March 1, 2021
Vol. 38, No. 7
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
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
HOUSE COMMITTEE ACTION
BILLS INTRODUCED IN THE HOUSE THIS WEEK
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 approved and sent to the Senate H.3610. This bill would provide revised accountability measures available to the state Superintendent of Education for public schools and public school districts, with provisions for assistance and intervention.
The following definitions are used throughout the bill:
"Turnaround plan" outlines goals for a school or district's educational improvement. Plans must have specific strategies for improving student achievement.
"Underperforming school," means:
An elementary school or middle school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students are at " meets" or "exceeds expectations" on the English/language arts and mathematics SC READY assessment works or its successor.
A high school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students receive a grade of "D" or better on the End of Course assessments in English and mathematics, or fewer than twenty-five percent of its students fail to achieve at least a "bronze" level on the career readiness assessment.
"Underperforming district" means a district in which sixty-five percent or more of the schools in the district are considered an "underperforming school" (as defined in the "underperforming school" definition, see above).
"Chronically underperforming" school:
An elementary school or middle school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students are at "meets" or "exceeds expectations" on the English/language arts and mathematics SC READY assessment works or its successor assessment for three consecutive years. (Emphasis added)
A high school where fewer than twenty-five percent of its students receive a grade of "D" or better on the End of Course assessments in English and mathematics, or fewer than twenty-five percent of its students fail to achieve at least a "bronze" level on the career readiness assessment for three consecutive years. (Emphasis added)
The bill creates a tiered system for assistance, professional development, and monitoring. The Superintendent must annually report to the General Assembly about the system's progress relating to assistance provided to schools.
Once a school and district is determined to be underperforming, the State Department of Education must immediately place the school and district into a tiered status and provide assistance. The legislative delegation, parents, and students must be informed of the rating, and a public meeting must be held. The district must create a turnaround plan containing specific and measurable goals, and broad-based community input is required. The school and district's strategic plan must be reviewed and revised. After the local school board adopts the plan, SDE must also approve. Plans must be posted on the SDE, district, and school websites, and parents must be informed of the school or district rating and turnaround plan. The Superintendent may seek a state-of-education emergency declaration for a school or school district. The state board must approve the declaration.
The following are the reasons and steps for the respective measures:
The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3696. This proposed legislation would add additional circuit and family court judges. This bill seeks to add a circuit court judge in the ninth, fourteenth, and fifteenth circuits. It also would add a family court judge in the first and sixteenth circuits.
The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3549, a bill that authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to offer a hunting or fishing license in the form of a durable hard card. This hard card license is made of plastic or similar material in order for it to be more durable than the paper version. This is optional and those persons who select this option are subject to a six-dollar fee of which the issuing vendor may retain one dollar. In addition, the bill allows a person hunting or fishing to show their license, permit or stamp by use of a mobile electronic device.
The House gave third reading to, then sent to the Senate, H.3262, a bill regarding mandatory candidacy filing fees and optional certification fees. This proposed legislation would require all candidates in this state to pay a filing fee, whether or not their party holds a primary election. A certification fee of one hundred dollars could also be collected from these candidates, in addition to the filing fee.
Also receiving a third reading and then sent to the Senate was H.3263, a bill expanding the state board of canvassers executive committee authority. This bill would designate the state executive committee as the authority to hear protests and contests by county officers, and less than county officers.
The House approved H.3264 and sent it to the Senate. This proposed legislation would waive required newspaper published notices before county conventions are held. It would eliminate any requirement that county committees publish certain notices regarding county conventions in newspapers having general circulation in that county.
The Senate is also receiving H.3567 after the House gave it third reading. This bill would cover qualified residential treatment programs. After adding a clear definition of what constitutes a "qualified residential treatment program" as well as clarifying other terms, this proposal would require assessment, case planning, and judicial review for children placed in qualified residential treatment programs.
The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3548, a bill that eliminates the prohibition on possessing game fish devices while possessing or using nongame devices. The change allows someone to have an authorized game fish device, such as a rod and reel, while using authorized nongame devices, such as set hooks, trotlines, eel pots and traps.
The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3684, a bill that adopts the federal regulations for the management of cobia into state law. For many years, the federal government has managed cobia and now the federal government will allow the state to manage. This transfer does not change anything currently under the law.
The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3539, a bill that deals with transportation of feral hogs (swine). In order to address a growing concern for farmers, this bill would require transported hogs on public roads or waterways to have proof of identification from a state veterinarian. Live hogs transported without identification are presumed to have been taken from the wild. The bill further states that it is unlawful for a person to misuse or alter a permit, tag, or other form of identification or attempt to obtain a permit, tag, or form of identification by fraud or misrepresentation. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a misdemeanor. Pigs that do not leave the premises of the swine owner are not subject to the identification requirement. The bill clarifies that it is unlawful to import, possess, buy, sell, offer for sale, transfer, or transport a live member of the family Suidae (pig) taken from the wild; or release a live member of the family Suidae (pig) into the wild. The bill becomes effective July 2022.
House approved S.160 enrolled it for ratification. The bill requires the Midlands Technical College Enterprise Campus Authority to file certain documents with the Fiscal Accountability Authority regarding the sale of surplus property. The exemption provided only applies to the sale of the college enterprise authority property when the sale price is not less than market value and the transfer of title is by quitclaim deed.
The Committee did not meet this week.
The full Committee met on Wednesday, February 24 and passed out several bills.
The Committee is scheduled to report favorable H.3208. This bill would create an exception to existing law and allow a school bus to lawfully pass another school bus on a multilane highway. The bill would repeal the existing Code section governing exceptions to speed limits pertaining to school buses.
The Committee is scheduled to report favorable, with amendment, H.3011. The bill would provide that on any controlled access roadway having two or more lanes allowing movement in the same direction, a driver may not continue to operate a motor vehicle in the furthermost left-hand lane if the driver knows or reasonably should know that he is being overtaken in that lane from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed. This does not apply to the overtaking vehicle or when a commercial motor vehicle is unable to move to the right lane safely due to other vehicles. The Committee removed the two point penalty and states that her for a period of 180 days after the effective date only wanting tickets may be issued for a violation.
The Committee is scheduled to report favorable, with amendment, H.3505. Currently an infrastructure maintenance fee is assessed against a vehicle (owned or leased) upon its first registration. Among several things, this bill would provide that upon its first registration this fee also applies to the first titling of a vehicle. This is done by inserting the word "titling" and also applies to "lessors." (but only once). This does not apply to an insurer for the purpose of applying for a salvage title.
The Committee is scheduled to report favorable S.242. This bill would provide that the DMV may issue "Drivers for a Cure" special license plates. Any portion of the thirty-dollar fee in excess of the costs of production and distribution of the license plates must be distributed evenly between the Medical University of South Carolina Hollings Cancer Center and the Duke Cancer Institute.
The Committee is scheduled to report favorable, with amendment, H.3101. This bill would create Title 40 Disposition of Motor Vehicles by a Salvage Pool Operator Subject to an Insurance Claim or Charity Donation. The bill would provide for the disposition of a motor vehicle in the possession of a salvage pool operator (who, upon the request of an insurance company or charity takes possession of a motor vehicle that is the subject of an insurance claim or a charity donation and subsequent insurance coverage is denied or the charity does not take ownership of the motor vehicle). This bill would change the current process involving Magistrate court to where the salvage pool operator would follow notice procedures with the SC DMV reviewing the documentation and ultimately transferring the vehicle title. Changes to the original bill include limits on costs and fees by the salvage operator, especially within the first 30 days.
In section 2, this bill would prevent dealers and individuals from removing salvage branding from car titles. The bill creates a series of "brands" that identify the vehicle's condition and history. Among them are "salvage," "salvage rebuilt," "salvage flood," "salvage flood rebuilt," "salvage fire," "salvage fire rebuilt," "junk," and "off-road use only."
The Committee is scheduled to report favorable H.3805. This legislation would standardize plates by creating Article 147 Military Special License Plates. This bill would provide that the DMV may issue and regulate various military special license plates and repeal various articles. The following categories and lists are reflective of the bill (which should bear reading for confirmation).
Medal of Honor- Army
Medal of Honor- Navy
Medal of Honor- Air Force
Distinguished Service Cross- Army
Distinguished Service Cross- Navy
Distinguished Service Cross- Air Force
South Carolina Medal of Valor
Bronze Star (with valor)
Distinguished Service Awards:
Distinguished Service Medal- Army
Distinguished Service Medal- Navy
Distinguished Service Medal- Air Force
Distinguished Service Medal- Marine Corps
Distinguished Service Medal- Coast Guard
Distinguished Flying Cross
Legion of Merit
Exemplary Service Awards:
Gold Star Family
Gold Star Family Prisoner of War
Purple Heart Wheelchair
The following Military Campaigns:
World War II Veteran
Pearl Harbor Survivor
Normandy Invasion Survivor
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
Meritorious Service Awards:
Bronze Star (service).
Reflective Of Military Service:
Combat-Related Disabled Veteran
National Guard- Army
National Guard- Air
National Guard- Retired
US Military Reserve- Army
US Military Reserve- Marine Corps
US Military Reserve- Navy
US Military Reserve- Air Force
US Military Reserve- Coast Guard
US Armed Forces Retired
Support for Military-Related Private Organizations:
Blue Star Family
Veterans of Foreign Wars
Disabled American Veterans
Marine Corps League
Chief Petty Officer
After the Committee reviewed and adopted a subcommittee amendment to incorporate all forms of defined 'religious services' in 'houses of worship,' it issued a favorable report with this amendment to H.3105, the "South Carolina Religious Freedom Act." This proposed legislation deems religious services in houses of worship as essential services during states of emergency. As such, they would be allowed to continue operating throughout any declared states of emergency.
They also gave a favorable report, with amendment, to H.3755, which would clarify Execution Method Selections. Inmates sentenced to death, after receiving written notice, could choose between electrocution or lethal injection, if lethal injection is available at the time of their selection. However, under the provisions in this bill, a death sentence must be by electrocution regardless of the method selected by inmates, if execution by lethal injection is certified as unavailable, or is found unconstitutional by any appellate court.
The House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee met on Wednesday, February 24, and reported out several bills.
The Committee gave a favorable, with amendment, report on H.3255, a bill revising qualifications and other provisions governing the licensure and regulation of real estate appraisers to improve coordination between these state provisions and federal provisions.
The Committee gave a favorable, with amendment, report on H.3606, a bill addressing the exemption of certain improvements made to residential property from building permit provisions. The legislation exempts property owners who make such improvements to their homes from Residential Builders Commission licensure requirements. There are corresponding revisions made to the definition of residential specialty contractors.
The Committee gave a favorable, with amendment, report on H.3244, a bill enacting the "Employment First Initiative Act" under which all state agencies and South Carolina's political subdivisions are encouraged to consider adopting a policy that encourages competitive integrated employment for individuals with disabilities. The legislation creates the South Carolina Employment First Oversight Commission and charges the commission with making annual progress reports and identifying barriers to achieving the outcomes and effective strategies and policies that can help realize the employment first initiative.
The Committee gave a favorable report on H.3664, a bill providing for more extensive criminal background check requirements for initial licensure by the Real Estate Commission. The legislation requires Social Security Number-based criminal records checks in addition to the existing fingerprint-based screening requirements.
The Medical, Military and Municipal Affairs Committee met on Wednesday, February 24, 2021, and reported out several bills.
The Committee gave a favorable report to H.3179, a bill that exempts the thirty-one day supply limitation for surgically implanted drug delivery systems (such as pain pumps) that provide for schedule II control drugs.
The Committee gave a favorable, with amendment, recommendation to H.3325, a bill that removes the exemption for certain individuals from the mandatory electronically filing of death certificates. The bill removes physicians who certify fewer than twelve deaths per year and funeral homes that perform fewer than twelve funerals per year from the mandatory electronically filing exemption list, requiring all physicians and funeral homes to file electronically. As a result, only those who act, without compensation, as a funeral director on behalf of a deceased family member or friend remain covered by the exemption from electronic filing. The provision takes effect July 1, 2021.
The Committee gave a favorable recommendation for H.3193, a bill that modifies the boundaries of the Florence and Williamsburg Counties South Lynches Fire District to include the municipal limits of the Town of Scranton for fire service.
The Committee gave a favorable report to H.3166, a bill that enacts the "Rena Nicole Grant Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry Act." The bill directs DHEC to develop and maintain the Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry for individuals who have been diagnosed with sickle cell disease. The purpose of the registry is to provide a means for health care practitioners providing care to a sickle cell patient to confirm whether the individual has been diagnosed with sickle cell. The registry also would be a means to collect and study data on the incidence and nature of sickle cell disease in order to improve patient care and access to services. If a physician diagnoses a patient with sickle cell disease, the physician shall notify the patient of the Sickle Cell Disease Voluntary Patient Registry and his or her right to register as a person having sickle cell disease.
DHEC may provide a copy of the registration to a physician or other health care practitioner who is treating a patient and who requests the information after certifying that the patient, or the patient's parent or caregiver if the patient is a minor or is incapacitated, has indicated that the patient has submitted a registration and would like the physician or other health care practitioner to verify the registration.
The full Committee did not meet this week.
H.3957 Flounder Catch Size and Catch Limits Rep. Hewitt
The bill outlines that it is unlawful for a person to take or possess more than five flounder taken by means of gig, spear, hook and line, or similar device in any one day, not to exceed ten flounder in any one day on any boat. It also states that is flounder less than fifteen sixteen inches total length, or more than twenty inches in total length, provided that one flounder taken or possessed may be greater than twenty inches, not to exceed two per boat.
H.3943 Restrictions on Towing Rep. D. C. Moss
This bill would provide that a pick-up truck with a fifth wheel assembly may not tow more than one separate trailing vehicle, to provide a maximum length for this combination of vehicles, and to provide the maximum weight for the final trailing vehicle.
H.3941 Emergency Sick Leave Plans for Schools Rep. Alexander
This joint resolution to encourage public school districts to develop and implement emergency sick leave plans using certain federal funds intended for COVID-19 relief, to provide requirements for such plans, to provide related support requirements of the state department of education, to provide protections for school district employees who use such emergency sick leave, and to provide related reporting requirements of local school districts and the state department of education.
H.3937 High Speed Rail System Commission Rep. Stavrinakis
This bill would establish a High Speed Rail System Commission to examine and develop a plan of action for a high speed rail system in this state, to provide for the duties of the Commission, and to require the Commission to report its findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by January 1, 2022
H.3966 Driver's Licenses Rep. Matthews
This bill would provide conditions upon which nonresident active military personnel and college or university students who possess a valid nonresident driver's license may operate motor vehicles in this state.
H.3961 "Advanced Manufacturing Instruction Act of 2022" Rep. Gilliard
this bill would enact the "Advanced Manufacturing Instruction Act of 2022" so as to provide that beginning with the 2022-2023 school year, every school district shall provide elective instruction in advanced manufacturing for students in grades six through twelve.
S.203 Removal of School District Trustees Sen. Hembree
This bill would relate to the removal of school district trustees and filling vacancies, to provide that district trustees guilty of malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetency, absenteeism, conflicts of interest, misconduct, persistent neglect of duty in office, or incapacity shall be subject to removal from office by the governor, to delete notice requirements and the right to appeal, and to make conforming changes.
S.16 Personal Finance Coursework Sen. Rankin
This bill would require completion of certain basic personal finance coursework for high school graduation instead of existing economics coursework requirements, to provide high schools may continue to offer such coursework, to provide for the development and content of related standards, to provide the state Department of Education shall develop related measuring and reporting requirements and shall make related recommendations, and to make these provisions applicable to students entering ninth grade beginning with the 2022-2023 school year; and to repeal section 59-29-165 relating to required instruction in personal finance.
H.3935 Unlawful Seismic Testing Permit Issuances Rep. Stavrinakis
This proposed legislation would create the criminal offense of unlawfully issuing permits for Atlantic Ocean seismic testing.
H.3936 Unlawful Bump Stocks and Similar Devices Rep. Stavrinakis
A proposal to prohibit the possession, distribution, or manufacturing of bump stocks, or any other devices, parts, components, attachments, or accessories that would accelerate the rate of fire for semiautomatic firearms. Some exceptions are listed, and penalties for violations are also included in this bill.
H.3939 Compensable Mental Injuries to Law Enforcement Officers Rep. Pope
Law enforcement officers injured in the line of duty could be considered for workers compensation awards for stress, mental injury, or mental illness injuries after use of force incidents. Current law exempts these injuries from these awards.
H.3949 "Uniform Limited Liability Company Act of 2021" Rep. W. Newton
The proposed, and comprehensive, "Uniform Limited Liability Company Act of 2021" sets out minimum standards for the formation and liquidation of limited liability companies. If adopted, it would also repeal the "Uniform Limited Liability Company Act of 1996."
H.3950 Boat and Motor Owners as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship Rep. Murphy
This bill would allow boat and motor titles to be issued to owners as joint tenants with right of survivorship [JTROS]. This transfer on death [TOD] status would allow the transfer of ownership to the surviving owner upon the death of the other owner without the need of having permission of the probate court in order to do so.
H.3959 Concealed Weapon Carry by the Attorney General and Staff Rep. Murphy
Our state attorney general, and assistant attorneys general, could carry a concealable weapon while on duty if this legislation is enacted.
H.3965 Retroactive Child Support Rep. Matthews
If enacted, this bill would authorize retroactive child support awards in certain circumstances, as determined by a family court judge.
H.3967 School District Lobbying Rep. Matthews
School districts utilizing lobbyists would be required to send notice of these activities to all parents of students enrolled in that district under this proposed legislation. All money spent on lobbyists would have to be reported as well.
H.3982 No Commission Caps for Title Insurers Rep. B.Newton
A proposal to remove caps on commissions paid to title insurers.
H.3983 Traffic and Other Offenses Reform Rep. Rutherford
A proposal to revise penalties, and remove mandatory minimum sentences, for some moving violations, automobile window tinting citations, and violations for which no fine or penalty is specified.
S.378 Mistreating Law Enforcement Canines and Horses Sen. Cash
A proposal to specify punishments for teasing, maltreating, or injuring law enforcement dogs and horses, including restitution and community service as part of these sentences.
H.3932 Director of the Department of Insurance Elected to Office Rep. Stavrinakis
This bill would provide that the Director of the Department of Insurance be elected to office. The bill also provides for the Director's term of office, qualifications, vacancy, and related matters. The bill establishes that the governing authority of the Department of Insurance is the Director of the Department of Insurance (elected to office); however, if the Director becomes a candidate for public office or becomes a member of a political committee during his tenure, his office immediately must be vacated. The election of the Director of the Department of Insurance begins with the 2024 statewide election process.
H.3940 Nonferrous Metals Rep. Rutherford
This bill would establish that a secondary metals recycler shall not purchase or otherwise acquire a catalytic converter or any nonferrous part of one unless purchased as part of a vehicle or under certain other delineated circumstances.
H.3979 Regarding the Prohibition of a Solar Energy System Rep. Morgan
This bill would render a restrictive covenant, declaration, rule, contractual provision, or other provision concerning the installation and utilization of a solar energy system found in a deed, contract, lease, rental agreement, or the governing documents of a homeowners association intended to prohibit the installation of a solar energy system void and unenforceable.
H.3981 Earthquake Insurance Rep. Gatch
This bill would require insurers to offer insurance coverage for loss or damage resulting from an earthquake to all policies issued in South Carolina.
S.421 Unemployment Security Benefits Sen. Alexander
This bill relates to the payment of extended unemployment security benefits (when federally funded), to reduce the lookback period from three years to two years for determining whether there is an "on" indicator for this state.
S.468 Extended Benefits Sen. Alexander
This joint resolution would provide that, in a determination of whether the state is in an extended benefit period beginning on November 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, provisions relating to the stipulation that no extended benefit period may begin before the fourteenth week following the end of a prior extended benefit period, shall not apply.
H.3938 "South Carolina Inclusionary Housing Act" Rep. Tedder
The bill authorizes counties and municipalities to adopt and use voluntary inclusionary housing strategies to increase the availability of affordable housing.
H.3956 South Carolina Rare Disease Advisory Council Rep. Howard
The bill establishes the South Carolina Rare Disease Advisory Council within DHEC. The purpose of the council is to advise the General Assembly and other governmental agencies and departments, as appropriate, on the needs of individuals with rare diseases living in South Carolina.
H.3958 Coroners as First Responders Rep. McGarry
A coroner or his or her designee who responds to an emergency is deemed a first responder and may possess and administer an opioid antidote pursuant to the requirements of the South Carolina Overdose Prevention Act.
H.3960 State Advisory Committee on Regulation of Childcare Facilities Rep. Morgan
The bill updates criteria for membership by indicating that members appointed to represent church operated childcare centers must be from registered faith-based centers.
H.3933 Local Hospitality Tax Rep. Stavrinakis
A local governing body may not impose a penalty, fine, or other additional cost, for late payment of local hospitality tax received within seven days of the due date that in the aggregate exceeds five percent of the delinquent tax.
H.3934 Special Permits for Use at Fairs and Special Functions Rep. Stavrinakis
The bill outlines that the Department of Revenue may issue permits to sell beer and wine at multiple locations on multiple days at a festival on one application. In addition, the Department of Revenue may issue licenses to sell alcoholic liquor by the drink at multiple locations on multiple days at a festival on one application as it relates to temporary licenses for nonprofit organizations.
H.3942 Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax Rep. Gagnon
The bill outlines that the Education Capital Improvements Sales and Use Tax may be imposed in a county which does not meet the collection requirements under certain conditions.
H.3976 Education Scholarship Account Rep. Erickson
This bill would provide for the creation of Education Scholarship Accounts, provides extensive requirements for the accounts, among them an income threshold, and would create an Education Scholarship Account fund to fund the scholarships, with provisions to manage the account.
H.3977 Limitations Regarding Law Enforcement Budget Reductions Rep. Martin
This bill would provide that if a local law enforcement agency received a portion of its funding from a county or municipality during the previous fiscal year, then the governing body of the respective county or municipality may not decrease the annual budgetary appropriation by more than five percent of the previous fiscal year's appropriation for such law enforcement agency.
H.3978 Tax Partnerships Rep. West
This bill would create an annual state income tax election that allows partners of a partnership, members of a limited liability company taxed as a partnership, and shareholders of a subchapter S corporation to have South Carolina income individual income tax on the active trade or business income of the partners, members, and shareholders paid at the level of the partnership or subchapter S corporation. The partners and shareholders then exclude from their South Carolina taxable income on their individual state income returns net gain and losses received by them from the electing business. The bill provides a limitation on the amount of the exclusion amount based on the rate at which the income is individually taxed and provides the impact on the calculation of the basis of pass-through business owners in their ownership and indebtedness interest of the pass-through business. A partner or shareholder in a business making the allowed election is not eligible to claim a credit for taxes in another jurisdiction but the bill allows the electing business to claim that credit.
S.491 Economic Development Bonds Sen. Leatherman
This joint resolution would authorize the issuance of not exceeding $550 million aggregate principal amount of general obligation state economic development bonds for the limited purpose of defraying the cost of intermodal container transfer infrastructure, waterborne cargo infrastructure, and related infrastructure at or near the port of Charleston. This bill would also allocate sufficient tax revenues to provide for the payment of principal and interest on the bonds, prescribe requirements for notification, review, and approval of bond issuance; and provide for a process to demonstrate compliance with the constitutional limitation on debt service to the bonds.