South Carolina House of Representatives
David H. Wilkins, Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH
Room 213, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C. 29211, (803) 734-3230
NOTE: Bill summaries included in this document are prepared by the staff of the South Carolina House of Representatives and are not the expression of the legislation's sponsor(s) or the House of Representatives. The summaries are strictly for the internal use and benefit of members of the House of Representatives and are not to be construed by a court of law as an expression of legislative intent.
In general, this bill requires an agency submitting a regulation to file the regulation with Legislative Council along with a detailed summary of the proposed changes. The bill enhances the requirement that regulations be submitted in the same format as a bill (underline and strikethrough). The bill requires that the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate refer the legislation to a standing committee and that Legislative Council inform the membership of the General Assembly electronically upon receipt of a regulation for review. Both the House and Senate committees that are most concerned with the functions of the submitting agency will review the regulation. There will be an affirmative vote by the General Assembly required for enactment of the regulation. A regulation will be deemed withdrawn if it has not become effective at the end of the two-year session in which it was submitted.
Under the bill, an agency may not submit any regulation that went through public notice and comment period and was changed afterwards without the changes being raised, discussed or considered during the public comment period. The bill disallows the filing of an emergency regulation, if a joint resolution disapproving that same regulation has received a favorable report by the standing committee to which the regulation was referred. The bill does allow any agency that has submitted a regulation for review to withdraw that regulation at any time and resubmit the regulation without the requirements of notice and comment if there is no substantive change. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3650. This bill relates to the BROWNFIELDS VOLUNTARY CLEANUP PROGRAM AND CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS ENTERED INTO BY OR ON BEHALF OF A NONRESPONSIBLE PARTY. Brownfields are real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant. The bill provides that a nonresponsible party is not liable to any third-party for contribution, equitable relief, or claims for damages arising from a release of contaminants which is the subject of a response action included in the nonresponsible party voluntary cleanup contract. This limitation of liability commences on the date of execution of the nonresponsible party voluntary cleanup contract by the Department of Health and Environmental Control; however, this limitation must be withdrawn automatically if the nonresponsible party voluntary cleanup contract is lawfully terminated by any party. This limitation applies only to: (1) the parties to the nonresponsible party voluntary cleanup contract and to the nonresponsible party's lenders, signatories, parents, subsidiaries, and successors; and (2) 'existing contamination', as defined in the nonresponsible party voluntary cleanup contract. This limitation of liability does not apply to any release caused by or attributable to the nonresponsible party or its lenders, signatories, parents, subsidiaries, or successors. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3613, the "COMMON SENSE CONSUMPTION ACT". Under this legislation, a manufacturer, packer, distributor, carrier, holder, marketer, seller, or an association of one or more of these entities of a food or nonalcoholic beverage intended for human consumption is not subject to civil liability in an action brought by a party based on a person's purchase or consumption of food or nonalcoholic beverages in a case when liability is based on weight gain, obesity, or a health condition associated with weight gain or obesity resulting from the person's long-term purchase or consumption of food or nonalcoholic beverages. In an action to dismiss one or more claims pursuant to the provisions of this legislation, all discovery and other proceedings are stayed while a motion to dismiss is pending. The provisions of this legislation apply only when a manufacturer, packer, distributor, carrier, holder, seller, or marketer of a food establishes it has complied with the federal content and nutrition labeling disclosure provisions so that a consumer has ready access to this information and may be informed about the content and nutritional value of the food prior to consumption. A retail establishment that serves food and nonalcoholic beverages complies with this requirement by making information available upon request to the consumer. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3700. This bill provides that MATTERS BETWEEN A LANDLORD AND A TENANT must be tried where the subject matter or some part of the property is situated. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3328, a bill pertaining to the SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY. Under this bill, the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) must cross-reference alias names in the registry.
This bill expands the list of convictions that render a person a "sex offender."
Current law provides that a sex offender must register with the sheriff of the county in which the offender intends to reside within 24 hours of release; this bill changes the requirement to one business day. The bill also provides that an offender's photograph must be provided to SLED before the offender is released from prison. Current law provides that an offender who is sentenced to probation must register within 10 days of sentencing; this bill changes the requirement to one business day.
Current law requires a convicted sex offender to only register in the county where the offender resides. The bill requires that the offender must also register with the sheriff of the county or counties where the offender owns real property, attends any public or private school, including but not limited to, a secondary school, technical college, or higher education institution. The bill also provides that a registered sex offender who acquires real property or attends any public or private school within this State must provide notice of the address to the sheriff in the county where the real property or school is located. The bill further provides that a person who is required to register as a sex offender who moves to this State, acquires real property in this State, or is attending, or being employed by or carrying on a vocation at any public or private school and is not under the jurisdiction of certain correctional agencies, must register within 10 days.
If a previously registered offender fails to notify the sheriff upon moving within the same county or to another county, then the offender will not be considered registered and shall be prosecuted for failing to register.
This bill provides that if, in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase or rental or real property, a real estate licensee receives a request from a person to whom the licensee is providing brokerage services in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase or rental for information related to whether a particular person is required to register as a sex offender or any other information about the sex offender registry, the licensee has a duty to disclose such information, if the licensee has actual knowledge of the information. The bill does provide immunity from liability for any act or omission related to disclosure if the certain information is disclosed in writing to the buyer. The notice may be included as part of a listing agreement, buyer representation agreement, or sales agreement. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3647, a bill ELIMINATING SUNDAY BLUE LAW RESTRICTIONS. The bill eliminates throughout the state Blue Law provisions which restrict the sale of certain items and prohibit certain work and other activities on Sundays. The legislation provides that an employee of a business that operates on Sunday has the option of refusing to work until 1:30 p.m. on Sunday if he is conscientiously opposed to Sunday work. This conscientious objector provision does not apply to employees, including support, maintenance, repair, and other service personnel, of a manufacturing establishment or a research and development operation that by its nature or for economic reasons involves processes requiring continuous and uninterrupted operation. The legislation makes no changes to provisions that prohibit or otherwise regulate the sale of alcoholic liquors, beer, or wine on Sunday. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3906. This bill provides that, in addition to current QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR A PALMETTO FELLOWS SCHOLARSHIP, a student shall have either of the following:
The bill also provides that a student who met the initial eligibility requirements for the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship as a high school senior and has met the continuing eligibility requirements shall receive the award. Also, a student who received this scholarship as a high school senior, but who declined the award may reapply for the annual scholarship if he meets the initial and continuing academic eligibility requirements, if he transfers to a qualifying in-state institution. The bill requires that the number of semesters or years a student attends an out-of-state institution must be deducted from the number of semesters or academic years a student is eligible for the scholarship. The House returned S.581, the "BOILER SAFETY ACT", to the Senate with amendments. Under the legislation, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is charged with promulgating regulations for the safe installation and inspection of boilers in this state. All new installations shall conform to generally accepted nationwide engineering standards (conformity with the most recent edition of the Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code or the ASME Code shall be accepted as conformity). The department shall promulgate regulations for installation and inspection of boilers that were in use in this State prior to the implementation of the statewide building code. The regulations must be based upon, and at all times follow, generally accepted nationwide engineering standards and practices and may adopt applicable sections of the Inspection Code of the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors. Certain boilers are exempted from regulation under this legislation. Under the legislation, the Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation shall appoint a chief boiler administrator. The legislation establishes certification requirements for boiler inspectors. The bill provides for boiler inspection timeframes, criteria, and reporting requirements. Failure to comply in a timely manner after written notice by the department of a violation subjects the violator to a penalty of up to one hundred dollars per day. A fee not to exceed fifty dollars per facility or per certificate filed with the department may be assessed, collected, and adjusted by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3383, the "FIRE PROTECTION SPRINKLER SYSTEMS ACT." Under the legislation, the South Carolina Contractors' Licensing Board is charged with administering the Fire Protection Sprinkler Systems Act to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public through regulation of the fire sprinkler industry. The legislation establishes procedures for the licensure of fire sprinkler contractors by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation to engage in the planning, sale, installation, repair, alteration, addition, maintenance, or inspection of fire sprinkler systems. The procedures include requirements for initial licensure, license renewal, fees, and grounds and sanctions for misconduct. A fire sprinkler contractor may not engage in fire sprinkler system work unless it has in its employment a primary qualifying party who has been designated by the licensee as the principle individual responsible for directing or reviewing fire sprinkler contractor work. A primary qualifying party is a full-time employee of a fire sprinkler contractor who holds a valid National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET) Level III or IV Technician Certificate in 'Fire Protection Engineering Technology Automatic Sprinkler System Layout' and who has been issued a qualifying party certificate by the board to qualify an entity as a fire sprinkler contractor. A qualifying party is an individual who has received a NICET Level III or IV Technician Certification in "Fire Protection Engineering Technology Automatic Sprinkler System Layout" and who is an employee of a fire sprinkler contractor who has been issued a qualifying party certificate. The legislation establishes provisions for grandfathering in certain individuals as primary qualifying parties for fire sprinkler contractors. Licensees may be held accountable by the board for improper work. The legislation provides for disciplinary actions for misconduct as well as a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars for each violation. The House amended and approved H.3525. This bill establishes CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH MUNICIPALITIES ARE TO EXTEND SEWER AND WATER SERVICES. The bill provides that, upon the written request of a property owner requesting the municipality to extend water or sewer service, the municipality shall provide the service and levy an assessment against the property of the owner requesting the service for the costs of the service. The property owner shall agree to pay the costs either by (1) paying the costs before the municipality begins construction or (2) insuring the costs in the form of a performance bond before the municipality begins construction. This legislation applies only to property located within the corporate limits of a municipality. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3840, a bill that PROHIBITS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDERS FOR ENTERING INTO CERTAIN EXCLUSIVE ARRANGEMENTS. This bill provides that no communications service provider or parent, subsidiary, or affiliate of such a provider may enter into any contract or agreement that requires another person to restrict or limit the ability of any other communications service provider from obtaining easements or rights-of-way for the installation of facilities or equipment to provide communications services in this state or otherwise deny or restrict access to the real property by any other communications service provider. The bill prohibits the offering of grants, incentives, or rewards to an owner of real property or the owner's agent that are contingent upon the provision of communications service on the premises by a single communications service provider. All contracts, agreements, or arrangements in violation of these provisions that are made on or after the effective date of this legislation are void and unenforceable. A communications service provider who violates this legislation is subject to a monetary penalty of not less than twenty-five dollars nor more than five hundred dollars for each offense and reasonable expenses including attorneys' fees. Each day that an unlawful contract, agreement, or arrangement remains in effect constitutes a separate violation. The bill also provides that no communications service provider shall be obligated to provide any communications service to the occupants of a property if an owner or developer of any multi-tenant business or residential property (including apartments, condominiums, subdivisions, office buildings, or office parks) either: (1) permits only one provider of communications service to install its facilities or equipment during the construction phase of the property; (2) accepts or agrees to accept incentives or rewards from a provider of communications service to the owner, developer, or occupants of the property that are contingent upon the provision of communications service by that provider to the exclusion of other providers; (3) collects from the occupants of the property charges for the provision of communications service to the occupants in any manner, including through rent, fees, or dues; or (4) enters into an agreement with a communications service provider that violates this legislation's prohibitions on exclusive access to property. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3883, a bill regarding the SALE OF A USED MANUFACTURED HOME IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE SALE OF UNDERLYING REAL ESTATE. This bill exempts from the manufactured housing license requirement a licensed real estate salesman or licensed real estate broker who negotiates or attempts to negotiate the sale or other disposition of a used manufactured or mobile home in conjunction with the sale or other disposition of the underlying real estate. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3853. This bill expands QUALIFICATIONS FOR LICENSURE AS A REAL ESTATE BROKER, SALESPERSON, OR PROPERTY MANAGER by providing for criminal record reports and the provision of evidence to satisfy the commission that applicant possesses the competency, honesty, truthfulness, integrity, and general moral character necessary to protect the public interest and promote public confidence in the real estate brokerage business. The commission must notify an applicant who has an unsatisfactory examination and investigation. The applicant has sixty days from the date of notification to respond. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3479. This bill revises criteria for issuance of ASBESTOS ABATEMENT licenses by altering the definitions of "asbestos abatement entity" and "asbestos project". The bill eliminates existing licensure fee provisions and, instead, authorizes the Department of Health and Environmental Control to establish such fees in regulation that are sufficient to cover reasonable costs of administering the asbestos program. The bill increases the maximum civil penalty for violations from one thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3832, the "LEWIS BLACKMAN HOSPITAL PATIENT SAFETY ACT". This bill requires each hospital staff member whose duties include the personal care or medical treatment of patients to wear badges clearly stating their name, their department and their job or trainee title. All clinical trainees, medical students, interns, and resident physicians must be explicitly identified on their badges. The identifying information must be clearly visible and must be stated in terms or abbreviations reasonably understandable to the average person. Except in emergency admissions, a hospital is required to provide each patient with written information about the role of clinical trainees, medical students, interns, and resident physicians in patient care. The patient must be notified that the attending physician is the person responsible for the patient's care in the hospital. The notification must state generally whether medical students, interns, or resident physicians may be participating in a patient's care, making treatment decisions, or performing surgery. If at any time a patient or the patient's representative requests that a nurse call his or her attending physician, the nurse is required to place a call to inform the attending physician of the patient's concerns. If the patient or his designee wants to speak to the attending physician, the nurse must provide the telephone number and assist in making the call. Each hospital must provide a mechanism that the patient can use to get prompt assistance for urgent patient care concerns. A description of this mechanism must be included in the patient notification. This legislation does not create a civil cause of action. However, the legislation must not be construed to preclude a claim that may have otherwise been asserted under common law or any other provision of law. Also, the provisions of this legislation do not apply to hospitals owned or operated by the Department of Mental Health. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3582. This bill updates the CHILDHOOD LEAD POISONING PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT and makes technical changes to conform to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions and program standards as well as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for lead based substances.
The bill also requires a laboratory doing business in this State to notify the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) of the results of any blood lead analyses conducted on children under six years old. The report must be made to DHEC within 30 days of the analysis. In addition, the bill updates the procedures for the issuance and execution of an administrative warrant to investigate a property involving a lead poisoning case to be consistent with the way DHEC handles investigations in other areas. This bill also provides, in addition to a penalty imposed by a magistrate for a misdemeanor violation, anyone who violates a provision of this article or a final determination or order of DHEC is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000 dollars. The provisions of this legislation are contingent upon the appropriation of state general funds or the availability of financial support from other sources to support the program. Currently, the CDC provides funding for most of DHEC's lead poisoning prevention efforts. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3640, relating to the PREPARATION OF GROUND BEEF BY A FOOD-SERVICE PROVIDER. The Department of Health and Environmental Control regulations require retail food establishments to cook ground beef and any food containing ground beef so that all parts of the food are heated to at least 155°F. This bill will allow a customer to order ground beef to be cooked to a lower temperature. The bill specifies a food service provider will not be liable for any adverse affects for providing ground beef cooked less than 155ºF, if it is at the request of the customer. The provider must notify the customer in advance of the possible health risk. The warning may be given in writing; as stated on the menu; or by visible sign warning. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3318. The bill allows the BOARD OF COSMETOLOGY TO APPROVE CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES TAKEN OUT OF STATE. In addition to cosmetologists, the board licenses nail technicians, estheticians, and cosmetology school instructors. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3513, pertaining to FIDELITY BONDS FOR COUNTY OFFICIALS. A fidelity bond is an "honesty bond" that would indemnify a county for loss due to embezzlement, larceny, or gross negligence by a county official or employee holding a position of trust. This bill would permit counties to purchase a fidelity bond covering all county officials who are statutorily required to be bonded and any other officials and or employees that a county may feel necessary. Currently, new individual bonds are required to be purchased anytime there is turnover because the bonds cover the individual person and not the position the person holds with the county. Blanket fidelity bonds cover county officials' positions rather than individuals and do not need to be repurchased each time there is turnover. This bill also permits counties to bond county officials and employees for an amount higher than is currently statutorily required. There is nothing that currently prevents counties from doing this, however this bill clarifies that counties are able to do so. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3674, a bill AUTHORIZING THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE BOARD OF DENTISTRY TO ISSUE LICENSES BY CREDENTIALS TO PRACTICE DENTISTRY. This bill will allow, but not require, the Board of Dentistry to issue a license to an applicant from any state or territory of the United States, if the applicant is at least 21 and has graduated from a dental college approved by the board and:
The board will be allowed to conduct examinations and interviews with an applicant to determine the applicant's fitness to practice dentistry in South Carolina. If the licensee from another state or territory does not establish an active practice within two years, the license will automatically be revoked. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3301. This bill provides that the $50,000 HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION PROVIDED TO PERSONS OVER SIXTY-FIVE YEARS AND TO PERSONS WHO ARE DISABLED, MUST BE INDEXED TO INFLATION in the same manner and percentage that federal income tax brackets are adjusted to reflect increases in the consumer price index. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3453, regarding PROPERTY TAXES ON CERTAIN BOATS. The bill provides that a boat on which the interest portion of indebtedness is deductible under the IRS Code as an interest expense on a qualified primary or second residence is also a primary or second residence for purposes of ad valorem taxation in South Carolina and is considered real property for property tax purposes. This provision would change the assessment ratio on these boats from 10.5% to 6%. The bill provides an exemption from property taxes for an amount of the fair market value of any watercraft sufficient to limit to one thousand, five hundred dollars the total property tax on the watercraft for a property tax year. The bill provides criteria under which a trailer used for camping a recreational travel that is pulled by a motor vehicle is to be considered real property rather than personal property for property tax purposes. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3305, a bill which AUTHORIZES MONTHLY INSTALLMENT PAYMENTS OF REAL PROPERTY TAXES. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3885. This bill OFFERS INCENTIVES TO MANUFACTURING, WAREHOUSING, AND DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES WHO INCREASE THEIR BASE PORT CARGO BY A MINIMUM OF 5% OVER 2005 TOTALS. The bill allows companies to take one of two tax credits: (1) an additional $500 tax credit for each new job created or (2) an additional 2% investment tax credit for investments in new facilities, plant, and equipment. In addition, for every incremental 2.5% over the minimum 5%, companies may take either (1) an additional $250 tax credit for each new job created, up to a maximum of $1,500, or (2) an additional 1% investment tax credit, up to a maximum of 6%. In order to be eligible for the credit, base year port cargo volume must be at least 75 tons of noncontainerized cargo or ten loaded TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units). Companies may only take one of the credits. These credits are capped at $8 million with an additional $2 million discretionary for the Coordinating Council. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3673. This bill revises numerous provisions regarding PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING. As reported by the Committee, the bill:
The bill further provides that a person 16 years of age or younger may not operate, ride, or otherwise be propelled on an ATV within this State unless the person wears a safety helmet and eye protection meeting United States Department of Transportation standards for motorcycles.
Under the bill, ATVs are exempt from ad valorem personal property taxes beginning January 1, 2005.
The restrictions in this legislation apply to operation of an ATV's on those lands open to the public.
Under the bill, it is unlawful to operate an ATV except in compliance with the local regulations and restrictions for an ATV operation. The bill requires a person 16 years of age or younger must be accompanied by an adult.
The bill further provides that it is unlawful to operate an ATV between one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise unless it is equipped with operational headlights, and they are on.
Under the bill, it is unlawful to cross an unbridged stream except at a designated ford or crossing. Riding in any water bodies or watercourses is unlawful.
The bill requires that an ATV have an effective muffler system in good working condition; a United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service approved spark arrester in good working condition, and a brake system in good operating condition.
Under this bill, it is unlawful to operate an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. The bill provides that it is unlawful to operate an ATV in a negligent or reckless manner. Also, it is unlawful to operate an ATV in a manner that damages flora or fauna, roads, trails, firebreaks, signs, gates, guardrails, bridges, fencing, or other public property.
The bill provides that no governmental entity and no property owner is liable for injuries or damage resulting from an ATV operation on lands open to the public for an ATV operation. Under this legislation, the State is absolutely immune from liability for any injury or damage as a result of operating an ATV on any lands at any time.
Violations of this legislation, unless otherwise specified, are misdemeanors punishable by a fine of not less than $50 dollars nor more than $200 dollars. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3724, a bill which AMENDS THE TAX INCREMENT FINANCING ACT FOR COUNTIES by extending the application of the Act to more rural areas and by adding additional elements to development projects necessary to assist such rural areas. The bill adds to the factors which may lead to an area's designation of "blighted," areas which are impaired by presence of or potential environmental hazard; lack of storm drainage; and inadequate transportation infrastructure. The bill adds to the factors which may lead to an area's designation of "conservation area," presence of or potential environmental hazard; lack of storm drainage; inadequate transportation infrastructure; agricultural foreclosures; static or declining agricultural land rental rates; depopulation; area-wide economic decline; or static per capita income. The bill also expands the definition of a "sprawl area" which is a rural development zone, and expands the definition of "redevelopment plan," "redevelopment project," "redevelopment project area," and "redevelopment project costs." The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3819, a bill relating to the PARTICIPATION OF DISABLED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN STATE HEALTH/DENTAL INSURANCE. This bill provides that a law enforcement officer employed by an entity whose employees are eligible for state insurance plans who is permanently disabled in the line of duty and whose employment is terminated as a result of the disability is eligible for state health and dental insurance plans and state-paid premiums. The House returned S.418 to the Senate with amendments. This legislation authorizes and provides for the CREATION AND ISSUANCE OF "ARTS AWARENESS" SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES. These special plates would be sold for a biennial fee of seventy dollars, in addition to the regular license plate fee. After deducting funds to defray the costs of producing and administering the plates, remaining funds from sale of the plates would go to the South Carolina Arts Commission and be used to support activities that "build a thriving arts environment in South Carolina." The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3340, a joint resolution authorizing PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING TO DEVELOP ENERGY SAVINGS PLANS which over an average ten-year period will realize tangible savings in utilities cost more than the cost of the funds expended to make the improvements. The bill also encourages institutions implementing such plans to use the South Carolina Energy Office's ConserFund Program and the Master Lease Plan of the State Treasurer's Office. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3827, pertaining to COASTAL TIDELANDS AND WETLANDS. This bill relates to the authority of the Department of Health and Environmental Control to permit or deny alteration or utilization within coastal tidelands and wetlands areas designated as critical areas. Under this bill, a survey delineating coastal waters or wetlands must include in bold type the following statement: "The area shown on this plat is a representation of department permit authority on the subject property. Critical areas by their nature are dynamic and subject to change over time. By delineating the permit authority of the department, the department in no way waives its right to assert permit jurisdiction at any time in any critical area on the subject property, whether shown hereon or not." Current law provides that a critical area line established expires after three years from the department date on the survey; this bill increases that time frame from three years to five years. The bill also provides an exception for eroding coastal stream banks where it can be expected that the line will move due to the meandering of the stream before the expiration of the five- year time limit and where manmade alterations change the critical area line. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3615. This bill relates to the PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE, so as to conform current law to the statutory organizational framework for boards under the administration of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The bill provides for the licensure and regulation of veterinarians and veterinary technicians including, but not limited to the following: establishing an investigative review committee, revising procedures for conducting hearings, providing for licensure by endorsement, authorizing student preceptor programs, providing procedures for veterinarians if an animal is abandoned in their custody, providing for a lien on an animal when payment for care is not made, and establishing certain standards for emergency veterinary care facilities and mobile veterinary facilities. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4003, a bill that provides for safety criteria that a CATAPULTING AMUSEMENT RIDE must meet before the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation may issue a permit The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3240, relating to the GRAIN DEALERS GUARANTY FUND. Current law authorized the Insurance Reserve Fund of the State Budget and Control Board to lend an amount up to four million two hundred thousand dollars on a one-time basis to the South Carolina Department of Agriculture for the use of the Grain Dealers Guaranty Fund. This bill provides that when all monies received from the Insurance Reserve Fund or State General Fund have been paid, the rate of assessment shall drop from two cents each bushel to one cent each bushel. This bill also creates a committee to study the grain dealers and grain producers guaranty funds; before January 14, 2006, the committee must report to the General Assembly on steps necessary to make the funds more efficient and equitable. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3235. This bill relates to DROUGHT RESPONSE AND THE CURTAILMENT OF NONESSENTIAL WATER USE DURING SEVERE OR EXTREME DROUGHT. Under this bill, certain agricultural purposes are considered essential water use and are exempt from mandatory curtailment of nonessential water uses. The bill further provides that water used for human health and safety has the highest priority in the essential water category. The House approved S.719 and enrolled the joint resolution for ratification. This joint resolution authorizes the Department of Corrections to utilize INMATE LABOR until July 1, 2007, to perform any portion of the construction or renovation, or both, of a food service facility at the Stevenson Correctional Institution and the relocation of a 96 bed housing unit from the former Greenwood work release facility to the Stevenson Correctional Institution. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3963, a bill that designates the portion of United States Highway 17 located in Colleton County as ACE BASIN SCENIC PARKWAY.
The bill also provides that any person required to register as a sex offender is prohibited from living in campus student housing at a public institution of higher learning supported in whole or in part by the State.
S.137 FAMILY COURT MAY ORDER THAT CUSTODY OF A MINOR CHILD BE AWARDED TO THE CHILD'S 'DE FACTO CUSTODIAN' UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES Sen. Hayes
Under this bill, the Family Court may order that custody of a minor child be awarded to the child's de facto custodian under certain circumstances. 'De facto custodian' means, unless the context requires otherwise, a person who has been shown by clear and convincing evidence to have been the primary caregiver for and financial supporter of a child who: (1) has resided with the person for a period of six months or more if the child is under three years of age, or (2) has resided with the person for a period of one year or more if the child is three years of age or older. Any period of time after a legal proceeding has been commenced by a parent seeking to regain custody of the child shall not be included in determining whether the child has resided with the person for the required minimum period. No proceeding to establish whether a person is a de facto custodian may be brought concerning a child in the custody of the Department of Social Services. S.139 "UNIFORM CHILD CUSTODY JURISDICTION AND ENFORCEMENT ACT" Sen. Hayes
This bill revises procedures for establishing and enforcing child custody and visitation when one of the parties resides in this State and the other does not. The legislation repeals the current Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act. S.161 INCREASED PENALTIES FOR UNLAWFUL SALE OF BEER, WINE OR ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS TO A MINOR Sen. Elliott
This bill increases penalties for the unlawful sale of beer, wine or alcoholic liquors to a minor. In addition to other penalties, this bill requires for a first offense that a person attend a server education course approved by the South Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. Under this bill, a second offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 dollars or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in the discretion of the court. A third or subsequent offense is punishable by a fine of not less than $2,000 or imprisonment not more than two years, or both, in the discretion of the court. S.370 COSTS AND ATTORNEYS FEES FOR ELECTION PROTESTS AND QUALIFIED CIVIL IMMUNITY FOR POLL WORKERS Sen. Hawkins
This bill provides for an award for costs and attorney fees associated with an election protest if the proceeding is frivolous. Under this bill, a poll worker, whether or not compensated, while acting pursuant to or in furtherance of the holding or conduct of an election, shall be immune from personal civil liability for any act or omission when the act or omission is done or made in good faith and does not constitute gross negligence, recklessness, willfulness, or wantonness. S.578 USE OF THE COMPUTER BY A COUNTY FOR DRAWING AND SUMMONING JURORS Sen. Martin
At the discretion of the governing body of the county, this bill allows jury commissioners to use a computer for drawing and summoning jurors. Computer software employed for the purpose of drawing and summoning jurors must be designed so as to ensure a random selection of jurors from the population available for jury service. The physical presence of all the jury commissioners is not required at the computerized drawing and summoning of jurors, if the governing body of the county establishes a secure procedure allowing for their participation by other means. The computerized drawing and summoning of jurors must take place in the office of the clerk of court as a public event to ensure the absolute integrity of the random selection process. The Supreme Court shall direct by order procedures required to implement these provisions. The bill also requires a clerk of court to use one of the following methods for drawing the names of jurors for the purpose of impaneling a jury: (1) drawing of the names of jurors by a responsible and impartial person designated by the clerk of court, with the approval of the presiding judge; or (2) drawing of the names of jurors by computer. S.417 "UNIFORM INTERSTATE FAMILY SUPPORT ACT" Sen. Hayes
This bill replaces the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act with the most current version of the legislation. This bill provides uniform legislation to assist with the interstate enforcement of support, including civil and criminal enforcement procedures. S.596 UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKETS Sen. Sheheen
Under this bill, a law enforcement agency may utilize computers and other electronic devices to issue uniform traffic citations and store information resulting from the issuance of a traffic citation if this method of issuing a citation has been approved by the Department of Public Safety. A law enforcement agency that issues uniform traffic tickets in an electronic format may generate a printed copy of this ticket by using an in-car data terminal. A copy of the ticket must be given to the offender. The agency may then transmit the ticket data electronically to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for its records and for audit purposes, the law enforcement agency by which the arresting officer is employed, and the trial officer for his/her records. If any of these entities does not have the capability to accept the ticket data solely using electronic means, the arresting agency must provide the entity with a printed copy of the ticket generated by the in-car data terminal. Data transmissions to the DMV must be made pursuant to that agency's electronic system specifications. Printed copies provided to the DMV must meet that agency's document processing requirements.
The bill further requires that each ticket shall have a unique identifying number. Each printed copy must be labeled at the bottom with the purpose of the copy. A handwritten traffic ticket must consist of four copies; current law requires five copies. An electronic traffic ticket must consist of at least one, blue printed copy that must be given to the vehicle operator who is the alleged traffic violator and as many as three additional white printed copies if needed to communicate with the DMV, the police agency, and the trial officer.
S.654 FIREARMS Sen. Campsen
In order to purchase a pistol, current law requires that the purchaser complete an application in triplicate providing certain information such as: name, address, date of birth, social security number, and driver's license number. This bill deletes the requirement for the application. Relating to the issuance, duration, conditions placed on, and forfeiture of a firearms retail dealer's license, this bill deletes the provision that requires a record to be made of every pistol sold on a firearm transaction form. Current law requires a dealer to make available for inspection by the State Law Enforcement Division all records he/she is required to maintain; this bill deletes this requirement. This bill also deletes a provision that penalizes a licensed dealer for giving false information on an application for purchase or transfer of a firearm. S.659 CONCEALABLE WEAPONS PERMITS Sen. Campsen
This bill revises the procedure for renewing a concealable weapons permit; a permit is valid for four years. Under this bill, the State Law Enforcement Division shall renew a permit upon payment of a $50 dollar renewal fee; the fee must be waived for disabled veterans and retired law enforcement officers. The bill also requires the completion of the renewal application and submission of a photocopy of the applicant's valid South Carolina driver's license or identification card. S.681 CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS Sen. Moore
With regards to campaign practices, this bill amends the definition of the term 'campaign finance contributions' so as to provide that contributions expended to influence the outcome of an elective office, which do not expressly advocate a vote for or against a candidate, but which, when taken in context have no reasonable meaning other than to urge the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate must be disclosed in the same manner as contributions disclosed pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §8-13-1308(F) but are not subject to the contribution limits of S.C. Code Ann. §8-13-1322. The bill also amends the definition of the term 'contribution.' Under the bill, a contribution does not include volunteer personal services on behalf of a candidate or committee for which the volunteer or any person acting on behalf of or instead of the volunteer receives no compensation either in cash or in-kind, directly or indirectly, from any source. H.3976 "SOUTH CAROLINA NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY TO CURE NONRESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION DEFECTS ACT" Rep. Harrison
This bill outlines procedures for right to cure nonresidential construction defects before a civil action or other remedy provided by law or contract may be instituted or continued. H.3988 CONTRACT OF SALE AND BOND FOR TITLE MUST HAVE A DERIVATION CLAUSE BEFORE IT IS ACCEPTED FOR RECORDING Rep. Huggins
This bill requires that a derivation clause be included on a contract of sale or bond for title of real property before it is accepted for recording. For purposes of this legislation, 'contract of sale' or 'bond for title' is the conveyance of real property by a grantor who finances the sale and retains title as security for the debt. H.3990 PROVISIONS FOR ADOPTEE TO OBTAIN A COPY OF HIS OR HER ORIGINAL RECORD OF BIRTH Rep. Toole
This bill provides that an adoptee 21 years of age or older may obtain a copy of his or her original record of birth from the State Registrar, unless within the past three years the adoptee's birth parent has filed a notarized form with the State Registrar prohibiting release of identifying information. The bill requires a birth parent to be given information about prohibiting release of such information at the time of executing a consent or relinquishment for adoption. This bill applies to adoptions finalized after June 30, 2005, and applies to all other adoptions beginning July 1, 2009. The bill also requires the State Registrar to carry out a public service campaign educating the public about the provisions of this legislation. H.3992 "SOUTH CAROLINA RED LIGHT RUNNING ACT" Rep. Hamilton
This bill authorizes local governments to adopt ordinances for the civil enforcement of certain traffic laws by the use of traffic control signal monitoring systems. The bill grants summary courts jurisdiction over noncriminal traffic citations. A violation detected solely by a traffic control signal monitoring system is deemed a noncriminal violation for which a civil penalty shall be assessed. No court costs, assessments, or surcharges may be assessed against the owner or driver of the vehicle, and no points may be assigned to the owner or driver of the vehicle. A civil penalty may not exceed $100 dollars. H.4004 SHORT-TERM VEHICLE SECURED LOANS Rep. Howard
This bill pertains to short-term vehicle secured loans. Under this bill, a secured party's exclusive remedy in the event of default is repossession, by judicial process and in the presence of a law enforcement officer, and sale. The bill further requires the secured party to remit the excess derived from the sale to the borrower. H.4013 "SOUTH CAROLINA STARVATION AND DEHYDRATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES PREVENTION ACT" Rep. Clark
This bill provides a presumption that every person legally incapable of making health care decisions has directed to be provided with nutrition and hydration sufficient to sustain life. The bill provides for certain exceptions, including, among other things, that providing nutrition and hydration is not medically possible or would hasten death or that there is clear and convincing evidence that the person, when capable, gave contrary directives. The bill provides for injunctive relief in the event a person in violation of these provisions.
The bill provides a property tax exemption for both real and personal property from school operating millage not otherwise exempt.
The bill revises provisions of the Education Finance Act, including revising the manner in which weightings are determined
The bill includes a provision which requires that beginning with fiscal year 2007, the General Assembly in the annual appropriations act with general fund revenue must appropriate sufficient revenues to provide allocations to school districts based on the full amount of the base student cost.
The bill provides for a referendum in counties in which the local option sales tax is currently imposed to determine whether to rescind the tax.
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