April 8, 1997
Vol. 14, No. 12
South Carolina House of Representatives
David H. Wilkins, Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH
Room 309, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C.
29211, (803) 734-3230
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Legislative Update, April 8, 1997
WEEK IN REVIEW
The House gave third reading to a bill which prompted extensive debate during the previous
week, H.3665, the
South Carolina Comprehensive Infrastructure Development and Financing Act. To
address needs for other
improvements, the House amended and gave third reading to
H.3694, the Capital Improvements Bond Bill which
authorizes $250,660,401 in projects. According to the State Treasurer's Office, the total debt
service for this bond
issue amortized over 15 years at 6% is $386.1 million. The first fiscal year's debt service on this
authorization will be about $1.1 million based on a bond issuance of $40 million in the Fall of
when all $250 million in bonds are issued, the annual debt service would be approximately $25.4
The bill provides for $103.5 million for new construction projects for higher education
institutions, $42 million for
deferred maintenance for higher education institutions, and $105.2 million for other projects
including $54 million
for the Department of Corrections, $17 million for Clemson PSA and $10 million for the
Property in Pickens and Oconee counties.
Upon enactment of the bill, the State Treasurer will issue State Capital Improvement Bonds as
needed after the
scheduling of projects by the Joint Bond Review Committee and the Budget and Control Board. The debt will be
retired by General Fund revenues as provided for in the annual General Appropriations Act. Currently the debt
service for Capital Improvement Bonds is $143.1 million.
The House passed the bill with two amendments. The first amendment provides that, "A project
authorized in the act only for a state agency or institution included in the Annual General
Appropriations Act." The second amendment provides, "An institution of higher learning, including technical
receiving funds for new construction projects, not including funds provided for deferred
renovations, pursuant to authorizations for state capital improvement bonds shall match the state
with at least 20% non-state funds toward the total costs of the project identified in the bond
match requirement does not apply to any project that received architectural and engineering funding prior to July
The House amended and gave third reading to H.3397
which imposes various limits on local governments'
to create or raise taxes and fees. The bill provides that a local governing body may not impose a
new tax after
December 31, 1996, unless specifically authorized by the General Assembly. By ordinance
adopted by a positive
majority vote (i.e. a majority of all members of a governing body), a local governing body may
impose a business
license tax or increase the rate of a business license tax. By ordinance adopted by a positive
majority vote, a local
governing body may charge and collect a service or user fee. No local governing body may
increase taxes or
uniform service charge rates (excluding utilities) above the rates imposed for such purposes for
the prior tax year. Rates may be increased only by the percentage increase in the consumer price index based upon
average. The bill also details certain exceptions when rates may be increased, including such
scenarios as a rate
increase needed to offset a prior year's deficit or to respond to a natural or environmental
limitations may be overridden by a positive affirmative vote of the local governing body. A
is authorized to impose via ordinance adopted by a positive majority vote, an accommodations
not to exceed
3%. By the same method, a local government is authorized to impose a hospitality tax, not to
exceed 2%, on
meals and beverages served in establishments licensed for on-premises consumption of alcoholic
or wine. No local government may impose a fee or tax on the transfer of real property without
the authorization of
the General Assembly. Unauthorized real estate transfer fees and taxes collected by local
governments must be
remitted, but, local governments need not remit real estate transfer fees to the state if those funds
have already been
expended for the purposes for which they were intended. Certain restrictions apply to
expenditures of funds
generated by the accommodations and hospitality taxes. Amendments authorize a county
governing body to
impose a 1% sales and use tax by ordinance, subject to a referendum, within the county area for
and for a limited amount of time to collect a limited amount of money. Revenues generated by
this means may be
expended on such capital improvements as roads, bridges, libraries, sewers, flood control
The House amended the bill so as to remove a section which would have subjected the general
appropriations acts to a law which requires a supermajority vote from the General Assembly to
enact what are
popularly known as unfunded mandates. As amended, the bill retains current law which exempts
appropriations acts from the requirement that any measure requiring a county to spend money
must receive at least
a two-thirds affirmative vote from the General Assembly to be enacted .
The House revisited the issue of enhancing the state's mandatory seat belt law by amending and
reading to H.3089. The bill provides a fifteen
(rather than the current ten) dollar penalty for the failure to wear a
seatbelt and a twenty-five (rather than twenty) dollar maximum penalty for any single incidence. Primary
enforcement of the seatbelt law is authorized where the violator is under the age of eighteen. Primary enforcement
allows an officer to stop a vehicle for a failure to wear seatbelts in the absence of any other
violation. Failure to
wear a seatbelt is not admissible as evidence in a civil action, and convictions for violations must
not be included
in information compiled by the Department of Public Safety and the State Law Enforcement
amendment requires other states which are parties to the Driver License Compact to provide
convictions of South Carolina drivers which occur in their jurisdictions within five years of the
time of conviction.
The House amended and gave third reading to H.3275,
"The Prison Overcrowding Relief Act of 1997,"
authorizes the Department of Corrections to use tents and other soft-sided, temporary, or
portable structures to
house prisoners eligible for minimum custody confinement or work release. County jails and
may also make use of such structures to house prisoners convicted of nonviolent offenses. Facilities which are
authorized to make use of tents may not release prisoners for reason of overcrowding unless
utilized to house eligible prisoners. Tents are subject to review by the State Fire Marshal and the
Health and Environmental Control to ensure their safety. Local officials are authorized to
formulate standards for
temporary facilities which must be approved by a majority in the county governing body.
The House amended and gave third reading to H.3695
which creates the South Carolina Economic
Authority, and provides for its governance, powers, and duties. The bill provides for the
devolution upon the
Authority, on approval by the SC Budget and Control Board, of various functions, powers and
duties of the SC
Department of Commerce that are considered necessary to enhance economic development and
Authority is intended to complement and enhance the economic development efforts of the
Commerce and would operate in conjunction with that agency to more effectively compete in the
industry to SC. Authority employees would not be classified as state employees, but
would be eligible for the
same State benefits that state employees receive. The Authority would be headed by a director,
be appointed by
the Governor. The Secretary of Commerce may serve as director, ex officio.
The House amended and gave third reading to S.70
which requires any retired justice or judge appointed by the
Chief Justice to serve in the state's courts to have been found qualified by the Judicial Merit
within four, rather than two, years. An amendment, adopted by the full House, allows a retired
judge to postpone
an irrevocable decision to practice law and thereby forfeit his eligibility for service in the state's
courts. The bill
also reroutes the appointment process for masters-in-equity.
S.33 received third reading from the House and was
enrolled for ratification. The bill regulates the use of locked
hospitality cabinets in rooms of hotels and inns. The House amended and gave third reading to
requires a general contractor's license for any marine construction which is to be undertaken in
bodies of salt water
where the cost of construction is at least ten thousand dollars.
The House amended and gave third reading to three bills
H.3444, H.3341, and
H.3300, which authorize special
license plates for the Marine Corps League, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and fraternities
The House received reports from both the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and the
Committee to Screen
Candidates for Boards of Trustees of State Colleges and Universities which list all qualified
The Senate gave third reading and sent to the House
S.264. This bill provides that the State Treasurer must
reimburse taxing districts for 90% of the revenue lost as a result of the residential property tax
rollback, within five
working days of the local taxing district's request.
The Senate also gave third reading to S.310, the
SC Patients' Insurance and Benefits Protection Act. This bill
provides that certain businesses with more than 50 employees must provide specific health
insurance options. The
bill also prohibits "gag clauses." These clauses in managed care contracts prevent doctors from
telling patients of
more expensive treatment options. The bill also requires managed care contracts to disclose
patients' rights and
benefits in writing.
S.480 also received final reading in the Senate and
has been sent to the House. This bill allows South Carolinians
who are victims of terrorism inside or outside the United States to apply for benefits from the
Compensation Fund. The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee.
S.442, which allows payment of county taxes by
credit card (if same is approved by the county governing body)
and which allows the county governing body to impose a surcharge upon the payer, received
reading from the
Senate and has been referred to the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS
The Higher Education subcommittee adjourned debate on
H.3305, which imposes a 25% tuition surcharge on
students who take more than a certain number of credit hours to complete a baccalaureate degree
at any South
Carolina state-supported college or university. The subcommittee recommended a favorable
amendments on H.3566. This bill provides that if
a bridge for motor vehicles over a railroad track, which bridge
is owned by a railroad company, is closed by the Department of Transportation for being unsafe
for vehicular use,
no railroad traffic may use the track underneath such bridge until it is replaced or unless flagmen
are used on the
railroad tracks approaching the bridge until it is replaced. The bill also provides that upon a
as provided in the bill, it must be transferred to the State by the railroad company. The
recommended an amendment to provide that if the unsafe bridge is being replaced, the railroad
company at its
expense, during the time the bridge is being replaced, must place a flagman on the track
approaching the bridge in
both directions warning oncoming trains of the replacement work. The subcommittee also
amendment providing that upon a bridge being replaced, the railroad company at its option may
or may not
transfer ownership of the bridge to the State. However, the State may not refuse to accept
transfer of the bridge if
the railroad company desires to transfer it to the State. The recommended amendment also
provides that if the
railroad company chooses not to transfer the bridge to the State after replacement, it shall be the
company's responsibility thereafter to maintain that bridge up to all then current safety and traffic
The General Laws Subcommittee gave a report of favorable with amendment to
H.3421 which provides that it is a
misdemeanor to knowingly make a false report of child abuse or neglect, punishable with a five
fine, imprisonment for up to ninety days, or both. The subcommittee reported favorably on
S.292 which provides
that the State Law Enforcement Division shall collect and maintain concealable weapon
application, renewal and
replacement fees for the administration of the "Law-Abiding Citizens Self-Defense Act of 1996." Maximum sizes
for concealable weapon permits are specified.
The Constitutional Laws Subcommittee reported favorably on two bills.
H.3506 authorizes the Department of
Health and Environmental Control to relocate the coastal division within the agency
organizational structure, so
long as the coastal division continues as an organizational unit and is located at or above the
of a bureau. S.77 provides that when a counterclaim is filed with
an initial claim in magistrates' court which would, if
successful, exceed the magistrates' civil jurisdictional amounts, both the initial and counter
transferred to the court of common pleas.
LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
Neither the full committee nor subcommittees met last week.
MEDICAL, MILITARY, PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
The Health and Environmental Affairs Subcommittee amended and passed out H.3033. This bill would establish
an Emergency Medical Services for Children program (EMSC) within DHEC and would
Committee to assist in the formulation of policy and guidelines for children's emergency medical
Committee would serve without compensation and the membership would include several
other health care professionals, and parents of young children.
The EMSC program would establish EMS personnel education programs and guidelines for
inter-hospital transfer, and rehabilitation for critically ill or injured children. DHEC would
coordinator and promulgate regulations to carry out the EMSC program. The bill also would
authorize DHEC, in
conjunction with the S.C. Data Oversight Council, to collect and analyze children's EMS data
injury prevention and public education activities. The bill also contains provisions to require the
data to be
handled in such a way that patient and caregiver confidentiality is protected.
The amendment simplifies the description of the EMSC program, adds a provision to ensure
existing statutes governing collection of patient data, and deletes the specific requirements for
the EMSC Committee.
WAYS AND MEANS
The Welfare Reform Legislation subcommittee gave a favorable recommendation with
amendments to two bills. H.3650 includes numerous conforming provisions
to the Family Independence Act of 1995. Most of these
provisions concern child support, employment, and training. Subcommittee amendment
recommendations to this
bill include revision in the time limits for a child support obligor to be served and to respond in
pursuant to a notice of financial responsibility, a revision strengthening the provisions
seeking employment, and technical amendments.
H.3651 includes numerous conforming provisions
that states must have in effect in order to remain eligible for
federal funding under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act. Many of these provisions relate to
enforcement. The subcommittee amendment recommendations to H.3651 include
technical changes, as well as
changing from $2500 to $1000 the threshold amount of unpaid child support which prompts an
process against the obligor; an authorization for the Child Support Division to promulgate
regulations and rules, if
necessary, to implement the provisions of the section; and punitive measures against any
individual or entity who
prepares or submits certain falsified information.
AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND ENVIRONMENTAL
H.3756 BLACK SEA BASS Rep.
This bill states that black sea bass must be processed, marketed, and sold to the ultimate
consumer with head and
tail fins intact. A commercial retailer or restaurant may remove the head at the request of the
after completion of the transaction but before transfer of the purchase or serving of the dish.
H.3807 STATE GAME ZONES Rep.
This bill revises the composition of Game Zones 1 and 2 and revises the open season for taking
deer in Game
Zones 1, 2, and 4. The Department of Natural Resources also will establish the methods and
restrictions related to
hunting and taking both antlered and antlerless deer.
H.3815 S.C. COMMERCIAL ALLIGATOR
OPERATIONS ACT Rep. Delleney
This bill would enact the "South Carolina Commercial Alligator Operations Act" to regulate the
breeding of farm-raised alligators for certain commercial purposes. The bill states that any
person, firm, or corporation may engage
in the business of propagating alligators on an alligator farm for restocking, propagation, and
purposes by complying with the provisions of the new article, and may thereafter sell either live
alligators to other
licensed alligator farmers only, or the parts or skins of such farm-raised alligators to any person
for any purpose,
including sale for food.
A person who desires to engage in the business of raising, exhibiting, and selling alligators on
alligator farms shall
apply to the Department of Natural Resources for a license to do so. Each alligator parts dealer
also must secure
an alligator parts dealer license from the department before commencing business. These
annually. Each retailer selling canned alligator parts or purchasing alligator parts, and each
prepared alligator meat for human consumption shall secure a license from the department before
business. The license shall be secured annually and shall be furnished upon payment of $5.00.
H.3771 SUPERB ACCOUNT Rep.
The Superb Account and the Superb Financial Responsibility Fund are administered by DHEC to
and operators of underground storage tanks containing petroleum. The Account must be used for
the payment of
usual, customary, and reasonable costs for site rehabilitation of releases from underground
containing petroleum or petroleum products. The Fund must be used to compensate third parties
for bodily injury
and property damage caused by accidental releases from the underground storage tanks.
This bill amends several sections of the code relating to the purposes and uses of the Superb
Account and the
Superb Financial Responsibility Fund. The bill clarifies that the Fund may pay claims directly
and property damages caused by releases from underground storage tanks containing petroleum
products. The bill also states that DHEC's intervention costs must not affect the per occurrence
coverage amounts. Several other sections of the code are amended, including Section 44-2-60, which requires
or operators of
an underground storage tank which stores or is intended to store a regulated substance to register
the tank with the
department and pay an annual renewal fee of $100.00 a tank a year. The bill states that the
department may not
issue a registration certificate until all past and present fees and penalties owed on a tank are paid
and that the
department may not issue a registration certificate to any owner or operator who has not
complied with all terms of
a consent or final administrative order issued under Section 44-2-140.
H.3789 RESTRICTION ON TAKING CERTAIN
FISH Rep. Limehouse
This bill amends the Code relating to the restrictions on taking certain fish. Under the provisions
of the bill, the
Department of Natural Resources may establish minimum size limits and possession limits for
finfish species. Notwithstanding the size and possession limits in the bill, the department may
reduce the take and
possession limit for spotted sea trout to zero from January 1 through August 31 of each year, and
may establish a
possession limit of zero to one fish for red drum over 27 inches total length.
S.294 HUNTING MIGRATORY
WATERFOWL Sen. Drummond
This bill states that it is unlawful to hunt migratory waterfowl on Lake Greenwood within 200
yards of a dwelling
without written permission of the owner and occupant. a person who violates this section is
guilty of a
misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more
than 30 days.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS
H.3761 LICENSE PLATES Rep. Martin
This bill requires that all vehicles have a standard state license plate on the rear bumper of the
provides that special and commemorative license plates may be placed only on the front bumper
of a vehicle.
H.3767 COTTON MODULAR VEHICLES
This bill increases the maximum width allowed for a cotton modular vehicle from 107 inches to
110 inches. A
"cotton modular vehicle" is a single motor vehicle used only to transport seed cotton modules,
equipment used in the transporting or processing of cotton.
H.3793 DEALER LICENSE PLATES Rep.
This bill revises the number of dealer license plates that may be issued to a dealer and deletes the
requirement that before a plate is issued, a dealer must have made a certain minimum number of
sales of motor
vehicles in the 12 months preceding his application for a dealer plate.
H.3828 SUPERIOR ACADEMIC
ACHIEVEMENT DIPLOMA Rep. Harrell
This bill provides that, beginning with the 1997-98 school year, public and nonpublic high
South Carolina who meet certain specified criteria will be awarded a Superior Academic
School Diploma. The bill also provides that students who receive this diploma and who attend a
public or private
South Carolina institution of higher learning or technical college will receive a $500 scholarship. Funds for the
scholarships will be distributed by the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Program to the appropriate
H.3829 REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION
AUTHORITIES Rep. Harrell
This bill amends the "Regional Transportation Authority Law" by changing references to "cities"
H.3768 MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS OF
SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS Rep. Harrison
This bill provides for the Crime Victim's Compensation Fund to reimburse health care facilities
medical examinations for victims of alleged criminal sexual conduct or child sexual abuse.
H.3770 CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
PILOT PROGRAM Rep. Kelley
This bill authorizes the Department of Social Services to establish, in one region of the state, a
services pilot program which allows the Department to divert less serious child abuse and
cases to an
assessment track rather than following normal protocol.
H.3773 FAILURE TO STOP FOR LAW
ENFORCEMENT OFFICER Rep. Limehouse
This bill raises penalties for the failure to stop a vehicle when signaled by a law enforcement
provision is eliminated which allows for expungement from one's record records of certain
for the violation.
H.3774 RESISTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT
OFFICER Rep. Limehouse
This bill converts the existing maximum time limits for imprisonment for violations of resisting
officer into mandatory minimum sentences. The bill provides that an individual who resists a law
officer while using a weapon is guilty of a felony and subject to a fine of not less than five
thousand dollars and not
more than twenty thousand dollars or a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years.
H.3779 TERM OF COURT Rep.
This bill defines "term of court" as one week of court set by the Chief Justice in the indictment or
failure to indict
and trial of persons committed for treason or felony.
S.289 USE OF INMATE LABOR BY
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS Sen. Anderson
This bill authorizes the Director of the Department of Corrections to establish a program
involving the use of
inmate labor by a nonprofit organization. Participants are allowed to earn credits towards a
reduction in sentence.
H.3780 ARSON Rep. Young
This bill revises criteria for arson in the first, second, and third degree, and raises penalties for
arson in the first
and second degrees.
H.3781 LIABILITY FOR PAYMENT OF A
DEED RECORDING FEE Rep. Young
This bill specifies that the deed recording fee is computed based on the value of the interest
described in the deed and not on the number of parties to the deed.
H.3782 EX PARTE ORDER FOR
PROTECTION FROM DOMESTIC ABUSE Rep. Harrison
This bill provides conditions for when a court is authorized to issue an ex parte order for
protection from domestic
abuse. The ex parte order may also include relief for temporary custody, temporary child
alimony, possession of the marital home, and other appropriate relief.
H.3783 REMOVAL OF CHILD FROM
CUSTODY OF PARENTS/GUARDIANS Rep. Allison
This bill requires that all plans for the placement of a child who has been removed from the
parents/guardians should include a determination of whether it is in the best interest of the child
that the parents,
guardians, or anyone else know of the placement of and location of the child. The bill authorizes
as much contact
between the placed child and parents/guardians as is reasonably possible and consistent with the
H.3786 CONCEALABLE WEAPONS FOR
JUDGES AND MAGISTRATES Rep. Knotts
This bill authorizes a judge or magistrate to carry a concealable weapon anywhere within the
completion of a State Law Enforcement Division firearms training course.
H.3790 DOMESTICATION OF A FOREIGN
ADOPTION Rep. Bauer
This bill provides that in the case of domesticating the foreign adoption of a foreign child, the
court shall transmit
the certificate of adoption to the state registrar without the necessary hearing in all cases where
the court finds the
documentation satisfactory. Court Administration is required in consultation with the
Services to prepare and make available adoption forms and guidelines for obtaining the
domestication of a foreign
H.3791 THREATENING A HIGHWAY
PATROLMAN Rep. Tripp
This bill provides that penalties for threatening the life, person, or family of a public official also
apply for threats
against a highway patrolmen.
H.3794 TRESPASSING Rep.
This bill provides conditions under which the owner of abutting land is exempt from criminal
civil liability for
trespassing when his entry onto another's land is necessary for maintenance or repair.
H.3808 RATE OF INTEREST ON MONETARY
DECREES/JUDGEMENTS Rep. Limbaugh
This bill provides that instead of fourteen percent per annum, the legal rate of interest for
monetary decrees and
judgements is equal to the coupon issue yield equivalent, as determined by the State Treasurer,
accepted auction price for the last auction of fifty-two week United States Treasury bills settled
to the date of the judgement. Interest shall be computed daily to the date of payment and shall be
H.3812 REVIEW OF REGULATIONS BY
GENERAL ASSEMBLY Rep. Knotts
This bill provides that the time within which the General Assembly has to review regulations and
take action is
based on legislative days rather than calendar days.
H.3814 FRAUDULENT CHECKS Rep.
This bill provides for a Worthless Check Unit within the circuit solicitor's office for the purpose
S.340 FILING OF FALSE TAX RETURNS
This bill increases the fine for filing a false tax returns for the purpose of delay, and requires
award of damages by
the administrative law judge rather than the circuit court for frivolous or dilatory proceedings. The bill revises
penalties for supplying false withholding information to an employer and for filing of a false
S.480 COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS OF
TERRORISM Sen. Courtney
This bill provides that certain victims of terrorism outside of the United States may file for
benefits with the
victim's compensation fund.
H.3821 INITIATIVE PETITION Rep. J.
This bill provides for the enactment of a law or amendment to the states constitution initiated by
by no fewer than ten percent of the qualified electors eligible to vote at the last general election,
proposed law or amendment then receives a majority vote. The General Assembly is authorized
additional requirements for initiative petition.
H.3824 NONRESIDENT BENEFICIARIES OF
ESTATES AND TRUSTS Rep. J. Smith
This bill provides that if a nonresident beneficiary of a trust or estate files an acceptable affidavit
Department of Revenue agreeing that he is subject to the personal jurisdiction of the department
and courts of this
state for the purpose of determining and collecting state taxes, including estimated taxes,
interest and penalties, the trust or estate is not required to withhold with regard to that
H.3825 FAMILY COURT INJUNCTIONS
Rep. J. Smith
This bill variously enhances enforcement of family court injunctions issued in divorce suits. Courts of competent
jurisdiction may provide for the arrest or detention, with or without a warrant, and upon
reasonable suspicion, of
an individual violating or threatening violation of injunctions protecting parties from
LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
H.3764 CERTIFIED PUBLIC
ACCOUNTANTS Rep. Cato
This bill revises various provisions for forms of practice and requirements for certified public
Board of Accountancy is required to promulgate regulations conforming to the American
Public Accountants standards for contingent fees, commissions, and forms of practice. Until
promulgated, the Institute's standards apply.
S.204 PLACING INSURANCE WITH A
SURPLUS LINES INSURER Sen. Courson
This bill raises from twenty to thirty the number of days within which a broker must file a
request with the
Department of Insurance for approval of placing insurance with a surplus lines insurer.
S.451 HEALTH INSURERS RESTRICTION OF
PHARMACISTS Sen. McConnell
This bill repeals the section of Act 394 of 1994 which relates to the three-year prospective repeal
which prohibits a
health insurer from restricting selection of a pharmacist of choice, or from restricting a
the right to
participate as a provider if the terms of the policy are met.
S.452 INSURANCE REPORTS OF LOSS AND
EXPENSE EXPERIENCE Sen. McConnell
This bill revises certain reporting requirements and provides the Director of the Department of
in requiring insurers to submit reports of loss and expense experience.
H.3785 REQUIRED INSTALLATION OF
SMOKE DETECTORS Rep. Askins
This bill reduces from fifteen to seven the number of days in which an individual must comply
of installing, repairing, or replacing smoke detectors to avoid committing a first violation.
H.3792 INSURANCE ASSIGNED RISKS
This bill provides that insurers who participate in the voluntary market must participate in
share risks and pay all assessments required of them.
S.412 CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS Sen.
This bill prohibits a bank, financial organization, or other entity issuing a credit or debit card
blocking from the account more than one hundred percent of the value of a purchase or
transaction entered into by
H.3811 DISPUTE OVER AMOUNT DUE IN
WAGES Rep. Bauer
This bill provides that an employer may withhold payment of wages for three days when there is
dispute as to the
amount due in wages.
S.310 PATIENTS' INSURANCE AND BENEFITS
PROTECTION ACT Senate Banking and Insurance
This bill requires any employer of more than fifty persons which offers only a closed panel, or
network plan, to
also offer an open panel plan in which the patient may choose the provider of health care. An
the open panel plan would be responsible for payments in excess of what the closed panel plan
would pay, not to
exceed a deferential of twenty percent between network and outside providers. An employee
annually on the type of plan, but, in the case of a critical illness, the employee could move from
closed panel to
an open panel plan, regardless of the time of year. "Gag clauses" which prohibit
discussing certain treatment options are eliminated.
S.442 PAYMENT OF COUNTY TAXES BY
CREDIT CARD Sen. Leatherman
This bill allows for the payment of county taxes by credit card, subject to approval and
of a voluntary
and nonrefundable surcharge by the county governing body.
H.3820 PRACTICING PSYCHOLOGY Rep.
This bill redefines the acts which constitute the practice of psychology. The bill removes the
allows an individual to be licensed who has a doctor's degree in an allied field rather than
psychology license may be awarded without examination. Exemptions from required licensure
are clarified. Penalties are increased for violations of the psychology practice act.
H.3822 LOANS SECURED BY A FIRST LIEN
ON LANDS Rep. J. Smith
This bill includes as a consumer credit sale, a sale of interest in land if the debt is secured by a
lien on land. A
loan secured by a first lien on land is included as a consumer loan. Loans secured by a first lien
land are no
longer excluded from provisions of the Consumer Protection Code.
H.3830 PRIZE PROMOTIONS AND
UNSOLICITED CONSUMER TELEPHONE CALLS Rep. J. Smith
This bill defines and regulates "prize promotions" in unsolicited consumer telephone calls by
requiring a telephone
solicitor to disclose promptly the identity of the seller, the nature of goods and services to be
and that no
purchase is necessary to win or participate in a prize promotion where such promotion is offered. Upon request,
the telemarketer must disclose the no purchase/no payment entry method for the prize
MEDICAL, MILITARY, PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
H.3758 COUNTY VETERANS AFFAIRS
OFFICERS Rep. Felder
This bill defines a "veteran" as a person who served on active duty for a period of more than 180
days and was
discharged or released from such active duty with an honorable discharge or, if 180 days or less,
was discharged or
released from service active duty because of a service-connected disability. The bill also
a county veterans
affairs officer position to be filled by a qualified veteran or by a qualified nonveteran if the
considered has lesser qualifications.
The bill also requires all county veterans affairs officers to successfully complete a
training and be issued accreditation within two years following initial appointment, either
the Division of
Veterans' Affairs or through an accredited national veterans service organization. Any county
officer who does not complete the required training and receive accreditation within the first two
appointment is ineligible for reappointment by the county legislative delegation. Additionally, in
order to maintain
accreditation, refresher training is required every two years.
H.3760 PREGNANCY PREVENTION
EDUCATION COURSE Rep. Moody-Lawrence
This bill requires a female who is pregnant, unmarried, and under 18 years of age to attend and
pregnancy prevention education course which includes instruction on birth control methods and
transmitted diseases. The course must be offered free of charge by the county health
H.3765 S.C. PUBLIC HOSPITAL FAIRNESS
ACT Rep. Tripp
This bill enacts the "South Carolina Public Hospital Fairness Act". Under the provisions of the
bill, certain public
hospitals must allow other facilities to purchase the regional services offered by the hospital at
without the requirement that a particular volume of service be purchased. a facility that
service is entitled to do so for itself and for the benefit of insurance companies and other entities
who pay for
health care services rendered to their insureds, subscribers, or members.
Upon request from a facility, a public hospital must provide in writing a complete, detailed
statement of all offered
prices currently offered or agreed to be offered in the future regarding each regional service
provided by the public
hospital or its affiliates within that service radius. No public hospital may provide beneficial
for regional service to induce the facility purchasing the service to encourage a person or entity
to obtain any other
health care service from the public hospital rather than from another hospital located in the same
area which is
willing to provide the service at a comparable price.
If a public hospital or any of its affiliates violates or threatens to violate these provisions, a
that, as a result
of the actual or threatened violation, has failed or would fail to receive the benefits of the service
may bring a civil
action to recover damages and/or to obtain injunctive relief. The trial judge must award the
facility which obtains
damages or injunctive relief or both three times the actual damages, reasonable attorney's fees
H.3801 PENSION FUND FOR MUNICIPAL
FIREMEN Rep. Wilkins
This bill changes the composition of the Board of Trustees of the Pension Fund for Municipal
Firemen. Under the
provisions of the bill, the board of trustees will consist of five members as follows: the chief of
department, the mayor of the city, or one member of council to be appointed by the mayor who
will serve a
two-year term, and three members elected in such manner and with such qualifications as council
prescribes and having terms of office of not more than three years.
H.3784 LICENSING OF PHYSICAL
THERAPISTS Rep. Haskins
This bill conforms the chapter concerning the licensure and regulation of physical therapists to
framework established for professional licensing boards in South Carolina Code. The bill also
requirement for treatment by prescription from a physician or dentist, clarifies the scope of
practice, and makes
several other changes related to the practice of physical therapy.
H.3795 RECOVERY OF MEDICAID
ASSISTANCE Rep. Fleming
This bill repeals Section 43-7-460, which mandates the State Health and Human Services
seek recovery of medical assistance paid under the Title XIX State Plan for Medical Assistance
from the estate of
WAYS AND MEANS
H.3757 EARNINGS LIMITATION UNDER STATE
RETIREMENT SYSTEM Rep. Hinson
This bill provides that consulting fees paid to a retired member of the state retirement system by
covered by the system are considered earnings within the earnings limitations of the system. The
bill also provides
that consulting fees paid to a retired member of the police retirement system by an employer
covered by the system
are considered earnings within the earnings limitations of that system.
H.3759 EXEMPTIONS FROM AD VALOREM
TAXATION Rep. Felder
This bill provides an exemption from ad valorem taxation for properties owned within
State and used or
occupied by a county fair association that is exempt from federal income taxation under Section
501(c) of the US
Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
H.3762 HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION
PROPERTY Rep. Klauber
This bill provides that for purposes of equalization and assessment, a homeowners' association
may designate one
or any number of its qualifying tracts or parcels as homeowners' association property for
H.3763 PRESCRIPTIONS UNDER STATE
HEALTH PLAN Rep. Martin
This bill provides that participating pharmacies of the state health plan shall bill the state health
program for reimbursement after employees have met their deductible, and that state employees
covered by the
prescription plan shall pay the copayment to the pharmacy at the time the prescription is filled.
H.3769 STATE LOTTERIES Rep.
This joint resolution proposes an amendment to the SC Constitution authorizing the state (as
provided for by the
General Assembly) to conduct lotteries. Revenues would fund lottery operational expenses
(maximum 15%) and
lottery prizes (50%), with the remaining funds used to provide scholarships to in-state residents
attend post-secondary institutions in South Carolina in the manner provided by the General
Assembly by law.
S.207 VIDEO GAMES Sen. Hayes
This bill relates to sections of current law which provide that coin-operated nonpayout machines
with a free play
feature are not illegal. The bill provides that regulation of video games pursuant to the Video
Act is not prohibited, including the prohibition on payoffs and location of these machines in
counties where such
payouts and machines are prohibited under the local option provisions of that Act. The bill
penalties for machines located in counties where payouts are prohibited, including fines,
revocation of machine
license, and seizure and disposal of machines.
H.3802 DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION
FILED WITH DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE Rep. Boan
This bill allows the disclosure of specific information to a U.S. Senator from South Carolina, a
Representative from South Carolina, a South Carolina Constitutional Officer, or a member of the
General Assembly in connection with a taxpayer's written inquiry for assistance to the elected
official, who has
then referred the taxpayer to the South Carolina Department of Revenue for assistance.
H.3803 TAX RETURN INFORMATION
This bill provides that it is unlawful for an officer or employee of the Department of Revenue to
deliberately a return or return information of a taxpayer to obtain a personal gain or advantage. A
convicted of violating this provision would be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned not
more than one year,
or both, together with the costs of prosecution. In addition, a person convicted of such a
violation would be
dismissed from office or discharged from employment.
H.3787 SCHOLASTIC EXCELLENCE
THROUGH EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FUND Rep.
This bill establishes the Scholastic Excellence through Educational Development Fund, which
merit-based scholarships to cover tuition and fees to eligible resident students attending
and universities. The bill requires that the South Carolina Public Service Authority pay into the
fund from its
operating budget an amount determined by the Budget and Control Board which shall be equal to
the local, state,
and federal taxes it would have paid for that year if it had been a for-profit, privately-owned
including but not limited to property tax, sales tax, generation and income tax. The bill provides
requirements for the scholarships, including requirements for a student's residency and for
and a requirement that students must apply for federal financial aid to be eligible for a
Merit-based scholarships would cover only tuition and fees not covered by Pell Grants or other
The scholarship fund would be administered by the Commission on Higher Education.
H.3809 FEES IN LIEU OF TAXES Rep.
This bill requires that, for purposes of fee in lieu of property taxes arrangements and industrial
projects, investors must file a copy of the inducement or lease agreement with the Department of
Revenue and the
county auditors and the county assessors for the county or counties in which the project is
days of the date of execution of the agreement.
H.3810 FILING OF REGISTRATION
STATEMENTS Rep. Harrell
This bill provides that a parent-teacher organization affiliated with an educational institution is
exempt from filing
a registration statement with the Attorney General, provided none of its fund-raising activities
carried on by
H.3813 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
CORPORATION ACT OF 1997 Rep. Cobb-Hunter
This bill enacts the "Community Development Corporation Act of 1997" and authorizes the
Commerce to expend funds for grants and loans to community development corporations to
corporations' projects, activities, and operations. A "community development corporation" is
defined as a
501(c)(3) tax exempt, nonprofit corporation whose primary mission is to develop and improve
communities and neighborhoods through economic and related development; who designates a
low income area as
the specific geographic community within which it will operate; whose activities and decisions
managed, and controlled by the constituents of those local communities; and whose primary
function is to enhance
the economic opportunities of the people in the community served, including efforts to enable
them to become
owners and managers of small businesses and producers of affordable housing and jobs in the
The bill requires that the Department of Commerce provide funds to the SC Association of
Development to capitalize a "Community Development Fund" to leverage private investments in
order to build the
organizational capacity of the association. The bill requires that the Department of Commerce
revolving loan fund for making small loans ($100,000 or less) to community development
economic development projects and activities. The bill delineates procedures to be used for
awarding grants and
S.343 SALE OF PROPERTY FOR DELINQUENT
TAXES Sen. Leatherman
This bill provides an alternative site for the auction of property being sold for delinquent taxes. In
addition to the
currently-allowed courthouse site, the bill provides that the property may be sold at other
buildings owned or
leased by the county where the property tax records are kept, if designated and advertised.
H.3819 FEE IN LIEU OF TAXES Rep.
This bill enacts the "Fee in Lieu of Tax Simplification Act of 1997." The purpose of the bill is to
method for obtaining the fee in lieu of tax benefits while maintaining the county council
process. The bill
eliminates the requirement for the issuance of industrial revenue bonds or the transfer of title of
property to a
county, which is intended to facilitate the benefit for the county and for the company making the
H.3826 APPROPRIATIONS TO VETERANS'
ORGANIZATIONS Rep. J. Smith
This bill requires that, to the extent that the General Assembly appropriates funds for the use of
organizations, it must appropriate funds for the use of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., in
like amount and
under the same conditions. The bill also requires that the appropriation for the Vietnam Veterans
of America, Inc.
must be in addition to amounts previously appropriated for other veterans' organizations.
H.3827 CONSTITUTIONAL DEBT LIMIT
EXEMPTIONS Rep. Harrell
This bill exempts from the constitutional debt limitation revenue derived by governmental
other than the exercise of "the power of ad valorem taxation."
Current law exempts from the constitutional debt limitation revenue derived by governmental
entities from activity
other than the exercise of "the power of taxation."
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