South Carolina House of Representatives
Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND CONSTITUENT SERVICES
Room 212, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C. 29211, (803) 734-3230
NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION'S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
The House of Representatives concurred in Senate amendments to H.3004, the "SPENDING ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2011", and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation establishes new requirements for the General Assembly to take roll call votes in the consideration of legislation that record the names and stances of legislators in the journals of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The legislation provides that the Annual General Appropriations Bill must be considered section-by-section on second reading, and must receive a recorded roll call vote by the House of Representatives and the Senate for the adoption of each section. The legislation provides that a bill or joint resolution must receive a recorded roll call vote by the House of Representatives and the Senate when: (1) the pending question is adoption of a Conference or Free Conference Report; (2) the pending question is the passage of a bill or joint resolution on second reading; (3) either the House of Representatives or the Senate agrees to the other body’s amendment; or (4) a bill or joint resolution is amended and the pending question is the passage of a bill on third reading. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3625, a bill PROHIBITING SOMEONE FROM SERVING AS BOTH A MEMBER OF AND AN EMPLOYEE OF A STATE OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD OR COMMISSION, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation expands the current statutory prohibition on such employment arrangements to provide that no person shall serve at the same time on the governing body of a state, county, municipal, or political subdivision board or commission and as an employee of the same board or commission or in a position that is subject to the control of that board or commission or affects its decision-making. The prohibition also applies to a non-appointed member of the governing body of the board or commission for a water or sewer district or a nonprofit water or sewer corporation or company organized under state law. Anyone served by the board, commission, corporation, or company has standing to bring a lawsuit in the circuit court to uphold the prohibition. A violator may be assessed a civil penalty of fifty dollars per day to be remitted to the general fund of the board, commission, corporation, or company. In a lawsuit brought to force someone to vacate an unlawfully held position, the violator must pay the civil penalty plus court costs, attorney’s fees, and any damages required by the court. The House gave second reading approval to S.434. This joint resolution suspends a Fiscal Year 2010-2011 General Appropriations Act provision prohibiting the Department of Health and Human Services from reducing MEDICAID PROGRAM PROVIDER RATES. The legislation authorizes the DHHS director to reduce rates paid to doctors and other providers under the state’s Medicaid Program as a cost saving measure. All proposed rate changes must include estimates of the projected dollar savings by source of funds and the number of providers and clients impacted. Six months after receiving approval from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to implement rate changes, DHHS must submit to the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee a report reconciling actual savings by source of funds and actual providers and clients impacted in comparison to the estimate. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3267, legislation providing for the CONSOLIDATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PROBATION, PAROLE AND PARDON SERVICES WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. This legislation transfers all functions, powers, duties, responsibilities and authority statutorily exercised by the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services to the Department of Corrections, Division of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. The legislation also provides that before the Department of Corrections may release from its custody an inmate who does not hold at least a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) Diploma, the department must enroll the inmate in mandatory educational training that would prepare the inmate to successfully pass the GED test. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3403, ‘BORN-ALIVE’ LEGISLATION. The legislation provides that, in determining the meaning of any act or joint resolution of the General Assembly or in a regulation promulgated pursuant to Article 1, Chapter 23, Title 1, the words 'person', 'human being', 'child', and 'individual', must include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development. The term 'born alive', with respect to a member of the species homo sapiens, means the complete expulsion or extraction from the mother of that member, at any stage of development, who after the expulsion or extraction breathes or has a beating heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, regardless of whether the umbilical cord has been cut, and regardless of whether the expulsion or extraction occurs as a result of natural or induced labor, cesarean section, or induced abortion. Nothing in this legislation may be construed to affirm, deny, expand, or contract any legal status or legal right applicable to any member of the species homo sapiens at any point before being 'born alive' as defined in this legislation. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3408, which enacts the "FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE ACT". This legislation prohibits an employer from dismissing, demoting, suspending, disciplining or discriminating against an employee or prospective employee who advises the employer that he or she refuses to participate in certain activities. These activities include procedures related to embryonic tissue or a developing child in an artificial or natural womb. A health care facility is not required to admit a patient, or to allow the use of the facility for these procedures. Certain health care providers and employees of such providers who provided notice that they will not participate in such activities must not be required to participate, must not be disciplined due to such refusal, and are immune from liability for any damages caused by such refusal. The State or state exchange may not require an insurance plan or issuer to cover these procedures. A health plan or health insurer offing coverage within the State must accommodate the conscientious objection of a purchaser, or of an individual or institutional health care provider when any of the acts specified are contrary to its conscious. The legislation prohibits a health care facility, school, or employer from discriminating against a person regarding admission, hiring or firing, tenure, terms of employment, or student or staff status because the person refuses, whether or not in writing, to participate in these procedures. A person must not be required to participate in, make facilities available for, or provide personnel for these procedures if the activity is contrary to the person's conscience. The legislation prohibits discrimination against a person establishing or operating a health care facility because the facility declines to participate in a health care service that is contrary to the facility's conscience. A person adversely affected by conduct that is in violation of these provisions may bring a civil action for equitable relief, and if the person prevails, the court shall award attorney's fees.
H.3408 also provides that pursuant to applicable provisions of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act all QUALIFIED HEALTH PLANS OFFERED THROUGH THE STATE EXCHANGE ARE PROHIBITED FROM INCLUDING ELECTIVE ABORTION COVERAGE. Nothing in this section shall be construed as preventing anyone from purchasing optional supplemental coverage for elective abortions for which there must be paid a separate premium in the health insurance market outside of the state Exchange. No health plan, including health insurance contracts, plans or policies, offered outside of the Exchange, but within the State, shall provide coverage for elective abortions except by optional separate supplemental coverage for abortion for which there must be paid a separate premium. For purposes of this legislation, an 'elective abortion' means an abortion for any reason other than to prevent the death of the mother upon whom the abortion is performed; provided, that an abortion may not be deemed one to prevent the death of the mother based on a claim or diagnosis that she will engage in conduct which will result in her death. The legislation establishes procedures for providing elective abortion coverage. The issuer of any health plan providing any coverage other than elective abortion shall not discount or reduce the premium for such coverage on the basis that an enrollee has elective abortion coverage. Any employer who offers employees a health plan providing elective abortion coverage shall, at the time of beginning employment, and at least once in each calendar year thereafter, provide each employee the option to choose or reject elective abortion coverage. Any entity offering a group health plan providing elective abortion coverage, other than employers offering such a plan to their employees shall, at the time each group member begins such coverage, and at least once in each calendar year thereafter, provide each group member the option to choose or reject elective abortion coverage. Nothing in this legislation shall be construed to apply in circumstances in which federal law preempts state health insurance regulation. The House approved and enrolled for ratification S.277, a bill ratifying the amendment to the South Carolina Constitution that voters approved at the last general election to provide that the RIGHT TO A SECRET BALLOT INCLUDES VOTES OVER UNIONIZATION and other decisions regarding employee representation by labor organizations. The House amended and gave second reading approval to H.3562, the "ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE SAFETY ACT" also known as "CHANDLER’S LAW". The legislation provides that it is unlawful for the parents or legal guardian of a person less than six years old to knowingly permit that person to operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). The legislation further provides that it is unlawful for a parent or legal guardian of a person without a driver’s license and less than sixteen years old to knowingly allow that person to carry a passenger while operating an ATV. Under the bill, it is unlawful to remove from an ATV the required manufacturer Age Restriction Warning Label or for a parent or legal guardian of a person less than sixteen years of age to knowingly allow that person to operate an ATV in violation of the Age Restriction Warning Label affixed by the manufacturer. A person fifteen years of age or younger may not operate, ride, or otherwise be propelled on an all-terrain vehicle within the state unless the person wears a safety helmet. Effective July 1, 2011, every person fifteen years old and younger who operates an all-terrain vehicle must possess a safety certificate indicating successful completion of ‘hands-on’ all-terrain vehicle safety course approved by the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute. The legislation establishes additional restrictions for the operation of ATVs on lands open to the public. The legislation provides that all-terrain vehicles are exempt from ad valorem personal property taxes beginning with calendar year 2011. A violation of the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Act is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of not less than fifty nor more than two hundred dollars. The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Act does not apply to: an owner, operator, lessor, or renter of a farm or ranch, or that person’s employees, immediate family, or household members, when operating an all-terrain vehicle while engaged in farming or ranching operations; or a person using an all-terrain vehicle for hunting or trapping purposes if the person otherwise is lawfully engaged in those activities. The bill also establishes procedures for the titling of ATVs. The House approved S.629, a joint resolution pertaining to TEACHER EMPLOYMENT FOR THE 2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. This joint resolution requires local school districts to make teacher employment decisions and notify teachers of their employment for the 2011-2012 school year by May 15, 2011. The legislation requires teachers who are reemployed by written notification to notify the district board of their acceptance within ten days of receipt of written notification of employment. A continuing-contract teacher who is being recommended for formal evaluation the following school year must be notified in writing by the deadline for the written offer of employment or reemployment. The legislation allows districts to uniformly negotiate salaries below their salary schedule for the 2011-2012 school year for retired teachers. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3642. This joint resolution authorizes the SUSPENSION OF AUTOMATIC STEP INCREASES IN TEACHER SALARIES by providing that a local school district may, for Fiscal Year 2011-2012, pay teachers based on the years of experience the teachers possessed in fiscal year 2010-2011 without negative impact to their experience credit. The legislation provides voting and notice requirements for this decision. The legislation requires that payment under the suspension must be applied uniformly. If a local school district takes advantage of this authority to suspend step increases, the school district may not pay district or school administrators more than they received in fiscal year 2010-2011. The legislation requires a local school district to continue to pay teachers and administrators for changes in their education levels. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3496, relating to the BLOOD BORNE DISEASE CONFIDENTIALITY REQUIREMENT. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is required to keep records regarding sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS, strictly confidential except in specific circumstances. In cases involving a minor, DHEC is required to report the child’s name and medical information to appropriate agents if a report is required by the Child Protection Act. In addition, if a public school student has AIDS or HIV, DHEC is required to notify the school district superintendent and the school nurse. This bill will delete the public school notification requirement. The bill also requires each school district to adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on universal precautions for blood borne disease exposure and communicate the appropriate procedures with each school within the district. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3711, a bill relating to an EXEMPTION FROM MOTOR CLUB SERVICES ACT REQUIREMENTS for in-vehicle security navigational, communications, and remote diagnostics services such as OnStar. This bill provides that an entity that enters into a service contract with a club licensed under the Motor Club Services Act for the provision of emergency road service and towing service to its customers is not, itself, considered to be a motor club subject to the requirements of the Motor Club Services Act. The House approved S.533 and enrolled the bill for ratification. This bill revises the requirements for the SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR FACILITIES RESEARCHING AND TESTING THE IMPACT OF NATURAL DISASTERS, so as to provide that the qualifying investment of at least twenty million dollars may begin at any time period after December 31, 2008, and all or a portion may occur before the taxpayer notifies the Department of Revenue of its intention. The House approved and enrolled for ratification S.522, a bill UPDATING STATE INCOME TAX LAW’S REFERENCE TO THE FEDERAL INTERNAL REVENUE CODE to include its most recent amendments. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3643, a joint resolution pertaining to TEACHER EMPLOYMENT FOR THE 2011-2012 SCHOOL YEAR. This joint resolution requires local school districts to make teacher employment decisions and notify teachers of their employment for the 2011-2012 school year by May 15, 2011. The legislation requires teachers who are reemployed by written notification to notify the district board of their acceptance within ten days of receipt of written notification of employment. A continuing-contract teacher who is being recommended for formal evaluation the following school year must be notified in writing by the deadline for the written offer of employment or reemployment. The legislation allows districts to uniformly negotiate salaries below their salary schedule for the 2011-2012 school year for retired teachers who are not participants in the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) Program. The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3748, a bill providing for DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT. The legislation extends the date by which the act must be implemented fully from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2016. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3957. This bill authorizes the Richland-Lexington Airport Commission to apply to the federal Foreign-Trade Zones Board for the purpose of EXPANDING THE MIDLANDS FOREIGN-TRADE ZONE so that it includes not only Richland and Lexington Counties but also Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Clarendon, Edgefield, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lee, McCormick, Newberry, Saluda, and Sumter Counties. The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3947. This bill revises the procedure for appointing the members selected by the Richland County Legislative Delegation to the RICHLAND-LEXINGTON AIRPORT COMMISSION.
The full committee did not meet this week.
The full Education and Public Works Committee met on Wednesday, March 30, and reported out several bills. H.3748 received a favorable with amendment report from the House Education and Public Works Committee. This legislation provides for DELAYED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE EDUCATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ACT; it extends the date by which the act must be implemented fully from July 1, 2011 to July 1, 2016. The full committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation to H.3013, which ALLOWS A SCHOOL DISTRICT TO BE EXEMPT FROM CERTAIN STATUTES AND REGULATIONS. This legislation provides a mechanism for a local school district to be exempt from statutes and regulations relating to the Education Accountability Act upon meeting certain conditions. The district must apply to the State Board of Education for exemption. The legislation specifies what the application must include and how the application must be made. The State Board of Education must adopt rules and promulgate regulations regarding application procedures. A local school district that receives an exemption must be evaluated by the State Board after three years to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the students of the district. The legislation provides for suspension of the exemption upon certain conditions. Also, the legislation repeals two other code sections pertaining to exemptions. The legislation further provides that the facilities of any public or nonprofit private college, university, or technical college, which comply with applicable state, county, and local fire codes, may be used without modification for secondary school students in joint or cooperative programs, which include, but are not limited to, middle or early college programs and dual enrollment programs. S.38 received a favorable report. This bill revises the information that must be provided by an individual or business owner on applications for VEHICLE TITLES. The bill provides that the Department of Motor Vehicles will issue a title and registration only for vehicles that are physically located and primarily operated in this State. Additionally, the bill provides that vehicles purchased for operation in a foreign jurisdiction cannot be titled and registered in South Carolina. The full committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation to H.3259, which pertains to OPERATING GOLF CARTS ALONG THE STATE’S HIGHWAYS. The legislation provides that when a golf cart owner’s residence is located within a gated community, the two-mile limit for operating the golf cart on a secondary highway or street must be measured from the community’s entrances and not from the owner’s residence. The legislation also includes provisions for the operation of a golf cart along a secondary highway or street on a sea island. H.3124, an OMNIBUS SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE BILL, received a favorable with amendment report. This legislation provides for the issuance of the following license plates: ‘Distinguished Service Medal’ Special License Plate; ‘Second Amendment’ Special License Plate; ‘Historic’ automobile special motor vehicle license plate for use on a private passenger motor vehicle or a motorcycle that is 25 years or older; ‘Distinguished Service Cross’ Special License Plate; ‘Department of the Navy’ Special License Plate; ‘Parents and Spouses of Active Duty Overseas Veterans’ Special License Plates; ‘State Flag’ Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Highway Patrol-Retired’ Special License Plates; ‘Eagle Scouts of America’ Special License Plates; ‘I Support Libraries’ Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Educator’ Special License Plates; ‘Coon Hunters’ Special License Plates; ‘Beach Music’ Special License Plates; Citadel Alumni Association ‘Big Red’ Special License Plates; ‘Largemouth Bass’ Special License Plates; High School Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Wildlife Federation’ Special License Plates; and University of South Carolina Gamecocks 2010 NCAA College World Series Baseball National Championship Special License Plate. The legislation allows a coroner to be issued two special license plates. The legislation allows frames for license plates. With regards to the existing Veteran’s special license plate, this bill allows qualified persons to have the wheelchair symbol placed on this plate as well as allows qualified individuals to have the word ‘disabled’ placed on this plate. The bill allows for the issuance of a third Purple Heart License Plate upon payment of the regular registration fee and a special fee. The bill raises the fee requirements for special license plates to a non-profit. The bill also allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to set $10 dollar special license plate fee if the sponsoring entity does not set fee. The full Education and Public Works Committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation to H.3431, which enacts "JOHN’S LAW" PERTAINING TO PUBLIC RAILROAD CROSSINGS. This legislation requires the Department of Transportation to publish on its website (1) a list of all public railroad crossings, and (2) the list of railroad crossings programmed for upgrades. Contingent upon the receipt of additional funds for the installation of public railroad signals and gates, the department is directed to increase the number of installations of railroad signals, crossing arms, or both utilizing all funds available for this type of work at dangerous railroad crossings throughout the State. H.3731, providing for an ADDITIONAL MEGALOAD IMPACT FEE FOR LOADS, received a favorable report. This bill authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to charge a new impact fee on the entire gross vehicle weight for transporting loads in excess of 500,000 pounds in this State. This Additional Megaload Impact Fee would be set at a rate of five cents per 1,000 pounds per mile traveled. The bill also includes technical amendments.
The full Judiciary Committee did not meet this week.
The full committee did not meet this week.
The full committee did not meet this week.
The full committee did not meet this week.
H.4005 REQUIREMENTS FOR RAW HONEY Rep. Corbin
The legislation defines the term "honey" and provides labeling requirements. "Honey" means the raw food product produced by honeybees for human consumption. A container of honey packaged for sale must have a label made with ink and placed on the side of the container. The label shall include at least the name and address of the honey producer and the net weight of the product.
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