Legislative Update
February 26, 2008
Vol. 25, No. 07

South Carolina House of Representatives
Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the House

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND CONSTITUENT SERVICES
Room 213, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C. 29211, (803) 734-3230


CONTENTS

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.


Legislative Update, February 26, 2008

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW

The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4494, a bill authorizing the CONTINUATION OF THE RESEARCH CENTERS OF ECONOMIC EXCELLENCE program that utilizes South Carolina Education Lottery funds for the creation of endowed professorships at the Stateís research universities to anchor centers conducting scientific research with business applications. The legislation allows for the continuation of the program by eliminating the $200,000,000 monetary cap and the 2010 expiration date for funding that are currently imposed upon the Centers of Excellence Matching Endowment. The legislation revises matching fund provisions by replacing requirements for private funds with requirements for nonstate funds, thereby allowing such sources as federal funds to be counted for matching purposes. Matching fund provisions are also revised to allow for the acceptance of cash equivalent and in-kind donations from nonstate sources. The legislation provides that eligible research universities are strongly encouraged to partner with other South Carolina colleges and universities to develop proposals that will enhance the economic competitiveness of our State, and to enhance science and engineering through collaborations in related disciplines. The legislation specifies that endowment appropriations may not be funded until all state-supported scholarships are fully funded. The legislation also revises the reporting requirements for the Research Centers of Excellence Review Board so as to provide that their annual report be issued to the General Assembly as well as to the State Budget and Control Board.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4470, a bill establishing TAX CREDITS AND INCENTIVES FOR FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEM INSTALLATION AND IMPROVEMENT, in commercial and residential structures that complies with the standards of the National Fire Protection Association. This bill provides a state income tax credit for the purchase, installation, or improvement of a fire sprinkler system equal to eighty percent of the costs of purchase, installation, and retrofitting of the system, not to exceed fifty thousand dollars. The legislation exempts fire sprinkler systems from the state sales tax. The legislation revises provisions for the depreciation allowed in the valuation of manufacturing property for purposes of the property tax, so as to allow a twenty percent annual depreciation for the addition or upgrade of a fire sprinkler. This cost may be completely depreciated. The legislation allows an exemption from county property taxes for five years for the first fifty thousand dollars of the cost of adding to and upgrades of fire sprinkler systems. The legislation limits charges imposed by municipal and special service district water systems for separate lines for fire sprinkler systems to actual costs. The State Fire Marshal is assigned additional authority relating to fire sprinkler systems.

The House approved S.598, the "TELEVISION PROGRAMMING PROTECTION ACT," and enrolled the bill for ratification. This legislation requires a cable or video service provider that uses digital transmission technology to deliver its programming to block completely all video and audio on any channel that a subscriber has not purchased at no charge to the subscriber. A cable or video service provider that uses analog transmission technology to deliver its programming must notify its subscribers that it will, upon request, carry out such blocking at no charge to the subscriber. Within five days of receiving a subscriberís request, the analog service provider must block all video and audio on any channel that the subscriber has not purchased. The time frames do not apply if compliance is not possible due to circumstances beyond the service providerís control. The legislation provides that a cable or video service provider that intends to deliver channels to its subscribers on a promotional basis is required to give its subscribers advanced notice and inform them that, upon request, all video and audio on such channels can be completely blocked. Unless a subscriber makes such a request, a service provider may, on a promotional basis, deliver one or more channels not purchased by a subscriber. The legislation also establishes a protocol for rectifying instances where blocked channels are transmitted due to equipment failure.

The House overrode the Governorís veto on H.3379, which provides LIFE AND PALMETTO FELLOWS ELIGIBILITY FOR SOUTH CAROLINA RESIDENTS ATTENDING OUT-OF-STATE HIGH SCHOOLS. The Senate subsequently overrode the veto as well, allowing the bill to become law. The legislation provides South Carolina residents who attend high school in another state eligibility for Palmetto Fellows and LIFE scholarships using the rank criteria. Students may qualify by using the rank criteria - in addition to the GPA and SAT/ACT provisions -if the rank from their respective high school is calculated using a state-approved, standardized grading scale.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3059, a bill relating to GIVING FALSE INFORMATION OR IDENTIFICATION TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER. This bill provides that it is unlawful for a person to knowingly make a false complaint to a law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of a crime by another, or for a person to knowingly give false information to a rescue squad or fire department concerning the alleged occurrence of a health emergency or fire. The bill further provides that it is unlawful for a person to misrepresent his identification to a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or for the purpose of avoiding criminal charges. Violations are misdemeanors. Upon conviction, a person must be fined not more than $200 dollars or imprisoned not more than 30 days.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4363, a bill pertaining to MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT. Among other things, highlights of the legislation include:

  1. Changing references from the Division of Motor Vehicles to the Office of Motor Vehicles;
  2. Deleting current provisions which require the hiring of a law clerk or other assistant solely to assist the judges who hear Department of Motor Vehicle Hearing appeals;
  3. Outlining a process that the Department of Motor Vehicles must follow with regards to motions to reconsider certain hearings;
  4. Providing that administrative law judges and hearing officers are under the jurisdiction of the State Ethics Commission;
  5. Allowing an administrative law judge or hearing officer and the judgeís or hearing officerís spouse or guest to accept an invitation to attend a judicial-related or bar-related functions, or an activity devoted to the improvement of the law, legal system or administration of justice;
  6. Outlining notice requirements that must be included when the Department of Motor Vehicles determines a person to be an habitual offender;
  7. Outlining further requirements that an habitual offender must meet in order to have his privilege to operate a motor vehicle restored; and
  8. Providing additional sanctions with regards to habitual offenders.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3478. The bill pertains to WAGE WITHHOLDING FOR THE COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS. Under this bill, the family court may order wage withholding upon finding that a person, who is not required to pay through wage withholding or the family court, is, or has been, in arrears in an amount equal to three or more month's support obligation. The bill provides that without further order, a child support order may extend past the age of eighteen years if the child is still attending high school and is making satisfactory progress, not to exceed high school graduation or the end of the school year after the child reaches nineteen years of age, whichever is later. The bill further provides that when a support order or income-withholding order issued in another state is registered, the registering tribunal shall notify the nonregistering party. This bill provides that the notice must be given by first-class, certified, or registered mail or by any means of personal service authorized by the law of this State.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3853, which relates to SAFETY EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS ON A PROJECTING LOAD THAT EXTENDS TO THE REAR FOUR FEET OR MORE. This bill requires commercial vehicles transporting unprocessed forest products to be equipped with certain amber strobe lights as close as practical to the end of the projecting load. The bill includes provisions for the use of a red light or lantern, in the event the strobe light becomes temporarily inoperable. For all other vehicles, the projecting load must be marked at the extreme rear with a red flag or cloth not less than twelve inches by twelve inches so that the entire area is visible to the driver of a vehicle approaching from the rear. Utility companies when responding to an emergency are exempt from these provisions.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4357, a bill pertaining to COMMERCIAL ADVERTISEMENT ON BUS SHELTERS AND BENCHES. This bill allows bus shelters and benches including those on which commercial advertisements to be erected and maintained within the rights-of-way of public roads at bus stops of public authorities. A person erecting a bus shelter or bench, including those on which commercial advertisements are placed, within the right-of-way of a state road must obtain a permit for all shelter or bench locations from the Department of Transportation. Commercial advertisements may be placed only on bus shelters or benches belonging to or permitted through a public owner who has awarded an advertising contract through a competitive bid process. The bill includes provisions for payment and collection of fees for advertising permits. Penalties are provided for violations.


HOUSE COMMITTEE ACTION

AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

The full committee did not meet this week.

EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS

The Education and Public Works Committee met on Wednesday, February 13, 2007.

Debate was adjourned on H.3979, a bill pertaining to MOTOR HOMES.

H.3982, relating to GROSS VEHICLE WEIGHT, received a favorable report from the full committee. This bill provides for commercial drivers licenses to be issued based on the gross vehicle weight rating. Also existing statutes identify the maximum empty weight and the maximum gross vehicle weight that a pickup can have in order to be issued certain special plates. This bill provides one standard to use to issue special plates or regular passenger plates for pickups.

The committee gave a favorable recommendation to H.4511. Relating to MOPED DRIVERíS LICENSES, this bill repeals a current statute which provides that a photograph of the licensee is not required.

H.4560 received a favorable report from the Education and Public Works Committee. This bill allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue EMERGENCY WAIVERS OF REGISTRATION AND LICENSING REQUIREMENTS OF MOTOR CARRIERS PROVIDING HUMANITARIAN RELIEF during the time of an emergency.

H.4662, a bill which makes EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY ACT REVISIONS, received a favorable with amendment recommendation from the full committee. However, as of the publication deadline for the Legislative Update, the proposed amendment was unavailable.

JUDICIARY

The Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday, February 12, 2008.

The Judiciary Committee gave a favorable with amendment report to H.4620, a PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ELIMINATING CERTAIN STATE CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICERS AND PROVIDING FOR THE JOINT ELECTION OF THE GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR. This joint resolution proposes to amend the State Constitution so as to delete the Adjutant General, Commissioner of Agriculture, and Superintendent of Education from the list of state officers which the constitution requires to be elected. Upon the expiration of the terms of these officers serving in office on the date of the ratification of this provision, these positions must be appointed by the governor, upon the advice and consent of the General Assembly, to serve at his pleasure and to be removable by him for any reason. The proposed amendment includes additional provisions relating to the Adjutant General so as, among other things, to update references to his title and military rank. This proposed constitutional amendment also abolishes the State Board of Education effective upon the State Superintendent of Education being appointed by the governor. This joint resolution also provides for the joint election of the governor and lieutenant governor. This joint resolution proposing to amend the State Constitution would be submitted to the voters at the next general election.

H.3028, relating to MISREPRESENTATION OF THE IDENTITY OF FOOD OR A FOOD PRODUCT, received a favorable with amendment report. Under this legislation, it is an unfair trade practice to knowingly and wilfully misrepresent the identity of food or a food product in connection with the sale, offer for sale, barter, trafficking in, or other distribution or offer of distribution of the food or food product. The identity of food or a food product is misrepresented if the food or food product (1) is served, sold, or otherwise distributed or offered for distribution under the name of another food or food product; (2) is represented to be a product of the State of South Carolina but is actually the product of another state; or (3) is misrepresented as meeting the definition of identity or standard of quality as established by law or, absent a legal definition of standard, as established by custom and usage.

The Judiciary Committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation to H.3478. The bill pertains to WAGE WITHHOLDING FOR THE COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS. Under this bill, the family court may order wage withholding upon finding that a person, who is not required to pay through wage withholding or the family court, is, or has been, in arrears in an amount equal to three or more month's support obligation. The bill provides that without further order, a child support order may extend past the age of eighteen years if the child is still attending high school and is making satisfactory progress, not to exceed high school graduation or the end of the school year after the child reaches nineteen years of age, whichever is later. The bill further provides that when a support order or income-withholding order issued in another state is registered, the registering tribunal shall notify the nonregistering party. This bill provides that the notice must be given by first-class, certified, or registered mail or by any means of personal service authorized by the law of this State.

The full committee adjourned debate on the following bills:

  1. S.110, the "UNIFORM EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS ACT"
  2. H.3094, a bill pertaining to LOCATIONS IN WHICH A SEX OFFENDER MAY RESIDE

The Judiciary Committee recommitted H.4404, a bill which makes it UNLAWFUL TO INSTALL, OPERATE OR DISPOSE OF A VEHICLE WITH A FALSE OR SECRET COMPARTMENT, to the Criminal Laws Subcommittee.

LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

The full committee did not meet this week.

MEDICAL, MILITARY, PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS

The full committee did not meet this week.

WAYS AND MEANS

The full committee did not meet this week.


BILLS INTRODUCED IN THE
HOUSE THIS WEEK

AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

S.933 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY STUDY RESOLUTION Sen. Ceips
This concurrent resolution urges members of the South Carolina Delegation to the United States Congress to request that the Environmental Protection Agency study Port Royal Sound as a candidate for the National Estuary Program.

S.985 HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES AUTHORIZED FOR SALE Sen. Gregory
This bill deletes a statewide lifetime hunting and fishing license and establishes requirements for a senior lifetime license. This bill requires a person who has been a domiciled resident of South Carolina for at least one hundred and eighty days preceding the date of application and who has attained the age of sixty-four may obtain a senior lifetime license for either statewide fishing and hunting or statewide fishing for nine dollars. The bill also revises statewide fishing privileges and statewide hunting privileges.

S.986 CHANGES IN DISABILITY LICENSE UNDER THE HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES AUTHORIZED FOR SALE Sen. Gregory
This bill allows for a three-year disability license for either statewide fishing and hunting or statewide fishing at no cost. In addition, a person, on the date of application, with quadriplegia or paraplegia, who is certified as totally disabled, must be issued a lifetime disability license and disability recertification or renewal of this license is not required. The bill allows for other related agencies and programs to determine the disability status and revises statewide fishing privileges and statewide hunting privileges.

EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS

H.4669 LIGHT DUTY VEHICLES PROCEEDING THROUGH RED LIGHTS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES Rep. G. M. Smith
Under certain circumstances, this bill allows a driver of a motorcycle, moped, bicycle or other light duty vehicle that approaches an intersection that is controlled by a traffic control device equipped with a vehicle sensor to proceed through the intersection on a steady red light.

H.4680 CHANGES IN MEMBERSHIP ON THE SPARTANBURG COUNTY COMMISSION FOR TECHNICAL AND COMMUNITY EDUCATION Rep. Walker
This bill makes changes in regards to the membership of the Spartanburg County Commission for Technical and Community Education. The bill provides for representation on the commission by a member from Cherokee County School District One and by a member from the School District of Union County. The bill also reduces from four to two the at-large members from Spartanburg County.

H.4697 COUNTERFEIT DRIVER'S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD Rep. Walker
This bill provides that it is unlawful to produce, display or possess a counterfeit driver's license or personal identification card.

JUDICIARY

S.104 THE SOUTH CAROLINA CIVIL WAR SESQUICENTENNIAL ADVISORY BOARD Sen. McConnell
This bill creates a nineteen member South Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial Advisory Board. The purpose of the board is to: (1) promote a suitable statewide observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War; (2) cooperate and assist national, state, and local organizations with programs and activities suitable for the sesquicentennial observance; (3) assist in ensuring that any observance of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War is inclusive and appropriately recognizes the experiences and points of view of all people affected by the Civil War; and (4) provide assistance for the development of programs, projects, and activities on the Civil War that have lasting educational value.

S.936 UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE REVISIONS Sen. McConnell
This comprehensive legislation revises portions of the Uniform Commercial Code pertaining to negotiable instruments and bank deposits and collections.

H.4694 QUALIFICATIONS FOR SERVICE ON THE STATE GRAND JURY Rep. Harrison
This bill provides that a person who is currently charged in a state or federal court with a criminal offense which carries a maximum penalty of one year or more is not qualified to serve as a juror on a state grand jury.

H.4695 ALTERNATE JURORS Rep. Harrison
Relating to the calling of alternate jurors in the court of common pleas and general sessions, this bill allows the presiding judge broader discretion in determining when and how many alternate jurors are necessary in a trial that is likely to be protracted.

H.4696 WRITE-IN BALLOTS Rep. Davenport
This bill provides a place on a primary ballot for write-in names. This bill also deletes the prohibition of a write-in space for the election of president and vice president during the general election.

H.4698 FILLING OF VACANCIES IN THE OFFICE OF THE CORONER Rep. Rutherford
In the event of a vacancy in the office of coroner, current law provides that the governor shall fill the office by appointment. Current law also provides that the chief magistrate of the county or his designee shall serve as coroner until such time as the governor appoints a qualified replacement, and he takes office. Under this bill, the governor would still fill the vacancy, if it occurs one year or less before the next general election for coroners. If a vacancy occurs in the office of county coroner more than one year before the next general election for coroners, this bill provides the governor shall appoint a suitable person until a special election is held to elect a coroner to serve for the remainder of the unexpired term. The bill further provides if a county coroner is suspended by the governor upon the coroner's indictment or for other reasons, the chief magistrate of that county shall act as coroner until the suspended coroner is reinstated or until a coroner is elected and qualifies in the next general election for coroners, whichever occurs first. The chief deputy or second in command of the coroner's office shall act as coroner until the vacancy is filled, except under certain circumstances. While acting as coroner, the chief deputy or second in command is subject to the duties and liabilities incident to the office of coroner and shall receive the same salary as the former coroner at the time of the vacancy or suspension.

LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

S.535 SELECTION OF MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION ON CONSUMER AFFAIRS Sen. Thomas
This bill provides that, beginning February 1, 2008, the members of the Commission on Consumer Affair that are elected by the General Assembly are to be elected every four years.

H.4671 REQUIREMENT FOR NURSING HOMES TO CARRY LIABILITY INSURANCE Rep. Hart
This bill provides that, as a condition of licensure, a nursing home shall obtain and carry a liability insurance policy in the amount of at least one hundred thousand dollars.

H.4674 EXEMPTION FROM GOVERNANCE AS A FRATERNAL BENEFIT SOCIETY AND DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE REGULATION Rep. Cato
This bill exempts from provisions for the governance of fraternal benefit societies and provisions for the regulation of certain associations and societies by the Department of Insurance certain associations in which members are active or retired military officers or enlisted personnel.

H.4675 SALE, PURCHASE, AND TRANSPORT OF BEER BY PRODUCERS Rep. Herbkersman
This bill provides for regulations on the sale, purchase, and transport of beer by producers. The legislation establishes provisions allowing limited on-premises and off-premises tastings.

H.4684 HEALTH INSURANCE POLICY COVERAGE FOR EMERGENCY AMBULANCE SERVICES AND PREHOSPITAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS Rep. Young
This bill provides that all rights and benefits under a health insurance policy may be assigned to an emergency ambulance service or prehospital health care provider. The requirement must be included in all health insurance policies written in this State.

H.4688 REGULATION OF LIQUEFIED PETROLEUM GAS Rep. Battle
This bill revises provisions for the regulation of liquefied petroleum gas. The legislation eliminates the provision that requires a vote by four of the seven members of the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Board to take action. The legislation defines the terms "wholesaler" and "bulk plant" used in the licensure and regulation of liquefied petroleum gas and revises certain definitions. The legislation revises provisions relating to sanctions that may be imposed by the board for violations, so as to include reprimands, civil fines, and license restriction, suspension, and revocation. The legislation further specifies licensure requirements including establishing a limitation on the number of sites for which a person may be responsible and the distance of such sites from the personís work site. Licensure is established for liquefied petroleum gas wholesalers. The legislation revises provisions relating to liability insurance requirements for liquefied petroleum gas plants, dealers, resellers, cylinder exchange companies, and installers, so as to include wholesalers and to increase the required coverage from five hundred thousand dollars to one million dollars. The legislation revises provisions relating to sanctions that may be imposed by the State Fire Marshal for conditions hazardous to the public safety, so as to provide that such sanctions may be imposed for chapter violations and to further specify the administrative penalties that may be imposed. The legislation removes owners, managers, and operators of vehicles from a requirement for making fire reports. The legislation eliminates certain provisions relating to dealer storage capacities, grounding electrical circuits or appliances, and safety cut off valves.

H.4691 CONCURRENT RESOLUTION URGING DISAPPROVAL OF THE IMPORTATION OF ITALIAN LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE Rep. Knight
This concurrent resolution urges the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to disapprove the request to import and dispose of Italian low-level radioactive waste in this country.

H.4692 WIRELESS CLOUD OVER ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL FACILITIES Rep. Harvin
This joint resolution directs the State Budget and Control Board Chief Information Officer and the South Carolina Educational Television Network to provide a wireless cloud over all public school facilities and over a ten-mile radius surrounding the facilities using existing infrastructure.

H.4693 AUTOMOBILE INSURERS REQUIRED TO NOTIFY INSUREDS WHEN PREMIUMS ARE INCREASED DUE TO CHANGES IN THE INSUREDíS CREDIT REPORTS Rep. Frye
This bill provides that if an insuredís premiums are increased by an automobile insurer, because of a credit report, the insurer shall notify the insured of this fact, and include a copy of the insuredís credit report upon which the insurer based its premium increase at no cost to the insured.

MEDICAL, MILITARY, PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS

H.4687 SCHEDULE I DRUGS Rep. Huggins
This bill adds Salvia Divinorum and Salvinorin to the current list of Schedule I drugs.

WAYS AND MEANS

S.524 PROCEEDS OF ACCOMMODATIONS FEES, HOSPITALITY FEES, AND STATE ACCOMMODATIONS FEES MAY BE PLEDGED AS SECURITY Sen. Leatherman
This bill provides that the proceeds of accommodations fees, hospitality fees, and state accommodations fees may be pledged as security.

S.951 DISTRIBUTION OF REVENUES FROM THE EXCISE TAX ON THE SALE OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS FOR ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION Sen. Hayes
This bill revises provisions for the distribution of the revenues from the five percent excise tax on the sale of alcoholic liquors for on-premises consumption, so as to provide that the minimum distribution to state agencies, counties, and local entities must be based on revenues received in fiscal year 2004-2005, rather than revenues allocated.

S.1066 STATE FARMERSí MARKET Sen. Leatherman
This joint resolution authorizes the Department of Agriculture to relocate the Columbia State Farmersí Market from its current location in Richland County to Lexington County. The legislation re-authorizes certain expenditures for relocation and authorizes the Commissioner of Agriculture to terminate the pending project that relocates the market to the Walker Tract in Richland County. The legislation authorizes the commissioner to implement a statewide farmersí market plan.

S.1075 SCHOOL DISTRICTS AFFECTED BY THE LACK OF REVISION OF THE 2007 FINAL INDEX OF TAXPAYING ABILITY Senate Finance
This joint resolution supplements the school districts negatively affected by the lack of revision of the 2007 Final Index of Taxpaying Ability. The legislation provides that a school district positively affected by the lack of revision of the 2007 Final Index of Taxpaying Ability shall direct the excess funds toward nonrecurring allowable expenditures.

H.4670 BUREAU OF CONSUMER SAFETY Rep. Limehouse
This bill creates within the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control the Bureau of Consumer Safety. The legislation provides that this bureau shall establish a register of countries and other jurisdictions outside the United States that fail adequately to provide for health and safety in the manufacture of toys, games, and clothing for children and health and beauty aids for all ages that are shipped to or through this state. The bureau shall conduct health and safety inspections of consignments of these goods from countries or other jurisdictions on the register. Goods that pass inspection may be transshipped and goods that fail inspection are to be destroyed. The legislation provides for an appeals process. The bureau, by regulation of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, shall impose inspection fees sufficient to offset the entire cost of the operations of the bureau.

H.4672 REVISIONS TO THE SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS USED FOR CONSTRUCTION OR EXPANSION MANUFACTURING OR DISTRIBUTION FACILITIES Rep. White
This bill moves forward from July 1, 2011, to July 1, 2008, the sales tax exemption allowed for construction materials used in the construction or expansion of a manufacturing or distribution facility. The legislation reduces from one hundred million to fifty million dollars the minimum investment required to receive the exemption. The legislation revises provisions for the classification of property and applicable assessment ratios for purposes of the property tax, so as to revise the definition of manufacturing property with respect to warehousing and distribution facilities owned or leased by a manufacturer.

H.4673 RETIREMENT SYSTEM COST-OF-LIVING INCREASES Rep. Cooper
This bill provides for the awarding of an annual cost-of-living increase in benefits payable by the retirement system for members of the General Assembly using the formula and criteria for calculating such increases used in the South Carolina Retirement System and the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System. The legislation revises provisions for the award of annual cost-of-living increases in benefits paid by the South Carolina Retirement System to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index, so as to increase from one percent to two percent the guaranteed annual adjustment. The legislation revises the criteria which must be met before further increases may be awarded subject to the current overall four percent limit on annual cost-of-living increases. The legislation revises provisions for the award of an annual cost-of-living increase in benefits paid by the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System to reflect increases in the Consumer Price Index, so as to provide a guaranteed two percent annual adjustment. The legislation revises the criteria which must be met before further increases may be awarded subject to the current overall four percent limit on annual cost-of-living increases.

H.4682 SALES TO STATE GOVERNMENT EXEMPTED FROM STATE-IMPOSED SALES TAXES Rep. W. D. Smith
This bill exempts sales to any entity of the South Carolina state government from state-imposed sales taxes. The legislation provides for revenue adjustments to hold harmless education funding and the Homestead Exemption Fund.

H.4683 SURCHARGE ON COURT FINES Rep. Young
This bill imposes a twenty-five dollar surcharge is imposed on all fines, forfeitures, escheatments, or other monetary penalties imposed in the general sessions court or in magistrates or municipal court for misdemeanor traffic offenses or for nontraffic violations. No portion of the surcharge may be waived, reduced, or suspended. The legislation provides for the disposition and uses of the revenues of this surcharge.

H.4685 SITUS REQUIREMENTS OF BOATS FOR PROPERTY TAX PURPOSES Rep. Limehouse
This bill revises the existing situs requirements of boats for property tax purposes by increasing to a total of one hundred eighty days in a property tax year the time in this state necessary for the boat to be subject to property tax.

H.4705 GREEN POWER PILOT PROGRAM Rep. Brady
This joint resolution establishes a pilot program whereby the State Budget and Control Board, Department of Health and Environmental Control, and Department of Natural Resources shall purchase a minimum of one percent of their estimated monthly electricity needs for each building under their control through green power programs available in service areas where their facilities are located. The legislation provides for waivers from this requirement.

H.4706 EXTENSION OF TARGETED JOBS TAX CREDIT TO AIRCRAFT SERVICING FACILITIES Rep. Bowers
This bill revises provisions for the targeted jobs tax credit, so as to extend the eligibility for this credit and other economic incentives that follow from this credit to aircraft servicing facilities.


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