South Carolina House of Representatives
James H. "Jay" Lucas, 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 House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4145, the "SOUTH CAROLINA WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT ACT". The legislation creates a Coordinating Council for Workforce Development within the Department of Commerce to provide centralized oversight and comprehensive planning for the numerous job training initiatives housed in various state agencies as way of maximizing the benefits of these programs. Composed of the Commerce Secretary, the State Superintendent of Education, the Executive Director of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, the Executive Director of the Department of Employment and Workforce, and the Executive Director of the Commission on Higher Education, or their designees, the new Coordinating Council is to work with an advisory group of workforce development stakeholders that has a membership structured to provide representation from the stateís large and small business communities, the nonprofit sector, vocational education programs, the Coordinating Council for Economic Development, local and regional workforce investment boards, and such state agencies as the Department of Social Services, the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Corrections, and the Department of Juvenile Justice. The duties of the Coordinating Council include developing a comprehensive plan for workforce development, maintaining a state database for job training programs, assessing the effectiveness of the various career education and job training initiatives, and recommending policy improvements. The legislation provides for the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education, the Department of Education, the Department of Employment and Workforce, and the Department of Commerce to implement a Pathways Initiative in alignment with the Education and Economic Development Act to improve employment outcomes and address critical workforce development needs statewide. The State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education and the Department of Education shall develop and implement a statewide Pathways to First Careers program to facilitate a seamless transition from education to employment in industries with critical workforce shortages. Funds allocated to the program must be used to provide the necessary infrastructure, including career and technical equipment, facilities, instructional materials, transportation, and tuition grants. Of the funds allocated to the program: (1) at least thirty percent of the funds must be directed to school districts or multi-district career centers lacking adequate career development and workforce readiness programs with priority given to school districts or multi-district career centers with a poverty index of seventy five percent or greater; and (2) remaining funds must be used to establish programs in all regions of the state that confer the necessary skills and training to prepare students for careers in high demand fields and critical need positions in businesses and industries experiencing difficulty recruiting and retaining qualified applicants. The State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education shall coordinate with the Department of Commerce, Department of Employment and Workforce, and the Department of Education to develop and implement a Pathways to New Opportunities program to provide subsidized career training and certification and job placement assistance to adults pursuing careers in high demand jobs in critical need industries throughout the state. The legislation establishes a Workforce Scholarships and Grants Fund administered by the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education for awarding individuals grants of up to ten thousand dollars to address the costs of pursuing career education such as tuition, school fees, textbooks, and school-related transportation expenses. The legislation provides career pathways tax credits to encourage employers to conduct apprenticeship programs, particularly in the least economically developed counties. The House amended and gave second reading approval to H.3521, a bill PROHIBITING AN APPLICATION OF SECULAR OR RELIGIOUS FOREIGN LAW THAT VIOLATES RIGHTS GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS STATE OR OF THE UNITED STATES, such as due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and privacy rights. This prohibition applies to any ruling or decision of a court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency. The legislation includes provisions specifying that this prohibition does not apply to purely ecclesiastical matters and should not be not be interpreted by any court to conflict with any federal treaty or other international agreement to which the United States is a party to the extent that such treaty or international agreement preempts or is superior to state law on the matter at issue. The House approved and sent the Senate H.4573, a bill to provide an EXTENSION FOR STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL VETERANS ISSUES STUDY COMMITTEE until March 1, 2026, and to require the committee to issue biennial reports to the General Assembly and the Governor. The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate on H.4660, a bill relating to SURPLUS LINES INSURANCE PLACED THROUGH A LICENSED INSURANCE BROKER. The legislation revises provisions relating to limited line and special producer licensure, so as to provide that a licensed property casualty insurance producer may place surplus lines insurance through a licensed insurance broker without being appointed by the surplus lines insurer. The House approved and sent the Senate H.4662, a bill providing for the REENACTMENT OF THE INTERSTATE INSURANCE PRODUCT REGULATION COMPACT and related provisions, enacted by Act 339 of 2008, which expired on June 1, 2014. The legislation makes these reenacted provisions retroactive to this expiration date, and specifically does not reenact certain obsolete provisions. The House granted free conference powers to the committee addressing differences with the Senate on S.255, a bill relating to the EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS AND THE REMOVAL OF MUGSHOTS AND OTHER ARREST OR BOOKING RECORDS FROM WEBSITES when charges have been dismissed or the accused individual is found not guilty. The House adopted H.4700, a resolution to approve a HOUSE RULES CHANGE LIMITING SPECIAL INTRODUCTIONS, RECOGNITIONS, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS made by House Members. The Houseís order of business is revised to designate a period at the beginning of its work day and when the House recurs to the morning hour for making special introductions, recognitions, and announcements, the sum total of which may not exceed fifteen minutes with no more than eight special introductions, recognitions, or announcements, each one not exceeding ninety seconds. The Speaker of the House is, however, authorized to allow such special introductions, recognitions, and announcements during roll call voting at his discretion. The House approved S.1008, a joint resolution authorizing the preparation and publication of REVISED VOLUMES OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA CODE OF LAWS, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation provides for Volume 7A, containing Title 16 of the South Carolina Code, and Volume 19 containing Title 58 of the South Carolina Code, to be published and adopted as revised and updated editions that incorporate the supplementary changes to statutes that have been made since these volumes were last published.
The Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Affairs Committee met on Thursday, January 28, 2016. The following bills were discussed and passed. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to H.4458, relating to PERSONAL WATERCRAFT AND BOATING SAFETY. Current law allows the operation of a personal watercraft, specialty propcraft, or vessel in state waters in excess of idle speed within 50 feet of a moored or an anchored vessel, wharf, dock, bulkhead, pier, or a person in the water. The legislation extends the distance to 100 feet. H.4708, a bill dealing with IMPORTING, POSSESSING OR SELLING IMPORTED FISH, received a favorable report from the committee. This bill just clarifies language in current law that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will continue to issue permits to private pond owners for the release or stocking of grass carp, or grass carp hybrids in the waters of the state. H.4709, regarding the SOUTHERN COBIA MANAGEMENT ZONE under the "SC Marine Resources Act of 2000", was given a favorable report from the full committee. This bill provides for the term "Southern Cobia Management Zone" which means all waters of this state south of Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island. The bill states that certain Federal fishing regulations does not apply to cobia located in the Southern Cobia Management Zone. This fishery is unique to South Carolina and very popular. As a result, the possession of cobia caught in the Southern Cobia Management Zone is limited to one person per day, and no more than three per boat per day, from June 1 to April 30. In addition, it is unlawful to take and possess cobia in the Southern Cobia Management Zone from May 1 to May 31.
The House Judiciary Committee met January 26, 2016 and passed out three bills: H. 4457 MAGISTRATE COURT CIVIL JURISDICTION, passed with amendment. This bill increases the civil jurisdiction for magistrate court from $7,500 to $25,000. These cases include confessions of judgment, personal injury claims, surety bonds, property rights, and recovery of earnest money or personal property. H. 4579 LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SUCCESSION, passed with amendment. This bill states that if the office of the Lieutenant Governor is vacant due to death or permanent incapacity, the Governor could appoint a successor to fulfill the unexpired term. Beginning with the 2018 General Election, a person running for Governor designates a qualified running mate for the office of Lieutenant Governor to run on the same ticket. This designation must be in writing and filed with the appropriate elections authority. The designated running mate must submit all campaign reports and disclosures required for statewide office candidates. If the Governor or Lieutenant Governor is not able to serve, then the President of the Senate would serve as Governor, assuming the Governorís responsibilities. Beginning with the 2018 General Election, the Lieutenant Governor will perform the duties assigned by the Governor, unless otherwise provided by law. The President of the Senate may serve ex officio as one of the five members of the Senate Interstate Cooperation Committee. The Lieutenant Governor will not be eligible for subsistence expenses on legislative days. There is further clean-up language within the bill to match state statutes with approved constitutional amendments. H. 4665 MAGISTRATE SCREENING, passed the committee. This bill requires magistrate candidates to be screened by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission prior to appointment by the Governor. Magistrate candidates would undergo screening, screening reports would then be submitted to the appropriate Senate delegation. That delegation would then submit their screened candidate to the Governor for appointment. This bill also designates that magistrates may be appointed in each county for a term of four years.
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