South Carolina General Assembly
123rd Session, 2019-2020

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H. 3485

STATUS INFORMATION

General Bill
Sponsors: Reps. Jefferson, R. Williams, Cobb-Hunter and Weeks
Document Path: l:\council\bills\rt\17511sa19.docx

Introduced in the House on January 9, 2019
Introduced in the Senate on April 10, 2019
Last Amended on April 8, 2020
Currently residing in the Senate

Summary: Continuing Resolution, COVID-19 appropriations

HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS

     Date      Body   Action Description with journal page number
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1/9/2019  House   Introduced and read first time (House Journal-page 6)
    1/9/2019  House   Referred to Committee on Ways and Means 
                        (House Journal-page 6)
   1/29/2019  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: R.Williams
   3/26/2019  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Cobb-Hunter
   3/27/2019  House   Committee report: Favorable Ways and Means 
                        (House Journal-page 40)
    4/2/2019  House   Member(s) request name added as sponsor: Weeks
    4/9/2019  House   Amended (House Journal-page 35)
    4/9/2019  House   Read second time (House Journal-page 158)
    4/9/2019  House   Roll call Yeas-67  Nays-22 (House Journal-page 159)
   4/10/2019  House   Read third time and sent to Senate (House Journal-page 9)
   4/10/2019  Senate  Introduced and read first time (Senate Journal-page 15)
   4/10/2019  Senate  Referred to Committee on Finance (Senate Journal-page 15)
   4/10/2019          Scrivener's error corrected
    2/5/2020  Senate  Committee report: Favorable with amendment Finance 
                        (Senate Journal-page 23)
    2/6/2020          Scrivener's error corrected
    3/4/2020  Senate  Committee Amendment Adopted (Senate Journal-page 82)
    3/4/2020  Senate  Read second time (Senate Journal-page 82)
    3/4/2020  Senate  Roll call Ayes-46  Nays-0 (Senate Journal-page 82)
    3/5/2020          Scrivener's error corrected
   3/10/2020  Senate  Read third time and returned to House with amendments 
                        (Senate Journal-page 19)
    4/8/2020  House   Senate amendment amended (House Journal-page 37)
    4/8/2020  House   Returned to Senate with amendments 
                        (House Journal-page 37)
    4/8/2020  House   Roll call Yeas-107  Nays-0 (House Journal-page 46)

View the latest legislative information at the website

VERSIONS OF THIS BILL

1/9/2019
3/27/2019
4/9/2019
4/10/2019
2/5/2020
2/6/2020
3/4/2020
3/5/2020
4/8/2020

(Text matches printed bills. Document has been reformatted to meet World Wide Web specifications.)

AMENDED--NOT PRINTED IN THE HOUSE

Amt. No. 1A (3485C006.NBD.DG20)

April 8, 2020

H. 3485

Introduced by Reps. Jefferson, R. Williams, Cobb-Hunter and Weeks

S. Printed 3/4/20--S.

Read the first time April 10, 2019.

            

A BILL

TO AMEND SECTION 12-6-3535, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO AN INCOME TAX CREDIT FOR MAKING QUALIFIED REHABILITATION EXPENDITURES FOR A CERTIFIED HISTORIC STRUCTURE, SO AS TO REMOVE A PROVISION ALLOWING THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY TO ESTABLISH FEES, TO PROVIDE THAT A TAXPAYER CLAIMING THE CREDIT MUST PAY A FEE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY FOR THE STATE HISTORIC PRESERVATION GRANT FUND, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP AN APPLICATION PROCESS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-6-5060, RELATING TO VOLUNTARY CONTRIBUTIONS MADE BY AN INDIVIDUAL BY MEANS OF THE INCOME TAX RETURN CHECK OFF, SO AS TO ADD THE DEPARTMENT OF ARCHIVES AND HISTORY.

Amend Title To Conform

Whereas, the most solemn duty of each member of the General Assembly is to exercise his or her constitutional duty to annually provide for the recurring expenses of our State's government;

Whereas, the public health emergency associated with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus ("COVID-19") has made satisfying that duty more difficult this year, nevertheless, the General Assembly will not fail in its duty to the residents of South Carolina;

Whereas, given the extraordinary challenges facing our state, our nation, and the world due to COVID-19, it is necessary to take emergency measures to combat the spread of this deadly virus;

Whereas, by enacting this legislation the General Assembly is ensuring that the functions of our State government will continue unabated during this challenging time so that we as a State can combat the spread and address the impact of COVID-19; and

Whereas, it is the intent of the General Assembly that the provisions of this act are temporary and that this act shall be replaced with a comprehensive general appropriations act when we reconvene. Now, therefore:

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

PART I

Continuing to Fund the Ordinary Expenses of State Government

SECTION    1.    (A)(1)    If the 2020-2021 state fiscal year begins with no annual general appropriations act in effect for that year, the authority to pay the recurring expenses of state government continues at the level of amounts appropriated in Act 91 of 2019 for the recurring expenses of state government for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 except as provided in subsection (A)(2).

(2)    The effective dates of Parts IA and IB of Act 91 of 2019 are extended until the effective date for appropriations made in a general appropriations act for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, after which appropriations made pursuant to this joint resolution are deemed to have been made pursuant to the general appropriations act for Fiscal Year 2020-2021.

(B)    Notwithstanding debt service appropriations in Act 91 of 2019 and until the effective date of the appropriations made in a general appropriations act for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, there is appropriated whatever amount is necessary for timely debt service on state obligations and other amounts constitutionally required to be appropriated, including the General Reserve Fund, the Capital Reserve Fund, and to conduct the 2020 primary, runoff, and general elections, to include expenses to provide for protection of the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and employees of a county election commission. The General Reserve Fund is established in the amount required by law. The Executive Budget Office shall, in conjunction with the Comptroller General and the State Treasurer, implement the necessary and appropriate accounting transactions to implement the provisions in this paragraph.

PART II

Specific Provisions Related to the Operation of State Government

SECTION    2.    (A)    State boards, commissions, agencies, departments, and institutions of higher learning are authorized to receive funds directly from the federal government in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus ("COVID-19"). Funds so received shall be expended for COVID-19 preparedness and response and in accordance with applicable federal laws and regulations. Unexpended funds, without limitation, may be carried forward into the succeeding fiscal year and expended for the same purpose.

(B)    The Governor is authorized to receive on behalf of the State of South Carolina federal funds designated for the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

(C)(1)    The Executive Budget Office shall establish the Coronavirus Relief Fund as a federal fund account separate and distinct from all other accounts. All federal appropriations received by the Governor pursuant to subsection (B), shall be credited to the Coronavirus Relief Fund account. No other funds may be credited to this account. Funds in the account may be expended only in response to the evolving public health emergency caused by COVID-19.

(2)    Prior to the General Assembly reconvening pursuant to a Sine Die resolution, the Governor may direct the expenditure of funds from the account if the expenditure of those funds is (1) necessary and appropriate for the health, safety, and welfare of the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) in accordance with federal law. Prior to directing the expenditure of funds, the Governor must submit a plan for the use of the funds to the Joint Bond Review Committee. After review and comment by the Joint Bond Review Committee, the Governor may then direct the Executive Budget Office to release the funds for the purposes identified in the Governor's plan. If an exigent circumstance exists that requires the Governor to direct the expenditure of funds immediately, the Governor must notify the Joint Bond Review Committee of the exigencies involved and the nature and amount of the expenditure. As soon as practicable thereafter the Governor shall provide the Joint Bond Review Committee with an accounting of the expenditures made under exigent circumstances.

(3)    Beginning on May 1, 2020, and on the first day of each month thereafter, the Executive Budget Office shall provide a detailed accounting of the expenditure of all funds in the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The report shall be transmitted to the Governor and the General Assembly, and made available on the Governor's website.

(D)    Nothing herein limits any state board, commission, agency, department, or institution receiving funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund from continuing to expend funds from other sources, including funds appropriated for the current fiscal year, that are necessary to address the state's response to COVID-19. Any unexpended funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, without limitation, may be carried forward into the succeeding fiscal year and expended for the same purpose.

SECTION    3.    (A)    From the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 Contingency Reserve Fund, there is appropriated $200,000,000 to the Office of the State Treasurer. From the funds appropriated herein, the Treasurer shall credit $20,000,000 to the Disaster Trust Fund to be used for disaster relief assistance for a federally declared disaster or a state of emergency declared by the Governor. The Treasurer shall establish a COVID-19 Response Reserve account which shall be separate and distinct from other accounts. From the funds appropriated herein, the Treasurer shall credit $180,000,000 to the COVID-19 Response Reserve account.

(B)(1)    The Governor may direct the expenditure of funds from the COVID-19 Response Reserve account for expenditures necessary and appropriate for the health, safety, and welfare of the public in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor may direct reimbursement to local governmental entities and hospitals for expenses related to the state's COVID-19 response, to include, but not limited to, emergency needs for hospitals to prevent closure or violation of bond covenants. Priority should be given to expenses related to the participation of first responders.

(2)    The Governor may also direct the expenditure of up to $15,000,000 from the COVID-19 Response Reserve account to underwrite the cost for protection of the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and employees of a county election commission related to conducting the 2020 primary, runoff, and general elections.

(C)    The Governor must submit to the Joint Bond Review Committee, for its review and comment, a plan for the use of the funds. The Governor may then direct the Executive Budget Office to release the funds for the purposes identified in the Governor's plan. If an exigent circumstance exists that requires the Governor to direct the expenditure of funds immediately, the Governor must notify the Joint Bond Review Committee of the exigencies involved and the nature and amount of the expenditure. As soon as practicable thereafter the Governor shall provide the Joint Bond Review Committee with an accounting of the expenditures made under exigent circumstances.

SECTION    4.    (A)    The Superintendent of Education is authorized to exercise the following emergency powers if she determines that any, or all, of them are necessary and appropriate measures in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency:

(1)    waive statutory requirements concerning testing, assessments, and reporting, including, but not limited to those requirements contained in Chapter 18, Title 59; Article 3, Chapter 18, Title 59; and Section 59-155-160 of the South Carolina Code;

(2)    include all days of distance learning during which instruction was provided in good faith pursuant to a school district's distance learning plan as an instructional day required to meet the one hundred eighty instructional day requirement contained in Section 59-1-425; and

(3)    provide maximum programmatic and financial flexibility, including, but not limited to the authority to carry forward any cash balances, to local school districts adjusting to operations in response to COVID-19.

(B)    The State Superintendent of Education is authorized to promote and encourage districts to use summer reading camps and all other available tools to ensure appropriate time is spent by students to keep them on grade level and satisfy their learning needs.

(C)    The State Superintendent of Education is authorized to carry forward any cash balances maintained by the Department of Education. The superintendent is further authorized to transfer any appropriations within the department to assist local school districts adjusting operations in response to COVID-19.

(D)    The state teacher minimum salary schedule will remain at the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 level. Step increases are suspended until the annual general appropriations act for Fiscal Year 2020-2021 is enacted.

(E)    On or before August 1, 2020, the State Superintendent of Education shall provide a report to the Senate Finance Committee, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Education Committee, and the House of Representatives Education and Public Works Committee concerning the emergency powers exercised in subsection (A). The report shall identify the statutory requirements waived and the reason for which the waiver was granted and identify and describe any actions taken in regards to subsection (A)(3).

SECTION    5.    (A)    In order to provide maximum flexibility to a state agency or institution of higher learning during the state's COVID-19 response, an agency or institution experiencing significant decreases in revenue sources or significant unanticipated expenditures as a result of the COVID-19 response may implement a mandatory furlough subject to the review and approval of the Department of Administration Division of State Human Resources. Approved furloughs must comply with all federal laws. Implementation of furloughs should be in a manner similar to furloughs authorized in Title 8 Chapter 11, exceptions may be approved by the Division of State Human Resources.

(B)    During a furlough, affected employees shall be entitled to participate in the same state benefits as otherwise available to them except for receiving their salaries. As to those benefits that require employer and employee contributions including, but not limited to, contributions to the South Carolina Retirement System or the optional retirement program, the state agencies, institutions, and departments are responsible for making both employer and employee contributions if coverage would otherwise be interrupted; and as to those benefits which require only employee contributions, the employee remains solely responsible for making those contributions.

(C)    The Division shall report to the President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of Senate Finance Committee, and the Chairman of House Ways & Means Committee when any furloughs are implemented. This information shall also be published on the Division's website.

SECTION    6.    In order to provide maximum flexibility to a state agency or institution of higher learning during the state's COVID-19 response, agencies and institutions are authorized to spend earmarked and restricted revenue sources to maintain critical programs impacted by the state's COVID-19 response. Any spending authorization for these purposes must receive the prior approval of the Executive Budget Office and must be reported to the Governor, Senate Finance Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee. The Comptroller General is authorized to implement the procedures necessary to comply with this directive. This provision is provided notwithstanding any other provision of law restricting the use of earned revenue. Appropriation transfers may exceed twenty percent of the program budget upon approval of the Executive Budget Office in consultation with the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

SECTION    7.    The Executive Budget Office is authorized to approve agency requests for federal and other fund authorization adjustments. Requests will be approved and reported by the Executive Budget Office pursuant to Title 2, Chapter 65 the 'South Carolina Federal and Other Funds Oversight Act'.

SECTION    8.    The Comptroller General is directed to accrue into Fiscal Year 2019-2020 General Fund revenues previously due for remittance to the Department of Revenue by April fifteenth or June fifteenth but allowed to be remitted as late as July fifteenth pursuant to federal directive or the Governor's Executive Order 2020-12 including but not limited to individual and corporate income tax returns and quarterly estimated declarations.

SECTION    9.    The increase in the employer contribution rate imposed by Section 9-1-1085 and Section 9-11-225 for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, respectively, are suspended. The employer contribution rate for the South Carolina Retirement Systems and the Police Officers Retirement Systems during Fiscal Year 2020-2021, expressed as a percentage of earnable compensation, shall remain at the same rate imposed for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.

SECTION    10.    (A)    The provisions of Act 95 of 2019 are extended through Fiscal Year 2020-2021. The South Carolina Public Service Authority ("Santee Cooper") may not take any action which would impair, hinder, or otherwise undermine from an economic, operational, feasibility, or any other perspective the ability of the General Assembly to complete its consideration regarding Santee Cooper's status. To that end, Santee Cooper must continue to operate within its 2019 budget plan unless otherwise specified in this section.

(B)    Santee Cooper is prohibited from:

(1)    entering into any contracts with a duration of longer than one year, including, but not limited to contracts for the purchase of energy or generation capacity but not including those contracts necessary in the normal course of business;

(2)    entering into employment contracts with executive management with a duration longer than six months; and

(3)    beginning the construction, purchase, or lease of any new generation facility.

(C)    Prior to approving any contracts of a duration longer than six months but less than one year, the Authority must inform, in writing, and consult with the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

(D)    Nothing in this section prohibits Santee Cooper from:

(1)    implementing an enhanced hedging strategy for natural gas and coal for a duration of one year or less as contained in the reform plan presented pursuant to Act 95 of 2019;

(2)    taking any other action necessary to protect the Santee Cooper's customers, provided that any action taken does not bind the Authority for more than one year;

(3)    closing and decommissioning the Winyah Generating Station;

(4)    freezing rates as provided in the settlement of Cook v. Santee Cooper, et. al.; and

(5)    taking any other actions required pursuant to the settlement of Cook v. Santee Cooper, et. al. provided that any actions pursuant to this item are consistent with, and not in conflict with, any other provision of this section.

(E)    Nothing in this section alters or amends the powers and duties pursuant to Section 58-31-360 of the 1976 Code, including the State's covenant to not alter, limit or restrict the Santee Cooper's power to fix, establish, maintain and collect rents, tolls, rates and charges for the use of the facilities of or for the services rendered or for any commodities furnished by Santee Cooper, at least sufficient to provide for payment of all Santee Cooper's expenses, the conservation, maintenance and operation of its facilities and properties and the payment of the principal of and interest on its notes, bonds, evidences of indebtedness or other obligations, and to fulfill the terms and provisions of any agreements made with the purchasers or holders of any such notes, bonds, evidences of indebtedness or obligations heretofore or hereafter issued or incurred.

(F)    The provisions of this section shall remain in effect through Fiscal Year 2020-2021 or until an act of the General Assembly expressly supersedes this section.

SECTION    11.    On June 30, 2020, the following provisos contained in Act 91 of 2019, the general appropriations act for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 are deleted:

112.1.        (DS: Excess Debt Service);

117.112.    (GP: Employee Compensation)

118.16.    (SR: Nonrecurring Revenue)

117.155.    (GP: Higher Education Tuition Mitigation)

PART III

Miscellaneous Provisions

SECTION    12.    Any provisions contained in Act 91 of 2019 that are in conflict with provisions contained in this act are superseded by the provisions contained herein.

SECTION    13.    If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION    14.    The provisions in this act take effect upon approval of the Governor.

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This web page was last updated on July 20, 2020 at 1:21 PM