Legislative Update
January 25, 2022
Vol. 39, No. 4

South Carolina House of Representatives
James H. "Jay" Lucas, Speaker of the House

Room 212, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C. 29211, (803) 734-3230


Introduced Bills

House Committees

House Floor Actions

Introduced Bills

Agriculture and Natural Resources

H.4854 Honey Rep. Cogswell

This bill provides that beekeepers producing no more than four hundred gallons of honey may file for an exemption from inspections and regulations requiring honey to be processed, extracted, and packaged in an inspected food processing establishment.

H.4866 Rural Public School-Based Community Canneries Pilot Program Rep. Chumley

This bill outlines that the State Board of Education, in conjunction with the Food Systems and Safety Program of the Clemson Extension Service, shall plan, develop, institute, and oversee a pilot program of three rural public school-based community canning sites where members of the general public may bring locally-grown produce to be canned for their personal use.

Education and Public Works

H. 4857 School Sick Days Regarding COVID Rep. King

This joint resolution provides that the governing body of a school district shall excuse five days of school that a student misses in a school year due to testing positive for COVID-19 or being quarantined because of exposure to COVID-19, and to make the provisions of this joint resolution applicable to the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years.

H.4869 Accelerated Nursing Degrees Rep. Thayer

This bill provides that the state technical and comprehensive education system may authorize accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree completion programs for students of technical college associate of science in nursing degree programs (and provides such degree program is only allowed so long as new state general funds are not appropriated for the operations of the degree program).


H.4853 Serious Bodily Injury Reckless Driving Rep. Carter

Existing reckless driving law would be modified to create an additional misdemeanor and felony offense of reckless driving resulting in "serious bodily injury" which is defined in this proposed bill.

H.4858 Alternative Disease Treatments Rep. J. E. Johnson

Any person who contracts specified contagious or infectious diseases could, when acting in consultation with a licensed health care provider, pursue any treatments approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration, or any treatments that have passed adequate peer-reviewed analysis, and have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Healthcare professionals assisting these patients would be extended protections from civil, criminal, or professional liability should this bill be enacted.

H.4868 Presentencing Cost Analysis Rep. Rutherford

Circuit solicitors would have to prepare cost-analysis sentencing reports as part of their sentencing recommendations prior to judges sentencing these offenders of General Sessions Court-level crimes. As part of this report, SCDC and SCDPPP would provide the current costs of incarceration to the Prosecution Coordination Commission. It will then share this gathered information with all of our circuit solicitors, if this bill is enacted.

H.4876 "South Carolina Close the Revolving Door Act" Rep. J. Moore

The "South Carolina Close the Revolving Door Act" seeks to increase from one to two years, the prohibition against public officials, public members, or public employees from lobbying or accepting employment in any area they directly and substantially participated in during their public service years. They also could not have any economic interest in a contract, grant, or other such matter they directly and substantially participated in during their public service or public employment, should this proposal become law.

H.4877 "South Carolina Eradication of Corporate Money in Politics Act" Rep. J. Moore

The "South Carolina Eradication of Corporate Money in Politics Act" would prohibit corporations from making campaign contributions to candidates, committees, political parties, organizations, or individuals to promote, or defeat, the candidacy of any individual seeking nomination, election, or appointment to any political office.

H.4878 "South Carolina Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and Voter Accessibility Act" Rep. J. Moore

The "South Carolina Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and Voter Accessibility Act" would establish the "South Carolina Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission" which would submit any reapportionment plan to the General Assembly. This proposal includes proposed methods for selection, qualifications, powers, duties, and terms of the commission and its members. SCDC and SCDPPP would be required to inform anyone convicted of a felony, or an offense against the election laws, who have served their sentences that they are now eligible to register to vote. This proposal would also require the Department of Education, Election Commission, and county Boards of Voter Registration and Elections to make sure that all seventeen-year-old high school students have completed a voter registration form, and received instruction on the importance of voting. It allows for an opt-out process as well. These registrants would then receive a voter registration card before the first election in which they are eligible to vote. In addition, it would permit qualified elector registration and ballot casting on the same day. Also, it would permit early absentee and in-person voting at one or more early voting locations in each county. Furthermore, each state identification card application or motor vehicle driver's license application, including renewal applications, submitted to SCDMV would serve as an application for voter registration, and eliminate the need for separately signing the voter registration portion of their applications. However, anyone could decline this registration opportunity, if this bill becomes law.

H.4882 Voter Registration Information Protections Rep. W. Newton

An effort to require the state Election Commission to develop certain voter registration security protocols and to certify their compliance at least annually. They would be tasked with developing security protocols for electronic poll books, and have all of their ballots be printed on paper, containing certain features. Optical scan voting systems would be certified as meeting current federal voting system standards. In addition, vote recorders and optical scan voting devices could not have functionalities and features during voting. As a final aspect of this proposal, all ballot cards and voting machine ballots would have to be to be sourced solely by the state election commission.

Labor, Commerce and Industry

S.403 "South Carolina Go-Kart Definitions Act" Sen. Gustafson

This bill makes revisions to the South Carolina Amusement Rides Safety Code to differentiate between amusement-style and competition-style concession go-karts.

H.4855 Self-Service Storage Facilities Written Rental Agreements Rep. Sandifer

This bill revises provisions governing self-service storage facilities written rental agreements to provide that a self-service storage facility occupant may choose where to publish an advertisement of sale including certain publicly accessible websites. The legislation revises provisions relating to the enforcement of liens to provide for requirements for publishing an advertisement of a public sale.

Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs

H.4867 Restrictions on the use of Methadone Rep. Fry

A Narcotic Treatment Program facilities shall obtain a NTP permit before administering or dispensing methadone or other narcotic treatment medications. NTP permit is a permit issued by the South Carolina Board of Pharmacy that allows a practitioner or practitioner's agent to dispense and/or administer methadone. The bill also outlines that a consultant pharmacist must be retained to perform certain responsibilities.

Ways and Means

S.290 Repeal of the Health Facility Certificate of Need Program Sen. Climer

This bill provides for a revised State Health Facility Licensure Act that repeals the certification program under which hospitals and certain other health facilities are required to obtain a Certificate of Need from the Department of Health and Environmental Control in order to construct certain facilities, obtain certain major pieces of equipment, or undertake certain other projects. A Certificate of Need Study Committee is created to examine the effect of the repeal of the CON Program on the quality and quantity of access to healthcare in rural portions of South Carolina.

H.4856 "Palmetto Dividend Fund" Rep. J. L. Johnson

This bill provides for the top marginal rate of tax imposed on a household with a South Carolina taxable income of over $100,000 but less than $165,000 to be increased by 1 percent on the amount of income over $100,000. Additionally, the top marginal rate of tax imposed on a household with a South Carolina taxable income of over $165,000 is increased by 2 percent on the amount of income over $165,000. The revenue generated by this income tax increases must be credited to the newly-created "Palmetto Dividend Fund" and used by the Treasurer's Office to distribute a $400 check each year to every South Carolina citizen over the age of seventeen.

H.4870 Employer Contribution Requirements Under State Retirement Systems Rep. Pope

This bill provides that if a participating employer in the South Carolina Retirement System or the Police Officers Retirement System engages an active, inactive, former, or retired member of the system to perform services for the employer, but has not reported the member to the system as an employee, the participating employer shall pay to the system the employer contribution that would be required if the member received the compensation as an active contributing member of the system. Contributions are required if the member is engaged to perform services for the employer for compensation in any capacity, regardless of whether the member is classified as an employee, independent contractor, leased employee, joint employee, or other classification of worker.

H.4879 "Student Flexibility in Education Scholarship Fund" Rep. G. M. Smith

This joint resolution establishes a fund with $75 million from the state's contingency reserve fund that is to be used for awarding scholarships to economically disadvantaged families and active duty military families to address tuition and other costs of receiving K-12 instruction at independent schools as an alternative to public education. In the first year in which the account is funded, scholarships may be awarded in an amount not exceeding $5,000 or the cost of attendance, whichever is lower, to a qualifying student at an eligible school to be disbursed each semester.

H.4880 Income Tax Top Marginal Rate Reduction and Full Military Retirement Income Deduction Rep. Simrill

This bill revises individual income tax provisions to reduce the top marginal rate. Under the reduction schedule, the top marginal rate of 6.8 percent is to be decreased by two-tenths of 1 percent each year in which the state's general fund revenues experience at least 5 percent growth until the top marginal rate is reduced to 6 percent. The legislation revises military retirement income deduction provisions to allow for the deduction of all military retirement income.

H.4881 Prohibition on Investing State Funds in Companies with Chinese Military Connections Rep. Haddon

This bill revises provisions relating to the investment of state funds to prohibit the State Treasurer from investing in companies owned or controlled by the People's Liberation Army, the armed forces of the People's Republic of China.

House Committees

Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, January 26, 2022, and reported out four bills.

The committee gave a favorable report to H.3889, a bill restricting the use of airboats during duck season. This bill reflects current law; however, changes use of airboat restriction during waterfowl season to duck season.

Due to a decline in the state's waterfowl, the committee gave a favorable with amendment report to H.4177, a bill that establishes a waterfowl advisory committee. A waterfowl advisory committee will be created to help direct the manager of the waterfowl program within the Department of Natural Resources. The bill increases the cost of migratory waterfowl permits (duck stamps) from five to fifteen dollars. The additional revenue from duck stamps will be used to repair the state's impoundments that have not been addressed over the years. It is noted that none of these funds will be used for operating the program.

H.4504, a bill that outlines that the purchase of a watercraft motor may not be taxed more than the maximum sales tax, was given a favorable with amendment recommendation by the committee.

The committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation for H.4538, a bill outlining that it is unlawful to intentionally remove or destroy an electronic collar or other electronic device placed on a dog by its owner. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, will be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than ten days for a first offense. Penalties are also outlined for second or subsequent offenses.

Labor, Commerce and Industry

The House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee met on Thursday, January 27, and reported out two bills.

The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on H.4831, a joint resolution that directs the Department of Commerce to conduct an Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain Industries Economic Development Study to evaluate the state's business advantages, economic climate, workforce readiness, and any other relevant state assets to create a roadmap for South Carolina to effectively compete in attracting offshore wind energy supply chain industries to the state. The Department of Commerce must submit the reports, roadmap, and any legislative recommendations to the Speaker of the House, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, the President of the Senate, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman of the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee one year from the date of funding by the General Assembly.

The committee gave a favorable report on H.4832, a bill providing for numerous insurance law revisions, clarifications, and updates, many of which bring state provisions into alignment with recommendations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs

The Medical, Military, and Municipal Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 and reported out two bills.

The committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation to H.3888. This joint resolution creates a study committee to examine the state of mental health of South Carolina residents by reviewing trends in mental health treatment and diagnoses, the availability of mental health services, the use of telemedicine, prescribing practice trends, rates of voluntary or involuntary hospital commitment due to mental illness or due to a chemical dependency to alcohol or other drugs, job loss or other employment trends associated with mental illness or mental disorders, and rates of suicide or overdose. The bill outlines that only aggregated data with no personally identifiable information may be obtained. The thirteen-member committee will be comprised of appropriate agency heads or appointees, along with appointees by the Senate and the House. The committee must provide a report outlining findings and recommendations to the General Assembly by January 1, 2023, at which time the committee is dissolved.

H.3938, a bill that enacts the "South Carolina Inclusionary Housing Act", was given a favorable recommendation by the committee. A minority report will be provided. As a result of a critical shortage of decent, safe, and affordable residential housing available to low and moderate income families, this bill allows counties and municipalities, with a population in excess of 50,000, the opportunity to adopt local inclusionary housing policy that incentivizes the development of affordable dwelling units. "Affordable housing" means residential housing for rent or sale which is appropriately priced for rent or sale to a person or family whose income does not exceed eighty percent of the median income for the local area, with adjustments for household size, according to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). "Inclusionary housing policy" means a policy established by a local government that incentivizes the development of affordable dwelling units. This is an option for counties and municipalities.

House Floor Actions

The House concurred in Senate amendments to S.865, legislation to adopt the 2020 US Census results and establish the election district boundaries for each member of the United States House of Representatives from South Carolina. Since this legislation has received three readings in both the House and the Senate, it has been ordered that its title be changed to that of an Act, and that it be enrolled for ratification.

The House did not concur in Senate amendments to H.3255, a bill revising qualifications and other provisions governing the licensure and regulation of real estate appraisers to bring these state provisions into alignment with federal standards.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H. 3464, the "Seizure Safe Schools Act." The bill requires the establishment of seizure action plans in public schools and provides requirements for such plans and their implementation. "Seizure action plan" means a written, individualized health plan between a school and the parent of a student who is diagnosed with a seizure disorder. The parent or legal guardian of a student may petition a school the student attends for the development of a seizure action plan for the student. A school will keep each seizure action plan on file in the office of a school administrator or school nurse (if any) employed by the school and make the plan available to school personnel, and with the permission of the parent or legal guardian of the student, a volunteer responsible for the supervision of the student. The parent or guardian and the school shall develop the seizure action plan consistent with policies and procedures developed by the governing body of the school. The plan shall include all the particulars such as a statement from the health care provider, the type, dosage, storage and administration of the medicine, including a written statement from the parent indicating whether school personnel or volunteers are permitted to administer the seizure medication to the student in the applicable school year. School nurses have primary responsibility for administering appropriation medication.  At least one other school employee must have training in administering medication if the nurse is unavailable. There are two types of training required: one for school personnel authorized to administer medication and one-hour training for all school employees that focuses on recognizing the signs of seizure and appropriation actions to take.

The House amended and gave second reading to S. 203 relating to the removal of school district trustees and filling vacancies. School district trustees who wilfully commit or engage in an act of malfeasance, misfeasance, chronic unexcused absenteeism, conflicts of interest, criminal misconduct in office, or persistent neglect of duty in office, or are adjudicated medically incompetent or medically incapacitated, are subject to removal by the Governor upon any of the foregoing causes being made to appear to the satisfaction of the Governor. Before removing any such officer, the Governor shall inform him in writing of the specific charges brought against him and give him an opportunity on reasonable notice to be heard.



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) nor 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.

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