an all day program. The Senate also voted to provide $29
million dollars to improve conditions at the Department of Juvenile Justice, as ordered by a federal court
judge. The money would be used to increase staffing and provide alternative treatment
programs. The budget also continues the current level of property tax relief so that in most cases the first
$100,000 of a home's value would be exempted from property taxes. However, Senators
changed the formula for distributing the relief. Rather than based on a home's value and the taxes levied by
that school district, the formula is determined by a
county's population as reflected
in the 1990 census. Also included in the budget is a 3.4% pay raise for state employees beginning October
1st, while Representatives approved a 2.4% raise to begin at the same time. Both plans
provide a 3.4% pay raise for teachers, and provide $20 million dollars to provide telecommunication
technology in public school. Prison guards would see a 12% pay raise. In addition, the Senate
approved $1.8 million dollars to hire and train new troopers. Senators agreed to carry forward the $1.4
million dollars the state is giving Converse College to provide the Women's Leadership
Program, allowing the Citadel Corps of Cadets to remain all-male. An independent state audit was approved
at a cost of $2 million dollars in the supplemental budget. Any savings from the audit
would be placed into the "Taxpayers' Dividend From Good Government Fund," and applied to property tax
relief. Finally, parents of children under six years old would get a $4,200 exemption on
state income taxes, rather than the current $3,600.
conference committee appointed
Senators McKinley Washington, Holly Cork, and Greg Ryberg were appointed as conferees to S.
1315. This bill originally revised the South Carolina/Georgia
border based on North American Datum 1927. However, the House amended the bill to provide an extension
for candidates for sheriff to submit required fingerprint reviews. The Senate removed the
amendment, but introduced separate legislation (
addressing the fingerprint reviews. That bill received third reading in the Senate last week.
concurrence in House amendments, to be ratified
S. 642 enacts the
"Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility
Act." The measure alter renewal procedures for self-insurer certification for fleets containing more
than twenty-five vehicles. S. 774 provides that the five per
cent surcharge on rental vehicles is a sales tax which must be kept in a segregated fund. This
revenue is not subject to creditor liens by the renter, the rental company, or an airport.
nonconcurrence in House amendments, amended, returned to the House for
S. 507 provides that a person applying to operate a private
detective business must meet the same qualifications as those applying to become a private
detective. The House amendment authorizes retired commissioned law enforcement officers to carry weapons.
S. 1195 enacts the "Higher Education Accountability
Act." The bill authorizes the Commission on Higher Education to reduce duplication, and coordinate services
in the state's higher education system by expanding,
reducing, or eliminating
programs. Funding for institutions would be based on
meeting specific performance standards. S.
1315 revises the South Carolina/Georgia border based on North
American Datum 1927. The House amended the bill to provide that 1996 candidates for sheriff would not have
to submit a fingerprint review until forty-five days
before the November election. Many
candidates were unaware of this requirement and missed the current deadline. However, the Senate deleted
the provision for these candidates. Instead Senators gave third reading to S. 1380, which is separate legislation to address that concern.
received third reading, to be ratified
H. 3864, concerning bankruptcy, is a technical revision
deleting a reference to the Federal Bankruptcy Reform Act. H. 4341
authorizes the court to order a juvenile delinquent's parents to reimburse the court-ordered attorney or the
indigent defense fund. H.
4407 provides for an
additional member of the Board of Commissioners of the School for the Deaf and Blind. This at-large member
would be appointed by the Governor to represent the public. H. 4462 combines the current two-tier pesticide registration fee schedule into a
single fee. Currently the fee for nonrestricted use pesticides is sixty dollars ($60),
while the fee for restricted use pesticides is one hundred dollars ($100). This bill creates a basic fee of one
hundred dollars ($100) for all pesticides, regardless of the application.
H. 4490, concerning auto insurance reform, repeals the
mandate to write physical damage coverage for safe drivers in order to reduce reinsurance facility
rates. H. 4660 extends the current tax exemption on insurance
premiums to include worker's compensation premiums provides by companies which insure only
churches. H. 4750
approves regulations of the Department
of Health and Human Services which establish two distinct sets of criteria concerning long-term care
services. H. 4751
approves regulations concerning Medicaid
provider hearings about overpayments. H. 4847 provides that
probation is a form of clemency. The measure requires that the director of the Department of Probation,
Parole, and Pardon Services develop supervision policies and procedures. H. 4896 revises regulations of the apprenticeship program for pilots at Port Royal.
H. 4957 provides for the issuance of "Public
Education: A Great Investment" license plates. These two year tags would cost fifty-four dollars ($54). Twenty
dollars ($20) of the fee would be applied toward buying computers for classrooms.
The other thirty-four dollars ($34) would be sent to
local school districts, which would determine how the
money could be spent best.
received third reading, amended, returned to House for concurrence
H. 3140 originally deleted the requirement that State Board
of Voting Machine Commissioners furnish a model at each polling place to teach voters how to use
voting machines. The bill was amended to allow illustrations in the place of actual machines. H.
3228 provides that both
custodial and noncustodial parents
have the right to participate in their children's school activities unless prohibited by a court order. Senators
amended the bill to provide that the court may not restrict a custodial parent
from moving anywhere in the state without a compelling reason. H. 3268 provides that the murder of a witness during any stage of the criminal
process, is an
aggravating circumstance which may result in the imposition of the death penalty. H. 3858 authorizes
family court judges to suspend or restrict the drivers'
licenses of juvenile offenders in certain circumstances. H. 3909 provides that no subcontracting architect, engineer, land surveyor,
landscape architect, or
their employees are liable for injury resulting from the contractor's failure to comply with safety standards
on a construction project. However, the immunity does not apply to negligent
preparation of design plans or specifications. H.
concerning judicial reform, provides that candidates be nominated by a Judicial Merit Selection
Commission. The measure raises the minimum age of candidates from twenty-six to thirty-two years old. It
also provides that candidates must receive a majority vote of both the Senate and the
House, rather than a majority of the General Assembly.
H. 4136 provides confidentiality for anonymous HIV testing. H. 4430
enacts the "School Crime Report Act." The bill provides that all school-related crime be reported to the
Attorney General's Office. It also authorizes the expulsion of students convicted of
violent crimes, as well as those involving weapons. In addition, the measure authorizes the Attorney General
to represent school districts in appeals court.
H. 4502 prohibits same-sex marriages, and provides that such marriages
performed in other states will not be recognized in South Carolina. H. 4676 revises Bingo laws. Originally, the measure defined a "nonprofit
organization" as one that is organized and operated exclusively for charitable, religious, or
fraternal purposes. However, the bill was amended by
Senators to address the issuance of licenses and hiring
practices instead. Currently an organization may not hire or be run by a person
convicted of a felony, gambling offense, criminal fraud, or a crime carrying a sentence of two or more years.
This bill requires that these offenses not be within the last twenty years.
H. 4716 subjects
foreign beer brewers and their distributors
to the same laws which govern agreements between their domestic counterparts. H. 4830 enacts the "Uniform Limited Liability Company Act." The bill revises
state guidelines for limited liability companies, and conforms these guidelines to recent
federal regulatory changes. It also permits for disclosure of taxpayer records to the Secretary of State under
received third reading, sent to House
S. 163 expands the powers of the State Grand Jury by
authorizing the investigation of crimes concerning the environment and insurance fraud. S. 660 enacts the
"Driver's Privacy Protection Act." Concerning material
exempted from the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, the measure contains provisions restricting
release of personal information relating to motor vehicle registration records. It also provides for abuse of such
material. A person convicted of harassment must be fined two hundred dollars
($200), imprisoned for thirty days, or both. Anyone convicted of stalking must be fined one thousand dollars
($1,000), imprisoned one year, or both. S. 774
provides that the five per cent surcharge on rental vehicles is a sales tax which must be kept in a segregated
fund. This revenue is not subject to creditor liens by either the renter or the
rental company. S.
requires that the Secretary of State
monitor all elected or appointed state boards, commissions, and judicial offices to determine
when vacancies occur. The measure also requires that he publicize these vacancies, and that a person not
seeking re-election notify the joint committee to review candidates at least thirty days
prior to the last filing day for that office or position. S. 1173
provides that driving with an expired license plate is illegal, and subject to the same
penalty as driving without a license tag. Violators may be fined up to one hundred dollars ($100), or
imprisoned for up to thirty days. S. 1255 establishes
deer hunting season in Game Zone 5. S. 1260 relates to the
transfer of a domestic animal to an animal shelter. The measure provides that the person boarding
the animal must notify the owner of the impending transfer of the animal by certified mail within ten days of
the date the animal was to have been picked up. The bill also provides that an owner
who abandons an animal and refuses to pay boarding fees is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of
not more than two hundred dollars ($200) or a sentence of not more than thirty days.
S. 1261 increases the maximum fine for a first offense of
ill-treatment of animals from four hundred ($400) to five hundred dollars ($500). It also provides
that offenders may be subject to both a fine of one hundred ($100) to four hundred dollars ($400), and a
sentence of up to sixty days. The bill provides that a second offense is a felony which
may be tried in municipal court, and increases that maximum sentence from two years to five years while the
maximum fine increases from two thousand ($2,000) to five thousand dollars ($5,000).
Another provision included in the bill provides that
animal cruelty is a felony instead of a misdemeanor, and
increases the sentence from two years to five years.
However, penalties would not be
mandatory. In addition, the bill provides that fowl are included in these provisions. S. 1263 revises animal cruelty laws, and provides that offenses may be
tried in municipal court as well as magistrate's court. The measure includes fowl in these provisions, and
requires that an offender forfeit ownership of the animal or fowl and pay medical and
boarding expenses. S.
1266 prohibits the Department of
Natural Resources from providing a break in deer hunting season on private lands in Game Zone 4.
Nor may the Department close any part of the season in which firearms are allowed on private lands.
S. 1380 provides that candidates for sheriff do not have
to submit required fingerprint reviews until forty-five days after filing, rather than sixty days before the
of qualification. This bill does not apply to incumbents. S. 1386 provides that, under certain conditions, an authorized sign or poster may
be placed within a right-of-way if it is not put on a utility pole or placed where it
would obstruct motorists' view of the intersection. S.
provides that a municipality which did not adopt one of four specified forms of government within
fifteen months after December 31, 1977, are considered to have forfeited its articles of incorporation. These
articles would not be reinstated until it certifies to the Secretary of State which
form of government was adopted.
concurrent resolution adopted
Senators approved H.
which congratulates Hootie and
the Blowfish for bringing recognition to South Carolina through their music.
received second reading
S. 962 enacts the
"Child Bicycle Safety Act." The measure
requires that a child under sixteen years old must wear a safety helmet when either operating or as a
passenger on a bicycle. A child under forty pounds or forty inches tall must be placed in a restraining seat
or trailer towed behind the bicycle. While not to do so would not constitute
negligence on the part of the parent, a parent would be guilty of a misdemeanor which carries a thirty dollar
($30) fine. These fines would be placed in the "Bicycle Safety Fund," which is
established in the bill. It also provides safety programs and assistance to low income families who cannot
afford to purchase helmets. S. 1167 provides that
information regarding juvenile offenders must be provided to their victims, whether the crime was violent or
not. S. 1168 requires that real estate agents
take sixteen hours, rather than the current eight hours, of continuing education every two years to remain
certified. Four of those hours, rather than the current two, must include instruction
on changes in federal and state laws. S. 1322 provides for
a referendum concerning the length of the legislative session. Voters would be asked if after
convening in January each year, the Senate and the House should be allowed to meet in committees for a
period to be determined by each body. The joint resolution is designed to speed up the
legislative process by passing bills more quickly through committees and onto the calendars. H.
3373 provides that one-half of all fines collected for cruelty
to animals must be awarded to any local nonprofit animal humane organization involved in the prosecution
of the violation. If none, then the fine would be distributed as provided by law.
H. 3915 originally revised the membership of the
Commission on Higher Education, and provided for the
transfer of credits between institutions. However, the
Senate amended the bill to provide for leasing the Medical University of South Carolina to Columbia/HCA.
H. 4663 provides that bail is discretionary for
certain offenses. H.
reauthorizes Educational Television
(ETV), and revises qualifications for serving on the ETV Commission. The measure also
establishes the Information Technology Advisory Council, and requires that the Budget and Control Board
(B&C) approve requested information technology equipment. In addition, ETV would be
required to implement a marketing plan, increase revenue generated by regional stations, and privatize its
daycare facility. Also, the effectiveness of instructional television would be
H. 3838, concerning workers' compensation, originally
provided for a presumption of total and permanent disability in cases where there is a fifty per cent or
more loss of the use of the back. The bill was amended to become a broader revision of workers'
compensation laws. It provides that in most cases work-related stress is not compensable, and
establishes terms under which temporary disability payments may be terminated.
H. 4743 was recalled from the Agriculture and Natural
Resources Committee. The bill authorizes a candidate for director of a watershed conservation district
to declare his candidacy with the State Election Commission, rather than by submitting a nominating petition.
AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND ENVIRONMENTAL
Neither the full committee nor any subcommittees met last week.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS
The Primary and Secondary Education Subcommittee reported favorably on S. 1071 which would allow school districts to approve their own exemptions from
physical education for medical or religious reasons. Under the bill, students who obtain such exemptions
would be encouraged by the district to take alternative courses in health education or
lifestyle modification. The subcommittee also recommended that eleven Department of Education regulations
be repealed. Most of these regulations repeat language found in statutes or elsewhere
in the regulations. Their proposed repeal comes as part of a department initiative to reduce redundancy in
The Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Subcommittee amended and reported out H. 4112 without recommendation. The bill requires the Department of
to collect information on each one hundred meter stretch of highway where two or more traffic accidents have
occurred and use the information to develop a safety
improvement plan. As originally
drafted, the bill required the study to reference mile markers. The subcommittee's amendment allows data
to be collected using other references on secondary roads which do not have the mile
markers found on interstate highways.
Committee members reported favorably on four bills last week. S. 1033 authorizes the Attorney General's Office to establish a Youth Mentor
church and community resources. Participation in the
program may be ordered by the Family Court as a
pretrial diversion option of as an alternative case disposition for nonviolent offenders.
This bill is similar to H. 4900 which remains in the House
Judiciary Committee. S.
1164, concerning intestate
provides that the probate court may limit or deny survivor benefits to an estranged parent who has refused
to reasonably support his child. S. 1278 deletes
the Executive Director of the Criminal Justice Academy as a member of the Commission on Prosecution
Coordination. Instead the Director of the Department of Public Safety will serve on the
Commission. S. 1345
provides that the Hunley Commission
is exempt from the state procurement code. The measure also authorizes the Commission to sign an
agreement which gives South Carolina permanent custody of the Confederate submarine sunken off the coast
of Sullivan's Island. However, the federal government would retain the title to the
The Judiciary Committee also approved basic health and safety regulations of the Department of Health and
Environmental Control (DHEC) which regulate abortion
clinics in the state for the first
time. The regulations require that women provide the
fathers' names. That information would be available
to DHEC. Also, no phase in period is provided for in the joint resolution. If the measure
is not adopted by the General Assembly by May 23rd, the regulations automatically go into effect in late June.
LABOR, COMMERCE, AND INDUSTRY
The Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee gave a favorable report to S. 1054, as amended. The bill allows joint power agencies to sell limited
excess power wholesale and build certain distribution projects without approval from the Public Service
Commission. The committee tabled S. 1269 which would
give the Secretary of State discretion in renewing the license for a private personnel agency after the renewal
deadline has passed.
The Labor and Commerce Subcommittee amended and reported favorably on S. 506 which provides that when a subcontractor represents himself as having
compensation insurance to a contractor, the contractor is relieved of responsibility for all claims filed by the
employees of a subcontractor who turns out to be uninsured. In such a case where
a subcontractor has misrepresented himself and turns out to be uninsured, the contractor is obligated to pay
the claims of the subcontractor's employees and the Uninsured Employers' Fund is
obligated to reimburse the contractor. The subcommittee also amended and reported favorably on
S. 35 which creates a Privatization Policy Board to determine
whether services currently provided by a state agency might be provided more efficiently by the private sector
or by contract with another state agency. The amendment adopted by the
subcommittee withholds from the ten members of the proposed board the standard mileage, per diem, and
The Life, Accident and Health Insurance Subcommittee gave an unfavorable report to H. 4671 which allows any provider of medical services who has not been paid
by a patient to place a lien on sums recovered by that patient against liable third parties.
MEDICAL, MILITARY, PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
The Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee held no committee or subcommittee meetings
during the past week.
WAYS AND MEANS
Neither the full committee nor any subcommittees met last week.
AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND ENVIRONMENTAL
SHAD NETS ON THE SAVANNAH
RIVER Sen. Drummond
The proposed legislation requires that a nonresident
owning or operating a shad net in the Savannah River be
licensed. Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor
punishable by a fine of not less
than twenty-five dollars ($25), or a sentence of not more than thirty days. Other measures included in the bill
revise several current fishing and wildlife provisions, such as licensing and the
hunter education program.
OYSTER PLANTING AT SULLIVAN'S
ISLAND Sen. Richter
The bill repeals an exclusive right granted in 1843 to plant oysters at the northeastern end of Sullivan's Island.
DEER HUNTING IN GAME ZONE
5 Sen. Holland
The measure establishes deer hunting season in Game Zone 5.
TRANSFER OF DOMESTIC
ANIMALS Sen. Leventis
The bill provides that a person boarding an animal must notify the owner of impending transfer of the animal
to an animal shelter. The notification must be by certified mail within ten days of
the date the animal was to have been picked up. The measure also provides that an owner who abandons an
animal and refuses to pay boarding fees is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of
not more than two hundred dollars ($200), or a sentence of not more than thirty days.
ILL-TREATMENT OF ANIMALS
The proposed legislation increases the maximum fine for a first offense of ill-treatment of animals from four
hundred dollars ($400) to five hundred dollars ($500), and provides that violators
may be subject to both a fine of one hundred ($100) to four hundred dollars ($400) and a sentence of up to
sixty days. The bill makes a second offense a felony
which may be tried in municipal
court. It also increases the maximum sentence from two years to five years, and the maximum fine from two
thousand dollars ($2,000) to five thousand dollars ($5,000). The measure provides that
animal cruelty is a felony instead of a misdemeanor, and increases the sentence from two years to five years.
However, penalties would not be mandatory. Also, the
measure would apply to fowl as
well as animals.
ANIMAL CRUELTY Sen.
The measure revises animal cruelty laws, and provides that offenses may be tried in municipal court as well
as magistrate's court. It stipulates that fowl are included in these provisions, and
requires that an offender forfeit ownership of the animal as well as pay medical and boarding expenses.
DEER HUNTING SEASON IN GAME
ZONE 4 Sen. Gregory
The bill prohibits the Department of Natural Resources from providing a break in deer hunting season on
private lands in Game Zone 4. Nor may the Department
close any part of the season in which
firearms are allowed on private lands in that game zone.
WATERFOWL Rep. Wilkes
The measure prohibits hunting migratory waterfowl on Lake Wateree within two hundred yards of a residence
without written permission of the owner. Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor
punishable by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars ($200), or a sentence of not more than thirty days.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS
PLATES Sen. Boan
This bill provides that noncurrent license plates from this or any other state must not be attached to the outside
front of a vehicle.
TRANSPORT OF HOUSEHOLD
GOODS AND HAZARDOUS WASTE Sen. Holland
This bill makes it a misdemeanor for anyone to operate as a carrier of household goods or hazardous waste
for disposal without proper licensing or certification.
STATE GRAND JURY Sen.
This bill expands the powers of the State Grand Jury by authorizing the investigation of crimes concerning
environmental laws and insurance fraud.
VOTER REGISTRATION Sen.
The measure authorizes the voter registration of a person not yet eighteen years old, but who will become
eighteen years old before the next general election.
TRANSFER OF LEGISLATIVE
DELEGATION POWERS Sen. Rose
The bill provides that certain powers of legislative
delegations may be vested in county governing bodies upon
mutual approval and notification of the Code Commissioner.
VOTER REGISTRATION Sen.
The proposed legislation calls for a referendum to amend the State Constitution to provide that a person not
yet eighteen years old, but who will become eighteen
before the next general
election, may be allowed to register to vote in that
"DRIVER'S PRIVACY PROTECTION
ACT" Sen. Cork
The measure deletes the exemption of vehicle registration records from the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.
It provides restrictions regarding the release and use of certain personal
information in those records, and penalties for abuse of such information. For harassment, violators must be
fined two hundred dollars ($200), imprisoned thirty days, or both. Stalkers must be
fined one thousand dollars ($1,000), imprisoned one year, or both.
TRESPASSING ON RAILROAD
TRACKS Sen. Land
The bill provides that trespassing on railroad tracks is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than
two hundred dollars ($200), or a sentence of not more than thirty days.
FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
OFFICERS Sen. Bryan
The measure permits a federal law enforcement officer to enforce state criminal laws under certain
circumstances. It also provides that he is subject to the Federal Tort Claims Act, and
prohibits him from conducting an independent investigation into a violation of state law.
COURT INTERPRETERS Sen.
The proposed legislation specifies the types of hearings at which an interpreter for the deaf must be provided.
RETIRED MAGISTRATES Sen.
The bill authorizes a retired magistrate to be appointed temporarily as magistrate when needed.
CHICORA-WACCAMAW AND PEE DEE
INDIAN TRIBES Sen. Elliott
The measure recognizes the Chicora-Waccamaw and the Pee Dee Indian Tribes. It confers upon these tribes
such rights and privileges as are provided by law to
indian tribes. A similar measure with
the Catawba Indian Tribe resulted in a $12.5 million
dollar settlement. This bill is similar to H.
4245, which is on the House calendar for second reading.
MUNICIPAL BOUNDARIES Sen.
The bill provides that when a municipality annexes property in another municipality, their governing bodies
may stipulate and adjust their boundaries by adopting a mutual ordinance after first
holding a public hearing.
FELONS RUNNING FOR
JUDGESHIPS Sen. Waldrep
The measure calls for a referendum asking voters whether a person convicted of a felony, federal law, or
election law offense should be prohibited from being
elected as a judge until fifteen
years after completion of his sentence.
ANIMALS AS PRIZES Sen.
Under the measure, live animals may not be given away as prizes, or inducements for entering a game,
contest, or place of amusement. Violators would be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable for
each separate offense by a fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300), a sentence of not more than thirty
days, or both. However, the bill would not affect the raffling of animals. A
similar bill, H.
, is on the contested calendar in the
House for second reading.
VIOLENT CRIMES Sen.
The bill provides that the release of a person accused of a violent crime would constitute an unreasonable
danger to the community.
PUBLIC SAFETY COORDINATING
COUNCIL Sen. Rankin
The proposed legislation adds a member as a victim representative to the South Carolina Public Safety
Coordinating Council. The additional member would be
appointed by the governor for a term of
"VICTIMS' BILL OF RIGHTS" Sen. McConnell
The measure provides for a referendum to amend the State Constitution to include a "Victims' Bill of Rights"
concerning justice and due process. It authorizes victims to receive pertinent
information concerning their cases. They would be allowed to be present and speak at proceedings, and would
receive restitution from their perpetrators. The joint resolution also provides that
bail may be denied to a person charged with a violent offense.
ELECTRICITY THEFT Sen.
The bill increases the fine for a first offense of stealing electricity from one hundred ($100) to five
dollars ($500). It also adds a second or subsequent offense which would be a
misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), a sentence of not more
than three years, or both.
MONITORING OF ELECTIONS Sen. Leventis
Under this measure, the Secretary of State would be required to monitor all elected or appointed state boards,
commissions, and judicial offices. When vacancies occur, he would be required to
publicize the openings. The bill also requires that a person not seeking re-election notify the joint committee
to review candidates in writing at least thirty days
prior to the last filing day
for that office or position.
PURCHASE OF WEAPONS Sen.
The bill provides that a resident of any state may purchase a rifle or shotgun in South Carolina.
VICTIM IMPACT STATEMENT Sen. Fair
The measure provides that a victim may be considered
during sentencing or a disposition hearing in family
court. The bill also requires that a copy of the statement be sent to the Board of
VIDEO RENTALS Sen.
The bill provides that a merchant must send notice by certified mail to a person failing to return a rented video
on time. After five days, a warrant may be issued for larceny.
COUNTY CODE ENFORCEMENT
OFFICERS Sen. Alexander
This measure provides that county governing bodies may limit the scope of duties or geographic area assigned
to county code enforcement officers.
EXPUNGEMENT OF MINORS'
RECORDS Sen. McConnell
The bill permits the expungement of offenses tried in family courts from a minor's records.
JUVENILE DETENTION Sen.
The proposed legislation authorizes placement of a child in a secure juvenile detention facility when no
suitable alternative exists, or when it is deemed that placement is in the child's best
interest or is necessary to protect either the child or the public. The bill also specifies the time frame for
review, and expands the circumstances under which the Department of Juvenile
Justice may fingerprint and photograph a juvenile. This measure, minus the fingerprint and photograph
provision, is similar to H. 4657 which received second
reading in the House last week.
VOTING MACHINES Sen.
The bill provides that all vote recorder voting systems must produce and transmit an electronic file containing
election results as prescribed by the State Election
OFFICERS Sen. Giese
The measure expands the circumstances under which an
officer of the Department of Natural Resources may
issue an official summons. The measure also provides that the summons is considered a
receipt for any fine deposited with the officer.
LICENSES Sen. Elliott
The bill revises provisions for issuing a temporary retail liquor license. It also provides that a temporary
license may not be granted to a business determined to be a public nuisance.
ASSISTANCE COMPACT Sen. Drummond
The proposed legislation enacts the "Southern Regional Emergency Management Assistance Compact" to
provide technical help and training between member states in managing emergencies or disasters
declared by the governor of the affected state.
"UNIFORM UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
ACT" Sen. Thomas
The measure provides that the Department of Revenue will administer provisions of the "Uniform Unclaimed
Property Act" rather than the State Treasurer.
COMMERCIAL CARRIERS Sen.
The bill provides that a carrier of household goods or hazardous waste for disposal who violates certification
or registration requirements is guilty of a misdemeanor.
The measure provides that municipalities which did not adopt one of four specified forms of government
within fifteen months after December 31, 1977 are considered to have forfeited their
articles of incorporation. These articles would not be reinstated until the municipalities certify to the Secretary
of State which form of government has been adopted. This bill was recalled
from the Judiciary Committee last week and placed on the House calendar for second reading.
LEGAL NOTICES Rep.
Under this bill, legal notices could be accomplished by radio or television broadcast, as well as by print
SUSPENSION/REVOCATION Rep. Fleming
The bill provides that an out-of-state conviction which in South Carolina would result in suspension or
revocation of a person's driver's license, must be reported to and received by the
Department of Safety within two years of the conviction. If notice arrives after that date, it would not be cause
for suspension or revocation of the license.
LABOR, COMMERCE, AND INDUSTRY
HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE
FOR LICENSED SERVICES Sen. Courtney
This bill would require all health insurance policies to include licensed master social workers, licensed
independent social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed
professional counselors, or psychiatric clinical nurse specialists as qualified providers.
ESSENTIAL INSURANCE FOR
COASTAL PROPERTY Sen. McConnell
This bill allows an insurer to file and use, without
going through the lengthy pre-approval process, rates for
wind coverage which are ninety percent (90%) or less than the rates charged by, and
approved for, the Wind and Hail Association. Insurers would also be able to adjust rates according to such
factors as use of storm shutters, distance from water, elevation, etc.
MEDICAL, MILITARY, PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
BOARD OF BARBER EXAMINERS
VARIANCES Sen. Bryan
This bill gives the State Board of Barber Examiners discretion in granting variances from regulations.
WAYS AND MEANS
No bills were assigned to this committee last week.
The Legislative Update is now on-line! Members and staff who are on the network may access documents by
pressing "List Files (F5)," then typing "H:\UPDATE" and pressing "enter." All of the
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If you need or prefer to access the Legislative Update through the World Wide Web, visit the South Carolina
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Follow the links in this index to pull up the paragraph in this issue
discussing the bill concerned. Follow the link in that paragraph to pull
up the bill's text, history, and status.
The S.C. General Assembly
Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:53 P.M.