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 legislation removes the filing of a statement of economic interests from election law requirements and makes such filings an ethics law matter, exclusively, for candidates and incumbent office-holders, alike. Under the revisions, the failure to make a timely filing of required statements of economic interests would not cause candidates to be removed from the ballot or otherwise impair their status as candidates, but such a failure would be subject to the penalties established for violating the Ethics Act. The legislation establishes deadlines for candidates to file statements of economic interests with the State Ethics Commission electronically. A March 30 deadline is established for public officials to make their required annual filing of statements of economic interest.
The procedures for officially becoming a candidate for public office are revised by the legislation so that they no longer depend upon the involvement of political party officials and all necessary filings, attestations, and payments of fees are, instead, conducted in the governmental settings of state or local election commissions. In order to qualify as a candidate to run in the general election, all candidates seeking nomination by political party primary or convention must file for office under a revised protocol where candidates seeking nomination for a statewide, congressional, or district office that includes more than one county must file the statement of intention of candidacy and party pledge and submit any filing fees with the State Election Commission. Candidates seeking nomination for the state Senate, the state House of Representatives, or a countywide or less than countywide office make their filings and payments of fees with the election commission in the county where they reside. The appropriate election commission must file the signed documents and receipts for payment of fees, all stamped with the date and time of receipt, provide copies of the material to the candidate, and relay copies to the appropriate political party officials along with filing fees. The county chairman of a political party and the chairman of the state executive committee of a political party may designate a person to observe the filings made at the election commission. Political parties continue to be responsible for verifying that candidates meet the qualifications for the offices they are seeking. The legislation specifies that an error or omission in these filing provisions made by a person seeking to qualify as a candidate that is not directly related to a constitutional or statutory qualification for that office must be construed in a manner that favors the person’s access to the ballot.
The legislation also establishes a revised mechanism for political parties to follow in order to nominate candidates by conventions. The House adopted the conference committee report on H.3602, a bill establishing criminal offenses targeting RETAIL THEFT OPERATIONS, and, the Senate having already adopted the report, enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation creates the criminal offenses of committing or conspiring with another to commit retail theft, amounting to more than $2,000 over a 90-day period, with the intent to sell the stolen property or to place the stolen property in the control of a retail property fence, which is a person or business that buys retail property knowing or believing that it is stolen. The legislation creates criminal offenses relating to stealing from a merchant by affixing a product code created for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining goods or merchandise at less than actual sale price. The legislation creates criminal offenses for using false or altered identification in order to obtain a refund fraudulently. The legislation establishes criminal offenses that apply to those who knowingly accept property represented as stolen by law enforcement officers conducting undercover operations. When a defendant is ordered to make restitution by a magistrate or municipal court, this legislation requires the court, upon a motion, to hold a hearing to require a defendant who is in default to show cause why his default should not be treated as a civil judgment and judgment lien attached. The legislation authorizes the conversion of unpaid restitution, fines, costs, fees, surcharges, and assessments to civil judgments. The House concurred in Senate amendments to S.341, the "EMERSON ROSE ACT", which establishes new provisions for the DETECTION OF CRITICAL CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS IN NEWBORNS, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation directs the Department of Health and Environmental Control to require each licensed birthing facility to perform on every newborn in its care a pulse oximetry or other department-approved screening to detect critical congenital heart defects when the baby is twenty-four to forty-eight hours of age, or as late as possible if the baby is discharged from the hospital before reaching twenty-four hours of age. A department-approved screening must be based on standards set forth by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, the American Heart Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Newborns are only exempted if a parent objects, in writing, to the screening, for reasons pertaining to religious beliefs. The legislation directs the Department of Health and Human Services to work with birthing facilities through its partnership with the Birth Outcomes Initiative to recommend policies for critical congenital heart defect screening. The Birth Outcomes Initiative is an effort by DHHS and its partners to improve the health of newborns in the Medicaid program. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3505, the "HIGH GROWTH SMALL BUSINESS ACCESS TO CAPITAL ACT OF 2013", and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation establishes provisions for state nonrefundable income tax credits to encourage those who act as "angel investors" by providing early stage capital for emerging high-growth enterprises in such areas as manufacturing, processing, warehousing, wholesaling, software development, and information technology services. These tax credits are available through 2019. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3093, the "SOUTH CAROLINA ABANDONED BUILDINGS REVITALIZATION ACT". The legislation establishes provisions allowing a taxpayer making qualifying investments in the rehabilitation of an abandoned building to receive income tax credits or credits against property tax liability in an amount comprising up to twenty-five percent of rehabilitation costs. These tax credits are available through 2019. The House amended Senate amendments to H.3360, a bill establishing a revised procedure for TRANSFERRING ROADS TO AND FROM THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM. The legislation was amended to include House-approved provisions for redirecting automobile sales tax revenues to serve as a dedicated funding source for the state's infrastructure needs as well as a provision included in budget legislation to allow for the use of $50 million in annual recurring funds for the issuance of $500 million in bonds for highway and bridge construction and repair. A conference committee has been appointed to address differences between the House and Senate on the legislation. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3464 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises provisions relating to Department of Social Services child abuse and neglect removal actions to establish specific LEGAL RIGHTS FOR GRANDPARENTS UNDER EXPEDITED RELATIVE PLACEMENTS OF CHILDREN AT THE PROBABLE CAUSE HEARING FOR EMERGENCY PROTECTIVE CUSTODY. If the court finds at the probable cause hearing that the department made reasonable efforts to prevent removal of the child and that continuation of the child in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, this legislation provides that the court may order expedited placement of the child with a grandparent or other relative of the first or second degree. In making this expedited placement decision, the legislation requires the court to consider the totality of the circumstances including such factors as the individual's suitability, fitness, and willingness to serve as a placement for the child. A parent who complies with these requirements must be the first relative considered by the court for expedited placement. If the court orders expedited placement of the child with a grandparent or other relative of the first or second degree, the individual may be added as a party to the action for the duration of the case or until further order of the court. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3472, a bill revising the process for the CONVERSION OF A PRIVATE SCHOOL TO A CHARTER SCHOOL, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. This legislation allows private schools to convert to public charter schools without having to dissolve and close for a period of twelve months if the private school's student population reflects the racial composition of the local school district in which the private school is located. Private schools that wish to convert without having to dissolve and close must adhere to certain statutory provisions. Private schools that successfully convert to charter schools will be held to the same requirements as all other charter schools. The legislation also provides authorization for a special public school that is funded directly by the State of South Carolina and, therefore, is not associated with a public school district to apply to become a public charter school if it serves as a professional development school for an institution of higher learning’s teacher education program. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3409, a bill establishing RESTRICTIONS ON ROOFING WORK ARRANGEMENTS PAID WITH INSURANCE POLICY PROCEEDS, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. This bill prohibits a builder or contractor from representing or negotiating on behalf of an owner or possessor of residential real estate on any insurance claim in connection with the repair or replacement of roof systems. The legislation prohibits a builder or contractor from advertising or promising to pay or rebate all or any portion of any insurance deductible as an inducement to the sale of goods or services. A violation is a misdemeanor and is included among the instances of misconduct that the South Carolina Residential Builders Commission considers in determining whether a license or registration should be revoked, suspended, or restricted. The legislation establishes a procedure allowing a person who enters into a written contract for goods or services related to a roofing system with a party who will be paid from proceeds of a property and casualty insurance policy and who subsequently receives written notice from the insurer that all or part of the claim or contract is not a covered loss under the policy to cancel the contract prior to midnight on the fifth business day after the insured has received the written notice of the denial of coverage. The House returned S.8 to the Senate with amendments. The Senate subsequently concurred in these amendments and enrolled to bill for ratification. This legislation REVISES LEGAL LIABILITY PROVISIONS FOR DOG BITES AND ATTACKS. This legislation provides exceptions to liability if at the time the person is bitten or otherwise attacked: (1) the person who was attacked provoked or harassed the dog and that provocation was the proximate cause of the attack; or (2) the dog is working in a law enforcement capacity with a governmental agency and in the performance of the dog's official duties provided that certain conditions are met. These conditions include the dog's attack was in direct and complete compliance with the lawful command of a duly certified canine officer and that the dog is trained and certified and that the governmental agency has adopted certain written policies and that the actions of the dog's handler or dog do not constitute excessive force or violate written policy and that the attack or bite does not occur on a third-party bystander. Additionally, the legislation makes REVISIONS PERTAINING TO THE CERTIFICATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PATROL CANINE TEAMS. The term 'patrol canine teams' refers to a certified officer and a specific patrol canine controlled by the handler working together in the performance of law enforcement or correctional duties. The term 'patrol canine teams' does not refer to canines used exclusively for tracking or specific detection. This legislation requires the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy to verify that patrol canine teams have been certified by a nationally recognized police dog association or similar organization. The legislation further provides that no law enforcement agency may utilize patrol canine teams after July 1, 2014, unless the patrol canine teams have met all certification requirements. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3451, relating to OFFENSES CHARGED ON A UNIFORM TRAFFIC TICKET, and enrolled the bill for ratification. This legislation addresses issues that arose from a recent Court of Appeals case pertaining to the use of a uniform traffic ticket to begin judicial proceedings in magistrates court. The legislation adds shoplifting and first and second offense criminal domestic violence to the list of offenses that may be charged, in addition to traffic offenses, on a uniform traffic ticket, which allows uniform traffic tickets to be issued for these offenses even if the act did not occur in the officer's presence. Also, the legislation requires an officer who makes a shoplifting arrest using a uniform traffic ticket to immediately file an incident report; this requirement is already in place under current law if a uniform traffic ticket is used for a criminal domestic violence offense. Further, the legislation allows a uniform traffic ticket to be used in an arrest for a misdemeanor offense within the jurisdiction of magistrates court that has been freshly committed or is committed in the presence of a law enforcement officer. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3342, relating to BENCH WARRANTS, and enrolled the bill for ratification. This legislation provides that, after an initial appearance, a circuit court judge may not issue a general sessions court bench warrant for failure to appear in court upon motion by a solicitor, unless the solicitor has conspicuously posted a list of potential bench warrants at the appropriate courthouse and on the solicitor’s Internet website at least forty-eight hours before the bench warrant is requested. These restrictions do not apply if the presiding judge issues the bench warrant for failure to appear, of his own accord, or the person has been personally served with an appearance date. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3184, a bill revising eligibility criteria for the EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation provides that a person may be eligible for expungement of a first offense crime which carries a maximum fine of $1,000, rather than $500 as current law provides, including a conviction in magistrates or general sessions court. The legislation also includes instances where a person has been issued a courtesy summons within the provisions that require the destruction of arrest and booking records, files, mug shots, and fingerprints and disallow law enforcement from retaining pertinent evidence when proceedings against the person are dismissed, or the person is found not guilty of the charge. The legislation also includes requirements for making expungements from any Internet-based public record within thirty days. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3974, relating to DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE RECORDS, and enrolled the bill for ratification. Relating to the disclosure of records and returns filed with the Department of Revenue, the legislation allows the disclosure of certain information to the Secretary of State about a taxpayer who filed an initial or final corporate return. The legislation allows the Department of Revenue to expunge the recording of a lien once the lien is fully paid and satisfied. The House approved S.562 and enrolled the bill for ratification. This bill revises PROVISIONS RELATING TO RECOVERY FOR IMPROVEMENTS MADE TO PROPERTY IN GOOD FAITH, AFTER IT IS JUDICIALLY DETERMINED TO BE OWNED BY SOMEONE ELSE. Current law allows for recovery of the full value of improvements made to property in good faith after it is judicially determined to be owned by someone else if the defendant to the action has purchased the property; this legislation allows for recovery in situations where no consideration was given for the property, such as inheritance. The House returned S.484, a bill relating to DISABILITY RETIREMENT FOR MEMBERS OF THE POLICE OFFICERS RETIREMENT SYSTEM, to the Senate with amendments. The Senate subsequently concurred in the amendments and enrolled the bill for ratification. This legislation establishes new eligibility criteria for disability retirement for members of the Police Officers Retirement System, eliminating the requirement that certain members be eligible for, and provide proof of, Social Security benefits to continue to receive a disability benefit. The legislation establishes a medical board to arrange for and pass upon all required medical examinations and investigate all essential statements and certificates connected with an application for disability retirement. The House returned S.463, a bill requiring CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR LICENSURE AS A PROFESSIONAL SURETY BONDSMAN OR RUNNER, to the Senate with amendments. The Senate subsequently concurred in the amendments and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises the licensure of professional surety bondsmen and runners at the Department of Insurance by establishing requirements for state and federal criminal background checks. The cost associated with these fingerprint-based criminal history record screenings must be borne by the applicant. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3632, a bill relating to WORKERS’ COMPENSATION COMMISSION FUNDING, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. This bill authorizes the Workers’ Compensation Commission to retain a portion of the annual revenue of the maintenance tax imposed on self insurers as well as half of the interest charged on delinquent maintenance tax in order to pay the salaries and expenses of the commission. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3033, a bill authorizing the issuance of SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation authorizes the issuance of Special License Plates for Recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Autism Awareness Special License Plates, Motorcycle Awareness Alliance Special License Plates, and SC Riverkeepers Special License Plates. The legislation also includes provisions for the Department of Motor Vehicles to develop a basic license plate design that will be used as a template for all special organizational license plates. The House returned on S.481 to the Senate with amendments. The Senate subsequently concurred in the amendments and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises CRITERIA FOR THE ADMISSIONS LICENSE TAX EXEMPTION FOR A MOTORSPORTS ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX by establishing the requirement that the complex be a NASCAR sanctioned motor speedway or racetrack that hosted at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in 2012, and continues to host at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, or any successor race featuring the same NASCAR Cup series. By replacing the current requirement that the speedway have at least sixty thousand seats for race patrons, the legislation would allow the Darlington Raceway to continue to retain half of its admissions tax funds to be used for promotional expenses even if renovations at the race track should reduce the number of available seats. The House approved and enrolled for ratification S.610, a bill REVISING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT BOND TERMS FOR CONVENTION AND TRADE SHOW CENTERS AND SPECIAL EVENTS FACILITIES so as to allow an extension for the multi-sport facility being constructed by Myrtle Beach. The legislation extends from ten years to fifteen years the period in which the facility must be completed. The legislation provides that a convention and trade show center and special events facility authorized under the terms of the State General Obligation Economic Development Bond Act includes an adjacent facility that makes additional time and space available for the major conventions, trade shows, and special events. The Joint Bond Review Committee is required to review and comment on such an adjacent facility. The House returned S.584, legislation revising provisions for HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES, to the Senate with amendments. The Senate subsequently concurred in the amendments and enrolled the bill for ratification. Notably, the legislation allows the Department of Natural Resources to implement an annual wildlife fishing license for commercial and recreational purposes. If successful, DNR has the option to implement the annual licenses to other areas. The bill provides that persons who are determined to be disabled must be receiving benefits under the various state and/or federal agencies and/or programs in order to obtain a three year disability fishing licenses at no cost. The department may waive the proof of disability benefit requirement for renewals when the resident is at least sixty-five years old. Any person licensed by another state as a resident for any purpose is not eligible to apply for, obtain, or hold any South Carolina resident license, permit, stamp, or tag required by the title. It is unlawful to obtain, attempt to obtain, or possess a license, permit, stamp, or tag required by this title while licensed as a resident of another state for any purpose. Any person who lawfully acquires a resident South Carolina license, permit, stamp, or tag and who during the term of that instrument transfers their domicile outside of this State, may continue the privileges until expiration of that license, permit, stamp or tag. The legislation provides that, if an apprentice hunting license is obtained, the certificate of completion requirement may be waived for one license year. If an apprentice hunting license holder obtains a certificate of completion prior to the expiration date the apprentice hunting license will be used as a statewide hunting license, provided the certificate of completion in possession while hunting. The House approved S.551 and ordered the bill enrolled for ratification. The legislation provides that open season for ANTLERED DEER in Game Zone 1 with archery equipment and firearms is October 11 through January 1. The legislation provides that on Wildlife Management Area lands, the Department of Natural Resources may promulgate regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act to establish seasons for the hunting and taking of deer. The House approved S.559, legislation dealing with CATCH LIMITS FOR FLOUNDER, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides that it is unlawful for a person to take or possess more than fifteen flounder taken in any one day and not to exceed thirty flounder in any one day on any boat. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3735 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides that the lawful CATCH LIMIT FOR BLACK SEA BASS (Centropristis striata) is five fish per person per day or the same as the federal limit for Black Sea Bass, whichever is higher. The lawful minimum size is thirteen inches total length. Additionally, there is no closed season on the catching of Black Sea Bass. The House returned S.308 to the Senate with amendments. The legislation relates to CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON IN A BUSINESS THAT SELLS ALCOHOL TO BE CONSUMED ON THE PREMISES. The legislation replaces the current prohibition on carrying a pistol or firearm into a business which sells alcoholic liquor, beer, or wine for on-premises consumption with new provisions that afford concealed weapons permit holders some legal authority to carry their firearms into bars, restaurants, and other establishments that serve beer, wine, or alcoholic liquor. Also, the legislation makes revisions pertaining to THE REQUIREMENTS AND PROCESS TO RECEIVE A CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT. Among other things, the legislation provides that the permit is valid for five years rather than four years, allows the State Law Enforcement Division to make all contact with a permit applicant through online communications if an applicant submits his application online, deletes the requirement that an education course must be a minimum of eight hours, and allows individuals with military training as well as retired law enforcement officers to complete only the portion of the class reviewing state law. The legislation provides that a person may not carry a concealed weapon into a place clearly marked with a sign prohibiting the carrying of a concealed weapon on the premises, except that a property owner or an agent acting on his behalf, may allow individuals of his choosing to enter onto property regardless of any posted sign to the contrary. Additionally, the legislation provides that a CONCEALED WEAPON PERMIT HOLDER MAY SECURE HIS WEAPON UNDER A SEAT IN A VEHICLE, or in any open or closed storage compartment within the vehicle's passenger compartment. The House did not concur in Senate amendments to H.3717, legislation relating to HARASSMENT AND STALKING OFFENSES. A conference committee has been appointed to address the differences of the House and Senate on the bill. The House did not concur in Senate amendments to S.310, a bill relating to MANUFACTURED HOUSING BOARD OVERSIGHT. A conference committee has been appointed to address the differences of the House and Senate on the bill. The House did not concur in Senate amendments to H.3774, a joint resolution providing for a TEMPORARY SUSPENSION FOR PERMITS AND GOVERNMENTAL APPROVALS AFFECTING REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT. A conference committee has been appointed to address the differences of the House and Senate on the legislation. The House did not concur in Senate amendments to H.3225, a bill authorizing "SC RIVERKEEPERS" SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES. A conference committee has been appointed to address the differences of the House and Senate on the legislation. The House approved and sent the Senate H.4284, a bill EXPANDING THE AUTHORITY FOR ISSUING HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO CERTAIN VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES MILITARY whose high school careers were interrupted by military service, so that these provisions apply not only to World War II veterans but also include veterans of the era encompassing the Korean War and Vietnam War. The House approved and sent the Senate on H.3089, a bill to provide for a maximum three thousand dollar a year INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX DEDUCTION FOR VOLUNTEER STATE CONSTABLES.
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