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 full Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, May 22, 2012, and reported out several bills. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to S.512, The bill states that it is unlawful to DUCK HUNT on Lake Moultrie within two hundred yards of a dwelling without written permission of the owner or occupant. S.788, relating to the "FARM ANIMAL, CROP OPERATIONS, AND RESEARCH FACILITIES PROTECTION ACT", was given favorable with amendment recommendation by the committee. This legislation amends the "Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act" to include provisions relating to crop operations. "Crop operation" includes a vehicle, building, structure, or premises where a crop is raised, maintained, tested, handled, housed, exhibited, or offered for sale and includes a research facility where research on or testing of crops is conducted. Among other things, the legislation prohibits disrupting and damaging crop operations. However, the legislation does not prohibit appropriate actions taken by government officials or persons holding certain legal interests in the crop operation or property. With regards to animal facilities, the legislation includes provisions so as to not prohibit actions of a licensed veterinarian practicing veterinary medicine according to customary standards of care or persons holding legal interest in an animal facility. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to S.1029, pertaining to the GEOGRAPHIC BOUNDARIES OF CERTAIN BODIES OF WATER. The legislation gives numerical designation to each body of water and also makes other technical changes. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to S.1033. The bill repeals the chapter on MIGRANT FARM WORKERS COMMISSION. S.1059, relating to the GOVERNING BOARD FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, was given a favorable recommendation by the committee. The legislation addresses the composition of the governing board of the Department of Natural Resources to replace the at-large member as a result of the new congressional district. The legislation adds that the director shall be appointed upon the advice and consent of the senate. The legislation also states that the board has no duty or authority concerning the management of, control over, or administration of the day to day affairs of the department. The committee gave a favorable report to S.1087, relating to FRESHWATER RECREATIONAL FISHING. This bill deletes the current provision that allows the Department of Natural Resources to designate up to two "free fishing days" to residents who do not possess fishing licenses or permits. As a result, the bill designates the fourth day of July and National Memorial Day as days when a resident is not required to possess a license or permit for freshwater recreational fishing. This provision does not apply to individuals fishing for commercial purposes. The committee gave a favorable with amendment recommendation to S.1231, relating to the CLASSIFICATION OF SALTWATER GAME FISH. The bill classifies Cobia Rachycentron canadum as a saltwater game fish. The bill adds that it is unlawful to sell, purchase, trade, or barter or attempt to sell, purchase, trade, or barter cobia taken from state waters. In addition, the legislation opens the Waccamaw River and Black River for more opportunities for commercial Shad fishing. S.1299, relating to the MEMBERSHIP OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA COMMISSIONERS OF PILOTAGE FOR THE UPPER COASTAL AREA, was given a favorable with amendment recommendation by the committee. This legislation increases the number of members on the commission from six to eight. S.1364, dealing with SHEEPSHEAD SIZE AND CATCH LIMITS, was given a favorable recommendation by the committee. The legislation outlines that it is unlawful to take or possess more than ten sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus) in any one day, not to exceed thirty sheepshead in any one day on any boat. It is also unlawful to take or possess sheepshead of less than fourteen inches in total length.
The Education and Public Works Committee met on May 22 and reported out several items. S.1007, which requires the DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO MAINTAIN A DETAILED TRANSACTION REGISTER OF ALL FUNDS EXPENDED AND POST THAT REGISTER ONLINE, received a favorable report. This legislation requires the Department of Transportation to maintain a transaction register that includes a complete record of all funds expended, from whatever source for whatever purpose. The register must be prominently posted on the department's website and made available for public viewing and downloading. The legislation provides what information must be included on the register as well as what information must or may be excluded from the register. The register must be searchable and updated at least once a month. Each monthly register must be maintained on the website for at least three years. The department shall be responsible for providing on its website a link to the website of any agency, other than the department, that posts on its website the institution's monthly state procurement card statements or monthly reports containing all or substantially all of the same information contained in the monthly state procurement card statements. The link must be to the specific webpage or section on the website of the agency where the state procurement card information for the institution can be found. In the event the department has a question or issue relating to technical aspects of complying with the requirements or the disclosure of public information, it shall consult with the Office of Comptroller General, which may provide guidance. The Department of Transportation may fulfill the requirements of this legislation by providing, on its website, a link to the website of another state agency, to the extent that the link provides the information required. S.1375 received a favorable with amendment report. This legislation provides that a LOCAL GOVERNING BODY MAY AUTHORIZE BICYCLISTS AND PEDESTRIANS TO OPERATE ON THE ROADWAY AND SHOULDER OF A MAIN FACILITY OF A NON-INTERSTATE FREEWAY UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS. Upon receiving notice that an ordinance has been adopted, the Department of Transportation shall remove all signs prohibiting pedestrians and bicyclists along the roadway and shoulders of the main facility of the portion of the freeway to which the ordinance applies. The local governing body may request permission from the department to erect appropriate signs and markers along the roadway and shoulders of the main facility of the portion of the freeway to which the partial exemption applies. Two or more local governing bodies that have jurisdiction over portions of a section of a roadway to which a partial exemption from the provisions is proposed may authorize an exemption for the entire section if the local governing bodies affected by the proposed exemption formally agree to granting the exemption and each local jurisdiction completes the exemption procedure for the portion of the roadway section that passes through its jurisdiction. The full committee gave a favorable recommendation to S.1143. This legislation establishes the South Carolina Civil War Heritage Trails as the OFFICIAL CIVIL WAR ERA HISTORIC DRIVING TRAILS OF SOUTH CAROLINA. This legislation permits South Carolina Civil War Heritage Trails to consult with the South Carolina Civil War Sesquicentennial Advisory Board and the Department of Archives and History concerning the planning, development, establishment, maintenance, and marketing of the trails. The legislation encourages the Department of Transportation to work with South Carolina Civil War Heritage Trails concerning the placement of signs adjacent to the state highway system, and it encourages the appropriate government agencies to cooperate with South Carolina Civil War Heritage Trails concerning educational and marketing materials. S.149, the "EQUAL ACCESS TO INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES ACT," received a favorable with amendment recommendation from the Education and Public Works Committee. This legislation provides that individual Governor's school students and home school students may not be denied by a school district the opportunity to participate in interscholastic activities if certain conditions are met. A public school student who has been unable to maintain academic eligibility is ineligible to participate in interscholastic activities as a charter school student, Governor's school student, or home school student for the following semester. To establish academic eligibility for subsequent school years, the student's teacher shall certify by submitting an affidavit to the school district that the student meets the relevant policies of the school at which the student wishes to participate. A Governor's school student or home school student is required to fulfill the same responsibilities and standards of behavior and performance, including related practice requirements, of other students participating in the interscholastic activities of the team or squad and is required to meet the same standards for acceptance on the team or squad. A Governor's school may not be denied by a school district the opportunity to have a team representing the school participate in interscholastic activities if the team meets the same eligibility requirements of other teams. An individual Governor's school student may not participate in an interscholastic activity of a public school district if the school that the student is enrolled in has a team or squad participating in the interscholastic activity. A school district may not contract with a private entity that supervises interscholastic activities if the private entity prohibits the participation of charter school students, Governor's school students, or home school students in interscholastic activities.
The full Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee met on May 24 and reported out several bills. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1247. This bill AUTHORIZES THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION TO SERVE A FINAL ORDER OR DECISION BY ELECTRONIC SERVICE. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1044. This bill revises notice requirements for the initiation of overpayment recovery efforts under the SOUTH CAROLINA HEALTH CARE FINANCIAL RECOVERY AND PROTECTION ACT by adding requirements concerning an appeal. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1319. This bill authorizes a title insurer to issue CLOSING OR SETTLEMENT INSURANCE and provides for loss against which this insurance may indemnify an insured. A premium charged for this coverage must be approved by the Department of Insurance and must not be subject to any agreement requiring a division of fees or premiums collected on behalf of the title insurer. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on S.580. The legislation enacts the COMPUTER AND DIGITAL FORENSICS REGISTRY ACT to establish within the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) a registry of those engaged in the search for or collection of evidence from computer systems, computer networks, cellular telephones, personal digital assistants, hereafter ĎPDAsí, and all other electronic storage media, in a standardized and well-documented manner to maintain its admissibility and probative value in a legal proceeding. This bill provides that provisions governing the licensure and regulation of private security and investigation agencies do not apply to a person based solely on his being engaged in computer or digital forensic services, the acquisition, review, or analysis of digital or computer-based information, or system vulnerability testing. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1340, a bill relating to EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION ALLEGATIONS. This bill revises remedies for employees alleging unlawful discrimination by establishing procedures that the director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation shall follow upon receipt of a complaint alleging such discrimination. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments to S.1137, the "ARCHITECTSí AND ENGINEERSí VOLUNTEER ACT". The legislation provides immunity from legal liability for licensed architects and licensed engineers who provide volunteer services during declared emergencies. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on S.473, relating to SPORTS AGENTS. The legislation revises provisions governing the conduct of athlete agents and student athletes. The legislation establishes criminal background check requirements for those applying for registration as a sports agent. The legislation enhances the authority of the Department of Consumer Affairs to conduct investigations. The legislation provides that it is unlawful for an athlete agent to: commit mismanagement or misconduct which causes financial harm to a student athlete or educational institution; fail to update and correct information contained on a required application; or engage in conduct resulting in the imposition against a student athlete or educational institution of a sanction, suspension, or declaration of ineligibility to participate in an interscholastic or intercollegiate athletic event. The legislation enhances penalties for athlete agent misconduct violations by providing that a third offense is a felony subject to a fine of up to fifteen thousand dollars and/or imprison for up to five years. The department is authorized to bring a civil action to restrain any person from committing violations, and for other appropriate relief, including recovering a civil penalty not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars for each violation. New reporting requirements are imposed upon educational institutions.
The full Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, May 22, 2012. The committee reported out two bills. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to S.1429, dealing with the ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE AND RELATED DISORDERS RESOURCE COORDINATION CENTER ADVISORY COUNCIL. This bill transfers the Alzheimerís Disease and Related Disorders Resource Coordination center from the Governorís Office to the Lieutenant Governorís Office. The bill also deletes the requirement of submitting an annual report to the Joint Legislative Committee on Aging and the General Assembly. The Joint Legislative Committee on Aging no longer exists. Instead, the annual report must be published on the Lieutenant Governorís website and submitted to the chairs of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee and the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. S.1438, a bill creating the COMMISSION ON HUNGER, was given a favorable with amendment recommendation by the committee. This bill creates the Commission on Hunger within the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The 18-member commission is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing a comprehensive strategy to reduce food insecurity and alleviate hunger in the state. In order to accomplish its directives, the commission will 1) conduct research and analyze data and undertake other studies to determine the causes of hunger in the State; 2) review the work of other public and private entities used to reduce food insecurity and alleviate hunger that may be useful to the commission; 3) evaluate existing and develop new opportunities for public-private partnerships to address hunger; 4) identify strategies to overcome barriers to and develop solutions for improving delivery of and participation in food assistance programs; and 5) coordinate the effective and efficient provision of services and programs to the hungry so that food source and assistance will be readily available.
All state agencies and political subdivisions of the State must cooperate and provide the commission information and assistance upon request. The commission will submit a report to the Governor and the General Assembly that includes the status of hunger in the State, progress being made to alleviate hunger and proposals and recommendations for strengthening programs and services to further alleviate hunger.
The full Ways and Means Committee met on May 23 and reported out several bills The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on S.1409, a bill providing for TAX CODE REVISIONS. The bill provides revisions, clarifications, and updates for numerous tax code provisions. The legislation includes revisions to ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES. The legislation revises the jobs tax credit requirements of a qualifying service-related facility by decreasing the required numbers of new jobs produced in order for a facility to qualify for the credit. The legislation expands eligibility for the jobs tax credit for a technology intensive facility to include data processing, computer facilities management, other computer-related services, and multi-use facilities. The legislation provides that a corporation establishing a national corporate headquarters or expanding or adding to an existing national corporate headquarters in this state, which adds at least fifty new full-time jobs, shall be exempt from paying state corporate income taxes for a period of ten years. The legislation revises tax credits for providing infrastructure, so as to increase the maximum aggregate credit to four hundred thousand dollars annually. The legislation revises provisions for fee in lieu of taxes arrangements, so as to provide that a county auditor or county assessor may request and obtain any financial books and records from a sponsor that support the sponsorís tax form or return to verify the calculations of the fee in lieu of taxes tax form or return. The legislation establishes a sales tax exemption for computers, computer equipment, computer hardware and software purchases for a datacenter and electricity used by a datacenter. The legislation expands the availability of the tire manufacturer credits to include companies that invest at least $400 million in capital investment and employ at least 1200 full time employees by 2022. The legislation authorizes the Department of Revenue to waive penalties for a late tax filing due to a reasonable cause, such as a data breakdown. The legislation authorizes a state TAX CREDIT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF SOLAR ENERGY EQUIPMENT in an amount equal to thirty-five percent of the amounts for specific types of installations. The legislation provides that the credit is authorized against state tax liability that includes income taxes, corporate license taxes, bank and building and loan taxes, and insurance premium taxes. The legislation provides that the CONSTRUCTION AND RENOVATION OF K-12 SCHOOL FACILITIES ARE NOT SUBJECT TO DEVELOPMENT IMPACT FEES. The legislation revises the APPEAL OF A PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT VALUE. The legislation provides that the appeal must be based on the market values of real property as of December thirty-first of the tax year under appeal. The legislation revises property tax assessment notice provisions, so as to provide that in a year in which an assessable transfer of interest occurs due to a conveyance, if the assessor determines that fair market value is more than the purchase price, the assessor shall state with particularity, the basis for the increase in fair market value. The legislation provides that the taxpayer at least has thirty days of receipt of the tax notice to appeal, and requires the assessor to include a property tax refund assignment contract in certain cases. The legislation provides that the county assessor shall have the burden of proof in a property tax appeal. The legislation allows a taxpayer to appeal the value once every five years, with certain exceptions. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1100, a bill relating to FUNDING DREDGING ACTIVITIES THROUGH THE CAPITAL PROJECT SALES TAX. This bill revises the Capital Project Sales Tax Act, to include dredging, dewatering, construction of spoil sites, and disposal of spoil materials among the authorized projects that are allowed to be funded by a county capital project sales tax. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1331, a bill revising SOUTH CAROLINA RESEARCH AUTHORITY provisions. The legislation specifies that the South Carolina Research Authority is not authorized to commit the credit and taxing power of the state. The legislation requires written notice when the authority has certain relationships with a nonprofit entity that establishes a for-profit entity, and specifies that a failure to provide this notice may not be construed to indicate the authority may pledge the credit and taxing power of the state. The legislation revises the membership and terms of the board of trustees and executive committee of the authority, so as: to provide for the election of two additional trustees; to permit a university president who is an ex officio member of the board to designate the chief research officer of his university to participate and vote in no more than two meetings of the executive committee each year; to provide for membersí terms, filling of vacancies, and removal of executive committee members; and, to allow the Chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, rather than their designees, to serve on the board. The legislation authorizes the board of trustees of the authority to provide guarantees as security for certain obligations. The legislation revises provisions relating to costs associated with innovation centers established by the authority, so as: to make certain financing optional rather than mandatory; to expand the sources of funding available for financing these costs; and, to prohibit the use of a pledge of credit and taxing power of the state or a political subdivision of the state to finance these costs. The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on S.1167, a bill providing a TAX INCREMENT FINANCING LAW REVISION. The legislation establishes conditions under which a municipality may modify a redevelopment plan through ordinance. The legislation also enacts the "MUNICIPAL CAPITAL PROJECTS SALES TAX ACT" to provide for the imposition of a sales and use tax not to exceed one percent by referendum in a municipality for a specific period of time and for specific projects, and to provide for the method of imposition, payment and collection of this tax. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1176, a TAX PROVISION CLEAN-UP BILL. This bill updates and conforms language and makes technical corrections to numerous tax code provisions relating to assessors, auditors, treasurers, and tax collectors. The committee gave a favorable report on S.429, a bill relating to TRUST PAYMENTS UNDER THE UNIFORM PRINCIPAL AND INCOME ACT. This bill makes revisions to the Uniform Principal and Income Act to provide for the process for determining the allocation of payments made from a separate fund to certain trusts. The legislation provides the source of funds that must pay for a tax on a trustís share of the taxable income. The committee gave a favorable report on S.1134, relating to WILLIAMSBURG TECHNICAL COLLEGE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT BOND AUTHORIZATIONS. This bill revises the purpose for which capital improvement bond authorizations may be used at Williamsburg Technical College, allowing $700,000 to be used for academic and institutional support buildings repair, maintenance and renovation, rather than for its original purpose, the construction of a new technology building.
The Legislative Update is on the Worldwide Web. Visit the South Carolina General Assembly Home Page (http://www.scstatehouse.gov) and click on "Publications," then click on "Legislative Updates." This will list all of the Legislative Updates by date. Click on the date you need. Also available on the website is a bill summary index, where bills referenced in one or more issues of the Legislative Update are listed in numeric order. Links to the specific text of the Legislative Update issue are provided in the bill summary index.
NOTE: THE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE IS AVAILABLE TO LEGISLATIVE TRACKING SUBSCRIBERS. YOU MAY REGISTER FOR THIS FREE SERVICE ON THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY HOME PAGE BY CLICKING ON "TRACK LEGISLATION" (ON THE VERTICAL MENU BAR).