Legislative Update
February 28, 2017
Vol. 34, No. 8

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


CONTENTS


Legislative Update, February 28, 2017

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW

The House of Representatives approved and sent the Senate H.3146, a joint resolution for a PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION THAT THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR, upon the advice and consent of the Senate, rather than elected by the state’s voters. Under the proposed state constitutional amendment, the Superintendent of Education would be removed from the list of Constitutional Officers who are elected statewide and the State Superintendent would instead be appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve at the Governor’s pleasure. The General Assembly would provide by law for the duties, compensation, and qualifications for the office. Should the legislation be approved by the General Assembly, the proposed amendment to South Carolina’s Constitution would be placed before the voters as a ballot question at the next general election. If the proposed amendment is approved by the voters, the appointment provisions would begin in January 2023, or earlier should a vacancy in the office of Superintendent of Education occur after the date of ratification.

The House approved S.338, a joint resolution AUTHORIZING AN EARLIER START DATE FOR THE UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR IN ORDER TO CAPITALIZE ON THE EDUCATIONAL VALUE OF THIS SUMMER’S SOLAR ECLIPSE, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. Since on Monday, August 21, 2017, South Carolina will be in the path of the largest total solar eclipse experienced in North America since February 1978, which offers a rare learning opportunity for people in the Palmetto State, this legislation provides flexibility in state statutory limits regarding school term start dates for the 2017-2018 School Year only, by allowing a local school board to choose Thursday, August 17, 2017, or later, as the opening date for students attending schools in the district.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.3591, a bill providing PERMANENT AUTHORIZATION FOR FIRST STEPS TO SCHOOL READINESS and making revisions and updates to this program for providing enhanced early childhood development, education, and family support services to enable children to reach school ready to achieve academic success. Under the legislation, First Steps to School Readiness is no longer subject to sunset provisions that require the program to be periodically reauthorized by the General Assembly in order to continue. The legislation makes provisions for First Steps to be reviewed by a joint House and Senate committee if the program has not already been subjected to a periodic review by the House and Senate Legislative Oversight Committees. The legislation enhances accountability and reporting requirements for evaluating program cost and effectiveness, including additional requirements for documenting progress toward improving kindergarten readiness and a requirement for the Office of South Carolina First Steps to publish each local partnership’s comprehensive plan and annual report on the office’s website. Under the legislation, the salary of the Executive Director of the South Carolina Office of First Steps becomes subject to the authority of the Agency Head Salary Commission.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3719, a bill EXPANDING THE STATE FORESTER’S AUTHORITY TO PROHIBIT OPEN BURNING in the interest of protecting the public from potentially devastating wildfires. The legislation authorizes the State Forester to prohibit all open burning regardless of whether a permit or notification is required, including campfires, bonfires, and other fires for recreational purposes. This prohibition shall not apply to fires used for nonrecreational purposes such as those for human warmth or for the preparation of food for immediate consumption. The legislation revises penalties for violating the State Forester’s directives so that a violator may be subject to a misdemeanor punishable with a fine of not more than two hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than thirty days for a first offense. A second or subsequent offense is punishable with a fine of not less than five hundred dollars and/or imprisonment for not more than sixty days.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3278, a bill addressing ATTORNEYS’ ACCESS TO INCARCERATED CLIENTS. The legislation provides that an inmate in a state, county, or municipal detention facility shall not be prohibited access to legal counsel when requested, provided such access does not jeopardize the security of the detention facility or prohibit the normal operations of the detention facility. A detention facility must make a reasonable effort to accommodate an inmate’s request for an in-person meeting with legal counsel where they are placed in the same room or general area with no continuous partition. A detention facility may provide general visual observation of the area in which the in-person meeting occurs, but shall not provide audio or video supervision of the area so as to uphold the privileged nature of the inmate’s communications with legal counsel.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3438, a bill establishing a protocol AUTHORIZING PHARMACISTS TO SUBSTITUTE INTERCHANGEABLE BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS that have been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. Such substitutions may only be made when a practitioner’s prescription provides authorization. The legislation provides labeling requirements and establishes a process for notifying prescribers of the specific biological product that a pharmacist dispenses to a patient. The Pharmacy Board is required to maintain a link on its website to the current list of all biological products that the FDA has determined to be interchangeable biological products.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3349, a bill UPDATING THE NURSE LICENSURE COMPACT to make the changes that are required for South Carolina to maintain its membership in the multi-state compact.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3420, a joint resolution creating a temporary SHINGLES VACCINATION STUDY COMMITTEE to study whether it is in the public interest for the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to establish a shingles vaccination program to offer the vaccination for shingles (herpes zoster) to individuals sixty years and older. The legislation provides for the members of the study committee, who serve without mileage, per diem, or subsistence, and requires a report to be submitted to the General Assembly by December 31, 2017, at which time the study committee is dissolved.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3583, a bill allowing a PALMETTO FELLOWS SCHOLARSHIP DEFERMENT OPTION. The legislation affords a student who has been awarded a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship the option of deferring enrollment in a higher education institution for one year following high school graduation without declining the award.

The House returned S.263 to the Senate with amendments. The legislation makes provisions for the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue "CLEMSON UNIVERSITY 2016 FOOTBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS" SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES and "COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY 2016 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS" SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3619, a bill that expands provisions regarding cruelty to animals by PROHIBITING TATTOOS AND PIERCINGS FOR PETS. The legislation prohibits the piercing or tattooing of a companion animal except for when conducted by veterinarians for purposes of providing means of identification or supplying a medical benefit. The category of companion animal includes dogs, cats, and any animals that are kept inside a residential dwelling, but excludes livestock, fowl, and wild animals. A violation is a misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to one thousand dollars and/or imprisonment for up to thirty days. The legislation does not apply to those who have companion animals with pre-existing piercings or tattoos.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3665, a bill REVISING FISHING LIMITS FOR FLOUNDER. The legislation increases the size limit for flounder from 14 inches to 15 inches statewide. The legislation reduces from 15 to 10 the individual daily limit for taking flounder with a gig, spear, hook and line, or similar device and reduces from 30 to 20 the daily on flounder for any boat.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3698, a bill revising fishing seasons and catch limits for STRIPED BASS.


HOUSE COMMITTEE ACTION

WAYS AND MEANS

The Ways and Means Committee reported out H.3720, the General Appropriation Bill, and H.3721, the joint resolution making appropriations from the Capital Reserve Fund, which together comprise the $8.5 billion FISCAL YEAR 2017-2018 STATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET. The budget includes $7.9 billion in recurring state general fund revenue, $28.5 million in nonrecurring Fiscal Year 2016-2017 certified surplus, and $139 million in Capital Reserve Funds.

The Capital Reserve Fund is utilized to supply South Carolina’s share in Federal Emergency Management Agency natural disaster recovery efforts, with $82 million provided for the state’s FEMA match for Hurricane Matthew and $1.25 million provided for the FEMA match for the Pinnacle Mountain fire. $5 million in nonrecurring funds is provided for statewide coastal beach renourishment.

$150 million is devoted to the initial 2% increase in the employer contribution rates for the South Carolina Retirement System and the Police Officers Retirement System that is in keeping with the schedule for addressing the unfunded liability facing the state’s pensions proposed by a joint legislative study committee in H.3726, the Retirement System Funding and Administration Act.

$25.5 million is included to cover the increased costs of operating the state's health insurance plan with no increases in the premiums paid by employees and no reductions in coverage.

For K-12 public education, $38 million is used to increase the base student cost to arrive at an estimated $2,400 per pupil.

The Abbeville Equity Districts Capital Improvement Plan is afforded $100 million in nonrecurring funds to be allocated by the Department of Education for funding school facility upgrades at the plaintiff school districts in the Abbeville education law suit and any other school districts with a poverty index of at least eighty percent. Funding is to be used for construction or renovation of such instructional facilities as classrooms, libraries, media centers, laboratories, cafeterias, and physical education spaces, as well as for health and safety improvements and technology upgrades inside school facilities. Funding may not be used for land purchases or for other facilities such as those that support centralized district administration or interscholastic sports activities.

$19.4 million in Education Improvement Act funds is included to address S.C. Public Charter School District growth.

The legislation suspends the National Board Certification program with its teacher salary supplements and the $54 million in savings is redirected towards teacher retention.

$375 thousand in Education Improvement Act funds is included for teacher supplies.

$10 million in Education Lottery funding is allocated to purchasing or leasing new school buses.

Authorization is provided for all financial and programmatic management and operations of the John de la Howe School for at-risk youth to be suspended and all employees terminated, effective July 1, 2017. After the terminated employees final compensation has been paid all remaining funds and vacant FTE’s are to be transferred to Clemson University PSA which is charged with managing and maintaining the grounds and other property of the estate and evaluating how agricultural educational programs might be implemented that would be in keeping with the terms of Dr. John de la Howe’s will. Clemson University is to report to the Senate Finance Committee and to the House Ways and Means Committee by December 1 of the current fiscal year on its findings and recommendations.

Full funding is provided for the LIFE, HOPE, and Palmetto Fellows higher education scholarship programs.

The Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education is afforded $10 million for Career Pathways and $9.6 million from the Capital Reserve Fund is devoted to worker training through the Ready SC Program at the state’s technical colleges.

$2 million in recurring funds and $20 million in nonrecurring funds is provided for the Deal Closing Fund that the Department of Commerce uses to recruit new business to the state. The Department of Commerce is afforded appropriations of $5.5 million in nonrecurring funds $7.5 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for the Locate SC Site Inventory, $2 million in nonrecurring funds for applied research centers, $200,000 in nonrecurring funds for IT-ology Coursepower, $400,000 in recurring funds for small business development centers, $350,000 in recurring funds for international strategy and trade, $150,000 in recurring funds for the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development, $250,000 in nonrecurring funds for non-community development block grant disaster recovery from the 2015 flood, and $300,000 in nonrecurring funds for the Military Base Task Force.

The Department of Agriculture is afforded $500,000 in nonrecurring funds for consumer protection equipment, $1.5 million in recurring funds for agribusiness development, and $1 million in recurring funds to expand "Certified SC" marketing of the state’s produce.

The Competitive Grants Review Committee is established within the Department of Administration for the purpose of awarding community grants that will benefit the citizens of South Carolina to political subdivisions and nonprofit organizations in the following areas: (1) health; (2) environmental needs; (3) travel; (4) tourism; (5) economic development; and (6) parks and recreation. The Governor, President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee each appoints one of the five members of the committee which reviews applications and awards grants from $6 million provided in the budget from the Litigation Recovery Account.

The Local Government Fund is maintained at a funding level of $212 million.

$3 million in recurring funds is provided for aid to fire districts.

The Department of Health and Human Services is afforded $45.4 million in recurring funds to address program cost growth.

$8.8 million is provided from the Capital Reserve Fund for a Medicaid Management Information System.

The budget provides for the continuation of Medicaid accountability and quality improvement programs as: the Healthy Outcomes Initiative for meeting the needs of chronically ill uninsured patients through home visits and care in other settings outside the emergency room; a Primary Care Safety Net utilizing such resources as Federally Qualified Health Centers and free clinics; and efforts to enhance provider capacity in rural and underserved areas.

$2 million in recurring funds is provided for the state’s telemedicine network.

$4 million in nonrecurring funds is provided for a Rural Hospital Transformation Plan and $2 million in recurring funds is provided for a Rural Health Initiative partnership between DHHS and the USC School of Medicine to improve access to life-saving emergency room care in the wake of rural hospital closures. Provisions include an exemption from Certificate of Need requirements for the construction of a facility in a medically underserved area that can provide emergency care and stabilization beds twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and is designed to utilize the Statewide Telemedicine Network.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control receives $4.9 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for its dam safety inspection and permitting program, $3.2 million in recurring funds for its data center infrastructure, $3.8 million in recurring funds for electronic medical records, and $500,000 in recurring funds for Best Chance Network/Colon Cancer preventative screenings.

The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs receives $9 million in recurring funds for workforce needs.

$25 million from the Capital Reserve Fund is provided for the development of the child support system at the Department of Social Services.

The Forestry Commission receives $1 million in nonrecurring funds for firefighter safety and public protection equipment.

The Judicial Department is afforded $2.5 million in recurring funds for information technology infrastructure.

The State Law Enforcement Division is provided $406,910 in recurring funds for law enforcement officer rank change, $488,000 in recurring funds for officer overtime, $2 million in recurring funds for vehicle rotation, and $829,665 in recurring funds and $448,000 in nonrecurring funds for counter terrorism and arson personnel.

The Department of Public Safety is appropriated recurring funds in the amounts of $180,720 for information technology security positions, $88,000 for network infrastructure needs, $939,600 for in-car video cameras, and $700,000 for local law enforcement grants.

The Department of Corrections receives $4 million in recurring dollars for its correctional officer hiring rate adjustment and retention plan to reduce turnover rate at the agency, $1.5 million in recurring funds for the final phase of its mental health remediation plan, $469,911 in recurring funds for the final phase of its medical remediation plan, and $285,451 for the first half of the department’s plans for equipping inmates with skills that will help them to reenter society.

The Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services is provided $1.146 million in recurring funds for its agent vehicle support plan and $1.224 million in recurring funds for domestic violence specialized caseload.

The Department of Juvenile Justice receives $502,375 in recurring funds for its correctional officer hiring rate adjustment and retention plan to reduce turnover rate at the agency

The Criminal Justice Academy receives $550,400 in recurring funds for law enforcement psychological screening.

The Department of Natural Resources is allocated $105,908 in recurring funds for law enforcement officer step increases and $1.8 million in recurring funds for outreach programs.

The State Ethics Commission receives $105,300 in recurring funds and $10,000 in nonrecurring funds for additional administrative assistants.

The State Election Commission receives $201,000 in recurring funds for the supervision of county boards of voter registration and elections.

The Division of Information Security at the Department of Administration receives $2 million in recurring funds for enterprise technology and remediation.

The Department of Consumer Affairs is appropriated $153,113 in recurring funds for employee retention.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism receives $3.3 million in recurring funds for welcome center operations, $2.2 million in nonrecurring funds to address revenue loss from Hurricane Matthew, and $1 million in nonrecurring funds for facilities revitalization.

The State Transportation Infrastructure Bank Board is required to provide livestreamed coverage of all Board meetings to ensure transparency and access for the public.

The Division of Aeronautics receives nonrecurring funding in the amounts of $100,000 for airport facilities security system replacement and $150,000 for airline recruitment and retention.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging receives $200,000 in recurring funds for family caregiver services and $23,450 in recurring funds for the Vulnerable Adult Guardian Ad Litem Program.


BILLS INTRODUCED IN THE
HOUSE
THIS WEEK

AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES AND
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS

H.3834 PESTICIDES Rep. Martin
This bill states that a person who may otherwise be considered a commercial applicator is not required to be certified under the South Carolina Pesticide Control Act if the only form or type of pest control used is glyphosphate.

EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS

H.3820 OPIOID EDUCATION IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS Rep. Fry
This bill, as a part of the public school Comprehensive Health Education Program, requires certain instruction in prescription opioid abuse prevention in grades nine through twelve beginning with the 2017-2018 school year.

H.3821 OPIOID EDUCATION IN HIGHER EDUCATION Rep. Fry

This bill requires certain institutions of higher education to offer mandatory courses on the prescribing and monitoring of schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances.

H.3826 COUNTERFEIT-RESISTANT PRESCRIPTION BLANK Rep. Huggins

This bill requires the Department of Health and Environmental Control to develop a counterfeit-resistant prescription blank, which must be used by practitioners for the purpose of prescribing controlled substances.

H.3828 SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS HEADQUARTERS Rep. G. R. smith

This bill designates Winthrop University as the headquarters and primary host university of the South Carolina Small Business Development Centers Program and provides that the policies adopted by Winthrop University shall serve as the policies for all employees of the program.

H.3837 INTERSCHOLASTIC ACTIVITIES Rep. Duckworth

This bill, relating to the participation in interscholastic activities of public school districts by home school, charter school, and governor's school students, includes private school students if the private school they attend does not offer the same activity and provides that an otherwise eligible public school student may not be denied by a private school the opportunity to participate in an interscholastic activity of a private school if the public school in which the student is enrolled does not offer that interscholastic activity.

JUDICIARY

H.3804 FIFTH WHEEL TOWING RESTRICTIONS Rep. D.C. Moss
Pick-up trucks, with features commonly referred to as ‘fifth wheels,’ would be limited to towing one trailing vehicle. Sets their maximum combined overall length at 75 feet.

H.3817 CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE COLLECTORS Rep. Bedingfield
Allows pharmacies, distributors, manufacturers, reverse distributors, and narcotic treatment programs to register as collectors. They will be allowed to receive unused prescription medications, and other controlled substances, as part of any law enforcement controlled substance programs known as ‘take-back’ or ‘mail-back’ events. Requires the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control to facilitate registration and participation in these events and programs.

H.3818 DRUG OVERDOSE GOOD SAMARITANS Rep. Bedingfield
Creates limited immunity from prosecution for certain drug and alcohol-related offenses. This limited immunity would extend, under specified circumstances, to anyone who seeks medical assistance for another person who is experiencing a drug or alcohol-related overdose. It can also apply to anyone experiencing an overdose who seeks medical attention. Provides civil and criminal immunity for law enforcement officers who arrest anyone who is later found to be qualified for the limited immunity provisions of this legislation.

H.3823 EXPOSING INFANTS/FETUSES TO ILLEGAL DRUGS Rep. Henderson
Would require health professionals to report suspected child abuse or neglect when infants or fetuses are being exposed to alcohol or drugs. Also covers any child diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

H.3827 SOUTH CAROLINA VICTIM SERVICES ACT/REFORMS Rep. Delleney
The "South Carolina Crime Victim Services Act" creates new offices and divisions within the SC Attorney General’s Office. Its mission will be to restructure and consolidate state crime victim services. To make these changes; to redirect fee distributions, prisoner wage deductions, and pro rata apportioned filing fees; and to consolidate crime victim funds, all of these monies will be directly sent to this new Crime Victim Assistance Department. Renames existing articles to reflect these changes. Establishes processes for soliciting and administering victim services grants.

H.3829 COMPETENCY TO GO TO TRIAL Rep. G.R. Smith
Would allow up to six months for restoring defendants’ competency to stand trial, after an initial finding that they should be able to stand trial in the foreseeable future.

H.3830 FORMER PUBLIC EMPLOYEE LOBBYING BAN Rep. G.R. Smith
Requires former public employees to wait one year before being able to accept compensation to appear before, or lobby, their former state agency. This lobbying ban applies to matters that former public employees were directly and substantially involved with during their public employment with that state agency.

H.3835 WORKERS COMPENSATION FOR RESERVE POLICE OFFICERS Rep. Martin
This legislation would include reserve police officers performing public off-duty services as eligible for workers compensation benefits when injured while so serving.

H.3847 PROSTITUTION AND TRAFFICKING CRIMINAL PENALTY ENHANCEMENTS Rep. Funderburk
Increases criminal penalties for anyone soliciting a prostitute, operating a prostitution business, knowingly renting space to, or otherwise enabling, prostitution house operations, and inducing anyone, including those with mental disabilities, to become a prostitute. Also allows victims of human trafficking to raise their victim status as a defense to any criminal prostitution charge.

H.3848 JUVENILE JUSTICE INMATE DEATH REPORTING Rep. Tallon
Requires SCDJJ to report all on-campus child deaths to the county coroner and law enforcement within 24 hours of any occurrence.

H.3849 LOCAL OFFICE CANDIDATE RESIDENCY Rep. Crawford
Requires candidates for local elective offices in a specific district to be legal residents of that district before running for, or serving in, that office.

H.3850 BEER AND WINE SALES AT NONPROFIT EVENTS Rep. Bernstein
Would allow nonprofit organizations to obtain beer and wine permits for particular nonprofit special events. Also allows brewpubs to donate beer to be served at these events, so long as a willing wholesaler participates. All excise taxes must be paid.

H.3851 BREWERY AND BREWPUB ALCOHOL SALES Rep. Bernstein
Breweries could sell alcohol not produced on their premises, as well as liquor by the drink, after an appropriate permit is issued under this proposed legislation. Brewpubs could apply to change to brewery licensing status after meeting all prerequisites for doing so.

LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY

H.3816 MORTGAGE LENDING REVISIONS Rep. Ballentine
This bill revises provisions governing the mortgage lending industry.

H.3846 EXCEPTIONS FROM HOMEBUILDERS LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS Rep. G. M. Smith
This bill revises exceptions from homebuilders licensure requirements for certain residential property improvements made by property owners for personal use, so as to remove a provision which disqualifies property owners who sell or rent such an improved property within two years after the improvements are made from this exception.

MEDICAL, MILITARY, PUBLIC AND MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS

H.3809 DISPENSING OF CONTRACEPTIVE DRUGS Rep. Finlay
The bill adds that all individual or group health insurance policies issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2018, providing coverage for contraceptive drugs must provide reimbursement for a twelve-month refill of contraceptive drugs obtained. The bill adds the same provision for all Medicaid programs offered through managed care plans or fee-for-service programs.

H.3819 PRESCRIPTION REQUIREMENTS FOR OPIOID ANALGESICS TO MINORS Rep. Bedingfield
The bill establishes requirements for prescribing opioid painkillers to minors.

H.3822 CHANGES TO CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE SCHEDULES Rep. Fry
Currently, when the General Assembly is not in session, the Department of Health and Environmental Control has the authority to add, delete or reschedule a substance as a controlled substance after providing notice and a hearing to all interested parties. This bill adds the Code Commissioner to that notification list if any changes are made.

H.3824 PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM Rep. Henderson
Among many things, the bill adds to the prescription drug monitoring program that a practitioner shall review a patient’s controlled substance prescription history, as maintained in the prescription monitoring program, before the practitioner issues a prescription for a Schedule II controlled substance. As a result it adds term "practitioner" to the definitions.

H.3825 PRESCRIPTION REPORT CARDS Rep. Huggins
The bill requires the Department of Health and Environmental Control to provide prescription report cards to practitioners utilizing the prescription monitoring program that include data relevant to a practitioner’s prescribing practices.

H.3845 BIRTHING CENTERS Rep. Hill
Among many things, the bill requires a consultant physician to be available at all times when birth center is conducting business in order to provide consultation and/or accept transfers of mothers and babies. The bill also adds new definitions.

WAYS AND MEANS

H.3831 LEGISLATIVE AUDIT COUNCIL AFFORDED SUBPOENA POWERS Rep. G. R. Smith
This bill provides the Legislative Audit Council, as part of an approved audit, authority to issue subpoenas to a state agency, its employees, and its contractors and examine the records, reports, audits, reviews, papers, books, recommendations, contracts, correspondence, or any other documents maintained by an agency.

H.3833 SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION ASSISTANCE PROGRAM ADMINISTRATION Rep. S. Rivers
This bill affords the state’s Department of Social Services the exclusive duty to administer the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Individuals applying for SNAP benefits are required to cooperate with the department’s Division of Child Support Services to be eligible for benefits. The legislation prohibits the department from changing federal resource limit standards and from waiving work requirements. The South Carolina Department of Health And Human Services is required to establish a computerized income, asset, and identity eligibility verification service to verify a person’s identity and eligibility for public assistance, and DHHS and DSS are required to use the service as part of determining whether to award an applicant or recipient public assistance. The legislation authorizes other departments providing public assistance to use the service. The makes provisions for cases of suspected fraud to be reported to the South Carolina Attorney General and the Office of Inspector General. The legislation includes requirements for DHHS and DSS to submit reports to the Governor and other public officials.

H.3836 "SOUTH CAROLINIANS WITH DISABILITIES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TRUST FUND" Rep. Toole
This bill provides for the establishment of the "South Carolinians with Disabilities Economic Development Trust Fund" to provide assistance to individuals with disabilities to pursue entrepreneurship and self-employment opportunities through business development grants for the startup, expansion, or acquisition of a business operated within the state. The legislation makes provisions for a tax credit for taxpayer contributions to the trust fund. The trust fund is added to the check-off list of funds to which a taxpayer may contribute on a state individual income tax return.

H.3841 SALES TAX EXEMPTION FOR DISPOSABLE DIAPERS SOLD TO CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS Rep. Hewitt
This bill provides for a state sales tax exemption for disposable diapers sold to qualifying nonprofit corporations for the sole purpose of giving the diapers to an individual or family in need, whose income no more than eighty percent of the median income of the county.

H.3842 COMMUNITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TAX CREDITS Rep. Simrill
This bill revises provisions relating to community development tax credits, so as to eliminate an aggregate credit provision and set an annual limit of tax credits at five million dollars. The legislation establishes tax credit reserve accounts for the first three quarters of each tax year so as to avoid the depletion of credits by an individual taxpayer. The legislation eliminates the pro-rata distribution of tax credits. The legislation allows financial institutions with tax liabilities in this state to invest in certified community development corporations for the purpose of receiving a tax credit. The legislation provides that returns on investments in certified community development corporations and certified community development financial institutions may not exceed the total amount of the initial investment. The legislation qualifies the South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development as a community development corporation and qualifies the South Carolina Community Capital Alliance as a community development financial institution. The legislation extends the provisions of the South Carolina Community Economic Development Act until June 30, 2027.


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