Year in Review - Citizens' Interest

June 4, 2018


South Carolina Senate Majority

2018 Session 122

Year in Review





H.4977 sets the rules for the joint election of the governor and lieutenant governor. Voters
approved changing the state Constitution in 2012 to jointly elect the governor and lieutenant
governor. The bill establishes filing deadlines, how the Election Commission will accept and list
the paperwork for the joint filing and importantly the campaign contribution limits — setting

$3,500 per individual toward the joint campaign. Despite the House blocking the bill, by
attempting to increase judicial salaries, the Senate led passing a clean bill to see that the
Commission can carry out the election and provide ballots to early voters and military on time
for the June 12 primary. The bill does not change the governor’s salary ($106,078 / yr) or the
lieutenant governor salary ($46,545).


One of the first challenges facing the Senate during this session was an ailing state retirement
system. A special joint committee of the Senate and House operated for around 9 months
hearing testimony from experts in the public pension systems. The goal of the committee was to
make changes to the state retirement system and find long-term approaches to better meet the
promises made to state employees.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, required states to meet specific standards for
issuances of compliant identification. The federal government made this a required new license
for state residents. South Carolina said “no” because of the exorbitant unfunded costs associated,
the timeline it would take to phase licenses out of the DMV system and the requirement for all
citizens who otherwise wouldn’t need the compliant license. As a result, South Carolina and the
Department of Homeland Security came to a resolution and this year South Carolina became
REAL ID compliant. Licenses are now available at the DMV for the October 1, 2020 deadline.
A REAL ID compliant license will be required to board a domestic, commercial flight, enter a
secure federal building and visit a military installation. Those who do choose to U.S. a passport or
those who do want to do visit the following locations, will not be required to obtain a REAL ID
compliant license. The Senate also passed a privacy-protection amendment to prohibit the DMV
from distributing the information from the database, including personal information, to any other
agency. The average license will cost $25. Additional information is available on the SCDMV


We thank our military personnel and their families. To thank those who keep us safe, the state
now recognizes added persons eligible to receive in-state college tuition rates to include a veteran
who enrolls with three years of veteran’s discharge, a transferor on active duty in the Uniformed
Service of the U.S., Reserve Forces or National Guard or a person receiving assistance under
Section 3311(b)(9) of the United States Code.

A bill to provide first offense simple possession drug charges and PWID charges after 20 years
may be expunged.


Litter is a plague to keeping our state beautiful and threatens our value as a tourism state. H.4458
adds cigarette butts and cigarette component litter to the definition of liter and mandates a fine
for persons guilty of littering, not less than $25 and not more than $100 or imprisoned for not
more than thirty days. It also includes discarding deceased fish, game or wildlife or parts onto
land or water to the definition.

Ensuring a voice and protection for those who least have a voice — children living in foster care,
poverty and abandoned by their parents — may say the most of our state. S.805 establishes a
new Department of Children’s Advocacy to serve exclusively as an independent watch dog for
investigations of child endangerment, abuse and death related cases. The advocate will be
equipped to investigate independent of the Department of Social Services as an ombudsman for
the most vulnerable children in South Carolina. The Governor shall appoint the State Child
Advocate from three candidates recommended by the Joint Citizen and Legislative Committee
on Children and upon the advice and cones of the Senate for a term of six years.

A bill that requires every county corner to establish a Child Fatality Review Team to perform a
review within seven days of a case where a child under the age of eighteen has died.


A bill to update and enhance consumer protection provisions relating to telemarketers. The bill
establishes provisions governing the conduct of telephone solicitations that include requirements
for a telephone solicitor to provide identifying information, contact information and the option to
be added to the telephone solicitor’s in house “do not call list”. It establishes prohibitions on
directing telephone solicitations to telephone numbers that have been added to the in house list
or the national do not call registry. It prohibits the practice of falsifying caller identification
system information known as spoofing, by disallowing a telephone solicitor from making a
consumer telephone call with a telephone number that displays a South Carolina area code on
the recipient's caller identification system unless the telephone solicitor maintains a physical
presence in the state. A telephone solicitor is also prohibited from displaying the receiving party's
telephone number on the contacted party's caller identification system. A private cause of action
is established for those harmed by violations. The Attorney General is authorized to investigate
and enforce violations.


A victim rights bill, S.810 allows police to retrieve an item without further process from a pawn
shop if it is thought to be stolen, allows for almost immediate return of property to victim if it is
identifiable. It requires local governments to establish an electronic database for pawnbrokers to
submit certain pawn information for the use of law enforcement. The bill will also provide that a
digital photograph be taken of the pledged or purchased item, and that upon probable cause law
enforcement may secure property. The pawnbroker may initiate a claim and delivery action and
notify law enforcement within a 10 day period of the seizure and the law enforcement agency
must hold the property until the completion of that action.


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Stephen Goldfinch for SC Senate  |  P.O. Box 823  |  Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Tel: 843-385-4302  |  email:


Paid for by Goldfinch for Senate Committee.