Legislative Weekly Summary: Jan. 21 - 25

State of the State Address

On Wednesday, January 23, 2019, Governor Henry McMaster offered the State of the State Address to the General Assembly. A full transcript of the Address can be found by clicking this link: State of the State Transcript. Full video coverage of the Addresses -- including the Minority response and lawmakers post-address comments -- can also be found online by clicking this link: State of the State Address.

Third Reading and Sent to the House

S.76 -- Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes Incentive Program: A bill to extend the Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes Incentive Program for an additional five years, to expire July 1, 2024.

S.94 -- Videotaped Victim’s Statements: A bill to allow for the submission of a film, videotape or written electronic information may be used victim’s statement or victim’s family statement for consideration by Board of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services in making its determination of parole. The same videotape or other information may be submitted for subsequent parole hearings each time if a person provides an affirmative written statement that the information represents the present position of the office or person.

S.205 -- Alzheimer’s Early Detection: A bill to include to the duties of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Resource Coordination Center to provide additional duties to facilitate and coordinate early detection and educational initiatives for health care providers.

S.207 -- Assessment Ratios: A bill to ensure an owner who is entitled to the special assessment ratio for owner-occupied residential property, that becomes a patient at a nursing home or community residential care facility, retains the four percent (4%) assessment ratio and applicable exemptions. This is as long as the owner otherwise qualifies, has intention to return to the property and the property is not rented in excess of seventy-two (72) days in a year.

S.217 -- Flooding and Drainage Repair: A bill to amend the South Carolina Accommodations Tax, Local Hospitality Tax and Local Accommodations Tax to allow revenue to be expended for control and repair of flooding and drainage within tourism-related lands or areas, or a site preparation, demolition, repair or construction.

S.227 -- Operating Millage for Municipalities: A bill to enact an operating millage for a municipality that incorporates after January 1, 2019. After the operating millage is imposed, it is subject to limitations on increases consistent with current law.

S.326 -- PTSD Insurance: A bill to direct the State Law Enforcement Division to distribute $250,000 to the SC Firefighters Association for PTSD Insurance and Programs. This gives the chief the authority to direct the funds, previously included in last year’s budget provisos.

S.327 -- Family and Veterans Services’ Committee: A bill to re-designate the Senate General Committee as the Family and Veterans Services’ Committee.

S.333 -- Civil Damages and Probationers: A bill to provide that probation officers, court personnel, county and municipal personnel, public officials, charitable organizations and private volunteers are not liable for civil damages in community services programs with probationers, unless an injury or damages result from gross negligence, recklessness or intentional misconduct. This provision does not grant immunity to a driver transporting a probationer who, by his negligence, injures probationer on community service.

Given Second Reading

S.16 -- Emergency Prescription Refills: A bill to extend the amount of a prescription refill supply from a ten (10) day period to a fourteen (14) day supply. In the event that a pharmacist is unable to dispense an emergency refill for the time period due to the medication’s packaging, the pharmacist is permitted to dispense up to a thirty-day (30) quantity. As amended, the dispensing pharmacist must notify the prescriber of the refill, and the amount, no later than ten (10) days after the supply is filled. An emergency supply is only allowable once in a twelve-month period.

S.21 -- Birth Certificates: A bill to order that the putative father, upon a court-ordered finding, be added to a child’s birth certificate and a birth certificate be amended to include the name of the father. Orders modifying, vacating, or amending paternity orders must be handled by the clerk of court and State Registrar in the same manner. The surname of the child must not be changed on the certificate as a result of this provision.

S.80 -- American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission: A joint resolution to amend the membership of the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission from thirteen (13) members to fifteen (15) members. The membership of the Commission will consist as follows: The Governor, ex officio, or his designee, the Chairman of the Archives and History Commission, ex officio; the Director of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, ex officio; four (4) members appointed by the President of the Senate; four (4) members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and four (4) members appointed by the Governor. Any member who was appointed by the Lieutenant Governor shall be deemed to have been appointed by the President of the Senate and may continue to serve on the Commission.

S.168 -- Streamlining Teacher Paperwork: A joint resolution to direct the State Department of Education to develop recommendations for reducing and streamlining the amount of paperwork and reporting required of teachers, schools, and school districts. The Department shall report its recommendations to the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee no later than January 15, 2020.

S.194 -- Prostitution: A bill redefine terms relating to prostitution, increase penalties for solicitation of prostitution, keeping a brothel and inducing another to participation in prostitution, and establishes an affirmative defense of victims of human trafficking.

S.214 --Sales Tax Collection: A bill to further define “marketplace facilitator” as to further clarify that any person that engages in the business of facilitating a retail sale of tangible personal property -- including but not limited to any space, store, catalog, website, television, radio broadcast, or similar place -- is responsible for remitting the sales and use tax to the State.

S.309 -- Industry Partnership Fund Tax Credits: A bill to increase the Aggregate Credit Amount for Industry Partnership Fund Tax Credit. One hundred percent (100%) of the amount contributed to the Industry Partnership Fund at the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA), or an SCRA-designated affiliate is eligible up to a maximum credit of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000) for a single taxpayer, not to exceed an aggregate credit of twelve million dollars ($12M) for all taxpayers. Any member of the SCRA Board of Trustees or SCLaunch!, Inc is not considered a taxpayer and may not claim the credit.

Adopted, Sent to House

S.169 -- Cannabis Research: A resolution to urge the federal government, Congress and the Attorney General, to conduct research on the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions and illnesses.

S.343 -- Clemson University Football Team: A resolution to congratulate the Clemson University Football Team for winning the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, and to invite the team, coaches and officials to join the General Assembly in a joint session at 12 noon on Tuesday, February 26, 2019. This was adopted by the House in addition to the Senate.

S.382 -- Elections Scheduled in Joint Assembly: A resolution to affix Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in a joint assembly to elect a member to the Public Service Commission; elections in which candidates were screened by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission and the College and University Trustee Screening Commission. This was adopted by the House in addition to the Senate.

S.403 -- Carolina Day: A resolution to appreciate the outstanding opportunities that the University of South Carolina affords to the Palmetto State and to our citizens, and declare January 30, 2019 as “Carolina Day” at the State House. This was adopted by the House in addition to the Senate.

S.418 -- Relief for Federal Employees: A resolution to memorialize banks, credit unions, utility providers, and other lending institutions operating in South Carolina to assist federal employees affected by the federal government shutdown.

This Week in Committee

Judiciary Committee

S.7 -- Tort Claims: A bill to increase the limits from a loss, under the Tort Claims Act, from a single occurrence for persons to one million dollars and total sum arising out of a single occurrence to two million dollars. Additionally, all liability amounts must be adjusted annually in accordance with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

S.38 --Officer-involved shootings: A bill granting SLED exclusive jurisdiction and authority to conduct an investigation of all officer-involved shootings that result in bodily injury or death, and establishing procedure for forwarding of evidence to circuit solicitors.

S.196 -- Marriage Licenses: A bill to repeal Section 20-1-300 of the 1976 Code relating to issuance of a marriage license to an unmarried female and male under eighteen years when the female is pregnant or has borne a child.

Labor, Commerce and Industry

Regulation #4821 -- Real Estate Commission: The regulation reduces the late fee for license renewal from $25.00 to $15.00. The late fee is not totally eliminated so as to serve as a deterrent to late renewal.

Regulation #4846 -- Auctioneer’s Commission: The regulation repeals unnecessary and duplicative regulations and repeals regulations that are not supported by statute. Some regulations were duplicative of statute; some were not supported by statute.

Regulation #4851 -- Panel for Dietetics: The regulation proposes to reduce the burden of requesting that an official copy of a transcript from a degree-granting institution of higher education be sent to the Panel for its review in circumstances where the national credentialing body has already reviewed and approved the same.

Regulation #4862 -- Board of Examiners for Licensure of Professional Counselors and Marital and Family Therapists: The regulation proposes to amend its regulations to add a fee for the licensure of addiction counselors as required by South Carolina Code Section 40-75-220 and the passage of Act 249 of 2018 and to update existing fees. A scrivener’s error is corrected and a term is modified as required by Act 249 of 2018. SC Code Section 40-1-50(B) requires LLR to establish initial fees for revenue-funded boards. The Board also updated existing fees.

As always, please let me know if there is anything I can do to help, and thank you for allowing me to serve you in Columbia.

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