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Legislative Weekly Summary: Feb. 11-15, 2019

I was honored this week to be awarded

Adjutant General Confirmation -- This week the Senate unanimously confirmed gubernatorial appointment Major General R. Van McCarty as the next Adjutant General to replace Major General Robert E. Livingston, Jr.

Third Reading and Sent to the House

S.35 – REACH Act: A bill to enact the “Reinforcing College Education on America’s Constitutional Heritage Act” or “Reach Act,” by reaffirming that all public institutions of higher learning must provide instruction in the essentials of the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Federalist Papers including the study of African-American history and ideals. Public institutions of higher learning must ensure the requirements of this section are incorporated into the degree requirements of all undergraduate programs that does not add to the total number of credit hours for any degree and does not conflict with any school accreditation process.

S.279 -- Board of Juvenile Parole Quorum: A bill to change the quorum requirements of the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Board of Juvenile Parole, to conform to board membership changes. Five members of the parole board constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.

S.309 -- Property and Casualty Insurance Guaranty: 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.

S.310 -- Contraband Cigarettes: A bill to provide cigarettes found that do not have stamps required pursuant to law affixed to their package are contraband. This provision includes importing, receiving, acquiring, or selling at retail. Contraband cigarettes may be seized by the department, its employees or law enforcement without a warrant, and must be delivered to the department.

S.314 -- Clinical Rotation Tax Credits: A bill to provide an allowed income tax credit for each clinical rotation a physician serves as the preceptor for medical school-required clinical rotation, advanced practice nursing program, and physical assistant program-required clinical rotation. The credits may not be cumulative and may not be combined. If a taxpayer earns the maximum annual credit amount allowed and the taxpayer serves additional rotations, they may claim a deduction in an amount equal to the amount a credit would have equaled, earned deduction allowed up to six times a tax year. The department shall report the number of taxpayers claiming the credit allowed, total amount of credits allowed, and the number of hours that the recipient taxpayers served to the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee and the Governor.

S.426 – Contraband Cigarettes Grace Period: A bill to provide that unstamped packages of cigarettes for which taxes have been paid are not contraband goods subject to seizure, such that a person files a report with the Department of Revenue by March 31, 2019 stating the quantity of unstamped packages that were in possession as of January 1, 2019.

S.426 -- DNR Funds Transfer: A bill to direct the Department of Transportation to transfer to the Department of Natural Resources any funds remaining from the $150,000 appropriation for the Sandy Island Boat Ramp in Georgetown County in Act 101 of 2013. DNR shall credit the funds to the water recreational resource fund for Georgetown County.

Given Second Reading

S.323 -- Warrant For Distraint: A bill to allow the Department of Revenue to submit to a financial institution, information identifying a debtor named on a warrant for distraint that has been issued or filed or whose debt has been submitted to collections. Debt must be at least 180 days old from assessment. These may be submitted quarterly or, with agreement of the financial institution, more frequently, and they must conduct a data match, followed by information concerning the debtor and purpose for collecting outstanding debt. The financial institution must be paid out of collected funds, not exceeding the actual cost. The financial institution is not liable to a person for disclosure of information.

This Week in Committee

Family and Veterans’ Services Committee

S.181 --Medical Information For Adoptive Parents: A bill to add that medical history of an adoptee’s biological parents shall be disclosed to disclosed to prospective adoptive parent, if biological parents elect to provide that information. The medical history must be in a form that does not disclose personally identifiable information of the biological parents, and shall be deposited with the family court that enters a final decree of adoption. The medical history may be disclosed to the adoptee upon reaching the age of majority or under certain circumstances prior to reaching age of majority if in best interest of the child.

S.191 -- Fictive Kin Foster Parents: A bill to provide that fictive kin are eligible to be foster parents under the kinship foster care program and relatives and fictive kin may foster a child before being licensed as a kinship foster care provider under certain circumstances. A ‘fictive kin’ means an individual who is not related by birth, adoption or marriage to a child but who has an emotionally significant relationship with the child. If a relative or fictive kin with whom a child has been placed is denied licensure, then the relative or fictive kin must relinquish custody of the child to the department.

S.211 -- Disclosure of Child Fatalities: A bill to authorize the Department of Social Services Director or his designee to prepare and release reports relating to fatalities or near fatalities of children. The disclosure is limited to cause and circumstances regarding the fatality or near fatality; age and gender of the child; previous reports of child abuse or neglect that led to the fatality or near fatality; result of investigations; services provided by the state and actions of the state pertinent to the abuse, neglect, fatality or near fatality. The report may be delayed if the disclosure would threaten the safety or well-being of a child or the child’s family, or when the disclosure would impede a criminal investigation.

Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

S.260 – Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act: A bill to enact the Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act to define terms, specify applicability, set forth powers of unincorporated nonprofit associations, to specify liability and set forth process by which legal action against an association is adjudicated.

S.455– Armed Forces Training: A bill to provide that a board or commission shall issue temporary professional license to the spouse of an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces if meeting certain circumstances. A professional or occupational board or commission shall accept the education, training and experience completed by an individual as a member of the Armed Forces or Reserves of the United States, National Guard of any state, Military Reserves of any state or the Naval Militias of any state and apply this training, education and experience in the manner most favorable toward satisfying the qualifications.

Senate Education Committee

H.3697 – Curriculum Requirements: A bill to require a student to earn at least twenty-give percent of a higher education institutions program curriculum requirements through the instruction by the institution awarding the degree, and the Commission on Higher Education may grant institutions of higher learning the flexibility to use the teach-out options as needed in rare circumstances to facilitate program competition by students who attended any of the six education program requirements.

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Senate Finance Committee

S.318 – Pay for Success Performance Accountability: A bill to provide the South Carolina Pay for Success Performance Accountability Act to establish the trust fund for performance accountability to fund pay-for-success contracts, whereby the state only pays to the extent that desired outcomes, performed by private-sector organizations, are achieved.

S.439 – Port Cargo Tax Credit: A bill increase the maximum amount of tax credits allowed to all qualifying taxpayers from eight million to fifteen million dollars for each calendar years, as it relates to cargo volume, port transportation, transportation of freight, good and materials.

S.329 – Geothermal Machinery Tax Credits: A bill to extend the repeal date for purchase of geothermal machinery and equipment from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2022.

S.362 – Solar Energy Tax Credits: A bill to provide that a taxpayer is allowed an income tax credit equal to twenty-five percent of the cost of installation of a solar energy property if he constructs, purchases or leases a solar energy property and other related terms.

S.408 – Operation of Cable System: A bill to provide that any receipts from the operation of a cable system, including a cable service or non-cable or non-video services, are attributable to the State in pro rata proportion of the costs performing the service. If a pass-through business operates a cable system, then the corporation that owns the interest directly or indirectly must be treated as operating a cable system.

S.298 – Increased Funding to Higher Education: A bill to provide increased funding to public institutions of higher learning in same percentage as General Fund increase to provide additional funding for scholarships, eligibility criteria for funding and establish higher education facilities Repair and Renovation Fund and other funding related items.

Senate Judiciary Committee

S.18 – Minors Interlock Device Program: A bill to provide that in lieu of serving the remainder of a suspension or denial of license or permit, relating to persons under the age of twenty-one who drive motor vehicles and have a certain amount of alcohol concentration, a person may enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program and other related items.

S.79 – Child Independence: A bill to provide that child abuse or neglect or harm does not occur if a parent, guardian or other responsible for child’s welfare allows a child of certain age to engage in independent activities including independent means of travel to and from school, engaging in recreational facilities, outdoor play, and remaining at home unattended.

S.386 – Tort Claims Act: A bill to reorganize the existing exceptions and make other changes tot eh Tort Claims Act.

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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