South Carolina House of Representatives
Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND CONSTITUENT SERVICES
Room 212, 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.
The Senate approved a different version of H.3003. Notably, in addition to photograph identification requirements for voting, the bill as passed by the Senate, includes an early voting procedure that allows all qualified electors to cast ballots during a period of time leading up to an election. The House approved S.434 and enrolled the legislation for ratification. This joint resolution suspends a Fiscal Year 2010-2011 General Appropriations Act provision prohibiting the Department of Health and Human Services from reducing MEDICAID PROGRAM PROVIDER RATES. The legislation authorizes the DHHS director to reduce rates paid to doctors and other providers under the state’s Medicaid Program as a cost saving measure. All proposed rate changes must include estimates of the projected dollar savings by source of funds and the number of providers and clients impacted. Six months after receiving approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement rate changes, DHHS must submit to the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee a report reconciling actual savings by source of funds and actual providers and clients impacted in comparison to the estimate. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3374 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation authorizes South Carolina to enter into an INTERSTATE WILDLIFE VIOLATOR COMPACT that allows member states to coordinate the enforcement of their statutes, laws, ordinances, regulations, and administrative rules relating to management of wildlife resources. The compact allows member states to provide reciprocal recognition of wildlife violations and suspensions of hunting and fishing license privileges. A violator is allowed to accept certain wildlife citations and proceed on the violator’s way without delay whether or not the person is a resident in the state in which the citation was issued, provided that the violator’s home state is a party to the compact. The legislation provides for the Director of the Department of Natural Resources to appoint South Carolina’s Compact Administrator who serves as the state’s representative on the Board of Compact Administrators interstate governing body. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3562, the "ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE SAFETY ACT" also known as "CHANDLER’S LAW". The legislation provides that it is unlawful for the parents or legal guardian of a person less than six years old to knowingly permit that person to operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The legislation further provides that it is unlawful for a parent or legal guardian of a person without a driver’s license and less than sixteen years old to knowingly allow that person to carry a passenger while operating an ATV. Under the bill, it is unlawful to remove from an ATV the required manufacturer Age Restriction Warning Label or for a parent or legal guardian of a person less than sixteen years of age to knowingly allow that person to operate an ATV in violation of the Age Restriction Warning Label affixed by the manufacturer. A person fifteen years of age or younger may not operate, ride, or otherwise be propelled on an all-terrain vehicle within the state unless the person wears a safety helmet. Effective July 1, 2011, every person fifteen years old and younger who operates an all-terrain vehicle must possess a safety certificate indicating successful completion of ‘hands-on’ all-terrain vehicle safety course approved by the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute. The legislation establishes additional restrictions for the operation of ATVs on lands open to the public. The legislation provides that all-terrain vehicles are exempt from ad valorem personal property taxes beginning with calendar year 2011. A violation of the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Act is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not less than fifty nor more than two hundred dollars. The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Act does not apply to: an owner, operator, lessor, or renter of a farm or ranch, or that person’s employees, immediate family, or household members, when operating an all-terrain vehicle while engaged in farming or ranching operations; or a person using an all-terrain vehicle for hunting or trapping purposes if the person otherwise is lawfully engaged in those activities. The bill also establishes procedures for the titling of ATVs. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3431, which enacts "JOHN’S LAW" pertaining to PUBLIC RAILROAD CROSSINGS. This legislation requires the Department of Transportation to publish on its website (1) a list of all public railroad crossings, and (2) the list of railroad crossings programmed for upgrades. Contingent upon the receipt of additional funds for the installation of public railroad signals and gates, the department is directed to increase the number of installations of railroad signals, crossing arms, or both utilizing all funds available for this type of work at dangerous railroad crossings throughout the state. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3013, which ALLOWS A SCHOOL DISTRICT TO BE EXEMPT FROM CERTAIN STATUTES AND REGULATIONS. This legislation provides a mechanism for a local school district to be exempt from statutes and regulations relating to the Education Accountability Act upon meeting certain conditions. The district must apply to the State Board of Education for exemption, but in no case may the board grant exemption from state statute or regulation for four year old education programs. The legislation specifies what the application must include and how the application must be made. The State Board of Education must adopt rules and promulgate regulations regarding application procedures. A local school district that receives an exemption must be evaluated by the State Board after three years to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the students of the district. The legislation provides for suspension of the exemption upon certain conditions. Also, the legislation repeals two other code sections pertaining to exemptions. The legislation further provides that the facilities of any public or nonprofit private college, university, or technical college, which comply with applicable state, county, and local fire codes, may be used without modification for secondary school students in joint or cooperative programs, which include, but are not limited to, middle or early college programs and dual enrollment programs. The House gave second reading approval to H.3735, the "SOUTH CAROLINA INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB FREEDOM ACT." The legislation provides that an incandescent light bulb that is manufactured commercially or privately in this state from basic materials that can be manufactured without the inclusion of any significant parts imported from another state and is offered for sale and sold for use only within the borders of this state is deemed to be in the stream of intrastate commerce, rather than interstate commerce, and is not subject to federal law or federal regulation. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3124, the OMNIBUS SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE BILL. This legislation provides for the issuance of the following license plates: ‘Distinguished Service Medal’ Special License Plate; ‘Second Amendment’ Special License Plate; ‘Historic’ automobile special motor vehicle license plate for use on a private passenger motor vehicle or a motorcycle that is 25 years or older; ‘Distinguished Service Cross’ Special License Plate; ‘Department of the Navy’ Special License Plate; ‘Parents and Spouses of Active Duty Overseas Veterans’ Special License Plates; ‘State Flag’ Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Highway Patrol-Retired’ Special License Plates; ‘Eagle Scouts of America’ Special License Plates; ‘I Support Libraries’ Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Educator’ Special License Plates; ‘Coon Hunters’ Special License Plates; ‘Beach Music’ Special License Plates; Citadel Alumni Association ‘Big Red’ Special License Plates; ‘Largemouth Bass’ Special License Plates; High School Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Wildlife Federation’ Special License Plates; and University of South Carolina Gamecocks 2010 NCAA College World Series Baseball National Championship Special License Plate. The legislation allows a coroner to be issued two special license plates. The legislation allows frames for license plates. With regards to the existing Veteran’s special license plate, this bill allows qualified persons to have the wheelchair symbol placed on this plate as well as allows qualified individuals to have the word ‘disabled’ placed on this plate. The bill allows for the issuance of a third Purple Heart License Plate upon payment of the regular registration fee and a special fee. The bill raises the fee requirements for special license plates to a non-profit. The bill also allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to set $10 dollar special license plate fee if the sponsoring entity does not set fee. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3259, which pertains to OPERATING GOLF CARTS ALONG THE STATE’S HIGHWAYS. The legislation provides that when a golf cart owner’s residence is located within a gated community, the two-mile limit for operating the golf cart on a secondary highway or street must be measured from the community’s entrances and not from the owner’s residence. The legislation also includes provisions for the operation of a golf cart along a secondary highway or street on a sea island. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3582, a bill which revises the ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION IN A SOLICITOR’S TRAFFIC EDUCATION PROGRAM. This bill allows a person to be considered for a traffic education program if he has no significant history of traffic violations. Currently, the person must have no points on his driving record. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3679, relating to TESTING OF CERTAIN OFFENDERS FOR HEPATITIS B AND HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV). This bill further clarifies offenders who must be tested and the time frame that testing must be conducted as well as provides for follow-up testing for HIV when medically appropriate. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4040, a joint resolution EXTENDING THE DEADLINE FOR THE MICROENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT STUDY COMMITTEE TO SUBMIT ITS WRITTEN REPORT from January 20, 2011, to January 20, 2012.
The full Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs Committee did not meet this week.
The full Education and Public Works Committee did not meet this week.
The Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday, April 5, and reported out several bills. H.3342, relating to the OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT, received a favorable report. Among other things, this bill replaces the term "administrative hearing" with the term "contested hearing" with regards to certain hearings before the Office of Motor Vehicles. The bill also increases the filing fee for a contested case from $150 to $200. Funds generated from the collection of this fee must be retained by the Administrative Law Court, provided however, that these funds must first be used to meet the expenses of the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings, including the salaries of its employees, as directed by the chief judge of the Administrative Law Court. The Judiciary Committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation to H.3229. The legislation enacts the "BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES ACT OF 2011" which is charged with (1) developing the State Plan for Behavioral Health Services which must provide for a unified system for the delivery of coordinated, client-centered behavioral health services, and (2) overseeing the administration and delivery of behavioral health services. The Department of Behavioral Health consolidates three entities and is comprised of the Division of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, the Division of Mental Health, and the Division of the Continuum of Care for Emotionally Disturbed Children. The Director of the Department Behavioral Health Services is appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. Among other things, existing boards become advisory to the Department of Behavioral Health Services, and the legislation also creates an advisory board for the Division of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. H.3183, relating to LOBBYING AND ETHICS, received a favorable with amendment report. Relating to the registration and reregistration of lobbyists and lobbyist principals, this bill requires the payment of all outstanding penalties before a lobbyist or lobbyist principal may resume lobbying activities. The bill amends the definition of the term "family member" for the purposes of the Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act, so as to include brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. Relating to the use of one's official position for official gain, this bill replaces certain references to "immediate family" with the broader term "family member". Relating to the authority of the State Ethics Commission to enforce filing requirements and assess penalties for failure to file, the bill caps certain fines at $5,000 and outlines penalties for first, second, and third and subsequent offenses. Relating to penalties for either late filing of or failure to file a report or statement this bill caps certain fines at $5,000, and outlines penalties for first, second and third and subsequent offenses. The Judiciary Committee gave a favorable report to H.3582, a bill which revises the ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR PARTICIPATION IN A SOLICITOR’S TRAFFIC EDUCATION PROGRAM. This bill allows a person to be considered for a traffic education program if he has no significant history of traffic violations. Currently, the person must have no points on his driving record. H.3679, relating to TESTING OF CERTAIN OFFENDERS FOR HEPATITIS B AND HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV), received a favorable report this week. This bill further clarifies offenders who must be tested and the time frame that testing must be conducted as well as provides for follow-up testing for HIV when medically appropriate. H.3127, pertaining to EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS FOR A PERSON WHO HAS RECEIVED A PARDON, received a favorable with amendment report from the Judiciary Committee. This legislation provides that a person who has received a pardon for any crime except criminal sexual conduct or a crime of violence as defined in Section 16-23-10(3), may apply, or cause someone acting on his behalf to apply to the circuit court for an order expunging the records of his arrest and conviction. The full committee gave a favorable with amendment report to H.3543, a bill relating to BENCH WARRANTS. This bill provides that a judge may not issue a bench warrant for failure to appear in court, unless the solicitor or clerk of court has provided notice to the attorney of record before the bench warrant is issued. H.3607 received a favorable with amendment report from the full committee. Relating to ENDORSEMENT AND EXECUTION OF WARRANTS ISSUED IN OTHER COUNTIES OR BY MUNICIPAL AUTHORITIES, this bill provides that a warrant is not required to be endorsed by a magistrate in the county where a person charged with a crime resides or where he is located. The bill includes provisions for serving the warrant under these circumstances. H.3606, relating to ARREST WARRANTS AND COURTESY SUMMONS, received a favorable with amendment report. This legislation provides that an arrest warrant may not be issued for the arrest of a person unless sought by a member of a law enforcement agency acting in their official capacity. If an arrest warrant is sought by someone other than a law enforcement officer, the court must issue a courtesy summons. If a defendant named in a courtesy summons fails to appear before the court pursuant to the summons, the court must issue an arrest warrant for the underlying offense based upon the original sworn statement of the affiant who sought the courtesy summons, provided the sworn statement establishes probable cause that the underlying offense was committed.
The full Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee did not meet this week.
The full Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee did not meet this week.
The Ways and Means Committee met on Tuesday, April 5, and reported out several bills. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3456, a bill that creates the OTHER FUNDS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE to review the state’s "other funds" which are any revenues received by an agency that are not federal funds and are not general funds appropriated by the General Assembly in an appropriations act. The legislation establishes the membership of the eight-member joint legislative committee and charges the committee with examining the source of other funds in this state and recommending to the General Assembly the appropriate policy for the receipt, appropriation, expenditure, and reporting of other funds. The legislation requires all agencies to cooperate with the committee and provides for the State Budget Office to notify the committee of any request for an increase in interim budget authorization. The committee gave a favorable with amendments recommendation to H.3709, a bill TRANSFERRING THE STATE MUSEUM, THE MUSEUM COMMISSION, AND THE ARTS COMMISSION TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PARKS, RECREATION AND TOURISM, placing them under administration and supervision of the department. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3779, bill enacting the "BILL WYLIE ENTREPRENEURSHIP ACT OF 2011" to encourage greater availability of early stage capital for emerging high-growth enterprises in South Carolina by providing for state nonrefundable "angel investor" income tax credits allocated by the Department of Commerce to individuals who make qualified investments in businesses primarily engaged in such endeavors as manufacturing, processing, warehousing, wholesaling, software development, information technology services, and research and development. The committee gave a favorable with amendments report on H.3720, a bill revising ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES. The legislation revises the jobs tax credit requirements of a qualifying service-related facility by decreasing the required numbers of new jobs produced in order for a facility to qualify for the credit. The legislation expands eligibility for the jobs tax credit for a technology intensive facility to include data processing, computer facilities management, other computer-related services, and multi-use facilities. The legislation provides that a corporation establishing a national corporate headquarters or expanding or adding to an existing national corporate headquarters in this state, which adds at least fifty new full-time jobs, shall be exempt from paying state corporate income taxes for a period of ten years. The legislation revises tax credits for providing infrastructure, so as to increase the maximum aggregate credit to four hundred thousand dollars annually. The legislation revises provisions for fee in lieu of taxes arrangements, so as to provide that a county auditor or county assessor may request and obtain any financial books and records from a sponsor that support the sponsor’s tax form or return to verify the calculations of the fee in lieu of taxes tax form or return. The legislation establishes a sales tax exemption for computers, computer equipment, computer hardware and software purchases for a datacenter and electricity used by a datacenter. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3233. This bill revises provisions relating to REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT COSTS, so as to provide that property assembly costs also include the cost of environmental remediation. The committee gave a favorable with amendments report on H.3506, a bill revising ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROVISIONS. This legislation expands eligibility of the job tax credit for technology intensive facilities to include research and development in biotechnology and research and development in physical, engineering, and life sciences. The legislation revises provisions relating to the tax credit for infrastructure improvements for water, wastewater, hydrogen fuel, sewer, gas, steam, electric energy, and communication services, so as to include certain site preparation costs within the definition of infrastructure improvements which give rise to the credit. The legislation specifies that the duration of a fee in lieu of tax arrangement is for a maximum of thirty years rather than for thirty years outright. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3059. This bill revises the INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR PLUG-IN HYBRID VEHICLES by: eliminating the tax credit’s expiration date; revising the definition of qualified vehicles; increasing the maximum aggregate amount of the credit available each fiscal year from two hundred thousand dollars to five hundred thousand dollars; and providing that the credit must be allocated to eligible claimants during a fiscal year on a first-come, first-serve basis. The committee gave a favorable with amendments report on H.3194, a bill allowing a maximum three thousand dollar a year STATE INCOME TAX DEDUCTION FOR VOLUNTEER STATE CONSTABLES designated by the State Law Enforcement Division. The legislation establishes eligibility requirements for this deduction. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3346, a bill authorizing a state TAX CREDIT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF SOLAR ENERGY EQUIPMENT in an amount equal to thirty-five percent of the amounts for specific types of installations. The legislation provides that the credit is authorized against state tax liability that includes income taxes, corporate license taxes, bank and building and loan taxes, and insurance premium taxes. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3488, a bill REVISING SALES TAX PROVISIONS. This legislation revises the sales tax exemption for durable medical equipment by eliminating the provisions that phase in the exemption contingent upon sufficient revenue growth. The legislation revises sales and use tax provisions, so as to provide further for those instances where sales and use tax applies in connection with warranties and service maintenance contracts sold in connection with the sale of tangible personal property. The committee gave a favorable with amendments report on H.3747. This bill provides a SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR BIOLOGICS administered by a physician in a physician’s office. The legislation specifies that biologics are products applicable to the prevention, treatment, or cure of a disease or condition of human beings that are produced using living organisms, materials derived from living organisms, or cellular, subcellular, or molecular components of living organisms. The committee gave a favorable with amendments report on H.3713, a bill that revises provisions for POINT OF SALE TAX REASSESSMENT OF REAL PROPERTY under the South Carolina Real Property Valuation Reform Act (Act No. 388) of 2006. This legislation provides that when a parcel of real property along with any improvements previously subject to property tax is sold or undergoes another assessable transfer of interest and the value of the parcel, as determined at the time of the assessable transfer of interest, is greater than the value of the parcel used in the property tax assessment on the parcel for the most recently completed property tax year, there is allowed an exemption of an amount of the fair market value of the parcel sufficient to eliminate any increase in the value of the parcel. The legislation takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to real property transfers after December 31, 2010. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3083, "THE SOUTH CAROLINA CONSERVATION BANK REAUTHORIZATION ACT". The legislation eliminates the July 1, 2013, sunset date for the South Carolina Conservation Bank and makes permanent other provisions of the Act 200 of 2002, which originally authorized the Conservation Bank. The committee gave a favorable report on H.3063, pertaining to the CALCULATION OF REAL PROPERTY TAX MILLAGE IN A MULTI-COUNTY MUNICIPALITY. The legislation establishes provisions for utilizing a blended millage format in a municipality with boundaries extending into multiple counties that implement countywide appraisal and equalization programs on different schedules. The committee gave a favorable with amendments report on H.3657. This bill establishes minimum continuing education course requirements for COUNTY TAX COLLECTORS. The legislation authorizes a county forfeited land commission to refuse to accept title to property when refusal is in the public interest. The legislation revises provisions relating to delinquent tax sales, so as to provide for the sales date and to increase from three hundred to five hundred dollars the damages for which a defaulting bidder is liable. The committee gave a favorable with amendments report on H.3650. This bill revises provisions relating to CANCELLATION OF A LICENSE PLATE AND REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE WHEN A VEHICLE OWNER MOVES OUT OF STATE and the prorated property tax refund due on that cancellation. The legislation revises provisions relating to the discovery of untaxed property for purposes of property taxes, so as to provide the duties of the assessor with respect to this property. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on H.3934 which revises the application of the MULTI-LOT PROPERTY TAX DISCOUNT available under provisions for the property tax assessment of undeveloped acreage subdivided into lots.
The Legislative Update is on the Worldwide Web. Visit the South Carolina General Assembly Home Page (http://www.scstatehouse.gov) and click on "Publications," then click on "Legislative Update." This will list all of the Legislative Updates by date. Click on the date you need. Also available on the website is a bill summary index, where bills referenced in one or more issues of the Legislative Update are listed in numeric order. Links to the specific text of the Legislative Update issue are provided in the bill summary index.
NOTE: THE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE IS AVAILABLE TO LEGISLATIVE TRACKING SUBSCRIBERS. YOU MAY REGISTER FOR THIS FREE SERVICE ON THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOME PAGE BY CLICKING ON "BILL TRACKING & REPORTS" (UNDER "LEGISLATIVE RESOURCES").