South Carolina House of Representatives
Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH
Room 213, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C. 29211, (803) 734-3230
NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES 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. THEY 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.
S.384 provides that a minor under the age of eighteen years must not purchase, attempt to purchase, possess, or attempt to possess a tobacco product, or present or offer proof of age that is false or fraudulent for the purpose of purchasing or possessing a tobacco product. A minor who knowingly violates this provision commits a non-criminal offense and is subject to a civil fine of twenty-five dollars. In lieu of the civil fine, the court may require a minor to successfully complete a Department of Health and Environmental Control approved smoking cessation or tobacco prevention program, or to perform not more than five hours of community service for a charitable institution. If a minor fails to pay the civil fine, successfully complete a required program, or perform the required hours of community service, the court may restrict the minor's driving privileges to driving only to and from school, work, and church, or as the court considers appropriate for a period of ninety days. If the minor does not have a driver's license or permit, the court may delay the issuance of the minor's driver's license or permit for a period of ninety days. A law enforcement officer may use a uniform traffic ticket for a violation of this provision. The law enforcement officer must immediately seize the tobacco product and notify a minor's parent, guardian, or custodian of the minor's offense, if reasonable, within ten days of the issuance of the uniform traffic ticket. This provision does not apply to the possession of a tobacco product by a minor working within the course and scope of his duties as an employee or participating within the course and scope of an authorized inspection or compliance check.
Jurisdiction to hear a violation of these provisions is vested exclusively in the municipal court and the magistrate's court.
S.384 also requires a retail establishment that distributes tobacco products to train all retail sales employees regarding the unlawful distribution of tobacco products to minors. House Resolution H.4575 was adopted setting H.4450, a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of South Carolina relating to PROPERTY TAX REFORM, for special order on Wednesday, February 8, 2006. Under the resolution, H.4449, relating to statutory property tax reform, is set for special order immediately following second reading or other consideration of H.4450. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4429, regarding the SCHOOL TERM. This bill repeals current sections of law regarding school terms, makeup days, and minimum hours and use of school days. The bill provides each local school district board the authority to establish an annual school calendar for teachers, staff, and students. The bill provides that the statutory school term is 190 days annually and shall consist of a minimum of 180 days of instruction covering at least nine calendar months.
Beginning with the 2007-2008 school year, the bill provides that the opening date for students must not be before the third Monday in August, except for schools operating on a year-round modified school calendar. The bill allows for three days for professional development; two days for preparation of opening of schools; and five days for teacher planning, academic plans, and parent conferences. The bill does not require uniformity of instructional hours in an instructional day among the schools in a district.
The bill requires that all school days missed because of snow, extreme weather conditions, or other disruptions must be made up, and provides for school districts to designate three days to be used in such instances as make-up days. If those designated days are no longer available, the local school board may lengthen the hours of school operation or operate schools on Saturday, as provided in the bill.
The bill allows the General Assembly by law to waive the requirements of making up missed days or, by law, to authorize the school board to forgive up to three days missed because of these weather conditions or other disruptions.
The bill requires that the instructional day for secondary students must be at least six hours a day, or its equivalent weekly, excluding lunch, and the school day for elementary students must be at least six hours a day or its equivalent weekly, including lunch. The bill allows elementary and secondary schools to reduce the length of the instructional day to not less than three hours on not more than three days each school year for staff development, teacher conferences, or the administering of certain examinations.
The bill requires that priority during the instructional day be given to teaching and learning tasks.
The bill authorizes and provides for the State Board of Education to waive the school opening date requirement on a showing of "good cause" or for an "educational purpose" as those terms are defined in the bill. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4046, a bill establishing a TWELVE-YEAR REPLACEMENT CYCLE FOR THE STATE SCHOOL BUS FLEET and providing for GRANTS FOR TRANSPORTATION TO ALTERNATE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. The bill provides that, with funds appropriated by the General Assembly, the State Board of Education shall implement a school bus replacement cycle to replace approximately one-twelfth of the fleet each year, resulting in a complete replacement of the fleet every twelve years. The bill also provides that, with funds appropriated by the General Assembly, the department shall establish a grant program to fund transportation of students to alternate public schools such as charter schools, vocational second and third choice schools, magnet schools, Montessori schools, international baccalaureate schools, and English as a second language schools. Those districts having alternate public schools may apply to the department for grants funds to pay for the additional cost of transporting students to these schools. The House amended S.1026, regarding THE APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS TO PREVENT A DEFICIT IN THE GENERAL FUND and returned the joint resolution to the Senate. This joint resolution appropriates $104,934,400 from 2004-05 general fund surplus revenues for the purpose of preventing an accumulated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) deficit in that amount in the State General Fund. The resolution also APPROPRIATES $13,094,604 FROM FISCAL YEAR 2004-2005 STATE GENERAL FUND REVENUES TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FOR SCHOOL BUS OPERATIONS, to include the purchase of bus parts and fuel for the school bus fleet. The House amended Senate amendments to H.3381, "SOUTH CAROLINA LANDOWNER AND ADVERTISING PROTECTION AND PROPERTY VALUATION ACT",and returned the bill to the Senate. The legislation provides for the conditions under which a local governing body may require the removal of an off-premises outdoor advertising sign that is nonconforming under a local ordinance and otherwise regulate the use of billboards within its jurisdiction. In its amendment, the House eliminated a provision passed by the Senate under which a local governing body would not be authorized to issue a permit allowing any off-premises outdoor advertising sign for any period longer than ten years. The House retained a Senate provision that prohibits a billboard for an adult or sexually-oriented business from being located within one mile of a public highway. The House also retained, with certain revisions in terminology, criteria that the Senate added in provisions used for determining fair compensation. The House approved S.617 and enrolled the joint resolution for ratification. This joint resolution proposes an AMENDMENT TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION AUTHORIZING THE INVESTMENT OF STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEMS FUNDS IN FOREIGN CORPORATIONS. The legislation proposes to submit to the voters at the next general election the question of whether the provisions of the South Carolina Constitution relating to the equity securities investments allowed for funds of the various state-operated retirement systems should be amended so as to eliminate the restrictions limiting investments in equity securities to those of American-based corporations. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4319, relating to FLAGS FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF ON THE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING. This bill provides that the flags atop the State Capitol Building must be flown at half-staff for a period of 30 days from the date of death of the President or a former President; for a period of 10 days from the date of death of the vice president, the Chief Justice, or a retired Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, or the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; and from the date of death through the date of internment of an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, or a secretary of a federal executive or military department, or a former vice president. Upon the occurrence of an extraordinary event resulting in death or upon the death of a person of extraordinary stature, the bill provides that the Governor may order that the flags atop the State Capitol Building be lowered to half-staff at a designated time or for a designated period of time. The bill authorizes the Governor to order the flags atop the State Capitol Building to be lowered to half-staff for the same designated time when an act of the United States Congress or a presidential order is issued to lower flags to half-staff over federal buildings. The bill further provides that flags atop the State Capitol Building, when flown at half-staff must first be hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flags must be again raised to the peak before they are lowered for the day. The House approved S.947 and enrolled the joint resolution for ratification. This legislation provides for REAUTHORIZATION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA FIRST STEPS TO SCHOOL READINESS ACT until July 1, 2013. (The 1999 Act includes a provision that the act is repealed July 1, 2007, unless reauthorized by the General Assembly.) The House approved and sent to the Senate Joint Resolution H.4406 also regarding REAUTHORIZATION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA FIRST STEPS TO SCHOOL READINESS ACT. This joint resolution also reauthorizes the provisions of this act until July 1, 2013. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4446. This bill allows a MORATORIUM ON STATE CORPORATE INCOME TAXES OR INSURANCE PREMIUM TAXES to a taxpayer who makes a prescribed minimum investment in this State and who creates a prescribed minimum number of jobs in a qualifying county. The House amended, approved and sent to the Senate H.3414, pertaining to the TABULATION OF ABSENTEE BALLOTS. The bill provides the tabulation and counting of absentee ballots may begin at 9:00 a.m. instead of 2:00 p.m. The bill further provides that the results of the tabulation must not be publicly reported until after the polls are closed. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3720. This bill relates to ABSENTEE VOTING BY ARMED SERVICES PERSONNEL DURING A MILITARY EMERGENCY. As used in this bill, 'emergency' means a war, conflict, military action, or military mobilization outside the continental United States in which United States forces are involved that would make it impractical for a South Carolina citizen serving in the United States armed services to register to vote or vote in person in the normal manner. The bill directs the State Election Commission to take all steps necessary including, but not limited to, electronic transmissions, to ensure that any out-of-state resident has the opportunity to receive and cast any ballot he would have been eligible to cast if he had resided and remained in South Carolina. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3721. This bill relates to SUBSTITUTION OF A CANDIDATE WHERE THE PARTY NOMINEE DIES, BECOMES DISQUALIFIED, OR RESIGNS. The bill requires the State Election Commission to review the withdrawal of a candidate in a multi-county election or an election for a member of the General Assembly. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3882, a bill providing for the issuance of YEAR OF MANUFACTURE MOTOR VEHICLE LICENSE PLATES. This bill provides that an owner of a motor vehicle that is thirty years old or older, may apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles to use a license plate issued by this State in the year corresponding to the model year of the vehicle, if the license plate is legible and serviceable, as determined by the department. If the plate is approved, the applicant must submit the regular vehicle registration fee and the special license plate fee in order to have the plate registered for exclusive use on the corresponding vehicle. These fees are collected biennially for renewal. License plates registered in this way may only be transferred to vehicles of the same model year as year the license plate was originally issued. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4513. The STUDY COMMITTEE ON CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISSUES is scheduled to report its recommendations to the General Assembly by February 15, 2006. This bill extends the deadline for the report to the appropriate time after the committee has determined its recommendations. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4533, a bill authorizing a STATE EMPLOYEE TO TRANSFER LEAVE TO EXTEND MATERNITY LEAVE. The bill provides that a state employee may transfer an amount of the employee's accrued annual or sick leave to a specific employee of the same agency to be utilized for absences that have or will occur due to extended maternity leave. Limits are provided for such a transfer. The House approved and enrolled for ratification S.1074, a bill authorizing name changes for the TRI-COUNTY TECHNICAL AND COMMUNITY COLLEGE Commission and District.
The full committee did not meet this week.
The full committee did not meet this week.
The Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday, January 31, 2006. H.3881 received a favorable with amendment report. This bill enacts the "SOUTH CAROLINA PRIORITY INVESTMENT ACT." Current law provides that a local comprehensive plan of local planning commissions must include certain elements. This bill amends the housing element requirement so as to require an analysis to ascertain unnecessary housing regulatory requirements that add to the cost of developing affordable housing but are not necessary to protect the public. The bill further provides that the housing element must include an analysis of market-based incentives that may be made available to encourage development of affordable housing.
The bill requires these comprehensive plans to include a transportation element that considers transportation facilities, including major road improvements, new road construction, transit projects, pedestrian and bicycle projects, and other elements of a transportation network.
The bill also requires these comprehensive plans to include a priority investment element that analyzes the likely federal, state, and local funds available for public infrastructure and facilities during the next 10 years and recommends the projects for expenditure of those funds during the next 10 years for needed public infrastructure and facilities such as water, sewer, roads and schools. The recommendation of those projects for public expenditure must be done through cooperation with adjacent and relevant jurisdictions and agencies.
The bill provides definitions for several terms related to these comprehensive plans, including: priority investment zone; affordable housing; market-based incentives; traditional neighborhood design; and unnecessary housing regulatory requirements. H.4301, the "PROTECTION OF PERSONS AND PROPERTY ACT," received a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee. The stated intent of the legislation is to codify the common law Castle Doctrine which recognizes that a person's home is his castle and to extend the doctrine to include an occupied vehicle and the person's place of business. Under certain circumstances, this bill authorizes the lawful use of deadly force against an intruder or attacker in a person's dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle. The bill provides that there is no duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he has a right to be, including the person's place of business, and the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily injury, or the commission of a violent crime. A person who lawfully uses deadly force is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action and may not be arrested unless probable cause exists that the deadly force used was unlawful. S.141, relating to the REQUIREMENTS FOR A NAME CHANGE, received a favorable with amendment report. This bill provides that a petitioner seeking a name change who requests a background check from a law enforcement agency shall sign an affidavit stating he has never been convicted of a crime under a name other than the name in which he is making the request. A surrogate or person representing a petitioner over the age of 18 shall not be allowed to sign the affidavit. The bill provides that a person who knowingly and willfully falsifies the affidavit, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $100 dollars or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both. The bill further provides that a person convicted of an offense requiring registration with the State Law Enforcement Division's Sex Offender Registry, and who knowingly and willfully falsifies the affidavit in order to obtain employment, including employment with a child day care center, or other entity that cares for vulnerable individuals, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for a period of not more than ten years. These provisions do not apply to a person who wishes to resume her maiden name as a result of a domestic action filed in family court. A family court judge may authorize a name change for a person wishing to resume her maiden name in another order including, but not limited to, an order for separate support and maintenance or a final divorce decree. The Judiciary Committee gave a favorable with amendment report to S.293. This bill allows an OFFICER EMPLOYED BY A GEORGIA OR NORTH CAROLINA LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY TO ENTER SOUTH CAROLINA IN FRESH PURSUIT OF A PERSON WHO IS IN FLIGHT from the commission of a criminal offense in the neighboring state and to arrest the person. The bill provides for procedures to (1) determine the lawfulness of the arrest, (2) the release of the person arrested, and (3) the extradition of the arrested person. This provision applies only to law enforcement officers employed by Georgia or North Carolina when the state has enacted a provision similar to this section relating to the arrest and custody of a person pursued into a neighboring state. The authority granted by provision is limited to criminal offenses of the pursuing state that also are criminal offenses under the laws of South Carolina and that are punishable by death or imprisonment in excess of one year under the laws of the pursuing state. H.4239, relating to DUAL OFFICE HOLDING, received a favorable report from the full committee. This joint resolution proposes to submit to voters at the next general election whether or not to amend the State Constitution so that the prohibition against holding two offices does not apply to commissioned law enforcement officers employed by a county and municipal police officers employed in a county in whey they do not reside who hold another office. The full committee gave a favorable with amendment report to H.4319, relating to FLAGS FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF ON THE STATE CAPITOL BUILDING. This bill provides that the flags atop the State Capitol Building must be flown at half-staff for a period of 30 days from the date of death of the President or a former President; for a period of 10 days from the date of death of the vice president, the Chief Justice, or a retired Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, or the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; and from the date of death through the date of internment of an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, or a secretary of a federal executive or military department, or a former vice president. Upon the occurrence of an extraordinary event resulting in death or upon the death of a person of extraordinary stature, the bill provides that the Governor may order that the flags atop the State Capitol Building be lowered to half-staff at a designated time or for a designated period of time. The bill authorizes the Governor to order the flags atop the State Capitol Building to be lowered to half-staff for the same designated time when an act of the United States Congress or a presidential order is issued to lower flags to half-staff over federal buildings. The bill further provides that flags atop the State Capitol Building, when flown at half-staff must first be hoisted to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The flags must be again raised to the peak before they are lowered for the day."
The full committee adjourned debate on the following bills:
The full committee did not meet this week.
The full Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, January 31, 2006. H.3921 received a favorable with amendment report. This bill requires MOBILE DENTAL FACILITIES to register with the Board of Dentistry (Board). A mobile dental facility registrant is required to:
H.3921 further provides that a person or entity not registered with the Board is not entitled to compensation for services. H.3993 received a favorable report from the committee. This bill establishes state EDUCATION STANDARDS FOR VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION COUNSELORS EMPLOYED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION. In absence of a state standard, federal law requires these counselors to have a Master's degree in rehabilitation counseling. The standards in this bill are broader than the federal standard and allow a counselor to have a Master's degree in a related field with relevant coursework. The broader education standard allows the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation the option to hire a less expensive candidate with another Master's degree and pay for relevant coursework when necessary instead of paying the employee to receive a Master's in rehabilitation counseling. H.4313, which establishes a "VIETNAM VETERANS SURVIVORS DAY," was recommitted to Subcommittee IV.
The full committee adjourned debate on the following bills:
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