Posts From January, 2017

Issue 3-17 - January 27, 217 

Friday, January 27, 2017 11:51:00 AM Categories: Budget FOIA LGF

A large portion of the Senate’s work this week dealt with the succession of Kevin Bryant to Lt. Governor, reelecting Senator Hugh Leatherman President Pro Tem of the Senate, and doing committee work. This week the House tackled House rule changes on the calendar, and did a good bit of subcommittee work.

SCAC staff met with Rep. Bill Sandifer, Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, to discuss various issues that come before his committee. Chairman Sandifer was very receptive to our issues and expressed support for several SCAC policy positions. The meeting was very amicable and productive and Chairman Sandifer was adamant that he wanted to include SCAC in discussions of any proposals that impact county government. Chairman Sandifer’s goal is to create an open and friendly business climate AND protect the interests of county government.

Please thank Chairman Sandifer for taking time out of his busy schedule to meet with SCAC staff and for supporting several SCAC policy positions.

Local Government Fund (LGF) and State Budget

Full Ways and Means met this week and heard from the SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office (RFA) as well as the South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD). RFA testified that the General Fund will increase by roughly $320 million this year. Unfortunately, they further explained that recurring statewide funding issues, which include rising state health insurance costs, lottery scholarship costs, and retirement fund increases, will eat most - if not all - of that growth. SCEMD presented the following costs of Hurricane Matthew to the committee:

  • $ 345,810,216 in total costs
  • $ 138,059,422 in state costs
  • $ 207,750,794 in local costs

The projected non-federal share for Hurricane Matthew is $88,320,217.

For the Pinnacle Mountain Fire, SCEMD presented the following:

  • $4,860,522 in total costs
  • $3,960,522 in state costs
  • $900,000 in local costs

The projected non-federal share is $1.25 million.

The projected total for both disasters is $89,570,217.

As stated last week, because recurring statewide funding costs limit the availability of recurring dollars, Chairman White will only recommend an appropriation to the LGF of last year’s recurring line. This would represent a reduction of $10.6 million in nonrecurring funds from last year’s appropriation.

SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF is as follows:

“Support amending the Local Government Fund Formula to set the base funding level at $223.2 million with a yearly increase in the fund that corresponds with the growth in the State General Fund up to 5 percent. Also, standardize a list of state mandates that all counties are responsible for in order to quantify the need for the LGF.”

Please contact the members of the House and ask that they move last year’s nonrecurring appropriation to the base AND increase the LGF by the same percentage as this year’s general fund growth!

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Rewrite

H. 3352 does the following:

  • For documents two years old or less, the response time for availability is reduced from 15 to 10 business days and the documents must be produced within 30 calendar days of the date the FOI request is granted.
  • For documents older than two years, the response time is 20 business days and documents must be produced within 35 calendar days of the date the FOI request is granted.
  • Requires each public body to establish a fee schedule which must be posted online. Allows administrative charges to be based on the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid employee who has the skill and training to fulfill the request. When a deposit is required, the time to produce a record does not start until the deposit is received.
  • Creates the Office of FOI Act Review within the Administrative Law Court (ALC) to hear FOI violation complaints and complaints of frivolous or overly burdensome requests.
  • Changes the criminal penalties under FOI to civil penalties.

H. 3352 also requires a law enforcement agency to seek an injunction in circuit court to prevent the release of dash cam video pursuant to an FOI request. Current law allows the agency to deny a request and a requester who disagrees may bring suit. Finally, H. 3352 exempts the release of the final words uttered in a 911 call before the caller dies, unless the family waives the exemption. The bill received a favorable report from the House Constitutional Laws subcommittee.

Alternative Energy Property Tax Exemption

S. 44 creates two property tax exemptions for alternative energy generating projects, including solar, hydro, geothermal, wind, and landfill gas energy. The first provision exempts 80 percent of the value of the alternative energy equipment for commercial projects, which equates to a 2.1 percent assessment ratio. The second provision exempts all alternative energy equipment rated to produce 20 kW or less and defines these to be “residential,” regardless of the class of property they are on or the ownership of the equipment.

Also, S. 44 provides that property in a fee-in-lieu of tax agreement (FILOT) prior to 2015 cannot take the exemption. Property placed in a FILOT in 2015 or 2016 can choose to take the exemption if they notify the county of that choice within 30 days of the effective date of the act. S. 44 is pending second reading on the contested Senate calendar.

Dam Regulations

H. 3218 provides DHEC with regulatory authority over a dam that is currently unregulated if DHEC determines that the dam’s failure will damage homes, commercial buildings, public utilities, highways, or railroads.

A House Agriculture subcommittee amended a provision of the bill dealing with the dam owner’s emergency action plan for dam or reservoir failure. The amendment states that the owner is to notify DHEC and local emergency management officials of a failure or potential failure. It is then the responsibility of the local officials listed in the emergency action plan to notify downstream landowners located in the inundation zone and, if necessary, order evacuation. DHEC is in the process of working on inundation zone maps to provide to county emergency management offices. The full committee gave H. 3218 a favorable report, as amended, and the bill will be on the House calendar for second reading.

Legislative Action of Interest

Nursing Home Legal Residence – S. 75. S. 75 provides that if a person is moved to a nursing home, intends to return home, and does not rent their residence then they will not lose their owner-occupied 4 percent assessment ratio. A Senate Finance subcommittee amended the bill to provide that the owner may still rent the property up to 72 days without losing their 4 percent ratio as provided in current law. The amendment further clarified that this section also applies to persons who are moved to assisted living facilities and in-patient rehabilitation facilities. The subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report as amended.

Exotic Animal Registration – H. 3531. This bill requires a person in legal possession of a large wild cat, non-native bear, or great ape to register with the local animal control authority by January 1, 2018. The person must pay a one-time $500 registration fee and an annual $100 fee per animal to the local animal control authority. SCAC staff requested an amendment to provide that in the event of the release or escape of one or more of these animals that state and local law enforcement will assist animal control in recapturing, containing, or destroying the animal. House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee adopted the subcommittee amendment and gave the bill a favorable report.

Plastic Bag Bans – H. 3529. H. 3529 prohibits a political subdivision from passing an ordinance that regulates or prohibits the use or disposition of plastic bags and other auxiliary containers. SCAC staff requested an amendment to provide that nothing in the bill can be construed to affect county ordinances or agreements that regulate solid waste or recyclables. A House L.C.I. subcommittee approved the amendment and gave H. 3529 a favorable report.

State Guard Military Leave – S. 78. This bill provides that any officer or employee of the state or a political subdivision who is a member of the South Carolina State Guard must be granted military leave for training or when the guard is activated. There can be no loss of pay, seniority, or efficiency rating while the employee is on leave. A Senate General subcommittee gave S. 78 a favorable report.

Drone Use over Jails – S. 176. This bill, as amended, prohibits drones from flying within 500 feet of a prison or jail without written consent of the facility. The bill is on the Senate calendar for second reading and was carried over.

DSS Sign Language Interpreters – S. 220. This bill requires a local law enforcement agency conducting a child abuse investigation involving a hearing impaired child to use a sign language interpreter that is not a parent or family member of the child when the child is being interviewed. DSS shall maintain a list of qualified interpreters in each county. The interpreter may communicate with a child from a remote location by communicating with the child using video remote interpreting. The Senate Judiciary amended the bill to give DSS or law enforcement the discretion to allow the parents to be present during the interview as long as they are not the alleged abuse perpetrator. The bill was given a favorable report as amended and is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.

In-state Tuition for Veterans – H. 3034 & 3035. H. 3034 eliminates the time limits of eligibility for certain recipients of transferred veterans’ benefits who are eligible for in-state tuition. H. 3035 waives the one-year residency requirement for in-state tuition for veterans and their dependents so long as there is intent to establish domicile in the state. The House Education and Public Works Committee recommitted H. 3034 but gave H. 3035 a favorable report.

Police Dogs and Horses – S. 6. This bill would increase penalties for injuring or killing a dog or horse used by law enforcement. Restitution must be paid to the agency to replace or restore the dog or horse. A Senate Agriculture subcommittee gave S. 6 a favorable report.

Employee Benefits – S. 218. This bill provides that a political subdivision may not establish, mandate or otherwise require an employee benefit in employment relationships to which they are not a party. S. 218 received a favorable report from the Senate L.C.I. Committee and is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.

SC House Tax Policy Review Committee – The Ad Hoc House Tax Policy Review Committee met this week to begin finalizing proposals to address sales, income, business license, and property taxes. During the meeting, legislative staff presented information relating to reducing the assessment ratios on manufacturing property, business personal property, and commercial real property. While the committee did not take any action on this proposal, a recurring discussion of the committee is to reduce the assessment ratios for property taxes. SCAC staff will continue to monitor this committee and will report on any legislation that emanates from it.

2017 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government — February 15 and 16

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 15. Copies of the registration material and conference agenda are available on the SCAC website, where you can also register online. The program will include a legislative panel and other timely topics. Following lunch, buses will provide transportation to the State House for visits with legislators. The legislative reception will be Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. Now is the time to start lining up appointments to see your senators and representatives or arranging a joint meal, function, or meeting.

Institute of Government classes are being offered on Thursday, February 16 and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and Measuring and Reporting County Performance. 

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 16, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. This workshop is open to all council chairmen and vice chairmen and registration is required. You may register for the Institute classes and the Council Chairperson's Workshop here.

Webinar: Ethics Act — New Income Disclosure Requirements

Please join us on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 10 a.m. as SCAC hosts a webinar to help county officials understand new income disclosure requirements of the Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act. Michael Burchstead, General Counsel for the SC State Ethics Commission, will provide an overview of the ethics act, common violations, and new income disclosure requirements for the Statement of Economic Interest.

Register here.


Newly-Introduced Legislation

View/Download Full Text for Newly-Introduced Legislation

Note: If you would like to offer comments to the SCAC staff, please call us toll-free at 1-800-922-6081, fax to (803) 252-0379, or send an email. You can also go to www.scstatehouse.gov and click on "Legislation," then "Introduced Legislation."

Senate Bills

S. 271 – Establishes a procedure that allows an inmate whom the Department of Corrections determines is not a security risk to attend the funeral services of certain family members and visit certain family members while they are hospitalized.

S. 278 – Provides uniform standards for formatting documents submitted to a clerk of court or register of deeds for recording.

S. 281 – Determines when roll back taxes are applicable to certain properties that are no longer used for agricultural purposes.

S. 289 – Enacts the “South Carolina Crime Victims Services Act.”

S. 301 – Removes the Department of Transportation Commission.

S. 309 – Authorizes pari-mutuel betting and other forms of gambling in specified areas of the state.

S. 313 – Allows a county to establish a windstorm protection and homeowner’s insurance program to assist a homeowner with the financial costs of qualified wind resistance improvements.

S. 314 – Allows municipalities with fewer than 8,000 residents and fewer than 11 square miles to annex certain real property, by ordinance, upon a finding that the property is blighted.

S. 315 – Authorizes the Hurricane, Earthquake, and Fire Advisory Committee to address the mitigation of property losses due to flood, and allows grants to be made to local governments to mitigate losses.

House Bills

H. 3549 – Provides that when a business is applying for a permit for on-premises alcohol consumption and the business is located within the proximity of a school, the governing body of the school must affirmatively state that it does not object to the issuance of a permit.

H. 3566 – Requires the Law Enforcement Training Council to develop guidelines for a one-week training program offered by the Criminal Justice Academy to school first responders that certifies them to possess firearms on school premises.

H. 3570 – Allows a county to establish a windstorm protection and homeowners insurance program to assist a homeowner with the financial costs of qualified wind resistance improvements.

H. 3579 – Among other things, provides that a person who has been fined for an ethics violation and who has failed to pay the fine may not be a candidate for an elected or appointed position within a state or local government entity.

H. 3581 – Provides that the registered owner of a vehicle that unlawfully overtakes a school bus may be subject to a civil penalty if the identity of the vehicle operator cannot be determined.

H. 3590 – Requires that public schools provide at least one hour of instruction on November 11th on the history and meaning of Veterans Day.

H. 3594 – To provide that certain improvements made to damaged homes as a result of the floods in 2015 are not considered improvements for purposes of property taxes.

H. 3595 – Provides that the driver of a motor vehicle approaching a vehicle collecting solid waste must proceed with caution and, if possible, yield the right of way by making a lane change that is not adjacent to the vehicle collecting solid waste.

Issue 2-17 - January 20, 2017 

Friday, January 20, 2017 11:17:00 AM Categories: Ethics LGF Roads

This week the Senate met in perfunctory session in order to allow committees to meet and move legislation to the calendar. Although the House did meet in statewide session, there was a limited amount of work for the full chamber to consider.

Local Government Fund (LGF)

SCAC staff met this week with Brian White, the Chairman of Ways and Means, regarding various county issues including the LGF. Although the Chairman is not in support of SCAC’s position regarding the LGF, he was very receptive to working with SCAC regarding resolving both the LGF and working with SCAC on other issues. Specifically, the Chairman is interested in eliminating some mandates currently burdening county government and assisting counties based upon need. Chairman White committed that his staff will work with SCAC on a holistic approach to local government funding. 

Please thank Chairman White for meeting with SCAC staff and for his commitment to working towards better county and state government relationships! 

Unfortunately, given the current condition of the state budget, Chairman White will only recommend an appropriation of last year’s recurring line. This would represent a reduction of $10.6 million in nonrecurring funds from last year’s appropriation. The Chairman is very concerned that the pension system will take most of this year’s fiscal growth and believes several agencies will see reductions in their base recurring revenue.

Please contact the members of the House and ask that they move last year’s nonrecurring appropriation to the base AND increase the LGF by the same percentage as this year’s General Fund growth! 

SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF is as follows: 

“Support amending the Local Government Fund Formula to set the base funding level at $223.2 million with a yearly increase in the fund that corresponds with the growth in the State General Fund up to 5 percent. Also, standardize a list of state mandates that all counties are responsible for in order to quantify the need for the LGF.”

Dam Regulations

S. 5 — This bill would require DHEC to inspect dams that are traversed by a state road, regardless if the dam is regulated. SCAC provided testimony to a Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources subcommittee in order to amend the bill to require DHEC to also inspect dams that have a county-owned road over it. The subcommittee was concerned with the volume of private dams that would be subject to DHEC oversight and has asked SCAC to obtain information on how many dams would be affected by this proposal. The subcommittee gave S. 5 a favorable report without any amendments but reserved the right to amend the bill based on the information requested from SCAC. 

H. 3218 — This bill provides DHEC with regulatory authority over a dam that is currently unregulated if DHEC determines that the dam’s failure will damage homes, public utilities, highways, or railroads. A House Agriculture subcommittee adopted two minor amendments but the bill did not receive a favorable report. However, it is very likely that the subcommittee will reconsider H. 3218.

Alternative Energy Property Tax Exemption

S. 44 creates two property tax exemptions for alternative energy generating projects, including solar, hydro, geothermal, wind, and landfill gas energy. The first provision exempts 80 percent of the value of the alternative energy equipment for commercial projects, which equates to a 2.1 percent assessment ratio. The second provision exempts all alternative energy equipment rated to produce 20 kW or less and defines these to be “residential,” regardless of the class of property they are on or the ownership of the equipment. 

Also, S. 44 provides that property in a fee-in-lieu of tax agreement (FILOT) prior to 2015 cannot take the exemption. Property placed in a FILOT in 2015 or 2016 can choose to take the exemption if they notify the county of that choice within 30 days of the effective date of the act. Senate Finance Committee amended S. 44 to redefine residential use and gave S. 44 a favorable report.

Legislative Action of Interest

In-state Tuition for Veterans — H. 3034 & 3035. H. 3034 eliminates the time limits of eligibility for certain recipients of transferred veterans’ benefits who are eligible for in-state tuition. H. 3035 was amended to provide that certain veterans and their dependents are eligible for in-state tuition and the one-year physical presence residency rule no longer applies so long as there is intent to establish domicile in the state. Both bills were given a favorable report by a House Education and Public Works subcommittee and will be on the full Committee’s agenda.  

Drone Use over Jails — S. 176. This bill prohibits drones from flying within 500 feet of a state prison. Senate Corrections and Penology Committee adopted a subcommittee amendment to also restrict drones from flying within 500 feet of a local detention facility without written consent from the jail administrator. S. 176 received a favorable report by the Committee and will be on the Senate calendar for second reading.

Employee Benefits — S. 218. This bill provides that a political subdivision may not establish, mandate or otherwise require an employee benefit in employment relationships to which they are not a party. S. 218 received a favorable report from a Senate L.C.I. subcommittee.

Roads — H. 3516. The House introduced a roads bill on Wednesday. The main components of the bill are: a 10 cent increase in the motor fuel user fee over five years; an increase in registration fees; a new statewide road maintenance fee to be paid upon the initial registration of a vehicle; and a fee in lieu of property taxes on motor carriers. Under the fee in lieu, counties would receive the first $26.5 million generated by the fee. Any revenue generated over this amount would be credited to the State Highway Fund to finance expansion and improvements to existing mainline interstates.

Motor Vehicle Valuation Appeals — S. 56. S. 56 provides that if a taxpayer objects to a motor vehicle tax assessment and produces a bill of sale showing a value less than the assessment, then the county auditor must reduce the assessment to the sales price. S. 56 provides that any rebate or dealer incentive must also be subtracted from the reduced assessment. A Senate Finance subcommittee carried over S. 56 for further study but it will likely be scheduled for another hearing next week.

Internet Sales Tax — S. 214. This bill requires a retailer who has internet sales in excess of $10,000 in the preceding 12 months to obtain a retail license. They are then required to collect and remit sales tax on all items sold in this state. A Senate Finance subcommittee amended the bill and full Finance gave S. 214 a favorable report as amended. SCAC will report on the amendment once it is published.

State Budget — Election Commission. The Election Commission made its budget request presentation before the Ways & Means Legislative, Executive and Local Government subcommittee. Among other things, they are requesting $7.5 million to refurbish the current voting machines, which should extend their life cycle for an additional five years. They are also requesting a pay increase for poll workers and managers from $60 to $75.

2017 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government — February 15 and 16

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 15. Copies of the registration material and conference agenda are available on the SCAC website, where you can also register online. The program will include a legislative panel and other timely topics. Following lunch, buses will provide transportation to the State House for visits with legislators. The legislative reception will be Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. Now is the time to start lining up appointments to see your senators and representatives or arranging a joint meal, function or meeting.

Institute of Government classes are being offered on Thursday, February 16 and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and Measuring and Reporting County Performance. 

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 16, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. This workshop is open to all council chairmen and vice chairmen and registration is required. You may register for the Institute classes and the Council Chairperson's Workshop here.

Webinar: Ethics Act — New Income Disclosure Requirements

Please join us on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 10 a.m. as SCAC hosts a webinar to help county officials understand new income disclosure requirements of the Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act. Michael Burchstead, General Counsel for the SC State Ethics Commission, will provide an overview of the ethics act, common violations, and new income disclosure requirements for the Statement of Economic Interest.

Register here.


Newly-Introduced Legislation

View/Download Full Text for Newly-Introduced Legislation

Note: If you would like to offer comments to the SCAC staff, please call us toll-free at 1-800-922-6081, fax to (803) 252-0379, or send an email. You can also go to www.scstatehouse.gov and click on "Legislation," then "Introduced Legislation."

Senate Bills

S. 255 — Provides for disclosures and disclaimers by independent expenditure committees related to the independent expenditure committee’s election communications.

S. 256 Authorizes a county legislative delegation to remove, for cause, a delegation appointee to a board or commission whom the delegation formally recommended to another public official or entity for appointment.

S. 257 — Enacts the “South Carolina Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.”

S. 261 Enacts the “South Carolina Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy Act (C-PACE) that allows a county to establish a district by adoption of an ordinance for the purpose or promoting, encouraging, and facilitating clean energy improvements within its geographic area.

House Bills

H. 3478 Prohibits a law enforcement officer from using excessive force when making an arrest or excessive restraint when detaining a person.

H. 3480 Exempts the purchase of certain hurricane preparedness items from the state sales tax.

H. 3481 — Provides that a person or entity whose website publishes the arrest and booking records of a person whose charges have been dismissed, or who has been found not guilty, shall remove the information from their website within 30 days of a written request.

H. 3482 — Prohibits the use of personal information obtained from a local government for commercial solicitation.

H. 3483 — Provides that a person who injures a healthcare professional such as an EMS provider or firefighter while they are performing their duties, and knows or has reason to know their status, commits the offense of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

H. 3485 Requires the General Assembly to provide a definition for “fair market value” for purposes of property taxes, eliminates the 15 percent cap on increases in the value of property for reassessment, and eliminates an assessable transfer of interest as an event that may change the value of property.

H. 3486 Restores the former method of overriding the annual millage cap by a positive majority vote of the appropriate governing body and amends other provisions of Act 388 of 2006.

H. 3511 — Clarifies that a probate judge can waive filing fees for indigent persons in the same manner as other civil cases.

H. 3514 — Requires a person who is not a political committee and who makes an independent expenditure in excess of $500 during a calendar year, or makes an electioneering communication, to file a report of the expenditure or communication with the Ethics Commission.

H. 3516 Increases the gas tax from $.16 per gallon to $.26 per gallon to be phased in over a five year period to begin on July 1, 2017.

H. 3522 Caps the general fund revenues available for appropriation by restricting any increase to a percentage that is equal to the average annual percentage change from the previous ten completed fiscal years.

H. 3523 For purposes of workers’ compensation, provides a definition for “first responder” and allows a first responder workers’ compensation for personal injury caused by stress, mental injury, or mental illness if it arises as a result of the first responder’s direct involvement in a significant traumatic situation or experience.

H. 3524 — Adds firefighters to the list of persons that are required to report any suspected incidents of child abuse and neglect.

H. 3525 — Provides that only certain entities may use an automatic license plate reader system.

H. 3526 — Prohibits the use of a cell phone or other wireless communication devices while driving unless the device has a hands-free mechanism.

H. 3527 — Restricts the use of certain data obtained by a recording device in a vehicle that is equipped with a recording device capable of recording or transmitting certain information.

H. 3529 — Prohibits a county from regulating the use, disposition, or sale—including any fee imposition or taxation—of auxiliary containers.

H. 3536 — Requires of the Division of Aging in Lieutenant Governor’s office to fund a program to provide subsidies to senior citizens to purchase a personal emergency response system.

Issue 1-17 - January 13, 2017 

Friday, January 13, 2017 9:34:00 AM Categories: LGF

The General Assembly officially convened the 2017 Legislative Session on Tuesday. Because this is the beginning of a two year session, no legislation is currently being considered by either full chamber of the General Assembly. The Senate will meet in perfunctory session until January 24 in order to allow committees to meet and move legislation to the calendar. The House is also meeting in committees and Ways and Means subcommittees began work on the budget this week.

SCAC Legislative Program — Please Reach Out to Your Legislators

SCAC’s Policy Positions for the 2017 Session, which contains the legislative policy positions adopted by the Legislative Committee, has been mailed and is available on the web under legislative policy positions.  

County officials developed these positions, and now it is important that county officials also convey their support for these positions to members of the General Assembly. Legislators give more weight to a contact from someone who lives in their district than others. When SCAC staff speaks to legislators on an issue, the end result is almost always more favorable if members have already been contacted by their local officials. It is also important that legislators hear the details of how a bill will impact their constituents from county officials so they understand the local impact of legislation. The 2017 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government, discussed below, is an excellent opportunity to come to Columbia to both learn and meet with your members of the General Assembly.

Please let SCAC staff know what legislators tell you when you meet with them.

SCAC staff will keep you up to date through the Friday Report and use Legislative Alerts and email blasts for issues which need quick action. SCAC staff is available to answer any questions you may have on legislative issues.

2017 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government — February 15 and 16

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 15. Copies of the registration material and conference agenda are available on the SCAC website, where you can also register online. The program will include a legislative panel and other timely topics. Following lunch, buses will provide transportation to the State House for visits with legislators. The legislative reception will be Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m. Now is the time to start lining up appointments to see your senators and representatives or arranging a joint meal, function or meeting.

Institute of Government classes are being offered on Thursday, February 16 and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and Measuring and Reporting County Performance.

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 16, from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. This workshop is open to all council chairmen and vice chairmen and registration is required. You may register for the Institute classes and the Council Chairperson's Workshop.

Local Government Fund (LGF)

New members have been appointed to the Ways and Means subcommittee which initially considers funding of the LGF. This Legislative, Executive, and Local Government subcommittee is comprised of Reps. Bill Herbkersman, Chair; Derham Cole; Alan Clemmons; and Joe Neal.

This subcommittee heard from SCAC and MASC regarding the LGF on Tuesday. Both SCAC and MASC expressed support for SCAC’s position regarding funding of the LGF. SCAC staff testified about the history of the LGF and the importance it retains in county budgeting. SCAC staff also discussed the provisos contained in the Aid to Subdivisions portion of the State budget.

Please contact the members of the Legislative, Executive and Local Government Ways and Means subcommittee and ask that they move last year’s nonrecurring appropriation to the base AND increase the LGF by the same percentage as this year’s General Fund growth!

SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF is as follows:

“Support amending the Local Government Fund Formula to set the base funding level at $223.2 million with a yearly increase in the fund that corresponds with the growth in the State General Fund up to 5 percent. Also, standardize a list of state mandates that all counties are responsible for in order to quantify the need for the LGF.”

Representative Ott has introduced legislation which would implement this position in the House. Ask your House member to co-sponsor this bill!

Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review

The Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review began studying the State and Police Officers Retirement Systems (SCRS and PORS) in August. On Tuesday, the committee met to discuss drafting template legislation for the committee to consider. The template will incorporate recommendations made by Funston Advisory Services in regards to the governance of the retirement systems. Additionally, the draft legislation will:

  1. Decouple the employer and employee contribution rate. Currently, the employee and employer contribution rates are required to increase the same amount.
  2. Increase and cap the SCRS and PORS employee contribution rates at 9 and 9.75 percent.
  3. Reduce the assumed rate of return from 7.5 to 7 percent within the next two to three years.
  4. Increase the contribution rate for employers, likely a minimum of 1 percent per year over the next three years.
  5. Modify, over time, the amortization schedule to reflect a 20 year schedule (for the current 30 year schedule).
  6. Make an annual payment of the amortization interest in the budget.
  7. No elimination or further reduction of the COLA.

The Executive Director of PEBA stated that if the employee rate is limited to 9 percent, the employer rate must increase to 12.06. Additionally, it will require an increase of 1.71 to fund deferred investment losses, increasing the employer rate to 13.77. The projected decrease in the assumed rate of return would require an increase in the employer rate to 15.18. The Director further testified that these increases do not reflect the likely possibility of additional rate increases necessary to offset a continued failure to meet the 7.5 percent assumed rate of return.

Legislative Action of Interest

Pet Care and Humane Treatment Study Committee - Act 274 of 2016 created the Pet Care and Humane Treatment Study Committee to study the treatment of domestic pets in South Carolina and look at data pertaining to their care, including at county animal shelters. The committee began meeting this past summer and met again this week to discuss potential legislative changes relating to the care of animals by private citizens and in animal shelters. SCAC is monitoring this committee to report on any proposed legislation that may impact the operations of county animal control and/or county animal shelters.

Drone Use over Jails — S. 176. This bill prohibits drones from flying within 500 feet of a state prison. A Senate Corrections and Penology subcommittee amended the bill to also restrict drones from flying within 500 feet from a local detention facility without written consent from the jail administrator. The subcommittee gave S. 176 a favorable report as amended.


Newly-Introduced Legislation

View/Download Full Text for Newly-Introduced Legislation

Note: If you would like to offer comments to the SCAC staff, please call us toll-free at 1-800-922-6081, fax to (803) 252-0379, or send an email. You can also go to www.scstatehouse.gov and click on "Legislation," then "Introduced Legislation."

Senate Bills

S. 3 — Enacts the “Provision for Cost of Animal Care Act of 2017.”

S. 6 — Provides that a person who injures, mutilates, or kills a police dog or horse may be fined up to $10,000, may be imprisoned up to ten years, and may be ordered to pay restitution.

S. 7 — Enacts the “South Carolina Conservation Bank Reauthorization Act.”

S. 11 — Expands the South Carolina Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program to include flood damage.

S. 18 — Allows victims and members of their immediate family to write statements to the Board of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services that must be considered by the Board in making its determination of parole.

S. 20 — Provides that if a defendant is convicted or pleads guilty to an offense involving a violent act against a person or the taking of property and the defendant is placed on probation, they may not be placed on probation for a subsequent offense.

S. 23 — Enacts the “Wetlands Restoration Act.”

S. 24 — Enacts the “Surface Water Stewardship Act.”

S. 36 — Provides that in order for a school district to receive state funding, it must have at least 2,500 students enrolled in the schools of the district.

S. 44 — For purposes of property tax exemptions, exempts 80 percent of the fair market value of certain distributed energy resources, and exempts the value of renewable energy resource property for residential use.

S. 47 — Enacts the “South Carolina Capital Incentives Act.”

S. 48 — Enacts the “South Carolina Capital Gains Tax Elimination Act.”

S. 50 — Allows a person to claim a boat or watercraft as their primary residence for purposes of property taxes.

S. 54 — Enacts the “South Carolina Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act” that phases in a $.12 gas tax increase.

S. 55 — Provides that state employees earning annual leave at the rate of 30 days a year must receive a lump sum for days of annual leave fewer than 30 days or donated by the employee in a calendar year.

S. 56 — Provides that if a taxpayer contests a motor vehicle property tax assessment and produces a bill of sale that reflects a sales price lower than the assessment, the audit must reduce the assessment to the sales price.

S. 57 — Provides that only the owner of an overage from a tax sale may claim the overage.

S. 58 — Enacts the “Port Enhancement Zone Act.”

S. 60 — Provides that a person who has reached the age of 70 and has resided at the same property for 30 years and already receiving the Homestead Exemption, $50,000 of any remaining fair market value of the property shall also be exempt from property taxes.

S. 61 — Allows county employees and retirees, including their dependents, to participate in the State Health Plan.

S. 63 — Removes the statutory requirement of funding the Local Government Fund by 4.5 percent of the General Fund and requiring the funding must be no less than the greater of the allocation ratio of the latest fiscal year and the average of the allocation ratio of the last five fiscal years.

S. 64 — Imposes an annual limit on the state General Fund revenues available for appropriation by restricting any increase to a percentage that is equal to the average annual percentage change from the previous ten completed state fiscal years.

S. 68 — Allows a county to remove, rename, or relocate a monument or memorial within its jurisdiction.

S. 70 — Enacts the “Local Option Motor Fuel User Fee Act.”

S. 72 — Provides a property tax exemption for manufacturing property in the amount of 42.75 percent of the fair market value of the property.

S. 73 — Provides a sales tax exemption for residential home protection products.

S. 74 — Provides that any funds committed to film projects and any uncommitted funds shall be carried forward from the prior fiscal year.

S. 75 — Provides that a person who is receiving the 4 percent tax assessment and who is residing in a nursing home shall continue to receive the 4 percent tax assessment on their home as long as they remain in the nursing home.

S. 78 — Provides the county officers and employees who are in the S.C. Guard are entitled to military leave for training and when ordered to active duty service in South Carolina.

S. 90 — Extends the time period for the validity of the magistrate examination scores from six months before and six months after the time the appointment is to be made to one year before and two years after the time the magistrate appointment is to be made.

S. 95 — Prohibits the commercial solicitation of a person based on mortgage information obtained from any document recorded with the register of deeds or clerk of court.

S. 97 — Requires candidates to contemporaneously file campaign bank account statements along with campaign reports for the previous quarter’s campaign report.

S. 98 – Requires ballots to contain a place for voters to write in the name of any other person for whom they wish to vote for the election of the President and Vice President.

S. 99 — Rewrites the Freedom of Information Act to include among other things, the creation of the Office of Freedom of Information Act Review within the Administrative Law Court.

S. 100 — Establishes a period of early voting to begin ten days before an election and ends three days prior to the election.

S. 101 — Allows absentee ballots to be tabulated beginning at 9:00 am on the calendar day immediately preceding election day.

S. 109 — Provides that it is unlawful to operate a drone within a certain distance of a state or federal military installation.

S. 110 — Allows the legislative delegation of a county to remove the Governor’s appointment authority over the recreation commission and devolve the power to county council.

S. 111 — Allows the legislative delegation of a county to remove the Governor’s appointment authority over the county boards of voter registration and election and devolve the power to county council.

S. 113 — For purposes of filing a statement of intention of candidacy, reduces the number of signed copies that must be filed with the Election Commission from three to one.

S. 118 — Increases the civil jurisdiction in magistrates court from $7,500 to $10,000.

S. 127 — Provides that post-election audits must be completed by county boards of voter registration and elections prior to certification of the election and that audit and reports must be available to the public.

S. 128 — For purposes of public employers verifying employment authorization of all new employees, provides that a worker is not able to obtain a S.C. driver’s license or ID card if the worker’s only proof of identification is a matricula consular card or a substantially similar document issue by a consulate or embassy of another country.

S. 130 – Requires that the chairman for the county board of voter registration and elections be appointed by the Governor upon recommendation of the county legislative delegation.

S. 133 – Authorizes the family court to establish a recovery court program in each judicial circuit.

S. 134 – Allows a person sentenced to less than 90 days for nonpayment of child support who is employed at the time of sentencing and is able to maintain employment may serve his sentence at a time when he is not working.

S. 135 – Provides that a S.C. ID or driver’s license application shall serve as application for voter registration.

S. 138 – Provides procedures for continuity of representation when reapportionment locates two or more elected members in the same election district.

S. 148 – Revises the method of setting a base salary for magistrates and provides additional supplements to full-time chief and assistant chief magistrates and adds a $15 assessment to all civil filings in magistrate court.

S. 149 – Provides that certain nonviolent offenses may be expunged and establishes the circumstance under which the expungement may occur.

S. 151 – Increases the civil jurisdiction of magistrates court from $7,5000 to $15,000.

S. 154 – Requires every law enforcement agency to have a written policy regarding the investigation of officer-involved deaths.

S. 155 – Allows a person to photograph or record a law enforcement officer performing their official duties while in a public place or in a place where the person has the right to occupy.

S. 156 – Amends the Constitution to change the age of separate confinement for juvenile offenders from under the age of 17 to under the age of 18.

S. 157 – Provides that a person must not be sentenced to death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole if that person is less than 18 years old at the time the offense was committed.

S. 160 – Reestablishes the Sentencing Reform Oversight Committee.

S. 161 – Provides that expungement does not apply to offenses in which registration on the sexual offender registry is required.

S. 163 – Directs each circuit solicitor to establish a drug court program for adults and juveniles.

S. 164 – Authorizes a first responder to claim workers’ compensation based on mental injuries if it is medically diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder arising from the first responder’s direct involvement in a significant traumatic experience or situation.

S. 165 – Creates the “Study Committee on Racial Profiling.”

S. 166 – Provides that certain statements made during questioning or interrogation must be audio or video recorded.

S. 167 – Allows a voter who fails to produce a valid photo ID to complete a written statement at the polling place and affirm that they meet certain qualifications so that they are allowed to cast a provisional ballot.

S. 170 – Provides that each county coroner shall schedule a child fatality review team to perform a review of a case in which a child under the age of 18 dies.

S. 171 – Provides that each county coroner shall schedule a child fatality review team to perform a review of a case in which a child under the age of 18 dies.

S. 173 – Requires all Class 1-LE law enforcement officers to complete continuing law enforcement education credits in mental health or addictive disorders.

S. 174 – Authorizes a first responder to claim workers’ compensation based on mental injuries if it is medically diagnosed as post-traumatic stress disorder arising from the first responder’s direct involvement in a significant traumatic experience or situation.

S. 175 – Bars a claim under the Torts Claim Act unless the claim is brought within two years after the date of the loss or when the loss should have been discovered unless the claim is being brought under §15-3-40 or §15-3-555.

S. 176 – Makes it unlawful to operate a drone within a certain distance of a Department of Corrections facility.

S. 177 – Provides that when EMS responds to an emergency and provides emergency medical services, a payment made by an insurer for the covered medical services provided must be paid directly to the EMS agency.

S. 181 – For purposes of the South Carolina Hazardous Waste Management Act, provides that a responsible party does not include a person who is excluded from liability under the Superfund Recycling Equity Act.

S. 192 – Enacts the “Workforce Opportunity Act.”

S. 199 – Allows the Department of Public Safety to issue a civil citation penalty against a person who fails to stop for a school bus.

S. 200 – Provides that permits for nonconforming signs that are removed or dismantled are void.

S. 218 – Prohibits a county from establishing or mandating an employee benefit.

S. 219 – Enacts the “South Carolina Conservation Bank Reauthorization Act.”

S. 220 – For purposes of interviews conducted during the investigation of child abuse allegations, requires hearing impaired children to be interviewed using a sign language interpreter not related to the child.

S. 223 – Provides that public schools require at least one hour of instruction on November eleventh on the history and meaning of Veteran’s Day.

S. 233 – Provides that counties with a population of less than 40,000 residents and municipalities located in counties with a population of less than 40,000 residents may be awarded rural infrastructure fund grants.

House Bills

H. 3005 – Requires all existing one-family, two-family, and multi-family dwellings to be equipped with approved and properly functioning smoke detectors.

H. 3012 – Prohibits a county from enacting an ordinance that would require a place of public accommodation, private club, or other establishment to allow a person to use a multiple occupancy bathroom regardless of their biological sex.

H. 3013 – Provides that a Probate Court shall order a cell phone provider to disclose to a personal representative of an estate certain information regarding electronic communications.

H. 3018 – Requires counties to develop a process whereby certain non-elected officials may request the removal of certain personal information from any website maintained by the county.

H. 3019 – Allows a person who is elected as coroner and completes the necessary training by the end of the calendar year after being elected is qualified to serve as coroner.

H. 3020 – Grants SLED specific and exclusive jurisdiction to investigate all officer shootings that result, or could have resulted, in bodily injury or death.

H. 3023 – Creates a joint study committee to study the feasibility and cost effectiveness of consolidating school district in each county.

H. 3029 – Enacts the “Freedom of Employment Contract Act.”

H. 3032 – Requires every county to have only one school district by July 1, 2019.

H. 3037 – Requires flags on all county buildings to be flown at half-mast upon the death of an EMS worker who died while in the line of duty.

H. 3040 – Requires a person who serves as a poll manager or poll worker to be paid at least $15 an hour while attending mandatory training and while working on election days.

H. 3054 – Provides that law enforcement and clerks of court shall disclose and may not redact full names and birth certificates that appear on arrest warrants and incident reports.

H. 3055 – Creates the “Restorative Justice Study Committee” to review the juvenile justice laws and make recommendations concerning proposed changes to facilitate diversion of juveniles from the juvenile justice system to restorative justice practices for specific purposes and in certain circumstances.

H. 3059 – Provides that no job application may include questions related to convictions of a crime, unless the crime for which the person was convicted is directly related to the position of employment sought.

H. 3062 – Provides that no job application may include questions related to convictions of a crime, unless the crime for which the person was convicted is directly related to the position of employment sought.

H. 3074 – Requires counties to automatically adjust a taxpayer’s tax bill to reflect the Homestead Exemption when the taxpayer reaches a certain age.

H. 3077 – Provides that a former EMT who is totally and permanently disabled as a result of an EMS service-connected disability, is exempt from property taxes on their home.

H. 3079 – Exempts 80 percent of the fair market value of certain distributed energy resources and exempts the value of renewable energy resource property for residential use.

H. 3082 – Provides that the fair market value of certain motor vehicles may not exceed 92 percent of the prior year’s value.

H. 3086 – Requires a county that owns an off-street parking facility to assess a $.50 surcharge on each customer using the facility.

H. 3087 – Imposes a $.50 surcharge on all parking violations and that the revenue must be credited to the state highway fund to be used exclusively for road and bridge repair and improvement.

H. 3088 – Requires a referendum to be placed on the ballot for the 2018 general election on the question of whether or not over the next ten years, the gas tax and the road tax on motor carriers should be increased by $.10 over a three year period.

H. 3091 – Prohibits a county treasurer from refusing to accept full payment of property taxes on a motor vehicle or refusing to issue a tax receipt on a motor vehicle simply because the taxpayer is delinquent on another property.

H. 3092 – Provides for a 100 percent property tax exemption of an owner-occupied residence if the owner has reached the age of 80.

H. 3093 – Provides that when the owner of a home receiving the 4 percent assessment ratio dies, the property shall continue to receive that assessment until the estate is closed, so long as the property is not rented.

H. 3095 – Exempts the gross proceeds from the lease of portable toilets from sales and use tax.

H. 3096 – Requires the Department of Revenue to publish the assessed value of motor vehicles in guides or manuals on its website.

H. 3099 – Eliminates the LGF formula of 4.5 percent of the general fund revenues and requires the LGF to be increased by the same percentage that the general fund is projected to increase, and the increase cannot exceed 5 percent.

H. 3104 – Enacts the “South Carolina Giving Back to Our Veterans Act.”

H. 3106 – Requires counties to allow for a property tax deferment for service members in or near a hazard duty zone.

H. 3107 – Caps the general funds appropriations for a fiscal year as the total amount of the revenue estimate as of February 15, 2017, for fiscal year 2017-2018 increased annually by a percentage determined by population increases and increases in the consumer price index.

H. 3111 – Increases the gas tax by $.07.

H. 3112 – Creates a study committee to determine the need to reform South Carolina’s juvenile justice system.

H. 3134 – Adds an additional ground for divorce as conduct or treatment that destroys the well-being, happiness, and welfare of a spouse and renders continued cohabitation unsafe or unendurable.

H. 3140 – Requires county boards of voter registration and elections to ensure that a high schooler who is 17 years old has completed a voter registration form and receives classroom instruction on the importance of voting.

H. 3144 – Establishes a period of early no excuse voting to begin 30 days before an election and end three days prior to an election.

H. 3147 – Deletes the law provisions that provide for straight party ticket voting for general election ballots.

H. 3148 – Requires the election of probate judges to be nonpartisan.

H. 3150 – Removes a municipality’s authority not to conduct general elections under certain conditions.

H. 3151 – Requires a person who serves as a poll manager or poll worker to be paid at least $15 an hour while attending mandatory training and while working on election days.

H. 3152 – Clarifies that a voter may share an electronic or digital image of the voter’s own marked ballot via social media or other means.

H. 3153 – Allows absentee ballots to be tabulated but not counted beginning at 9:00 am on the day immediately preceding election day and removes the witness signature requirement for absentee ballots.

H. 3154 – Authorizes probate court to order the reasonable payment of funds necessary to satisfy a specific need of a minor or incapacitated person that are not otherwise authorized in the Probate Code.

H. 3155 – Authorizes a person to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day and authorizes seven days of no excuse early voting beginning on the second Saturday before the election and ending on the first Saturday before the election.

H. 3156 – Requires counties to provide office space for the operation of the county legislative delegation office.

H. 3157 – Provides that the application for the driver’s license and ID card shall serve as an application for voter registration.

H. 3158 – Authorizes a municipality to annex by ordinance an area if the area does not exceed 25 acres and is completely surrounded by the municipality.

H. 3163 – Provides for a procedure to allow write-in voting for President and Vice President.

H. 3165 – Prohibits a government body or commission whose governing board is appointed by a legislative delegation from conveying to another board or entity its governance authority, duties, or operational oversight.

H. 3168 – Provides for a procedure to allow write-in voting for President and Vice President.

H. 3169 – Provides that a candidate who executes a pledge with a political party and runs for a particular office in that party’s primary election and is elected to that office cannot change political parties without resigning from their elected office.

H. 3172 – Increases the award a whistle-blower can receive in a civil action for retaliation from their employee for their reporting from $15,000 to $300,000.

H. 3174 – Authorizes victim advocates employed by law enforcement agencies to carry a concealed weapon while on duty.  

H. 3186 – Prohibits the courts from requiring a citizen to serve on a jury on the date of a primary or general election.

H. 3187 – Authorizes EMS providers, firefighters, and other first responders to carry concealed weapons.

H. 3193 – Increases the civil jurisdiction for magistrate court from $7,500 to $15,000.

H. 3194 – Requires the destruction of the arrest records of someone who was arrested as a result of mistaken identity no later than 180 after that determination is made.

H. 3197 – Provides that no fee may be charged for a coroner to issue a cremation permit.

H. 3201 – Limits the circumstances under which magistrates may place a person in an electronic monitoring program as a condition of bond to a person charged with criminal sexual conduct or certain violent crimes.

H. 3205 – Allows certain active or retired elected officials to carry concealed weapons, including clerks of court.

H. 3206 – Creates the offense of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature when a person injures a local law enforcement officer or corrections officer in the discharge of their duty.

H. 3209 – Provides for the eligibility for expungement of offenses subsequently repealed when the elements of the offense are consistent with an existing similar offense which is subject to expungement, and clarifies that expungement applies retroactively to the offenses that were repealed.

H. 3210 – Provides for the expedited return of certain property and monies seized when forfeiture proceedings have not been instituted and charges have not been filed within 30 days of seizure.

H. 3227 – Authorizes a county to impose an impact fee on any private developer for each new residential home constructed by the developer in that county.  

H. 3238 – Allows SCDOT to perform work on a bridge located within a municipality without first obtaining from consent from the municipality where the bridge is located if the bridge qualifies for federal emergency bridge replacement funds, and deletes the provision that allows a municipality to review and approve certain SCDOT projects undertaken within the municipality.

H. 3240 – Enacts the “National Concealed Weapons Permit Reciprocity Act” by revising the conditions that allow a holder of an out-of-state weapons permit to carry a weapon in this state.

H. 3243 – Increases the penalties for injuring or mistreating police dogs and horses.

H. 3245 – Increase the penalties for failure to stop a motor vehicle when signaled to stop by law enforcement.

H. 3246 – Provides that is unlawful to drive while distracted, and allows a warning ticket to be issued to a driver whose actions could result in a distracted driving violation.

H. 3259 – Requires all law enforcement officers to undergo a mental health evaluation before they become certified or re-certified.

H. 3260 – Requires a certified law enforcement officer to annually complete continuing law enforcement education credits in diversity training.

H. 3261 – Allows a person to petition to be removed from the sex offender registry after ten years of being registered under certain circumstances and reduces the maximum period from life to 15 years.

H. 3263 – Prohibits a law enforcement agency from entering into an agreement with a federal agency to employ cell-site simulator technology without obtaining a warrant for its use.

H. 3264 – Prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a participant in a drug court proceeding as a confidential informant.

H. 3265 – Prohibits a law enforcement agency from using a drone that is equipped with firearms.

H. 3268 – Provides that is unlawful for a law enforcement officer to knowingly obstruct or render inoperable video dash-cam equipment or body cameras.

H. 3269 – Requires that a candidate to become a certified law enforcement officer must pass a drug test that includes testing for steroid use before he becomes certified and requires random drug testing for certified law enforcement officers.

H. 3270 – Amends the law provisions relating to certain financial reports counties submit to the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office as well as other changes to the statewide accounting and reporting system.

H. 3274 – Provides a procedure to allow certain registered juvenile sex offenders’ names to be removed from the sex offender registry.

H. 3277 – Revises the lists of offenders who may be placed in a home detention program.

H. 3278 – Provides that a county detention facility shall not prohibit an in-person meeting between an inmate and his or her attorney.

H. 3279 – Prohibits a county detention facility from recording, intercepting, or monitoring any communication between an inmate and his attorney.

H. 3280 – Provides that a person may not be placed under custodial arrest when he is charged with certain traffic offenses for which a uniform traffic ticket is issued.

H. 3281 – Permits a person who applies for a pardon for certain offenses to request that the Board of Paroles and Pardons recommend the expungement of criminal records.

H. 3285 – Provides that law enforcement agencies shall not purchase cell-site simulator technology from a company that requires the purchaser to enter into a nondisclosure agreement.

H. 3286 – Prohibits a law enforcement agency from purchasing cell-site simulator technology or devices.

H. 3290 – Authorizes law enforcement officers to reissue a uniform traffic ticket for another offense incident to a plea negotiation or agreement.

H. 3291 – Requires law enforcement to release a motor vehicle operated by a person who has been taken into custody to a responsible party in lieu of the vehicle being impounded under certain circumstances.

H. 3297 – Provides that certain persons who have been separated from the National Guard are eligible to obtain a driver’s license that contains a veteran designation.

H. 3302 – Requires candidates for magistrates court to be screened by the Judicial Merit Selection Commission before they may be appointed.

H. 3304 – Enacts the “South Carolina Commercial-Property Assessed Clean Energy Act” (C-PACE) to authorize counties to establish a district by ordinance for the purpose of promoting, encouraging, and facilitating clean energy improvements within its geographic area.

H. 3307 – Allows a taxpayer to claim the 4 percent assessment ratio on a residential property other than their legal residence if the additional residence is the legal residence of a child or parent of the taxpayer.

H. 3308 – Deletes the statutory provisions relating to roll-back taxes and roll-back tax for open space.

H. 3310 – Prohibits a penalty or fine for local hospitality tax payments received within seven days of the due date that in the aggregate exceeds 5 percent of the delinquent tax.

H. 3312 – Authorizes the creation of promenade pride districts and the value of any real property additions or improvements located within the district are exempt from any property taxes for seven years.

H. 3313 – Imposes a uniform statewide property tax on personal motor vehicles for school operating purposes.

H. 3314 – Imposes a uniform statewide property tax for school operating purposes.

H. 3315 – Creates the “South Carolina Voluntary Infrastructure Act” by raising the gas tax by $.10.

H. 3316 – Creates a joint study committee to look at the feasibility of implementing a mileage-based user fee program in lieu of motor fuel user fee, or gas tax.

H. 3317 – Enacts the “South Carolina Fair Tax Act.”

H. 3318 – Moves the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit from within the Department of Public Safety to SLED.

H. 3319 – Provides for a zero base budget process beginning with fiscal year 2018-2019.

H. 3320 – Exempts the gross proceeds of sales or the sale price of machinery, tools, and parts used in the production of electricity from a renewable energy source from state sales tax.

H. 3321 – Exempts the gross proceeds of sales or the sale price of equipment and machinery used in the production of electric or hybrid motor vehicles from state sales tax.

H. 3325 – Requires the Department of Mental Health to reimburse a county for certain costs of incarceration of persons determined to be unfit to stand trial.

H. 3330 – Authorizes school officials to allow carrying of weapons on school property by school personnel or concealed weapon permit holders.

H. 3337 – Revises the filing and recording fees that may be charged by the register of deeds or clerk of court.

H. 3338 – Provides that before a county can contract to sell or lease property, it must conduct a study of what public uses could be made of the property.

H. 3347 – Amends the requirements of a firefighter seeking workers’ compensation for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) so that they meet the eligibility requirement if there is a medical determination that the PTSD is the result of the firefighter’s direct involvement in a significant traumatic situation.

H. 3348 – Provides that certain additional medical conditions must be presumed occupational diseases for purposes of awarding workers’ compensation for certain diseases sustained by firefighters.

H. 3352 – Rewrites the Freedom of Information Act to include among other things, the creation of the Office of Freedom of Information Act Review within the Administrative Law Court.

H. 3356 – Provides that the Department of Motor Vehicles shall implement a procedure to allow them to collect property taxes on motor vehicles owed to local government when a person registers a vehicle.

H. 3405 – For purposes of enacting zoning regulations or maps, provides that only the landowner or county may apply to change or amend any zoning regulation or map pertaining to the property.

H. 3411 – Provides that a person who is convicted of a serious crime while holding an elective office is not entitled to vote.

H. 3416 – Authorizes counties to enact ordinances and regulations that are more restrictive and protective of the environment than laws adopted by the state.

H. 3428 – Provides that the Director of the Division of Veterans’ Affairs shall receive and respond to complaints from veterans regarding county veterans’ affairs officers.

H. 3445 – Authorizes the legislative delegation of a county to abolish a county recreation commission and devolve the commission’s powers onto the governing body of the county.

H. 3446 – Authorizes the legislative delegation of a county to remove for cause a delegation appointee to a board or commission whom the delegation formally recommended to another public official or entity for appointment.

H. 3447 – Allows the county legislative delegation to remove the Governor’s appointment authority over a county recreation commission and devolve the power to the county’s governing body.

H. 3448 – Eliminates the $2,000 cap on rewards for a whistle-blower and removes the one year time limitation in which a person may bring a civil action against a public body for retaliation.

H. 3449 – Allows a 100 percent property tax exemption on an owner-occupied residence if the owner is 65 years old.

H. 3459 – Prohibits a county from enacting a provision that conflicts with a state statute that regulates highway traffic.

H. 3460 – Establishes procedures for conducting elections by mail.

H. 3461 – Provides that SLED shall create and operate a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system.

H. 3463 – Provides that if property was assessed as agricultural property or farm machinery and equipment in 2016, the property must continue to be assessed at that assessment ratio unless a change of use occurs.

H. 3466 – Provides that a Class 1 law enforcement officer must complete continuing law enforcement education credits in mental health or addictive disorders.

H. 3468 – Provides that the income tax credits for redeveloping a textile site are transferable.

H. 3469 – Provides that the Director of the Division of Veterans’ Affairs must be a veteran.