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Bill Number: 2324 Ratification Number: 23 Act Number 11 Introducing Body: House Subject: Special supplemental food program for pregnant and breastfeeding women
(A11, R23, H2324)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 7 TO CHAPTER 5 OF TITLE 43 SO AS TO ENACT A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD PROGRAM FOR PREGNANT AND BREASTFEEDING WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL WHICH PROVIDES NUTRITIONAL EDUCATION AND SUPPLEMENTAL FOOD TO ELIGIBLE PERSONS AND TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF THE ARTICLE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The General Assembly finds that substantial numbers of pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants, and young children (WIC) from families with inadequate income are at special risk with respect to their physical and mental health by reason of inadequate nutrition or health care, or both. It is declared to be the policy of the State to provide nutritional education and supplemental foods to eligible persons through the administration of the WIC Program. The participation by persons in this program is to be monitored to ensure that program requirements are met. It is further declared that to secure these purposes and the enforcement of the provisions of this article, the Department of Health and Environmental Control has authority to administer the WIC Program to minimize the occurrence of health problems and improve the health status of the program participants.
SECTION 2. Chapter 5 of Title 43 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Women, Infants, and Children Supplemental Food Program
Section 43-5-910. This article may be cited as the 'WIC Vendor Act' and unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) 'Department' means the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
(2) 'WIC' means the Special Supplemental Food Program for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, Infants, and Children.
(3) 'Vendor' means any food store or pharmacy approved for participation in the WIC Program which has a valid WIC Vendor Agreement on file at the WIC Program office.
(4) 'Person' means any individual, corporation, partnership, association, firm, trust, estate, or any other legal entity.
Section 43-5-920. The department is granted the authority and responsibility for the effective and efficient administration of the WIC Program within South Carolina, as may be delegated by the federal government pursuant to federal act and regulation.
Section 43-5-930. The department may promulgate and enforce regulations to govern the participation of vendors in the WIC Program including a point system to determine periods of disqualification; to impose other sanctions and civil penalties for violation of this article and regulations issued under it; and to prescribe any other policies or practice requirements to implement the purpose of this article.
Section 43-5-940. The department has the authority to:
(1) enter into agreements with vendors in order to provide supplemental foods for program participants;
(2) hold hearings, compel attendance of witnesses, and make findings and determinations;
(3) issue, revoke, and modify orders relating to the administration of the WIC Program;
(4) establish and impose disqualification periods for persons not meeting the terms of the WIC Vendor Agreement or violating regulations;
(5) establish and impose a point system to be used to determine the disqualification period;
(6) recover monies from any vendor who overcharges the department;
(7) settle or compromise any action or cause of action for the recovery of a penalty or monies under this article as it may consider advantageous to the State.
Section 43-5-950. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this article, or any regulation, agreement, final determination, or order of the department is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be punished by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars for each day's violation or be imprisoned for a period not to exceed one year, or both.
Section 43-5-960. Any person violating any of the provisions of this article or any regulation, agreement, final determination, or order of the department is subject to disqualification, or a civil penalty not to exceed five thousand dollars each day of the violation, or both.
Section 43-5-970. A decision of the department imposing disqualification, penalties, or requiring a vendor to refund monies for overcharging may be appealed pursuant to the state Administrative Procedures Act and the department's Contested Cases Regulation."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.