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 concurred in Senate amendments to H.4938, a joint resolution providing for a SURVEY OF THE STATEíS COLLEGE STUDENTS ON TEACHING IN RURAL AND ECONOMICALLY CHALLENGED SCHOOL DISTRICTS, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation directs the State Department of Education (SDE) and the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) to collaborate with the Commission of Higher Education in surveying students enrolled in the stateís colleges of education. This survey is to be administered to those college students who have been fully admitted into their institutionís teacher education program, and similar survey information may be obtained from students in other programs at the stateís institutions of higher learning through other means. The survey must include such questions as whether students have considered teaching in a rural and economically challenged districts and what incentives, if any, would cause them to move to, and work in, such a district. Survey results must be reported to the General Assembly by December 1, 2016. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3560, a bill revising TEACHER DISMISSAL provisions. Notably, the legislation affords school districts the option of making use of new authority to delegate the conduct of evidentiary hearings to qualified hearing officers. The legislation provides that the superintendent or his designee may meet with the teacher before issuing a notice of dismissal to discuss alternative resolutions. The parties attending this meeting must have the option of having a representative present. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.4413 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises SAFE HAVENS FOR ABANDONED BABIES provisions that designate locations, such as hospitals, police stations, and fire stations, where someone may leave an infant under certain circumstances without criminal penalty. The legislation requires all such locations to post a notice on the premises that prominently displays to the public that the facility, agency, or other location is a designated safe haven at which a person may leave an infant. The legislation also provides that the safe haven provisions apply to infants who are no more than sixty days old rather than the current standard of no more than thirty days old. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.4546, a bill ENHANCING REQUIREMENTS AND REVIEWS REGARDING CHILDREN PLACED IN FOSTER CARE, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation includes provisions for the Department of Social Services to normalize the lives of children in foster care by allowing a caregiver, without the departmentís prior approval, to make decisions similar to those a parent would be entitled to make regarding a childís participation in age or developmentally appropriate extracurricular, enrichment, cultural, and social activities such as sports, field trips, social activities, vacations, employment opportunities, and after school programs. In determining whether to allow a child in foster care to participate in an activity, a caregiver must exercise the reasonable and prudent parent standard. DSS must provide to a foster child a document describing the rights of the child regarding education, health, visitation, court participation, and the right to stay safe and avoid exploitation, and obtain a signed acknowledgement from the child upon receipt. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3653 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises the "Law Enforcement Assistance and Support Act" to include provisions for LAW ENFORCEMENT MUTUAL AID AGREEMENTS that allow for the sharing of officers and other law enforcement resources among state, county, municipal, or other agencies. The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.4548, a bill addressing CLOSING FEES CHARGED BY MOTOR VEHICLE DEALERS, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. Responding to a 2015 ruling from the South Carolina Supreme Court, the legislation revises provisions authorizing motor vehicle dealers to charge closing fees in motor vehicle sales for all administrative and financial work needed to transfer the motor vehicle such as compliance with all state, federal, and lender requirements, preparation and retrieval of documents, protection of the private personal information of the consumer, records retention, and storage costs. The legislation establishes a process for the Department of Consumer Affairs to review proposed closing fees to determine whether they are reasonable in amount. A motor vehicle dealer is, however, authorized to charge a closing fee of no more than two hundred twenty-five dollars per vehicle which is considered to be automatically approved as reasonable under these provisions without having to be submitted to the department for review. The House approved S.1252 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation establishes provisions that require the State Fire Marshal to issue a license for a COMMUNITY FIREWORKS DISPLAY in a county with a population of less than thirty thousand if certain safety conditions and other requirements are met. The House approved S.685, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises the provisions governing the licensure and regulation of ENGINEERS AND SURVEYORS, including: revisions to training requirements; requirements that certain members of the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Surveyors must be actively practicing their professions; provisions governing the operation of branch offices; and, authorization for the issuance of a waiver of licensing and credentialing requirements for up to ninety days to allow out-of-state engineers to respond to emergencies in South Carolina. The House approved S.1177 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises provisions for the professional licensure of architects by replacing provisions for the "Intern Development Program" with provisions for the "ARCHITECTURAL EXPERIENCE PROGRAM". The program allows students to receive academic credit for internship experience as a means of facilitating entry into the field of architecture. The House concurred in Senate amendments to S.454 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides for the issuance of DEER HUNTING TAGS for in-state residents and non-residents. This new tagging system does not revise game zones or seasons, but it does include requirements for hunters to tag every deer taken in the state. The legislation provides for the Department of Natural Resources to issue eight doe day specific tags and three buck tags with the purchase of a South Carolina hunting license and big game permit for in-state residents. Hunters (including youth and gratis licensees) will have the option to purchase two additional buck (with four points on one side or a minimum 12-inch antler spread) tags at $5 each and/or four additional doe tags at $5 each. All funds collected from the two additional buck tags sales will go into a Coyote Management Program. With the purchase of a hunting license and big game permit, non-resident hunters will pay $50 for the first purchased antlered tag and $20 for each additional antlered tag (with a maximum purchase of four tags of which two must have size restriction). There is a $10 charge for each antlerless tag purchased. The legislation provides for antlerless and antlered deer limits to be two doe taken per day and two bucks taken per day. The Department of Natural Resources to provide a report of a four-year study by July 1, 2022, to the Chairman of the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee and the Chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee on such issues as the status of stateís the white-tailed deer population and a review of the tagging program. The House approved S.381, a bill addressing SERVICE CREDIT PURCHASES IN STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEMS FOR THOSE TERMINATED JUST BEFORE ATTAINING RETIREMENT ELIGIBILITY, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation provides that an active member of the South Carolina Retirement System or South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System who is terminated within one year of retirement eligibility shall have five business days after the date of termination to purchase any service credit that the member is eligible to purchase as provided in order to attain retirement eligibility. The House approved S.933, relating to PETITIONS FOR RECEIVING A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA THAT WAS DENIED SOLELY BECAUSE OF A FAILURE TO MEET FORMER EXIT EXAM REQUIREMENTS, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation eliminates the deadline for submitting a petition to receive a high school diploma by someone who is no longer enrolled in a public school and who previously failed to receive a high school diploma or was denied graduation solely for failing to pass the exit exam that was formerly required for high school graduation. A two-year extension is provided for the report that the South Carolina Department of Education must prepare on the number of high school diplomas granted under these provisions so that the report has a deadline of January 31, 2019. The House returned S.689, relating MOTORCYCLES AND MOPEDS, to the Senate with amendments and the Senate subsequently concurred in those amendments and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides that no person shall ride upon a motorcycle as a passenger unless, when sitting astride the seat, the person can reach the footrests with both feet. This provision does not apply to someone riding in a motorcycle sidecar. The legislation revises provisions for motorcycle and moped beginnerís permits, to provide that a permittee may not operate a motorcycle at any unpermitted time unless supervised by a licensed motorcycle operator 21 years old and with one year of experience. The moped requirement notes a permittee may not operate a moped at any other time unless accompanied by a licensed driver twenty-one years of age or older who has at least one year of driving experience. The legislation eliminates the requirement that a parent or guardian must provide the required supervision. The accompanying driver must be within a safe viewing distance of the permittee when the permittee is operating a motorcycle or a moped. The House approved S.1111, relating to MOTOR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERSí LICENSE PLATES, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises provisions for the issuance of a standard license plate to a manufacturer for vehicles it has manufactured and which are used in a benefit program for the manufacturerís employees or used by the manufacturer for testing, distribution, evaluation, and promotion. The legislation provides that the annual registration fee for this plate is derived by computing the average price of the vehicle manufacturerís fleet times the property tax rates times the average millage for all purposes statewide for the preceding calendar year, and charges the Department of Revenue with determining the annual registration fee and then notifying the Department of Motor Vehicles of the adjusted fee amount, which is effective for the next two years. For 2017 and 2018, the legislation sets this license plateís annual registration fee at seven hundred eighty-nine dollars. The House returned S.1166, a joint resolution ADDRESSING DEBT AND ACADEMIC ACCREDITATION ISSUES AT SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY, to the Senate with amendments. The legislation makes provisions for the forgiveness of $12 million in state loans disbursed to South Carolina State University over the course of three years if the university meets specified benchmarks such as maintaining academic accreditation, achieving progress towards a balanced budget and positive net financial position, and meeting student enrollment growth goals. The authority for institution cost-saving mandatory employee furlough programs at the university is extended through Fiscal Year 2021-2022. The House voted not to concur in Senate amendments to H.4492, a bill revising NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES CHILD PLACEMENT HEARINGS. The House gave second reading approval to S.932, a bill providing a DEADLINE EXTENSION FOR RECEIVING CERTAIN ARMED FORCES PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT RATIOS. This bill revises provisions relating to property tax assessment ratios, so as to revise an application deadline for certain property owned by certain members of the armed forces. The legislation includes provisions for taxpayers who were qualified to receive the special assessment rate for tax year 2014 or 2015, but who missed the application deadline, to receive refunds. The House returned S.973, a bill extending and revising provisions for DEVOTING A PORTION OF INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX REVENUES TO THE FUNDING OF FIREFIGHTING NEEDS AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES TRAINING, to the Senate with amendments. The legislation extends until June 30, 2030, the requirement for using two and one-quarter percent of each yearís insurance premium tax revenues to fund emergency response needs and redistributes the revenue so that: one percent is transferred to the South Carolina Forestry Commission to be used for firefighting and firefighting equipment replacement; one percent is transferred to the aid to fire districts account within the State Treasury to be distributed to local fire departments for firefighting equipment replacement, with half of annually allocated funds to be distributed equally among the stateís fire departments and the remaining balance used to fund the V-SAFE grant program for local volunteer fire departments; and, one quarter of one percent is transferred to the aid to emergency medical services regional councils within the Department of Health and Environmental Control to be used for grants to fund emergency medical technician and paramedic training. The House returned S.280 to the Senate with amendments. This bill revises provisions relating to financial statements and net worth requirements for GENERAL CONTRACTORS AND MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS, so as to adjust and update the net worth requirements for licensure and license renewal. The legislation includes a provision to specify that a contractorís license is not required for certain installation, repair, or maintenance of a sign or billboard.
The full Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Committee met on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 and reported out several bills. The committee gave a favorable recommendation to S.1030, a bill reducing the number from 50 to 25 of AMERICAN EEL (ANGUILLA ROSTRATA) taken a day by recreational fishermen. In addition the size of the American eel taken is increased from six to nine inches long. S.1205, a bill revising the requirement for SURETY BONDS FOR NATURAL RESOURCES ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS, was given a favorable recommendation by the committee. The legislation states that every officer shall be covered by a surety bond with the SC Department of Natural Resources, of not less than two thousand dollars, subscribed by a licensed, reliable surety company. The bond may be individual, schedule, or blanket, and on a form approved by the Attorney General. The premiums on the bonds must be paid by the department. S.680, legislation enacting the "PROVISIONS FOR COST OF ANIMAL CARE ACT OF 2015", was given a favorable recommendation by the full committee. The legislation allows custodians who are given custody of animals in cruelty cases the opportunity to petition, in magistrates or municipal court, reimbursement of animal care costs. The animalís owner only pays these expenses if found guilty. The committee gave a favorable with amendment report to S.980, a bill relating to VETERINARIANS AND VETERINARIANS WHO PREFORM VETERINARY SERVICES IN ANIMAL SHELTERS. The bill requires all prescription drugs, prescribed by a licensed veterinarian to an animalís owner, to be labeled in accordance with the state and Federal law. A person who violates this provision is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than 30 days or both.
The bill also provides for privately operated animal shelters that provide veterinary services are to be regulated by the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners under the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations. The bill requires a veterinarian providing services in an animal shelter, and each animal shelter itself, to maintain written or electronic records concerning the animals in their respective care. An animal shelter shall prepare and maintain records documenting the number of animals admitted to the facility and the method by which those animals exit the facility. These records shall be maintain for a minimum of three years. The shelter shall compile this data in a report and submit the report to the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation before January thirty-first of each year. These reports are to be made available on the Departmentís website.
These requirements do not apply to county shelters. However, the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is authorized to enter public animal shelters for purposes of regulating the practice of veterinarian medicine or investigating suspicion of unauthorized practice of veterinarian medicine. In addition, all shelters that provide veterinary services, along with county shelters are required to register with the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation shall place on its website a list of all emergency veterinarian clinics in each county within six months of the renewal license period after the enactment of this provision. Emergency veterinarian clinics that provide veterinary services must register with the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
A mobile veterinarian practice affiliated with, operated by, or supported by a public or private nonprofit animal shelter is prohibited from operating within eyesight of the nearest privately owned veterinarian practice. The mobile practice or facility must identify and post the closest local emergency veterinary services facility to the mobile location. The committee gave a favorable report to S.1028, a bill that creates the SOUTH CAROLINA VETERANS AND WARRIORS TO AGRICULTURE PROGRAM within the South Carolina Department of Agriculture. This program will integrate veterans into the field of agriculture and support veterans currently working in agriculture. The Department of Agriculture, the Division of Veteransí Affairs, the Adjutant General, Clemson University, South Carolina State University, and any other institution of higher learning that offers agricultural programs shall work in conjunction to recruit and train eligible veterans, and develop and support the program. The State Treasury has a separate and distinct fund known as the ĎSouth Carolina Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Program and Fundí. The fund shall consist of gifts, grants and donations, and legislative appropriations which may be made to support the program. Expenditures from the fund shall be used exclusively to pay costs, fees, and expenses necessary to administer the program
The Medical, Military, Municipal and Affairs met on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 and reported out three bills. S.371, a bill outlining procedures for investigating and disciplining cases LICENSED PRACTICING NURSES was given a favorable with amendment recommendation by the committee. An investigation of a complaint shall begin within forty eight hours of receipt of the complaint in instances involving a patientís death when the complaint alleges a person licensed to practice nursing misreads an order for administration of medication resulting in the overmedication or undermedication of the patient and contributing to the patientís death. The full committee gave a favorable report to S.1036, a bill authorizing the STATE BOARD OF DENTISTRY to issue a new restricted dental auxiliary instructorís license to dentists who meet certain specified criteria. The bill provides additional criteria by which a dentist may qualify to receive a restricted dental instructorís license and authorizes biennial renewal rather than annual renewal of these two instructorís licenses. The committee also gave a favorable report to S.1037, a bill expanding the exemption to include TEAM PHYSICIANS OF ATHLETIC TEAMS VISITING THIS STATE for a team training camp.
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