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
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.
End-of-Year Assessments (grades 3-8)
In lieu of the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test (PACT), this bill provides for the Elementary and Middle School Assessment Program (EMSAP). To facilitate the reporting of strand level information and the reporting of student scores prior to the beginning of the next school year, the EMSAP multiple choice items must be administered as close to the end of the school year as possible and the writing assessment must be administered earlier in the school year. Reports from the EMSAP include strand information. The EMSAP would be first administered in 2010.
Subjects Tested for Accountability
The subject areas tested for accountability have not changed with this bill. Subjects tested for accountability are English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
Under the legislation, the State Board of Education shall create a statewide adoption list of formative assessments for grades one through nine aligned with the state content standards in English/language arts and mathematics that satisfies professional measurement standards in accordance with criteria jointly determined by the Education Oversight Committee and the State Department of Education. The formative assessments must provide diagnostic information in a timely manner to all school districts for each student during the course of the school year. For use beginning with the 2009-2010 school year, with funds appropriated by the General Assembly, local districts must be allocated resources to select and administer formative assessments from the statewide adoption list to use to improve student performance in accordance with district improvement plans.
Currently, there is no codified deadline for student assessment results to be provided. This bill provides that assessment results on individual students and schools are due by August 1.
The legislation eliminates provisions for individual student academic plans, parent conferences, and district level reviews for students in grades three through eight lacking the skills to perform at current grade level.
Student Performance Levels
Currently, student performance levels are not codified, but under current practice there are four levels: advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic. This bill provides for three student performance levels: Exemplary (demonstrated exemplary performance in meeting grade level standard), Met (met grade level standard), and Not Met (did not meet grade level standard). For purposes of reporting as required by federal statute, proficiency includes students performing at Met or Exemplary.
School/District Performance Levels
The legislation retains the existing performance levels of excellent, good, average, below average, and unsatisfactory. Under the legislation, graduation rates must be used as an additional accountability measure for high schools and school districts.
State and Federal Level Accountability Reporting Levels
Current practice provides for separate levels for state and federal accountability reporting. This bill provides for the same levels for state and federal accountability reporting.
Annual School and District Report Cards
This bill provides that annual report cards must meet federal report card requirements. This bill further provides that district report cards will include the state’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores as well as scores of the nation. NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas.
Currently, there are two performance awards: Palmetto Gold and Palmetto Silver. In addition to these two awards, this bill provides for a closing the achievement gap award for schools making substantial progress in closing the achievement gap between disaggregated groups.
District and School Performance
Currently, district and school performance are referred to as absolute and improvement. Under this bill, district and school performance are referred to as absolute and growth.
Periodic Review of the Accountability System
The Education Oversight Committee, working with the State Board of Education, shall conduct a cyclical review of the accountability system at least every five years and provide the General Assembly with a report of findings and recommendations. The House appointed a conference committee to address differences with the Senate over S.392, the "SOUTH CAROLINA ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM ACT." The House amended Senate amendments to H.3496, a bill that makes comprehensive changes to DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (DUI) LAWS. The House substituted the Senate’s version of the legislation with the House-approved version and returned the bill to the Senate. The House approved S.1099 and ordered the joint resolution enrolled for ratification. This joint resolution creates a STUDY COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAWS of the State and make recommendations to the General Assembly concerning any proposed changes. The study committee must be composed of five members of the Senate, appointed by the President Pro Tempore, and five members of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House. Any vacancies in the membership of the study committee must be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the manner of original appointment. Members of the study committee may receive per diem, subsistence, and mileage as provided by law for members of state boards, committees, and commissions. The study committee shall make a report of its recommendations to the General Assembly no later than January 31, 2009, at which time the study committee must be dissolved. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3674, the "SOUTH CAROLINA HEALTH CARE FINANCIAL RECOVERY AND PROTECTION ACT." The legislation establishes prompt payment provisions requiring insurers to make timely payments to providers of health care services who submit unproblematic claims. The legislation establishes criteria for what is to be considered a clean claim free of any defect, error, or impropriety. The legislation requires payment within forty business days for a clean claim submitted on paper and payment within twenty business days for a clean claim submitted electronically. The legislation requires an insurer to provide an updated fee schedule upon written request by a physician who is also a participating provider. Each physician may request from an insurer an updated fee schedule no more than two times annually. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4759, legislation EXEMPTING MILITARY BENEFITS SOCIETIES FROM INSURANCE PROVISIONS. The legislation provides an exemption from provisions governing insurers for an association, whether a fraternal benefit society or not, which was organized before 1880 and whose members are officers or enlisted, regular or reserve, active, retired, or honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces or Sea Services of the United States, and a principal purpose of which is to provide insurance and other benefits to its members and their dependents or beneficiaries. Organizations such as the Navy Mutual Insurance Company were formed to afford access to insurance for individuals who might otherwise be unable to obtain coverage due to the risks involved in military service. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4731, a bill designating the nineteenth day of June of each year as ‘JUNETEENTH CELEBRATION OF FREEDOM DAY’ to commemorate and reflect on the freedom of African Americans and their contributions to this State and nation. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4058, a bill relating to PRENEED FUNERAL CONTRACTS. The legislation transfers administrative duties relating to preneed funeral contracts from the State Board of Financial Institutions to the Department of Consumer Affairs. The legislation increases the amounts of fines imposed for violations. The legislation also provides that, before the suspension, revocation, or other action by the department involving a license to sell preneed funeral contracts becomes final, the department shall offer the licensee the opportunity for a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4511, relating to MOPED DRIVER’S LICENSES. This bill repeals a current statute which provides that a photograph of the licensee is not required. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4747, a bill transferring certain provisions into the SOUTH CAROLINA CHILDREN’S CODE.
The full committee did not meet this week.
The full committee did not meet this week.
The Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday, February 26, 2008. H.4065 received a favorable report from the committee. Relating to JURISDICTION OF THE PROBATE COURT, this bill adds the word "general" before "personal representatives" in connection with formal proceedings for their appointment. The full committee gave a favorable recommendation to H.4345. This bill provides that under the STATE REVENUE APPEALS PROCEDURE, a taxpayer is considered to have exhausted his prehearing remedy when the Department of Revenue (DOR) fails to issue a proposed assessment or determination within a specified period. This bill provides that the taxpayer must request a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court (ALC) within a specified period; further, the ALC may remand the case to DOR for a proposed assessment, determination on a refund claim, or final agency determination, in certain circumstances. A taxpayer may request the ALC place the contested case back on the court's active docket within a specified period. The bill requires DOR to notify a taxpayer who files a written protest of his rights concerning appeals procedures. S.110 received a favorable with amendment recommendation from the Judiciary Committee. This bill enacts the "UNIFORM EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS ACT" to provide a procedure which must be followed regarding applications for expungement of all criminal records. Only certain offenses are eligible for expungement; however, a charge that has been dismissed, nol-prossed or the defendant was found not guilty may be expunged. Applications for expungement of criminal records are administered by the circuit solicitors. There is a $250 dollar administrative fee. Any person who applies for expungement within one year of the date of disposition is exempt from paying the fee; South Carolina Court Administration must include notices on all bond paperwork and courtesy summons about this one-year exemption from the fee. The solicitor has the discretion to waive the fee only when it is determined that a person has been falsely accused of a crime as a result of identity theft. The expungement fee is nonrefundable, regardless of whether the offense is later determined to be statutorily ineligible for expungement or if the solicitor or his designee does not consent to expungement. Each solicitor’s office shall maintain a record of all fees collected related to expungement of criminal records, which must be made available to the chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. H.4578, PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PERTAINING TO SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICTS, received a favorable report from the committee. This joint resolution proposing to amend the State Constitution would be submitted to the voters at the next general election. This joint resolution proposes to amend the State Constitution to authorize the General Assembly, by special or local law, to abolish a special or public service district created by the General Assembly and transfer its assets and liabilities to an assuming service provider. The full committee recommitted S.71, a bill relating to AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS, to the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee.
The Judiciary Committee adjourned debate on the following bills:
The full Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee met on Tuesday, February 26, and reported out several bills. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendment on H.3674, the "SOUTH CAROLINA HEALTH CARE FINANCIAL RECOVERY AND PROTECTION ACT." The legislation establishes prompt payment provisions requiring insurers to make timely payments to providers of health care services who submit unproblematic claims. The legislation establishes criteria for what is to be considered a clean claim free of any defect, error, or impropriety. The legislation requires payment within forty business days for a clean claim submitted on paper and payment within twenty business days for a clean claim submitted electronically. The legislation requires an insurer to provide an updated fee schedule upon written request by a physician who is also a participating provider. Each physician may request from an insurer an updated fee schedule no more than two times annually. The committee reported out Committee Bill H.4759, legislation EXEMPTING MILITARY BENEFITS SOCIETIES FROM INSURANCE PROVISIONS. The legislation provides an exemption from provisions governing insurers for an association, whether a fraternal benefit society or not, which was organized before 1880 and whose members are officers or enlisted, regular or reserve, active, retired, or honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces or Sea Services of the United States, and a principal purpose of which is to provide insurance and other benefits to its members and their dependents or beneficiaries. Organizations such as the Navy Mutual Insurance Company were formed to afford access to insurance for individuals who might otherwise be unable to obtain coverage due to the risks involved in military service. The committee adopted a revised version of H.4674 as the committee bill. The committee gave a favorable report on H.4058, a bill relating to PRENEED FUNERAL CONTRACTS. The legislation transfers administrative duties relating to preneed funeral contracts from the State Board of Financial Institutions to the Department of Consumer Affairs. The legislation increases the amounts of fines imposed for violations. The legislation also provides that, before the suspension, revocation, or other action by the department involving a license to sell preneed funeral contracts becomes final, the department shall offer the licensee the opportunity for a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendment S.668, a bill that provides an EXEMPTION FROM CONTRACTORS LICENSING ACT PROVISIONS FOR PORTABLE STORAGE BUILDINGS AND METAL FARM BUILDINGS with less than five thousand square feet of floor space that are owner-constructed and used only for livestock or storage. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendment on H.4350, relating to a LIEN ON REAL ESTATE TO SECURE PAYMENT OF DEBT TO A LANDSCAPING SERVICE. This bill provides that a person who provides a landscape service on a parcel or real estate by virtue of an agreement with the owner of the real estate, and to whom a debt is due for his performance of the landscaping service, has a mechanics’ lien on the real estate to secure payment of debt due to him. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendment on H.4594, a bill relating to the REGULATION OF RESIDENTIAL HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING CONTRACTING. This bill prohibits a person from engaging in the business of residential heating and air conditioning contracting unless licensed as a residential specialty contractor. The legislation prohibits providing a potential buyer a proposal for sale or installation of residential heating and air conditioning, other than a written estimate, before the specifications for the system have been reviewed and approved by a licensed employee of the retail seller, or the retail seller. The legislation further specifies contract requirements for the sale and installation of a heating and air conditioning system. These provisions do not apply to a homeowner who makes minor repairs or minor replacements to an already installed system or to a homeowner who qualifies to purchase equipment as long as the homeowner obtains proof of a mechanical building permit under local municipal ordinances. These provisions do not apply to licensed residential builders or general contractors who are purchasing heating and/or air conditioning equipment to be installed by licensed heating and air conditioning residential specialty contractors. These provisions do not apply to licensed manufactured home contractors, installers, or retailers involved in the sale or installation of a manufactured home.
The full committee met on Thursday, February 28, and reported out two joint resolutions. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendment on H.4735, a joint resolution relating to the USE OF EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION NETWORK LICENSES AND EXCESS BROADCAST SPECTRUM CAPACITY. The legislation directs the Educational Television Network to make all necessary filings with the Federal Communications Commission as soon as practicable to indicate an intention to retain licenses currently operated by the Educational Television Network and an intention to form a public/private partnership to complete the necessary transition from an analog to digital system. However, Educational Television Network may not sell, lease, or otherwise alienate or obligate telecommunications and information technology infrastructure of the State until provided for by the General Assembly. The legislation directs the Executive Director of the State Budget and Control Board to hire, using funds from approved accounts of the Department of Commerce, a nationally-recognized telecommunications consultant to provide an estimate of the value of licenses operated by the Educational Television Network, to analyze various business models for the leasing of excess capacity on the spectrum, and to analyze the feasibility of a wireless cloud over all public school facilities. The hiring of the consultant is excepted from the provisions of the South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code. The consultant must be hired by April 1, 2008, and must make available an official report of its findings to the General Assembly by May 1, 2008. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendment on H.3395, a joint resolution providing for a REPORT ON NET METERING PROGRAMS AT THE STATE’S ELECTRIC UTILITIES. Net metering is a means of calculating the energy that is consumed and produced at facilities equipped with renewable energy generators such as solar panels or wind turbines. The legislation provides that the South Carolina Energy Office and the Office of Regulatory Staff, not later than January 1, 2009, shall provide a report to the General Assembly that recommends process and procedures for establishing net metering programs at all distribution electric utilities in South Carolina, including investor-owned electric utilities and the South Carolina Public Service Authority. The report must consider net metering requirements of adjacent states, and make recommendations that facilitate interstate uniformity for utilities that serve both South Carolina and a neighboring state. The report’s recommendations must be consistent with requirements of the federal Energy Policy Act. The report must also consider the need to facilitate consistency with Green Power electricity purchase programs operating in South Carolina. In preparing the net metering report, the South Carolina Energy Office and the Office of Regulatory Staff shall consult with all affected electric utilities, the State Consumer Advocate, representatives of environmental interests, and the South Carolina Energy Advisory Committee.
The Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, February 26, 2008. The full committee gave favorable approval to S.1005 relating to AGE RESTRICTIONS ON BLOOD DONORS adding that a person sixteen years old may donate blood with written consent of parent or guardian. The bill also outlines that it is unlawful for person under eighteen years old to sell blood. This identical bill replaces H.4595. H.3912 relating to the "PHYSICIAN PRACTICE ACT" was given favorable approval by the full committee. This bill clearly outlines that a physician must be immediately available (on the premises) when he or she delegates a task to an unlicensed person who works for the physician. It adds that a physician is not prohibited from practicing in actual consultation with a physician licensed in this State concerning an opinion for the South Carolina physician’s consideration in managing the care or treatment of a patient in this State. The bill changes the requirements for an applicant who graduated from medical school outside of the United States, who has met all other criteria and wishes to obtain a license to practice in this State. It requires the applicant to have been licensed for the preceding five years and specifies that the practice must have been without significant disciplinary action. The bill also allows a physician who currently is certified by a board approved national specialty organization that does not require an examination for recertification to become licensed in South Carolina without further examination if the physician has 150 hours of approved continuing medical education in the three years prior to application. Seventy five percent of the hours must be related to the applicant’s specialty. And finally, this bill provides that a physician testifying as an expert medical witness in court is deemed to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the Board of Medical Examiners. The full committee gave favorable approval to H.3906 DENTAL TECHNOLOGICAL WORK, requiring an out-of-state dental lab to employ a dental technician registered in South Carolina if the lab performs dental technological work prescribed by a dentist licensed in South Carolina. The bill also requires all dental labs to provide certification of the country where the lab work was performed; a list of all materials used to make the device; and the name, address and certificate number of the person or organization authorized to make the device. H.4334 regarding EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN (EMT) CERTIFICATION was given favorable approval by the full committee. This bill requires a person seeking Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification or recertification to undergo a state criminal records check and a national criminal records check. The state and national criminal records checks are not required for an EMT employed as of July 1, 2008, until the EMT applies for recertification. A state criminal records check will cost no more than eight dollars and is the responsibility of the EMT or EMS agency. Full committee gave favorable with amendment recommendation to H.3803 relating to the DEFINITION OF THE PROFESSION OF COSMETOLOGY. This bill allows an individual to shampoo hair without being licensed as a cosmetologist. This individual must be under the direct supervision of a cosmetologist.
The full committee did not meet this week.
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