South Carolina House of Representatives
James H. "Jay" Lucas, 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.3145, a bill SHIELDING FROM LEGAL LIABILITY THOSE WHO TAKE ACTIONS TO PREVENT HOT CAR DEATHS of children and vulnerable adults who are left unattended in locked motor vehicles, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation provides that a person is immune from civil liability for property damage resulting from his forcible entry into a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a minor or vulnerable adult from the vehicle if the person has a reasonable good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary because the minor or vulnerable adult is in imminent danger of suffering harm. The House and Senate adopted the free conference report on S.255 and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation establishes new provisions TARGETING MUGSHOT PUBLICATION EXTORTION PRACTICES where individuals issue publications of booking photographs and other booking records of those arrested in South Carolina or post these records on websites and require payment in order for those records to be removed or revised. A misdemeanor criminal penalty, carrying a maximum fine of one thousand dollars and/or imprisonment for up to sixty days, is provided for those who engage in the extortion and a civil cause of action is established for those harmed by such practices. The legislation revises provisions for the EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS when charges have been dismissed or the accused individual is found not guilty. The legislation revises the protocol governing how and when records should be retained or destroyed following orders of expungement. Revisions and clarifications are included to better allow individuals to avail themselves of expungement provisions. The legislation provides that if a person pleads guilty to a lesser-included offense and the solicitor deems it appropriate, the solicitor shall notify the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and SLED shall request that the personís record contained in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database or other similar database reflects the lesser-included offense rather than the offense originally charged. The House concurred in Senate amendment to H.3874, a bill providing for RENEWABLE ENERGY INCOME TAX CREDITS, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation makes provisions for an income tax credit for a taxpayer who constructs, purchases, or leases and places into service large-scale nonresidential solar energy equipment located on property in South Carolina that is included on the Environmental Protection Agencyís National Priority List, National Priority List Equivalent Sites, or on a list of related removal actions, as certified by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. The income tax credit covers twenty-five percent of the cost, including the cost of installation, of the property up to a cap of $2.5 million for each installation of solar energy property. A sunset provision is included so that new credits will only be allowed through 2017. The legislation also expands the renewable energy tax credit geared towards residential customers that allows an income tax credit to address a portion of the cost of purchasing and installing solar energy systems or small hydropower systems so that this tax credit also applies to geothermal machinery and equipment. A sunset provision is included so that these income tax credits for geothermal machinery and equipment will only be available through 2018. The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4579, a bill to implement in statute changes authorized with the adoption of the amendment to the South Carolina Constitution which provides for the JOINT ELECTION OF THE GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR and related matters beginning with the general election of 2018. Under the revised system, a gubernatorial candidate selects a running mate for the post of Lieutenant Governor in a manner comparable to the selection of the President and Vice President at the federal level. The Lieutenant Governorís legislative duties are eliminated in statute, and provisions are made for the office of the President of the Senate who is elected by the Senate from its membership to preside over the legislative body and perform other prescribed duties. Beginning with the Lieutenant Governor elected in the 2018 General Election, in the case of the removal of the Lieutenant Governor from office by impeachment, death, resignation, disqualification, disability, or removal from the State, the Governor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the Senate, a successor to fulfill the unexpired term. The legislation revises the order of succession for filling unexpected vacancies that occur in the stateís executive branch. The House approved and sent the Senate H.4665, a bill that makes provisions for the SCREENING OF MAGISTRATE CANDIDATES by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission to ensure that the candidates meet the qualifications for the office. Under the provisions, the commission submits its reports and recommendations on magistrate candidates to the appropriate Senate delegation and the Senate delegation, with the advice and consent of the Senate, in turn submits the name of the magistrate candidate of choice for appointment by the Governor. A person found not qualified by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission may not be submitted to the Governor for appointment. The House approved and sent the Senate H.4703, a bill revising the stateís provisions for immunity from criminal prosecution and civil actions for the JUSTIFIABLE USE OF DEADLY FORCE AGAINST INTRUDERS. The legislation establishes a procedure for an evidentiary hearing on a pretrial motion to dismiss based on the justifiable use of deadly force and makes provisions for a court judgment, order, or decree denying legal immunity to be immediately appealable. The House approved and sent the Senate H.3521, a bill PROHIBITING AN APPLICATION OF SECULAR OR RELIGIOUS FOREIGN LAW THAT VIOLATES RIGHTS GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS STATE OR OF THE UNITED STATES, such as due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and privacy rights. This prohibition applies to any ruling or decision of a court, arbitration, tribunal, or administrative agency. The legislation includes provisions specifying that this prohibition does not apply to purely ecclesiastical matters and should not be not be interpreted by any court to conflict with any federal treaty or other international agreement to which the United States is a party to the extent that such treaty or international agreement preempts or is superior to state law on the matter at issue. The House approved and sent the Senate H.4816, a bill designating June 27th of each year as SOUTH CAROLINA POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS INJURY (PTSI) AWARENESS DAY. The House approved and sent the Senate H.4709, revising fishing limitations imposed in the SOUTHERN COBIA MANAGEMENT ZONE which encompasses all waters of this state south of Jeremy Inlet, Edisto Island. The legislation provides that, subject to the size limit established by federal regulation, possession of cobia caught in the Southern Cobia Management Zone is limited to one person per day, and no more than three per boat per day, from June 1 to April 30. It is unlawful to take and possess cobia in the Southern Cobia Management Zone from May 1 to May 31, and at any time federal regulations provide for the closure of the recreational cobia season in the waters of the South Atlantic Ocean. The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4708, a bill revising provisions dealing with importing, possessing or selling imported fish, to clarify language in current law that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will continue to issue permits for the importation, breeding, and possession of GRASS CARP or grass carp hybrids.
The Education and Public Works Committee met on Wednesday, February 3, 2016. The following bills were discussed and passed. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to H.3420, relating to VETERANS AND HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS, adding veterans of the eras encompassing the Korean War and the Vietnam War to those who must be issued a high school diploma upon presentation of documentation of school enrollment and a copy of an honorable discharge or honorable discharge papers (DD-214) to the South Carolina Department of Education. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to H.3657, relating to SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE TERMS, adding the phrase "Except as otherwise provided by law" to current law providing that the term of office of every elected trustee of a school district must commence one week following the certification of his election. The committee gave a favorable recommendation (with amendment) to H.4515, relating to IN-STATE TUITION REGARDING FEDERAL EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE. The bill relates to undergraduate in-state tuition for people entitled to certain federal educational assistance as the children of members of the United States military who died in active duty service after September 11, 2001, and for people entitled as the spouses or children dependents of veterans to receive certain unused federal educational assistance transferred from veterans, so as to provide they are not subject to a three-year post-discharge enrollment time limit. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to H.4639, relating to EDUCATIONAL INTERSTATE RECIPROCITY. The bill provides that the Commission on Higher Education may enter interstate reciprocity agreements that authorize accredited degree-granting institutions of higher education in South Carolina to offer postsecondary distance education. The committee gave a favorable recommendation (with amendment) to H.4688, relating to UNLAWFUL REPOSITIONING OF TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES AND RAILROAD SIGNS AND SIGNALS. This bill adds "temporary" road closure signs and devices (and the repositioning thereof) to current law regarding unlawful interference with traffic control devices and railroad signs and signals.
The House Judiciary Committee met February 2, 2016 and passed out three bills: H.4703 USE OF DEADLY FORCE. This bill provides for pre-trial motions to dismiss criminal charges when Defendants have justifiably used deadly force. The State bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the deadly force used was unlawful. While the findings during this hearing are not binding, any court judgment, order, or decree that denies any defendant immunity is immediately appealable to a higher court. H.3041 APPOINTMENT OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION. This bill requires the Superintendent of Education to be appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The term of office is four years. This provision will be effective at the end of the term of the current Superintendent of Education. The General Assembly will set the duties, compensation, qualifications, and procedures for this office, as well as the procedures to remove the Superintendent. H.3685 ELECTRONIC TICKETING, reported out, with amendments. This bill requires electronic forwarding of court-processed tickets and license surrender information. With this forwarded information, the term of a driverís license suspension or revocation will begin the date the license was surrendered, not the date the ticket is court-processed. When a license holder requests an administrative hearing, and if that hearing results in the continued suspension, cancellation, or revocation of a driverís license, then the suspension term will begin on the administrative hearing date. This bill also requires electronic transmission of all tickets by a court clerk or magistrate to the Department of Motor Vehicles within five  days. Sets penalties for losing tickets, using nonuniform tickets, or failing to timely forward electronic ticket records to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
The Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee met on Tuesday, February 2, 2016, and reported out one bill. The full committee gave a favorable report on H.4447, a bill authorizing the State Barber Board to issue permits for MOBILE BARBERSHOPS. The bill defines "mobile barbershop" as a self-contained unit where the practice of barbering is conducted. The unit can be moved, towed, or transported from one location to another and includes equipment used for barbering on a temporary basis, including but not limited to a clientís home, a nursing home, or another institution or location authorized by the board. A licensed barber may operate a mobile barbershop if the barber does not have a physically stationary office at the location where the barbering services are being provided.
To operate a mobile barbershop the barber must, among many things, submit a permit application and fee to the barber board; have the mobile barbershop inspected by a board member; affix barber permit for current year on mobile barbershop; and carry an issued permit card when practicing barbering through a portable barber operation.
The bill also outlines that a mobile barbershop permit is not transferable and if sold and the new owner must apply to the board for a permit before providing barbering services.
The bill also outlines that it is unlawful to take or possess a great hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran), a smooth hammerhead shark (Sphyrna zygaena), a scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), or a Carolina hammerhead shark (Sphyrna gilberti). Any of the aforementioned species caught must be released immediately and must remain completely in the water at all times while being released. No person shall be permitted to take any photographs with the animal outside of the water.
H.4847 FERAL SWINE HOLDING FACILITIES/FERAL SWINE DEALERS Rep. Limehouse
The bill outlines that the Department of Natural Resources may issue licenses to persons who wish to operate feral swine holding facilities or become feral swine dealers. In addition, the operator of a feral swine holding facility or a feral swine dealer may hold feral swine on private property if facilities are maintained in a clean and sanitary condition at all times; maintained in a condition that prevents the escape of captured swine; not located close to domestic swine herds; and designed to hold only feral swine.
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