Friday Reports

The Friday Report, is prepared and distributed every Friday of the legislative session. The most recent Friday Report will always appear first on the page. Categories and archives are available along the right side of the page to assist in searching for a specific topic or report.

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Legislative Session 2018-2019

Issue 10-19 - March 15, 2019 

Friday, March 15, 2019 11:55:00 AM

After more than 12 hours of debate, the House passed the Budget bill (H. 4000) and the Capital Reserve Fund bill (H. 4001). H. 4000 funds the Local Government Fund at a base level of $222,619,411 with an additional $11,121,285, for a total of $233,740,696. This represents an increase of more than $2 million above what SCAC’s policy position would require. Here are some other provisions or provisos of note in the budget that were either adopted or did not pass:

  • Proviso 108.16 removes the $10,000 earnings limitation for retired employees who return to work if they have been retired for 12 consecutive months.
  • Proviso 117.157 decouples magistrates’ salary from a circuit court judge’s salary and requires magistrates to be paid the same amount as they are being paid in the current fiscal year. This proviso does not decouple masters-in-equity from a circuit judge’s salary.
  • A proviso was proposed by Rep. Bamberg to redefine small and medium employers for purposes of the state insurance benefits program so that small employers are those employers that have less than 150 covered lives. Medium employers are those employers that have between 150 and 500 covered lives. This proviso was discussed but not adopted.
  • An allotment of $2 million was provided to the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office to do a statewide aerial imagery project.

Please thank your House members for passing the Local Government Fund as proposed in H. 4000. Now it is time to ask the members of the Senate Finance Committee to support the Local Government Fund as passed by the House. Please also ask them to support the passage of H.3137, which is SCAC’s policy position regarding the Local Government Fund. Attached is a roster of Senate Finance Committee members and their contact information.

Tort Claims Act Damages Increase — S. 7

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change. There have been several different proposals mentioned as to what amount to increase the caps. Depending on what is finally adopted, the impact could be even more severe than what is currently in the bill. The Senate began debate on S. 7 on Wednesday and discussed several amendments but didn’t adopt any. All of the amendments that were discussed would increase the fiscal impact of the bill drastically and SCAC would have to oppose their adoption. There is increasing pressure in the Senate to address this bill and increase the caps. Now is the time to contact your Senate members and let them know the impact this legislation would have on your county. SCAC staff expects the Senate to resume debate on this bill next week.

Please contact your senator and convey to them the impact such an increase in liability would have on the taxpayers of your county who would bear the burden of funding any increase.

Other Legislative Action This Week

Tobacco Preemption — H. 3274 & S. 492. These bills prohibit political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. SCAC has a policy position opposing this type of preemption. A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee amended S. 492 to make it clear that political subdivisions can adopt smoking or vaping bans. The subcommittee also amended H. 3274 to mirror S. 492. Both bills were given a favorable report as amended. Please contact your Senate members and ask that they oppose H. 3274 and S. 492.

Penalty for Failing to Register Motor Vehicles — H. 3916 & S. 162.  Both bills increase the penalty for failing to register a motor vehicle from $100 to $500. This is an SCAC policy position. The current registration fee creates a disincentive to register because of a new $250 registration fee to register a vehicle when you move into the state. Increasing the penalty will remove that disincentive to register and help defray costs incurred by the county in enforcing this requirement. H. 3916 passed the House and is now pending before the Senate Finance Committee. S. 162 received a second reading by the Senate and will be up for third reading on Tuesday. Please contact your Senate member and ask that they support both bills.

Early Voting — S. 142. S. 142 provides for no excuse early voting. SCAC has a policy position that supports this type of legislation. The early voting period begins 10 days before an election and ends three days prior to an election, with the early voting center open for two Saturdays. The county board of registration and elections may establish up to three early voting centers in the county. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee carried over S. 142 for additional research.

Absentee Ballots — S. 331. This bill makes it a felony crime for someone to knowingly collect partially completed or blank absentee ballots. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee carried over the bill for additional research on who should be authorized to submit an absentee ballot on behalf of another person.

Certification of Coroner and Sheriff Candidates — S. 17. S. 17 requires the county board of registration and elections to certify the candidates for the offices of coroner and sheriff. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee carried the bill over for additional research after concerns were raised on whether the registration and election boards should be responsible for verifying the candidates’ qualifications for these offices.

Veterans’ Affairs Officers — H. 3438. Current law requires a county veterans’ affairs officer (VAO) to be a veteran, but also provides an exception for a nonveteran candidate to fill this position if there is no qualified veteran candidate. This bill would establish the state Division of Veterans’ Affairs as an agency within the executive branch. The bill would also remove the exception for qualified nonveteran candidates. The Senate Family and Veterans’ Services subcommittee amended H. 3438 to remove all of the language and insert the Senate’s version of the bill, S. 454. The Senate further amended the bill to allow nonveterans to serve as VAOs by removing the requirement that VAOs be veterans. The bill received a favorable report as amended by the committee and is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.

Dam and Reservoir Safety — S. 107. This bill imposes increased regulations on dams and reservoirs. Owners of dams and reservoirs would be required to provide DHEC and state and local emergency officials with updated contact information, as well as completing a safety checklist. If DHEC requires an owner to make repairs to a dam or reservoir that is deemed to be a danger to life or property of others, this bill would allow the owner to claim a tax credit for the cost of repairs, not to exceed $50,000. After several amendments were adopted, the bill was given a favorable report by the Senate Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee.

Flood Mitigation Program — S. 181. This bill amends the laws relating the State Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program by expanding the program to include flood damage. The program, administered by the Department of Insurance, provides grants to homeowners and local governments to be spent on projects that mitigate hurricane damage to residential property. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee gave the bill a favorable report.

Call for Entries — J. Mitchell Graham/Barrett Lawrimore Memorial Awards

SCAC is currently accepting applications for the 2019 J. Mitchell Graham/Barrett Lawrimore Memorial Awards Competition. The awards program accepts applications that address all areas of county government–from simple, unique ideas that maximize limited resources to major collaborative efforts that tackle complex issues.

Counties are invited to submit applications that describe the purpose and significance of their innovative projects. All applications must be submitted online or received at the SCAC Office by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21. Applicants who meet the deadline and all requirements will be scheduled to present their projects during the awards competition on Sunday, August 4, at SCAC's 52nd Annual Conference.

To access the rules and requirements, frequently asked questions, and examples of previous projects, please visit the Association’s website at http://www.sccounties.org/awards. Counties are able to submit applications online by using the online Awards Toolkit. If you have additional questions, please contact Anna Berger at 1-800-922-6081 or aberger@scac.sc.


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. 636 — Extends the time period for medical treatment in workers’ compensation cases under certain circumstances.

S. 637 — Provides that a toxicology report or a drug or alcohol screening report performed on an employee of a local governmental agency is subject to FOIA under certain circumstances.

S. 638 — Provides that units of state or local government authorities with control over rights of way may not prohibit, regulate, or charge for the collocation of certain small wireless facilities.

S. 639 — Provides for comprehensive sentencing reform.

S. 642 — Allows for a dollar-for-dollar credit for payment of indemnity benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act under certain circumstances.

S. 655 — Prohibits a county from levying license fees and taxes on a professional sports team.

S. 656 — Provides for the transfer of a vehicle to an automotive dismantler or recycler or secondary metals recycler for demolition, wrecking, or dismantling.

S. 658 — Provides that vehicles leased by churches are exempt from property taxes.

S. 666 — Provides that a municipality may, by ordinance, restrict the operation of a golf cart to only daylight hours.

S. 669 — Clarifies the term “contiguous” when a municipality located entirely within a special purpose district annexes unincorporated property also located within the special purpose district.

House Bills

H. 4238 — Provides that after a certain date, the governing bodies of special purpose and public service districts must be composed of no less than five members.

H. 4241 — Requires members of the state guard to complete at least 192 hours of training or drill annually in order to qualify an individual tax deduction.

H. 4243 — Prohibits a county from levying license fees and taxes on a professional sports team.

Issue 9-19 - March 8, 2019 

Friday, March 8, 2019 11:58:00 AM

The House spent most of the week clearing the calendar and debating a comprehensive education bill. They will take up the budget starting on Monday. The budget bill (H. 4000) funds the Local Government Fund at a base level of $222,619,411 with an additional $11,121,285, for a total of $233,740,696. This represents an increase of more than $2 million above what SCAC’s policy position would require. Please ask your House members to support the Local Government Fund as proposed in H. 4000.

Tort Claims Act Damages Increase — S. 7

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change. Based on information received from the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, it appears that the Senate will begin debating this bill next week. There have been several different proposals mentioned as to what amount to increase the caps. Of all the proposals mentioned, SCAC would have to oppose each of them as they would represent a minimum insurance premium increase of between 30-50 percent for county governments. Depending on what is finally adopted, the impact could be even more severe.

Please contact your senator and convey to them the impact such an increase in liability would have on the taxpayers of your county who would bear the burden of funding any increase.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Broadband — H. 3780. This bill creates the “Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology” program to facilitate the deployment of broadband to unserved areas of the state in Tier III and Tier IV counties. The program would be funded by a special revenue fund in the Division of State Information Technology, a division of the Department of Administration (DOA). The director of DOA would issue grants to private broadband providers to be used solely for infrastructure costs associated with providing broadband. H. 3780 was amended by a House LCI subcommittee and carried over for additional amendments.

Statewide 911 System — H. 3586. This bill charges the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs office with creating, updating, and implementing a statewide 911 system. The system must be developed and updated with recommendations from a South Carolina 911 Advisory Committee. The House LCI Committee adopted an amendment proposed by SCAC to include adding a county administrator recommended by SCAC to the Advisory Committee. H. 3586 received third reading in the House and was sent to the Senate.

Firefighters PTSD — S. 326. This bill directs the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) to distribute $250,000 to the South Carolina Firefighters Association to provide for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) insurance and programs. S. 326 received third reading in the House and is enrolled for ratification.

Telecommunications Devices in Jail — S. 156. This bill prohibits the introduction or possession of a telecommunication device, such as a cell phone, in a jail or prison facility unless authorized by the facility. This offense would be a misdemeanor with a mandatory sentence of no more than three years. SCAC has an official policy position supporting this bill. The Senate amended the bill to allow an exception for vehicles on the premises of a jail or prison. The bill received third reading and was sent to the House for consideration.

Uniform Recording Fees — H. 3243. Most documents recorded with the Register of Deeds (ROD) are subject to a fee schedule based on page count. This legislation would change the fee schedule to a flat fee based on the type of document. Eliminating page counting will result in increased efficiency in ROD offices. During debate this week, there was concern over a potential fee increase for certain documents, particularly, for deeds. The House adjourned debate on the bill until March 19th.

Professional Licenses — H. 3263 & S. 455. H. 3263 and S. 455 would allow military members and their spouses who hold a professional license in another state to have reciprocity to practice their profession while stationed in this state. This is an SCAC policy position. The House amended H. 3263 to exclude lawyers, educators, and military service members. The House further amended the bill to give the Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation (LLR) the discretion to determine whether or not the out-of state license meets the requirements for this state. The House passed the bill as amended and sent it to the Senate. S. 455 was amended by the Senate to include the language that gives LLR the discretion to determine if the out-of-state license meets the requirements of this state. The Senate passed the bill as amended and sent it to the House.

Golf Cart Rentals — H. 3952. This bill allows counties to adopt an ordinance to regulate a person or entity offering golf carts for rent or lease for less than nine months. The ordinance is limited to the use of safety devices and geographic area, distance, identification of the vehicles, and specific public roadways on which the carts may operate. The House Education and Public Works Committee gave the bill a favorable report, and it is pending second reading on the House calendar.

Administrative Jail Sanctions — H. 3322. This bill provides for comprehensive sentencing reform. Sections 7, 8, and 9 of the bill would create an “administrative” jail sanction to be imposed on probationers and parolees who violate the terms of their supervised program. Instead of going before a judge for a revocation hearing when a violation of probation occurs, probation agents would have the discretion to impose these jail sanctions for a term of up to three days for the first violation and up to 10 days for a second violation. These sanctions would be served in county jails and on weekends, which are when county jails are at maximum capacity. This effectively shifts the financial burden from state prisons to the counties. The bill is silent on whether the counties will bear the costs of medical expenses incurred by these probationers and parolees. Presumably, county jails will have to maintain records and monitor these weekend jail visits. The fiscal impact on counties is estimated to be over $3 million; this figure does not include the costs of record keeping and healthcare for these weekend visits.

A House Judiciary subcommittee amended the bill to remove numerous sections. Sections 7, 8, and 9 contained the administrative jail sanction provisions and were among the removed sections. As amended, this bill will no longer place an unfunded mandate on our county jails. The bill received a favorable report as amended and will be on the full Judiciary’s next agenda.

Veterans’ Affairs Officers — H. 3438. Current law requires a county veterans’ affairs officer (VAO) to be a veteran but also provides an exception for a nonveteran candidate to fill this position if there is no qualified veteran candidate. This bill would establish the state Division of Veterans’ Affairs as an agency within the executive branch. The bill would also remove the exception for qualified nonveteran candidates. The House had previously amended the bill to maintain the exception of allowing a nonveteran to fill this position before it sent the bill to the Senate. This week, a Senate Family and Veterans’ Services subcommittee amended H. 3438 to remove all of the language and insert the Senate’s version of the bill, S. 454. The Senate further amended the bill to maintain the exception for qualified nonveteran candidates to serve as county VAOs.

Lactation Accommodations — H. 3200. This bill, as amended by the House, requires employers to make reasonable accommodations in the work place for a nursing mother who wishes to express breast milk in privacy. Also, employers will not be required to compensate employees for breaks taken to express breast milk unless the employer already provides compensated breaks. The House amended the bill to make clear that employers are to be held harmless so long as they make reasonable efforts to comply with these requirements. Employers need not provide break time for expression if doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer. The bill passed the House and was sent to the Senate.

Primary Election Disputes — H. 3029. Currently, hearings for primary election protests or disputes at the local level are held by the local executive committee by partisan party. This bill would remove those hearings from the local level. Instead, all hearings for local primary protests would be held by the state party’s executive committee in Columbia. The bill passed the House and is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.   

Statewide Voting Solution — H. 4157. This joint resolution would extend the deadline to April 4, 2019, for the submission of offers to bid on a statewide voting system solution. It also creates a panel to evaluate and score each proposal. The state Fiscal Accountability Authority would award the contract to the highest-ranking proposal based on the scoring from the panel. The resolution passed the House and is currently in the Senate.

Voter Registration Deadlines — H. 3031. H. 3031 reduces the timeframe to be registered prior to an election from 30 days before the election to twenty days before the election. The bill was amended to change the timeframe to twenty-five days before an election, an SCAC policy position. H. 3031 failed to receive third reading and is possibly dead for the session.

Call for Entries — J. Mitchell Graham/Barrett Lawrimore Memorial Awards

SCAC is currently accepting applications for the 2019 J. Mitchell Graham/Barrett Lawrimore Memorial Awards Competition. The awards program accepts applications that address all areas of county government–from simple, unique ideas that maximize limited resources to major collaborative efforts that tackle complex issues.

Counties are invited to submit applications that describe the purpose and significance of their innovative projects. All applications must be submitted online or received at the SCAC Office by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 21. Applicants who meet the deadline and all requirements will be scheduled to present their projects during the awards competition on Sunday, August 4, at SCAC's 52nd Annual Conference.

To access the rules and requirements, frequently asked questions, and examples of previous projects, please visit the Association’s website at http://www.sccounties.org/awards. Counties are able to submit applications online by using the online Awards Toolkit. If you have additional questions, please contact Anna Berger at 1-800-922-6081 or aberger@scac.sc.


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. 591 — Redefines the allocation of fault amongst persons who commit a civil wrong.

S. 594 — Provides for the funding of transportation services within a county.

S. 611 — Provides for the funding of transportation services within a county.

S. 621 — Provides for certain notice requirements before bonds for industrial development projects may be issued.

S. 622 — Authorizes a county to, by ordinance, institute an assessment fee for the funding of traffic citations.

S. 627 — Extends property tax exemptions to institutions of higher learning for certain purposes.

S. 628 — Defines when in-person and by mail absentee voting shall begin.

S. 629 — Reduces a threshold from $900,000 to $750,000 relating to the use of revenue from the local accommodations tax and hospitality tax.

House Bills

H. 4000 — Makes appropriations and provides revenues to meet the expenses of the State.

H. 4001 — Appropriates monies from the Capital Reserve Fund.

H. 4157 — Extends the deadline to submit offers for a solicitation for a new voting system by one month.

H. 4163 — Expresses the opposition to offshore drilling along the coast.

H. 4191 — Revises what disclosures must be made in statements of economic interests and other statements.

H. 4192 — Defines and regulates electioneering communication.

H. 4193 — Provides that the commencement of an ethics enforcement action shall toll the statute of limitations.

H. 4195 — Exempts admission charged by certain nonprofit business leagues and chambers of commerce from a license tax.

H. 4196 — Removes the requirement that certain artists and craftsmen obtain a retail license.

H. 4198 — Prohibits the sale of energy drinks to minors.

H. 4200 — Enacts the “Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 2019.”

H. 4209 — Creates the “South Carolina Farm Aid Fund.”

H. 4211 — Provides for certain notice requirements before bonds for industrial development projects may be issued.

H. 4212 — Revises when clerks of court and magistrates must report to SLED.

H. 4213 — Allows the Governor to appoint an interim county board when the Governor removes the entire membership of a county board of voter registration.

H. 4215 — Defines when in-person and by mail absentee voting shall begin.

Issue 8-19 - March 1, 2019 

Friday, March 1, 2019 12:29:00 PM

Municipal Capital Projects Sales Tax Act — S. 171.

S. 171 would allow municipalities to call for the creation of the Capital Projects Sales Tax Commission (the commission that forms the question of what projects will be put on the referendum). If a countywide Capital Projects Sales Tax fails, municipalities within the county could then adopt a Municipal Capital Projects Sales Tax, subject to a referendum. A county could also opt out of the provisions of the countywide Capital Projects Sales Tax and allow a municipality to adopt a Municipal Capital Projects Sales Tax, subject to a referendum. There was considerable testimony on the bill before a Senate Finance subcommittee. The Mayor of Florence testified that he would like to see the bill amended to allow a Municipal Capital Projects Sales Tax completely independent of any involvement or input from the county. S. 171 was carried over to take additional testimony and to address some questions raised about how this might affect existing taxes.

Please contact your senators and ask that they oppose this bill.

Please tell them:

The cities already have a Capital Projects Sales Tax. The countywide capital projects sales tax requires the creation of a commission that consists of three representatives appointed by the municipalities and three appointed by the county. The cities have as equal representation as the county.

Everyone Benefits from the countywide Capital Projects Sales Tax. The countywide capital projects sales tax allows for projects that benefit the county as a whole, and not just the citizens in a small area.

This could end the ability for counties and small municipalities to use the Capital Projects Sales Tax. Large municipalities could oppose the countywide penny, ensuring its defeat. Defeating the countywide Capital Projects Penny in this manner would then ensure the city gets one instead, leaving the rest of the county and other cities shut out of projects that could help the county as a whole.

Tort Claims Act Changes — S. 7 and S. 386

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. The current fiscal impact statement on the bill predicts a $40 million increase in premiums charged by the Insurance Reserve Fund(IRF). The actual fiscal impact will be much higher when all entities not insured by the IRF are taken into account. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change.

S. 7 is on the contested Senate Calendar and it is imperative that you contact your Senate delegation. Please let them know about the severe negative impact this bill would have on your county and ask that they help keep the bill on the contested calendar until a successful resolution can be reached.

S. 386 has various provisions that would expose county governments and their departments to potentially unlimited liability, drastically increase their insurance costs and the amount of taxpayer dollars going to defend increased litigation, and, if passed, pass perhaps the biggest unfunded mandate to county governments since the dawn of Home Rule. Please remind your Senators that when they pass legislation that includes an enormous fiscal impact to county governments, the taxpayers that you both represent are left footing the bill.

S. 386 is also on the contested Senate Calendar. Please ask your Senator to oppose S. 386 in its entirety and to do what is within their authority to defeat S. 386.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Tobacco Preemption — H. 3274 & S. 492. These bills prohibit political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. SCAC has a policy position opposing this type of preemption. H. 3274 passed the House and is pending in the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee carried over S. 492 in order to take additional testimony. Please contact your Senate members and ask that they oppose H. 3274 and S. 492.

Emergency Medical Agencies — H. 3454. H. 3454 states that the failure of emergency medical responder agencies (EMS) and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to maintain proper amounts of pediatric supplies and oxygen in transport vehicles is considered grossly negligent and that the Tort Claims Act caps would not apply in any civil actions against the EMS and EMTs. EMS transport vehicles are currently required to have these supplies. This bill would expose county EMS systems to unlimited liability. After hearing testimony from SCAC and the EMS Association about the costs of removing the civil caps, the House Judiciary Special Laws subcommittee carried the bill over to look at strengthening the inspection requirements for EMS transport vehicles and the penalties for failure to maintain the proper supplies and equipment on the vehicles.  

Plastic Bag Ban — S. 394. This bill preempts local governments from attempting to regulate the use, disposition, sale, or imposition of any prohibition, restriction, fee imposition, or taxation of auxiliary containers. A Senate LCI subcommittee heard testimony from SCAC and Paul Sommerville, Vice Chairman of Beaufort County Council, in opposition to the bill before adjourning debate on S. 394. The plan is for the subcommittee to meet in a couple weeks to hear more testimony.

Statewide 911 System — H. 3586. This bill charges the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office with creating, updating, and implementing a statewide 911 system. The system must be developed and updated with recommendations from a South Carolina 911 Advisory Committee. The House LCI Committee adopted an amendment proposed by SCAC to include adding a county administrator recommended by SCAC to the Advisory Committee and gave H. 3586 a favorable report.

Penalty for Failing to Register Motor Vehicles — H. 3916 & S. 162. Both bills increase the penalty for failing to register a motor vehicle from $100 to $500. This is an SCAC policy position. The current registration fee creates a disincentive to register because of a new $250 registration fee to register a vehicle when you move into the state. Increasing the penalty will remove that disincentive to register and help defray costs incurred by the county in enforcing this requirement. H. 3916 passed the House and is now pending before the Senate Finance Committee. S. 162 received a favorable report before a Senate Finance subcommittee and should be before the full committee next week. Please contact your Senate member and ask that they support both bills.

Professional Licenses — H. 3263. H. 3263, an SCAC policy position, would allow military members and their spouses who hold a professional license in another state to have reciprocity to practice their profession while stationed in this state. The House LCI Committee amended the bill to exclude lawyers, educators, and military service members and gave it a favorable report.

Employee Benefits — H. 3722. H. 3722 would prohibit counties and other political subdivisions from requiring employers to pay employees additional wages to employees if they adjust or alter their work schedule. A House LCI subcommittee gave H. 3722 a favorable report.

Flat Recording Fees — H. 3243. Most documents recorded with the Register of Deeds (ROD) are subject to a fee schedule based on page count. This legislation would change the fee schedule to a flat fee based on the type of document. By eliminating page counting, this change will result in increased efficiency in ROD offices. The House Judiciary Committee adopted an amendment reflecting a compromise reached with the timeshare industry; recording fees for timeshare deeds would be $10 as opposed to $25. House bill 3243 received a favorable report, as amended by the committee, and is pending second reading in the House.

Seized Property Website — H. 3307. This bill requires SLED to establish and maintain a public website that includes information relating to seized and forfeited property held by the agency. A House Judiciary constitutional subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report.

Sunday Alcohol Sales — H. 3082. This bill authorizes a referendum for liquor stores to open on Sunday in counties with at least $1 million in accommodations tax. Currently, liquor stores cannot sell alcohol on Sundays. The House Judiciary Committee had lengthy debate over whether the $1M accommodations tax threshold should be increased or removed entirely so that all counties could put up a Sunday sale referendum. The bill was recommitted to a subcommittee for further study.

Veterans’ Affairs Officers — H. 3438. Current law requires a county veterans’ affairs officer (VAO) to be a veteran but also provides an exception for a nonveteran candidate to fill this position if a nonveteran is more qualified than a veteran candidate. This bill, among other things, would remove the exception for qualified nonveteran candidates. The House amended the bill to maintain the exception of allowing a nonveteran to fill this position and sent it to the Senate.

Coroner Continuing Education — H. 3726. This bill requires coroners and medical examiners to complete continuing education on identifying deaths caused by opiates. The bill passed the House has been sent to the Senate.

Pregnancy Accommodations — H. 3200. This bill requires employers to make reasonable accommodations in the work place for a nursing mother who wishes to express breast milk in privacy while at work. Employers are not required to create a permanent or dedicated space, but the room or location cannot be a toilet stall. Also, employers will not be required to compensate employees for breaks taken to express breast milk unless the employer already provides compensated breaks. The House LCI Committee amended the bill to hold employers harmless if they make reasonable accommodations and does not require an employer to provide break time if doing so would create an undue hardship on the operations of the employer. The bill was given a favorable report as amended.

Clerk of Court Elections — H. 3032. This bill would require elections for the county clerk of court to be nonpartisan. The bill would also require candidates to obtain a petition containing signatures of at least 5 percent of the voters in the county but not to exceed 10,000 signatures. A House Judiciary subcommittee heard testimony on the bill and indicated it would either decrease or remove the signature requirement. The subcommittee adjourned debate on the bill for further study.

Primary Election Disputes — H. 3029. Currently, hearings for primary protests or disputes at the local level are held by the local executive committee by partisan party. This bill would remove those hearings from the local level. Instead, all hearings for local primary protests would be held by the state executive committee in Columbia. After adopting a minor amendment, the House Judiciary Committee gave the bill a favorable report.

Jury Duty — H. 3052. This bill would prohibit a court of the unified judicial system from requiring jurors to serve on jury duty on the day of a primary or general election. A House Judiciary subcommittee adjourned debate on the bill.

Compassionate Care — S. 366. This bill would legalize production, dispensing, and use of medicinal marijuana in the state. It is a lengthy bill that would impose stringent regulations on medical cannabis. The bill does provide that local government may enact ordinances or regulations relating to medical marijuana that are not in conflict with state law. However, the bill would not allow local government to prohibit medical establishments in its jurisdiction. Local government would be prohibited from imposing any tax or fee for the sale of medical cannabis. A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee held an organization meeting on the bill this week.


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. 565 — Allows an exemption from all property tax of an owner-occupied residence if the owner is 75 years old and the property has been his residence for 30 years.

S. 566 — Provides that applications for state identification cards and driver’s licenses serve as a voter registration application.

S. 574 — Provides that post-use polymers and recoverable feedstocks used in pyrolysis are not “solid waste.”

S. 589 — Provides for the circumstances in which policies and procedures regarding body-worn cameras must be activated.

House Bills

H. 4075 — Repeals Section 1-7-730, relating to the examination of county offices by the Attorney General and solicitors.

H. 4077 — Creates the Local Government Financial Reports Study Committee.

H. 4079 — Provides that the director of the Criminal Justice Academy must determine training locations and select aptitude tests to be taken by officers.

H. 4080 — Revises the certification process for becoming a law enforcement officer.

H. 4081 — Deletes the provision that allows the director of the Criminal Justice Academy to bring a civil action for injunctive relief against a law enforcement agency.

H. 4125 — Authorizes a county, by ordinance, to institute a convenience fee for paying traffic and other tickets electronically.

H. 4128 — Provides that the process of examining absentee ballots may begin at 9:00 a.m. the day before election day.

H. 4147 — Provides that certain medical conditions must be presumed to be occupational diseases for the purposes of workers’ compensation for a firefighter.

H. 4152 — Provides that post-use polymers and recoverable feedstocks used in pyrolysis are not “solid waste.”

H. 4153 — Requires a county to consult with other affected taxing entities prior to entering into a fee in lieu tax agreement.

H. 4154 — Sets the minimum wage to $17 per hour.

Issue 7-19 - February 22, 2019 

Friday, February 22, 2019 12:41:00 PM

State Budget and Capital Reserve Fund — H. 4000 & H. 4001

The House Ways and Means Committee approved the budget bill (H. 4000) and the Capital Reserve Fund bill (H. 4001), and they now go to the floor for debate. The Local Government Fund was funded at a base level of $222,619,411 with an additional $11,121,265, for a total of $233,740,67. This represents an increase of more than $2 million above what SCAC’s policy position would require. Please thank the members of the House Ways and Means Committee and ask your House members to support the Local Government Fund as approved in H. 4000.

Here are some provisos of interest in the budget bill:

Proviso 1.86 — School Resource Officers (SROs). This proviso allows the State Department of Education to use funds appropriated for the School Safety Program to hire school resource officers for school districts that are unable to.

Proviso 1a.ssp — Funding Criteria for SROs. In conjunction with Proviso 1.86, this proviso sets the criteria for determining which school districts are eligible to apply for funding from the Department of Education for school resource officers.

Proviso 27.1 — Aid to County Libraries. Under this proviso, library funding was increased from the per capita level of $1.75 to $2.00, with a minimum grant of $100,000 per county.  SCAC’s policy position supports funding at the per capita level of $2.25 with a minimum grant of $100,000 per county.

Proviso 33.22 — Rural Health Initiative. This proviso authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to use appropriated funds to incentivize the development of primary care access in rural and underserved areas by leveraging federal funds that are available. The Department will also use teaching hospitals, such as MUSC, to ensure rural physician coverage in counties with a demonstrated lack of adequate health care access.

Proviso 50.fri — Rural Infrastructure. This proviso authorizes the Department of Commerce to use the Rural School District and Economic Development Closing Fund for economic development, water and sewer infrastructure, and school building infrastructure. The economic development projects must create a minimum of 50 jobs located within the 28 school districts with the lowest Index of Taxpaying Ability (ITA). Proviso 112.1 adds $85 million to this fund.  

Proviso 100.21 — Natural Disaster Funding. This proviso authorizes the carry forward funds for Hurricane Irma recovery and the 2014 Ice Storm FEMA match to be used for Hurricane Florence cleanup expenses.

Proviso 118.nr — Hurricane Florence Funding. This proviso authorizes $22 million in nonrecurring funds for FEMA match for Hurricane Florence cleanup expenses.

Proviso 117.112 — State Pay Increase. This proviso provides a 2 percent pay raise for state employees, unless they work for a four-year or technical college and make $100,000 or more.

Proviso 117.142 — Opioid Treatment. This proviso authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to provide up to $500,000 to a county with a disproportionately high number of opioid-related overdoses and deaths for the development of a local continuum of substance and behavioral health service coordination within the target county.

Proviso 117.mmc — Magistrate Salary. This proviso decouples magistrate’s and master-in equity’s salary from the circuit judge’s salary.

Proviso 117.vsf — Voting Machines Funding. This proviso transfers the funds for the purchase of a new voting machine system and for refurbishment of the current voting system from the State Election Commission to the Department of Administration.

Proviso 118.TR — Income. In the event the winner of the October 24, 2018, Mega Millions contest redeems their ticket, the $61 million that comes to the state will be used to give a one-time income tax rebate in an amount of up to $50 per taxpayer.

Tort Claims Act Changes — S. 7 & S. 386

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act (TCA) from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. The current fiscal impact statement on the bill predicts a $40 million increase in premiums charged by the Insurance Reserve Fund. The actual fiscal impact will be much higher when all entities not insured by the IRF are taken into account. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change.

S. 386, a companion bill to S. 7, was taken up, amended, and passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee. S. 386 would allow multiple occurrences to arise out of a single event. This could lead to potential “stacking” of the caps when an injured party argues that multiple occurrences caused the event that caused their injury. If this passes, county liability will essentially be unlimited, be impossible to insure against, and will place an unlimited financial burden on your taxpayers. S. 386 also allows for third party claimants to bring a bad faith claim against an insurer. S. 386 further amends the exceptions section by removing one exception and creating new standards for other exceptions.

S. 386 further expands the caps formerly limited to only 1983 civil rights actions to all tort claim actions where there are more than one claimant from a single occurrence. It increases these caps paid from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SFAA) from $1 million to $2 million, subject to a maximum of $20 million in one fiscal year. All of these payments will be made from the State’s Catastrophic Fund, which this bill creates. The State’s Catastrophic Fund allows the SFAA to collect assessments from all of the government entities covered under the liability limits. The SFAA is allowed to promulgate regulations in this section to impose the assessments and if a governmental entity fails to pay the assessment, then the State Treasurer is authorized to deduct the assessment from state funds that would otherwise be owed to the local government. By July 1, 2020, the State’s Catastrophic Fund will collect enough assessments to fund the State’s Catastrophic Fund at $3 million. Thereafter, $1 million will be collected every year for the Fund. Beginning June 30, 2039, and every year thereafter, any unspent money over $20 million in the State’s Catastrophic Fund goes back to the governmental entities that funded the Fund through assessments. Starting in 2040, however, the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office will adjust the maximum amount of the Fund to inflation so that it will increase yearly. Entities covered by the TCA will have to pay assessments to meet this new total every year.

S. 7 is on the contested Senate Calendar and it is imperative that you contact your Senate delegation. Please let them know about the severe negative impact this bill would have on your county and ask that they help keep the bill on the contested calendar until a successful resolution can be reached.

S. 386 is on the contested Senate Calendar. Please ask your members to oppose S. 386 and to oppose any vote to set this bill for priority status. Unlike S. 7, SCAC staff sees no potential compromise on S. 386 so the bill must be defeated as its fiscal impact will far exceed that of S. 7.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Tobacco Preemption — H. 3274. H. 3274 prohibits political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. SCAC has a policy position opposing this type of preemption. The bill is pending third reading on the contested House calendar. Please contact your House members and ask that they oppose H. 3274.

Administrative Jail Sanctions — H. 3322. This bill provides for comprehensive sentencing reform. Sections 7 and 8 of the bill would create an “administrative” jail sanction to be imposed on probationers and parolees who violate the terms of their supervised program. Instead of going before a judge for a revocation hearing when a violation of probation occurs, probation agents would have the discretion to impose these jail sanctions for a term of up to three days for the first violation and up to 10 days for a second violation. These sanctions would be served in county jails and on weekends, which are when county jails are at maximum capacity. This effectively shifts the financial burden from state prisons to the counties. The bill is silent on whether the counties will bear the costs of medical expenses incurred by these probationers and parolees. Presumably, county jails will have to maintain records and monitor these weekend jail visits. The fiscal impact on counties is estimated to be over $3 million; this figure does not include the costs of record keeping and healthcare for these weekend visits.

A House Judicial subcommittee took testimony this week and will do the same next week. Amendments are expected to be offered. The subcommittee members are Representatives Chris Murphy (chair), Justin Bamberg, Jay Jordan, Cezar McKnight, and Eddie Tallon. Please contact the subcommittee members to express your concern with the impact Sections 7 and 8 of the bill will have on our county jails.

Mental Health Transport — S. 303. This bill requires that anyone who is believed to have a mental illness and requires immediate care be transported to a treatment facility only by a state or local law enforcement officer that is part of a therapeutic transport unit and has undergone mental health and crisis intervention training. It also allows the treating physician of the patient to notify family or friends of the patient that they can transport the person as long as they sign a statement that they assume the responsibility and liability for the transport. The bill was amended to establish a Therapeutic Transport Fund within the Department of Mental Health (DMH). State and local law enforcement agencies may apply to DMH for funds to establish their own therapeutic transport unit and pay for intervention crisis training. A law enforcement agency is not required to establish a therapeutic transport unit until it receives full funding for the unit.  After amending the bill, a Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee carried the bill over for additional research.

Penalty for Failing to Register Motor Vehicles — H. 3916. This bill, an SCAC policy position, increases the penalty for failing to register a motor vehicle from $100 to $500. The current registration fee creates a disincentive to register because of a new $250 registration fee to register a vehicle when you move into the state. Increasing the penalty will remove that disincentive to register and help defray costs incurred by the county in enforcing this requirement. H. 3916 received a favorable report from the House Judiciary Committee. Please contact your House member and ask that they cosponsor the bill and support its passage.

Income Tax Liens — S. 160. This bill authorizes the Department of Revenue (DOR) to implement an internet accessible tax lien system to be used in lieu of the current filing requirements with the county clerk of court or register of deeds. SCAC’s policy position supports this legislation. S. 160 was amended in the Senate to make certain that the new tax lien filing system is internet based and available to the public. The amendment also requires counties to post a notice where liens are filed that provides instructions on how to access the DOR’s tax lien database. The bill received third reading in the Senate and was sent to the House.

Flat Recording Fees — H. 3243. Most documents recorded with the Register of Deeds (ROD) are subject to a fee schedule based on page count. This legislation would change the fee schedule to a flat fee based on the type of document. By eliminating page counting, this change will result in increased efficiency in ROD offices. A House Judicial subcommittee adopted an amendment reflecting a compromise reached with the timeshare industry; recording fees for timeshare deeds would be $10 as opposed to $25. The bill is not expected to create a negative fiscal impact on county government. H. 3243 received a favorable report, as amended, by the subcommittee and will be on the full Judiciary Committee’s next agenda.  

Telecommunications Devices in Jail — S. 156. This bill prohibits the introduction or possession of a telecommunication device, such as a cell phone, in a jail or prison facility unless authorized by the facility. This offense would be a misdemeanor with a mandatory sentence of no more than three years. The Senate Corrections and Penology Committee gave the bill a favorable report.

Sunday Alcohol Sales — H. 3082. This bill authorizes by referendum Sunday alcohol sales by liquor stores in the same 10 counties that have already authorized Sunday alcohol sales. Currently, liquor stores cannot sell alcohol on Sundays. The House Judiciary Committee adjourned debate on this bill.

Veterans’ Affairs Officers — H. 3438. Current law requires a county veterans’ affairs officer (VAO) to be a veteran but also provides an exception for a nonveteran candidate to fill this position if a nonveteran is more qualified than a veteran candidate. This bill, among other things, would remove the exception for qualified nonveteran candidates. The House 3M Committee amended the bill maintain the exception of allowing a nonveteran to fill this position and gave the bill a favorable report.

Coroner Continuing Education — H. 3726. This bill requires coroners and medical examiners to complete continuing education on identifying deaths caused by opiates. The House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee gave the bill a favorable report.

Golf Cart Rentals — H. 3952. This bill allows counties to adopt an ordinance to regulate a person or entity offering golf carts for rental or lease. The ordinance is limited to the use of safety devices and geographic area, distance, identification of the vehicles, and specific public roadways on which the carts may operate. A House Education and Public Works subcommittee amended the bill to include only golf carts rented or leased for less than nine months and gave the bill a favorable report. It will be on the next full committee’s agenda.

Utility Relocation — H. 3799. This bill provides circumstances under which a public entity undertaking a transportation improvement project must bear the costs related to relocating water and sewer lines. H. 3799 requires the entity undertaking the project to pay 100 percent of the costs of relocating any water and sewer lines that are within the right-of-way and owned by a public utility that has 10,000 or fewer taps or connections and serves a population of 30,000 or less. The entity undertaking the project must pay 100 percent of the costs, up to 4 percent of the total project costs, of relocating water and sewer lines within the right-of-way and owned by a public utility with more than 10,000 taps or connections or that serves a population of more than 30,000. The bill applies to all transportation improvement projects for which no more than 25 percent of preliminary engineering funds have been spent. A House Education and Public Works subcommittee adjourned debate on H. 3799 for the interested parties to work out a compromise regarding a potential sunset provision and potentially moving the 25 percent to 30 percent.

Statewide 911 System — H. 3586. This bill charges the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs office with creating, updating, and implementing a statewide 911 system. The system must be developed and updated with recommendations from a South Carolina 911 Advisory Committee. A House LCI subcommittee adopted an amendment proposed by SCAC to include adding a county administrator recommended by SCAC to the Advisory Committee and gave H. 3586 a favorable report. The bill will be on the next full committee’s agenda.

School District Consolidation — S. 203. This bill would require school districts within a county that do not meet certain benchmarks, such as accreditation and low risk assessment, to consolidate. A Senate Education subcommittee amended the bill so that after August 1, 2022, school districts in Tier IV counties with an average daily membership of less than 1,500 must consolidate, and gave the bill a favorable report.


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. 530 — Updates the “South Carolina Consolidated Procurement Code.”

S. 534 — Provides for additional qualifications for sheriffs and candidates to serve as sheriff.

S. 545 — Repeals Section 12-39-70, relating to classifications for purposes of appraising and assessing personal property of businesses under the jurisdiction of the county auditor.

S. 547 — Provides that the service limitation does not apply to a retired member of the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System under certain circumstances.

S. 549 — Enacts the “Workforce Opportunity Act.”

House Bills

H. 3999 — Enacts the “South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act.”

H. 4003 — Enacts the “Military Priority Registration Act.”

H. 4012 — Amends sections relating to the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, to include sections relating to elections for those districts.

H. 4044 — Requires the SEC to amend the voter registration application to allow registrants to disclose their political party.

H. 4046 — Eliminates the requirement that a county committee must publish certain notices regarding county conventions in a newspaper.

H. 4047 — Prohibits fusion candidacy.

H. 4051 — Requires a railroad company to provide at least 72 hours notice to a county before the company commences repairs on a public railroad crossing.

Ratifications

The following bills have been passed by both chambers and are now before the Governor for signature or veto:

(R. 5) H. 3630. Delays the real property tax penalty schedule by three months on property owned by individuals affected by the government shutdown.

Issue 6-19 - February 15, 2019 

Friday, February 15, 2019 12:18:00 PM

Tort Claims Act Changes — S. 7 & S. 386

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act (TCA) from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. The current fiscal impact statement on the bill predicts a $40 million dollar increase in premiums charged by the Insurance Reserve Fund. The actual fiscal impact will be much higher when all entities not insured by the IRF are taken into account. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change.

S. 386, a companion bill to S. 7, was taken up, amended, and passed by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. S. 386 would allow multiple occurrences to arise out of a single event. This could lead to potential “stacking” of the caps when an injured party argues that multiple occurrences caused the event that caused their injury. If this passes, county liability will essentially be unlimited, be impossible to insure against, and will place an unlimited financial burden on your taxpayers. S. 386 also allows for third party claimants to bring a bad faith claim against an insurer. S. 386 further amends the exceptions section by removing one exception and creating new standards for other exceptions.

S. 386 further expands the caps formerly limited to only 1983 civil rights actions to all tort claim actions where there are more than one claimant from a single occurrence. It increases these caps paid from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SFAA) from $1 million to $2 million, subject to a maximum of $20 million in one fiscal year. All of these payments will be made from the State’s Catastrophic Fund, which this bill creates. The State’s Catastrophic Fund allows the SFAA to collect assessments from all of the government entities covered under the liability limits. The SFAA is allowed to promulgate regulations in this section to impose the assessments and if a governmental entity fails to pay the assessment, then the State Treasurer is authorized to deduct the assessment from state funds that would otherwise be owed to the local government. By July 1, 2020, the State’s Catastrophic Fund will collect enough assessments to fund the State’s Catastrophic Fund at $3 million. Thereafter, $1 million will be collected every year for the Fund. Beginning June 30, 2039, and every year thereafter, any unspent money over $20 million in the State’s Catastrophic Fund goes back to the governmental entities that funded the Fund through assessments. Starting in 2040, however, the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office will adjust the maximum amount of the Fund to inflation so that it will increase yearly. Entities covered by the TCA will have to pay assessments to meet this new total every year.

S. 7 is on the contested Senate Calendar and it is imperative that you contact your Senate delegation. Please let them know about the severe negative impact this bill would have on your county and ask that they help keep the bill on the contested calendar until a successful resolution can be reached.

S. 386 will be before the full Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. A copy of the Judiciary Committee Roster is available here. Please contact your Senator and ask that they oppose S. 386.

State Budget

The House begins work on the budget next week. Please ask your House members to support funding the Local Government Fund at a base level of $223.2 million, and increase that amount by at least the same percentage as this year’s General Fund growth.

We will continue to push to get the Senate to pass H. 3137, which encompasses SCAC’s policy regarding the Local Government Fund. Please contact your Senate member and ask that they support passing H. 3137.

Here are some provisos that are of interest:  

Proviso 34.8 EMS Funding. This existing proviso provides funding to counties for EMS that must be spent on upgrading and improving local EMS services. Counties are allowed to carryforward unspent funds for administrative and operational support and for temporary and contract employees to assist with duties related to improving and upgrading the EMS system. This proviso was amended by the House Ways & Means Committee to provide that 50 per cent of all carryforward funds be redirected to the EMS Association, a private entity, to promote and encourage education of emergency medical technicians and directors of emergency medical services; to collect, analyze, and distribute information about emergency medical services; to promote the improvement of patient care; to cooperate with other organizations; and to effect more efficient administration of emergency medical services in the State of South Carolina. This allocation to the EMS Association would come from the money that is currently allocated to counties.

Proviso 86.if CTC: Increased Funding. The requirement of § 13 of Act 40 of 2017 for increased funding to the County Transportation Committees shall come from the proceeds of the increase in the Motor Fuel User Fee, and shall be used exclusively for repairs, maintenance, and improvements to the state highway system.

Proviso 101.rcvs Voting Machines. Act 268 of 2018, the Capital Reserve Fund, appropriated $4 million to the State Election Commission to refurbish existing voting machines. This new proviso redirects that funding to the purchase of new voting machines, an SCAC policy position.

Proviso 108.1 Volunteer Firefighter Health Insurance. This existing proviso was amended to allow active volunteer firefighters who are eligible for the income tax deduction pursuant to Section 12-6-1140, and their dependents, to participate in the State Health and Dental Plans, upon paying the full premium costs.

Proviso 117.cdbg Disaster Recovery Funds. SCAC’s policy position concerning disaster recovery funds supports communication and collaboration between the state and impacted local governments on how best to spend these funds after a natural disaster. To facilitate this collaboration, the Disaster Recovery Office was moved from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Administration. This new proviso finalizes that move and transfers any remaining disaster recovery funds from the Department of Commerce to the Department of Administration.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Tobacco Preemption — H. 3274. H. 3274 prohibits political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. SCAC has a policy position opposing this type of preemption. After much debate, the bill passed the House and has been sent to the Senate. Please contact your Senate members and ask that they oppose H. 3274.

Voter Registration Deadlines — H. 3031. H. 3031 reduces the timeframe in which the registration books are to be closed before an election from 30 days before the election to 20 days before the election. Registration applications must be received or postmarked no later than 25 days before an election. This is an SCAC policy position. If the postmark date is missing, the county board of registration must accept the application if it is received by mail no later than five days after the registration books are closed before an election. H. 3031 is pending third reading on the contested House calendar.

Mental Health Transport — S. 303. This bill requires that anyone who is believed to have a mental illness and requires immediate care be transported to a treatment facility only by a state or local law enforcement officer that is part of a therapeutic transport unit and has undergone mental health and crisis intervention training. It also allows the treating physician of the patient to notify family or friends of the patient that they can transport the person as long as they sign a statement that they assume the responsibility and liability for the transport. The bill was carried over to hear additional testimony. This bill as written would be another unfunded mandate on counties, requiring them to create a therapeutic transport unit if they do not currently have one, as well as paying for the necessary training for mental health and crisis intervention.

Penalty for Failing to Register Motor Vehicles — H. 3619. This bill, an SCAC policy position, increases the penalty for failing to register a motor vehicle from $100 to $500. The current registration fee creates a disincentive to register because of a new $250 registration fee to register a vehicle when you move into the state. Increasing the penalty will remove that disincentive to register and help defray costs incurred by the county in enforcing this requirement. H. 3619 received a favorable report from a House Judiciary subcommittee and will be before the full committee on Tuesday. Please contact your House member and ask that they cosponsor the bill and support its passage through the Judiciary Committee and the full House.

School District Consolidation — S. 203. This bill would require school districts within a county that do not meet certain benchmarks, such as accreditation and low risk assessment, to consolidate. A Senate Education subcommittee carried over the bill to gather additional information.

Veterans’ Affairs Officers — H. 3438. Current law requires a county veterans’ affairs officer (VAO) to be a veteran but also provides an exception for a nonveteran candidate to fill this position if a nonveteran is more qualified than a veteran candidate. This bill, among other things, would remove the exception for qualified nonveteran candidates. The S.C. Association of County Veterans’ Affairs Officers (SCACVAO) opposes removing this exception. Several counties have VAOs and staff who are fully qualified with years of experience in veterans’ benefits but who are not veterans and, therefore, could not serve in this position. This position is often difficult enough to fill as it is and SCACVAO is concerned this bill would make it harder to find qualified candidates. The House 3M Committee adjourned debate on H. 3438 to work on an amendment but will consider the bill again next week.

Property Tax Penalties Moratorium for Government Shutdown Employees — H. 3630. This resolution delays the penalty schedule for late payment of 2018 property taxes for federal employees and federal contractors that have not received a paycheck because of the federal government shutdown. The penalty schedule and the commencement of a tax execution are delayed for three months, however, the taxes are still due on January 15, 2019. The county treasurer has sole discretion to determine whether someone complies with the requirements of this legislation. The Senate adopted an amendment stating that the burden of proof of eligibility is on the taxpayer and gave the resolution a second reading. The House concurred with the Senate amendment and H. 3630 has been enrolled for ratification.

Coroner Continuing Education — H. 3726. This bill requires coroners and medical examiners to complete continuing education on identifying deaths caused by opiates. A House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report, and the bill is on the next full committee agenda.

2019 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government – February 20 and 21

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 20. The conference agenda is available on the SCAC website. 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 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
 
In an effort to increase the legislators' participation in the Legislative Reception, it will be held at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.
 
**DRESS CODE FOR THE LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: The Palmetto Club has a strict dress code policy for all guests. Gentlemen are expected to wear coat and tie, coat and turtleneck, coat and collared shirt, or sweater and collared shirt. Hats and caps are not allowed unless required for religious purposes. Ladies are expected to wear dresses, appropriate suits, slacks, or evening wear. Athletic wear, shorts, tattered jeans, or sport shoes are not allowed.
 

Institute of Government classes are being offered on Thursday, February 21, and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and the Property Taxation Process.

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 21, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. This workshop is open to all council chairmen and vice chairmen. Registration is required.

Now is the time to start lining up appointments to see your Senators and Representatives or arranging a joint meal, function, or meeting.


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. 497 — Provides that if a county imposes a stormwater fee, the fee may not exceed 15 percent of the amount of ad valorem taxes levied on the property.

S. 499 — Provides that a person who unlawfully injures a health care professional during the course of his duties commits assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

S. 512 — Provides that a prisoner must be given two days of credit for every one day served in custody prior to trial and sentencing.

S. 521 — Provides that an employer may pay up to $2,500 for medical treatment for an employee injured on the job without reporting the injury under certain circumstances.

S. 522 — Allows and employer to pay all or a portion of required employee contributions to the SCRS during a fiscal year.

S. 525 — Repeals the abolition of the environmental impact fee as it relates to the Superb Financial Responsibility Fund.

House Bills

H. 3916 — Increases the fine for not registering a motor vehicle from $100 to $500.

H. 3940 — Extends college tuition waivers to the children of active duty service members who have served in wartime.

H. 3945 — Allows a municipality to adopt an ordinance allowing for the operation of golf carts during non-daylight hours.

H. 3951 — Provides for additional qualifications for sheriffs and candidates to serve as sheriff.

H. 3952 — Provides that a local governmental body may regulate an entity offering golf carts for rent or lease under certain circumstances.

H. 3967 — Outlines methods of restraint for inmates who are pregnant or in postpartum recuperation.

H. 3968 — Enacts the “Asset Forfeiture and Private Property Protection Act.”

H. 3984 — Allows an employer to pay all or a portion of required employee contributions to the SCRS during a fiscal year.

Issue 5-19 - February 8, 2019 

Friday, February 8, 2019 11:46:00 AM

Tort Claims Act Changes — S. 7 & S. 386

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. The current fiscal impact statement on the bill predicts a $40 million dollar increase in premiums charged by the Insurance Reserve Fund. The actual fiscal impact will be much higher when all entities not insured by the IRF are taken into account. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change.

S. 386, a companion bill to S. 7, was taken up for a second time by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. The subcommittee presented and adopted 16 amendments that were not made available to interested parties and more than likely will negatively impact county government. SCAC’s understanding of the amended bill is that it will allow multiple occurrences to arise out of a single event. This could lead to potential “stacking” of the caps when an injured party argues that multiple occurrences caused the event that caused their injury. If this passes, county liability will essentially be unlimited, be impossible to insure against, and will place an unlimited financial burden on your taxpayers. S. 386 also allows for additional attorneys’ fees and third party claimants to bring a bad faith claim against an insurer.

S. 386 further expands the caps formerly limited to only 1983 civil rights actions to all tort claim actions. It increases these caps paid from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority (SFAA) from $1 million to $2 million, subject to a maximum of $4 million for one employee or governmental entity, and a maximum of $20 million in one fiscal year. All of these payments will be made from the State’s Catastrophic Fund, which this bill creates. The State’s Catastrophic Fund allows the SFAA to collect assessments from all of the government entities covered under the liability limits. By July 1, 2020, the State’s Catastrophic Fund will collect enough assessments to fund the State’s Catastrophic Fund at $3 million. Thereafter, $1 million will be collected every year for the Fund. Beginning June 30, 2039, and every year thereafter, any unspent money over $20 million in the State’s Catastrophic Fund goes to the General Fund. The subcommittee discussed and adopted amendments to this section to provide an enforcement mechanism to the SFAA to ensure the assessments are paid by county governments.

Because all of these amendments were hastily adopted and have not been provided to any of the stakeholders, SCAC is not certain the bill’s impact. SCAC expects to have the amendments next week and will hopefully be able to analyze their contents before the final subcommittee meeting.

S. 7 is on the contested Senate Calendar and it is imperative that you contact your Senate delegation. Please let them know about the severe negative impact this bill would have on your county and ask that they help keep the bill on the contested calendar until a successful resolution can be reached.

The Senate Judiciary subcommittee plans to meet for a final time on S. 386 on Wednesday to pass the bill out to the full Senate Judiciary Committee. Please contact your Senator and ask that they oppose S. 386.

Local Government Fund (LGF) and the State Budget

Local Government Fund — H. 3137. H. 3137 encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF and was introduced in the Senate this week and referred to the Senate Finance Committee.

Please contact your Senate member and ask that they support passing H. 3137. Also, if your Senate member is on the Finance Committee, please ask that they support passing H. 3137 out of committee and increasing the LGF by at least 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.”

2019 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government – February 20 and 21

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 20. 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 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

In an effort to increase the legislators’ participation in the Legislative Reception, it will be held at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.

**DRESS CODE FOR THE LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: The Palmetto Club has a strict dress code policy for all guests. Gentlemen are expected to wear coat and tie, coat and turtleneck, coat and collared shirt, or sweater and collared shirt. Hats and caps are not allowed unless required for religious purposes. Ladies are expected to wear dresses, appropriate suits, slacks, or evening wear. Athletic wear, shorts, tattered jeans, or sport shoes are not allowed.

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 21, and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and the Property Taxation Process.

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 21, 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 on the SCAC website.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Tobacco Preemption — H. 3274. H. 3274 prohibits political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. SCAC has a policy position opposing this type of preemption. The bill is pending second reading on the contested House calendar. Please contact your House members and ask that they oppose H. 3274.

Coal Ash — H. 3483. This bill makes Act 138 of 2016, which requires coal ash to be disposed of in Class 3 landfills until March 2, 2021, permanent law. The House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee gave the bill a favorable report. H. 3483 passed out of the House and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Electronic Liens — H. 3411 & S. 160. Both bills authorize the Department of Revenue to implement an internet accessible tax lien notice system to be used in lieu of the filing requirements with the county clerk or register of deeds. SCAC policy position supports this legislation. H. 3411 is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee and S. 160 is pending second reading on the Senate Calendar.

Poll Worker Residency — H. 3035. This bill would allow a poll worker to serve anywhere in the state as long as they are a resident of the state and registered to vote in the state. This is a past SCAC policy position. H. 3035 passed out of the House and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Veterans’ Affairs Officers — H. 3438. Current law provides that a county veterans’ affairs officer (VAO) must be a veteran but also allows an exception for a nonveteran candidate to fill this position if a nonveteran is more qualified than a veteran candidate. This bill, among other things, would remove the exception for qualified nonveterans. The S.C. Association of County Veterans’ Affairs Officers (SCACVAO) opposes the provision of this bill that removes this exception. Several counties have VAOs and staff who are fully qualified with years of experience in veterans’ benefits but who are not veterans and, therefore, could not serve in this position. This position is often difficult enough to fill as it is and SCACVAO is concerned this bill would make it harder to find qualified candidates. A House 3M subcommittee gave H. 3438 a favorable report after adopting minor amendments.

Property Tax Penalties Moratorium for Government Shutdown Employees — H. 3630. This resolution delays the penalty schedule for late payment of 2018 property taxes for federal employees and federal contractors that have not received a paycheck because of the federal government shutdown. The penalty schedule and the commencement of a tax execution are delayed for three months, however, the taxes are still due on January 15, 2019. The county treasurer has sole discretion to determine whether someone complies with the requirements of this legislation. The Senate adopted an amendment stating that the burden of proof of eligibility is on the taxpayer and gave the resolution a second reading. H. 3630 is pending third reading on the Senate calendar.


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. 471 — Enacts the “Youth Sentencing Act of 2019.”  

S. 480 — Provides that an agency authorized to conduct fingerprint background checks may conduct a federal fingerprint review.

S. 486 — Enacts the “South Carolina Remote Online Notarization Act.”

S. 487 — Enacts the “South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act.”

S. 488 — Enacts the “’South Carolina Inclusionary Zoning Act.”

S. 492 — Prohibits counties from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products.

House Bills

H. 3843 — Enacts the “Magistrates’ Education and Improvement Act.”

H. 3848 — Provides that certain disabled veterans of the Armed Forces are exempt from property taxes in the year in which the disability occurs.

H. 3849 — Provides for a grace period on the enforcement of the stamp tax on cigarettes.

H. 3910 — Adds qualification requirements for a notarial commission and provides that a notary is commissioned in the county of his employment or business if he is not a resident of South Carolina.

H. 3917 — Enacts the “South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act.”

H. 3919 — Enacts the “Youth Sentencing Act of 2019.”

H. 3932 — Amends this State’s Constitution to restrict the sale, purchase, and possession of tobacco products, cigarettes, and alternative nicotine products by persons until they are 21 years old.

H. 3933 — Provides that a candidate for a local elective office that is elected from a specific district must be a legal resident of the district at the time he files for the office.

H. 3934 — Provides a committee created by a county legislative delegation has subpoena power if the majority votes in favor of granting that power.

Issue 4-19 - February 1, 2019 

Friday, February 1, 2019 11:40:00 AM

It was a very productive week in the General Assembly as both the Senate and House advanced several bills on their calendars. Action was taken on several bills that reflect SCAC policy positions, which will be discussed below.

Local Government Fund (LGF) and the State Budget

Local Government Fund — H. 3137. H. 3137 encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF. The bill received several additional sponsors this week (Reps. Murphy, Chellis, Kimmons, Rose, Wheeler, Gilliard, Young, Clemmons, Cogswell, B. Newton, Anderson, Jefferson, Bales, Blackwell, McDaniel, Moore, R. Williams, and Henderson-Myers). The bill was amended to reflect the distribution percentage that is currently in the LGF formula and to become effective for fiscal year 2019-2020. The bill received third reading with no opposition on the House floor and has been sent to the Senate. Please thank your House members for voting in favor of H. 3137. A special thanks goes to Reps. Murrell Smith and Gilda Cobb-Hunter, who spoke on the House floor in favor of the bill.

Your calls made a difference with House members. Please contact your Senate member and ask that they support passing H. 3137. Also, if your Senate member is on the Finance Committee, please ask that they support passing H. 3137 out of committee and increasing the LGF by at least the same percentage as this year’s General Fund growth! A roster of the Senate Finance Committee is attached.

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.”

Tort Claims Act Damages Increase S. 7 & S. 386

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act by increasing the caps from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). SCAC has previously testified against the proposed increases, expressed concerns about indexing the increased caps to CPI, and discussed the cost of insuring against potential losses under the increased caps. The committee amended the bill to have it apply prospectively and made a technical change relating to the CPI. If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. The current fiscal impact statement on the bill predicts a $40 million dollar increase in premiums charged by the Insurance Reserve Fund. The actual fiscal impact will be much higher when all entities not insured by the IRF are taken into account. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change.

S. 386, a companion bill to S. 7, was amended by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee. Among other things, it expands the caps formerly limited to only 1983 civil rights actions to all tort claim actions. It increases these caps paid from the State Fiscal Accountability Authority from $1 million to $2 million, subject to a maximum of $4 million for one employee or governmental entity, and a maximum of $20 million in one fiscal year. All of these payments will be made from the State’s Catastrophic Fund which will be discussed below. It expands the definition of occurrence so that you could have multiple causes of action from what has been previously considered a single act of negligence, allows for additional  attorneys’ fees, and allows a third party claimant to bring a bad faith claim against an insurer. It also creates the State’s Catastrophic Fund, allowing the State Fiscal Authority to collect assessments from all of the government entities covered under the liability limits. By July 1, 2020, the State’s Catastrophic Fund will collect enough assessments to fund the Catastrophic Fund at $3 million. Thereafter, $1 million will be collected every year for the Fund. Beginning June 30, 2039, and every year thereafter, any unspent money over $20 million in the State’s Catastrophic Fund goes to the General Fund. Because this amendment to S. 386 was just introduced, we do not know how much this will increase premiums. However, it is likely the increase will be higher than the increases if S. 7 becomes law.

S. 7 is on the contested Senate Calendar and it is imperative that you contact your Senate delegation. Please let them know about the severe negative impact this bill would have on your county and ask that they help keep the bill on the contested calendar until a successful resolution can be reached. The Senate Judiciary subcommittee plans to take additional testimony on S. 386 next week and is giving stakeholders until next Tuesday to submit comments and amendments. The stakeholders that spoke in opposition to S. 386, including SCAC, will meet later today to discuss this bill.

Tobacco Preemption H. 3274.

H. 3274 prohibits political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. SCAC has a policy position opposing this type of preemption. The bill is pending second reading on the House calendar. Please contact your House members and ask that they oppose H. 3274.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Administrative Jail Sanctions — H. 3322. This bill provides for comprehensive sentencing reform. Sections 7 and 8 of the bill would create an “administrative” jail sanction to be imposed on probationers and parolees who violate the terms of their supervised program. Instead of going before a judge for a revocation hearing when a violation of probation occurs, probation agents would have the discretion to impose these jail sanctions for a term of up to three days for the first violation and up to 10 days for a second violation. These sanctions would be served in county jails and on weekends which are when county jails are at maximum capacity. This effectively shifts the financial burden from state prisons to the counties. The bill is silent on whether the counties will bear the costs of medical expenses incurred by these probationers and parolees. Presumably, county jails will have to maintain records and monitor these weekend jail visits. SCAC is working to determine the fiscal impact this will have on counties.

The bill was carried over for further study by a House Judicial subcommittee. The committee members are Representatives Chris Murphy (chair), Justin Bamberg, Jay Jordan, Cezar McKnight, and Eddie Tallon. Please contact the subcommittee members to express your concern over the impact this will have on our county jails.

Internet Sales — S. 214. This bill clarifies what the requirements are for marketplace facilitators as it relates to tax collection to make it easier for DOR to enforce South Carolina’s sales tax policy and capture internet sales tax from third parties.  The bill was amended on the floor to send some of the revenue to teacher pay increases. S. 214 is pending third reading on the contested Senate Calendar.

Birth Certificates — S. 21. This bill amends the procedures for changing a birth certificate once a court determination is made to establish who the legal father of a child is. The clerk of court is to report the court order determining the legal father to the Registrar of the Division of Vital Statistics so that the Registrar can modify the birth certificate. S. 21 passed the Senate and is pending in the House Judiciary Committee.

Marriage Licenses — S. 196 & H. 3369. Both bills repeal the “pregnancy exception” statute that allows probate judges to issue marriage licenses to pregnant minors or minors who have given birth. By repealing this code section, only minors of the age of 16 can marry so long as parental consent is given. S. 196 passed the Senate and is pending in the House Judiciary Committee. H. 3369 received third reading in the House and has been sent to the Senate.

Voter Registration Deadlines — H. 3031. H. 3031 reduces the timeframe to be registered prior to an election from 30 days before the election to 20 days before the election. The House Judiciary amended the bill to change the timeframe to 24 days before an election. SCAC incorrectly reported that the bill had been amended to change the timeframe to 25 days before an election. SCAC’s policy position is to change the timeframe from 30 days to 25 days. H. 3031 is pending second reading on the House calendar.

Poll Worker Residency — H. 3035. This bill would allow a poll worker to serve anywhere in the state as long as they are a resident of the state and registered to vote in the state. This is a past SCAC policy position. H. 3035 is pending second reading on the House calendar.

Mold Remediation — H. 3127. H. 3127 creates a study committee to look at the impact of mold in public buildings and to make recommendations about how to abate mold. The committee is required to report their findings to the General Assembly by December 31, 2019. The House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee made some technical changes to the bill and gave it a favorable report.

Coal Ash — H. 3483. This bill makes Act 138 of 2016, which requires coal ash to be disposed of in Class 3 landfills until March 2, 2021, permanent law. The House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee gave the bill a favorable report. H. 3483 is pending second reading on the House calendar.

Electronic Liens — H. 3411 & S. 160. Both bills authorize the Department of Revenue to implement an internet accessible tax lien notice system to be used in lieu of the filing requirements with the county clerk or register of deeds. SCAC policy position supports this legislation. H. 3411 passed the House and has been sent to the Senate. S. 160 received a favorable report from a Senate Finance subcommittee.

Lobbying and Lobbyist — H. 3622. This bill would expand the definitions of lobbying and lobbyist to include any person who is employed, appointed, or retained to influence any public official or public member of a county or municipality. As a result, this bill would require any person lobbying at the county level to register. A House Judiciary subcommittee met Thursday to hear concerns. The subcommittee carried the bill over.

Animal Shelters — S. 105. This bill, among other things, would require animal control officers to inspect animal shelters to ensure compliance with certain state standards established by the bill. The bill, as introduced, would allow county animal facilities to adopt these standards. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee adopted an amendment to provide that the county itself, and not the county facility, may choose to adopt these state standards. This ensures that county shelters will not be required to be regulated by a state agency, an SCAC policy position. The bill is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.

2019 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government – February 20 and 21

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 20. 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 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

In an effort to increase the legislators’ participation in the Legislative Reception, it will be held at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.

**DRESS CODE FOR THE LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: The Palmetto Club has a strict dress code policy for all guests. Gentlemen are expected to wear coat and tie, coat and turtleneck, coat and collared shirt, or sweater and collared shirt. Hats and caps are not allowed unless required for religious purposes. Ladies are expected to wear dresses, appropriate suits, slacks, or evening wear. Athletic wear, shorts, tattered jeans, or sport shoes are not allowed.

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 21, and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and the Property Taxation Process.

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 21, 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 on the SCAC website.


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. 440 — Provides that a certain cap on rehabilitation expenses only applies to certain rehabilitated buildings on contiguous parcels within the “South Carolina Textiles Communities Revitalization Act.”

S. 443 — Places a $15 fee on civil filings in magistrates court and provides for how the collected fees will be remitted to counties.

S. 447 — Enacts the “South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act.”

S. 449 — Allows the capital project sales tax to be used for certain infrastructure for economic development projects.

S. 452 — Provides that certain disabled veterans are exempt from property taxes in the year in which the disability occurs.

S. 453 — Repeals sections of the Freedom of Information Act, one relating to matters exempt from disclosure and one relating to meetings that may be closed to the public.

S. 454 — Places the Division of Veterans’ Affairs within the Executive Branch and makes changes relating to County Veterans Affairs Officers.

S. 455 — Provides that a Board or Commission shall issue a temporary professional license to the spouse of an active duty member under certain circumstances.

S. 461 — Increases the income tax deduction for certain firefighters and law enforcement officials from $3,000 to $6,000.

S. 462 — Provides for the expedited return of certain property and monies seized, allows forfeiture proceedings to be held in magistrates court for certain amounts, and changes the method of allocating various assets.

House Bills

H. 3775 — Revises the freeholder procedure for the creation of a special tax district.

H. 3776 — Provides that a local government may regulate an entity offering golf carts for rent or lease under certain circumstances.

H. 3777 — Requires the State Election Commission to amend voter registration forms to allow registrants to disclose their political party affiliation.

H. 3786 — Enacts the “Workplace Freedom Act.”

H. 3799 — Provides that an entity undertaking a transportation improvement project bears the costs related to relocating water and sewer lines.

H. 3801 — Prohibits counties from expending funds to test backflow prevention devices.

H. 3806 — Authorizes counties to adopt by ordinance the requirement that cemetery owners and operators shall maintain, preserve, and protect a cemetery.

H. 3809 — Establishes a plan for the Department of Administration to allocate employee pay increases so that state employees receive a 5 percent increase effective July 1, 2019.

H. 3828 — Enacts the “South Carolina Developer-Provided Transit Stop Act.”

H. 3833 — Enacts the “Municipal Tax Relief Act.”

Issue 3-19 - January 25, 2019 

Friday, January 25, 2019 9:04:00 AM

The General Assembly wrapped up its third week of session this week. The House and Senate continued to spend the bulk of their time meeting in subcommittee and committee to be able to advance legislation to the floor. The Governor also gave his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly Wednesday evening.

Tort Claims Act Damages Increase — S. 7

The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday to consider S. 7, which raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act. S. 7 increases the caps from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). SCAC has previously testified against the proposed increases, expressed concerns about indexing the increased caps to CPI, and discussed the cost of insuring against potential losses under the increased caps. The committee amended the bill to have it apply prospectively and to make a technical change relating to the CPI. If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. The current fiscal impact statement on the bill predicts a $40 million dollar increase in premiums charged by the Insurance Reserve Fund just for entities covered by the IRF. The actual fiscal impact will be much higher when all entities not insured by the IRF are taken into account. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change. S. 7 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

S. 7 is on the contested Senate Calendar and it is imperative that you make contacts to your Senate delegation. Please let them know about the severe negative impact this bill would have on your county and ask that they help keep the bill on the contested calendar until a successful resolution can be reached.

Tobacco Preemption – H. 3274.

H. 3274 prohibits political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. This is an SCAC policy position. A House Ways and Means subcommittee is scheduled to take up the bill Tuesday morning at 9:30 in Room 521 of the Blatt building. Please contact your House members on the Ways and Means Committee and ask that they oppose H. 3274. Click here for the Ways and Means roster.

Local Government Fund (LGF) and the State Budget

Local Government Fund — H. 3137.

H. 3137 encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF. A Ways and Means subcommittee met on Thursday and passed the bill out favorably with an amendment supported by SCAC. Based on discussions with members of the House, SCAC believes there is a very good chance that this legislation will pass the House. Thanks to Reps. Murrell Smith, Lucas, Ott, Stavrinakis, Simrill, Rutherford, Pope, Clyburn, Shedron Williams, Cobb-Hunter, Bailey, Erickson, Bradley, Yow, Forrest, Kirby, and Sottile for sponsoring this bill. The House Ways and Means Committee will be taking this bill up Tuesday, January 29, immediately upon adjournment of the House.

Please contact your House member and ask that they cosponsor and support passing H. 3137. Also, if your House member is on Ways and Means, please ask that they support passing H. 3137 out of committee and increasing the LGF at least 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.”

Judicial Department — The S.C. Judicial Department presented its budget request before both a Ways and Means and a Senate Finance subcommittee this week. One request was for judicial salary increases that would result in circuit court judges’ salaries being set at $188,090. Because a magistrate’s salary is a set percentage of circuit judge’s salary, magistrates could potentially experience a significant salary increase. A Ways and Means subcommittee expressed concern with the fiscal impact the magistrates’ salary increase would have on counties. The Judicial Department stated it believed that magistrate’s salaries should be decoupled from the circuit judges’ salary and set separately by the General Assembly. SCAC is working with the subcommittee to determine the fiscal impact to counties.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Animal Shelters — S. 105. This bill, among other things, would require animal control officers to inspect animal shelters to ensure compliance with certain state standards established by the bill. The bill, as introduced, would allow county animal facilities to adopt these standards. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee adopted an amendment to provide that the county itself, and not the county facility, may choose to adopt these state standards. This ensures that county shelters will not be required to be regulated by a state agency, an SCAC policy position. The bill received a favorable report as amended.

Nursing Home Resident 4 Percent Assessment — S. 207. S. 207 allows a person who is receiving the 4 percent owner-occupied assessment ratio and becomes a patient of a nursing home or community residential care facility to retain the 4 percent assessment ratio while they are a patient of the facility. The person must intend on returning to their home and may not rent the home out for more than 72 days in any calendar year. S. 207 passed the Senate and has been sent to the House LCI Committee.

Municipal Millage — S. 227. This bill provides that a municipality without an operating millage on January 1, 2019, or a municipality that incorporates after January 1, 2019, may impose an operating millage. S. 227 was amended to “restrict” a first-time municipal millage imposition to 33 percent of the municipality’s previous year’s operating budget. If the municipality previously imposed a millage but repealed it, then it can re-impose the previous millage with retroactive increases subject to each year’s millage cap backdated to 2007 or since the previous millage was repealed, whichever is most recent. S. 227 has been sent to the House.

Internet Sales — S. 214. This bill clarifies what the requirements are for marketplace facilitators as it relates to tax collection to make it easier for DOR to enforce South Carolina’s sales tax policy and capture internet sales tax from third parties. S. 214 is pending third reading on the Senate Calendar.

Accommodations and Hospitality Tax — S. 217. This bill would allow counties to use state accommodations taxes, local hospitality taxes, and local accommodations taxes for the control and repair of flooding and drainage at tourism-related lands or areas. This bill includes all counties. S. 217 passed the Senate and has been sent to the House Ways and Means Committee.

Property Tax Penalties Moratorium for Government Shutdown Employees — H. 3630. This bill delays the penalty schedule for late payment of 2018 property taxes for federal employees and federal contractors that have not received a paycheck because of the federal government shutdown. The penalty schedule and the commencement of a tax execution are delayed for three months, however, the taxes are still due on January 15, 2019. The county treasurer has sole discretion to determine whether someone complies with the requirements of this legislation. H. 3630 is pending in the Senate Finance Committee.

Birth Certificates — S. 21. This bill amends the procedures for changing a birth certificate once a court determination is made to establish who the legal father of a child is. The clerk of court is to report the court order determining the legal father to the Registrar of the Division of Vital Statistics so that the Registrar can modify the birth certificate. S. 21 is pending third reading on the Senate calendar.

Marriage Licenses — S. 196 & H. 3369. Both bills repeal the “pregnancy exception” statute that allows probate judges to issue marriage licenses to pregnant minors or minors who have given birth. By repealing this code section, minors of the age of 16 can marry but only with parental consent. S. 196 received a favorable report by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and H. 3369 received a favorable report by a House Judiciary subcommittee.

Voting Machines — S. 182. The state is looking at funding the replacement of voting machines. This bill requires the voting machines to provide a voter-verified paper audit trail and that this system be in place by the 2020 Presidential Preference primaries. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee carried the bill over to gather more information.

Post-Election Audits — S. 202. S. 202 requires county election commissions and boards of registration to perform post-election audits prior to certification of an election. The Election Commission shall promulgate regulations regarding how the audits are to be conducted. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee carried the bill over to gather more information.

Voter Registration Deadlines — H. 3031. H. 3031 reduces the timeframe to be registered prior to an election from 30 days before the election to 20 days before the election. The House Election Laws subcommittee amended the bill change the timeframe to 25 days before an election, an SCAC policy position, and gave the bill a favorable report as amended.

Poll Worker Residency — H. 3035. This bill would allow a poll worker to serve anywhere in the state as long as they are a resident of the state and registered to vote in the state. This is a past SCAC policy position. The House Election Laws subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report.

Mold Remediation — H. 3127. H. 3127 creates a study committee to look at the impact of mold in public buildings and to make recommendations about how to abate mold. The committee is required to report their findings to the General Assembly by December 31, 2019. A House Environmental Affairs subcommittee made technical changes to the bill and gave it a favorable report.

Coal Ash — H. 3483. This bill makes Act 138 of 2016, which requires coal ash to be disposed of in Class 3 landfills until March 2, 2021, permanent law. A House Environmental Affairs subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report.

2019 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government – February 20 and 21

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 20. 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 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

In an effort to increase the legislators’ participation in the Legislative Reception, it will be held at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.

**DRESS CODE FOR THE LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: The Palmetto Club has a strict dress code policy for all guests. Gentlemen are expected to wear coat and tie, coat and turtleneck, coat and collared shirt, or sweater and collared shirt. Hats and caps are not allowed unless required for religious purposes. Ladies are expected to wear dresses, appropriate suits, slacks, or evening wear. Athletic wear, shorts, tattered jeans, or sport shoes are not allowed.

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 21, and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and the Property Taxation Process.

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 21, 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 on the SCAC website.


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. 389 — Provides for partisan primary and partisan referendum voting requirements and procedures.

S. 390 — Provides for tax credits or rebates against various types of taxes imposed, including local option sales and use taxes.

S. 393 — Requires SLED to create and maintain the “Immigration Compliance Report.”

S. 394 — Allows the State to occupy the field regarding plastic bags, taking away authority to regulate the use of plastic bags or auxiliary containers at the county level.

S. 395 — Provides that a person must be 18 or older to marry and repeals the sections of law relating to the issuance of a marriage license to applicants under the age of 18.

S. 397 — Provides that a county sheriff has the same power as a municipal police officer to enforce the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

S. 400 — Enacts the “South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act.”

S. 401 — Provides that an entity undertaking a transportation improvement project bears the costs related to relocating water and sewer lines.

S. 406 — Enacts the “South Carolina Lactation Support Act.”

S. 407 — Prohibits a person convicted of animal cruelty from adopting an animal.

S. 433 — Provides that each county shall designate a tax collector for the collection of property taxes and to prepare a tax collection notice.

House Bills

H. 3682 — Provides that a certain cap on rehabilitation expenses only applies to certain rehabilitated buildings on contiguous parcels within the “South Carolina Textiles Communities Revitalization Act.”

H. 3683 — Enacts “Lizzy’s Law,” which requires law enforcement to collect certain information regarding lost or stolen weapons.

H. 3687 — Extends the homestead exemption for the disabled and elderly.

H. 3691 — Allows an employer to provide employees of school-aged children up to eight hours of additional paid leave to attend school functions and provides a participating employer a tax credit.

H. 3696 — Provides that a county sheriff has the same power as a municipal police officer to enforce the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

H. 3699 — Provides that DHEC shall defer to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in determining the permissible size of a private recreational dock being constructed on the Intracoastal Waterway

H. 3709 — Requires that fertile pit bulls be registered.

H. 3722 — Provides that political subdivisions may not require an employer to pay employees additional wages based on a scheduling adjustment.

H. 3723 — Provides that candidates and committees may accept digital currency as contributions.

H. 3724 — Provides that golf carts being operated for the purpose of conducting tourism-related tours are not subject to daylight hour restrictions.

H. 3726 — Requires coroners and medical examiners to complete continuing education on identifying deaths caused by opiates.

H. 3733 — Enacts the “Community-Law Enforcement Partnership for Deflection and Substance Use Disorder Treatment Act.”

H. 3738 — Extends to members of the United States Foreign Service certain legal residence provisions that apply to members of the Armed Forces.

H. 3740 — Authorizes a payroll deduction for certain public employees for the purpose of facilitating employee purchases of consumer offerings through an employee purchase program.

H. 3758 — Redefines the allocation of fault amongst tortfeasors (persons who commit a civil wrong).

Issue 2-19 - January 18, 2019 

Friday, January 18, 2019 11:07:00 AM

The General Assembly was back in Columbia this week. The Senate did not meet in regular session; however, they did conduct subcommittee and committee meetings in order to advance bills to the floor. The House met in regular session, introduced new legislation, and also conducted meetings to move legislation to the floor.

Tort Claims Act Damages Increase – S. 7

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee met on Tuesday to consider S. 7, which raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act. S. 7 increases the caps from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). SCAC testified against the proposed increases, expressed concerns about indexing the increased caps to CPI, and discussed the cost of insuring against potential losses under the increased caps. The subcommittee amended the bill to have it apply prospectively and to make a technical change relating to the CPI. There was an attempt to remove the cap for occurrences completely but that was defeated. S. 7 was passed by the subcommittee as amended. If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps.  County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change.

S. 7 will be before the full Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday and it is imperative that you make contacts to your Senator, especially if they serve on the Judiciary Committee. Please let them know about the severe negative impact this bill would have on your county. Click here for a list of the members of the Judiciary Committee.

Local Government Fund (LGF) and the State Budget

Local Government Fund – H. 3137. H. 3137 encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF. A Ways and Means subcommittee was scheduled for Thursday to consider the bill but was postponed until next week. Based on discussions with members of the House, SCAC believes there is a very good chance that this legislation will gain traction this year. Thanks to Reps. Murrell Smith, Lucas, Ott, Stavrinakis, Simrill, Rutherford, Pope, Clyburn, Shedron Williams, Cobb-Hunter, Bailey, Erickson, Bradley, Yow, Forrest, and Kirby for sponsoring this bill.

Please contact your House member and ask that they cosponsor and support passing H. 3137. Also, if your House member is on Ways and Means, please ask that they support increasing the LGF at least 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.”

Voter Election System – The State Election Commission presented its budget request before the House Ways and Means Constitutional subcommittee. The Commission is requesting $60 million for a new voting system to include the replacement of the current voting machines. The Commission has put out RFPs and is considering two types of voting machine systems. One would have electronic touch screens much like the current touch screens used. The other system would use hand-marked paper ballots. Both systems would have a paper trail that could be used to verify the votes cast. SCAC’s policy position is to support legislation that provides full funding to replace the voting machines and voting systems in this state.

Commission of Indigent Defense – The Commission met with a Ways and Means subcommittee this week to present its budget. During the presentation, the Commission mentioned that county government contributions to Indigent Defense are lacking and that it would like to see a contribution formula imposed on all counties. No details of the formula were discussed and the subcommittee made no indications of adopting such a formula, but SCAC will monitor this issue.

County Transportation Committee Funding – SCDOT met before a Ways and Means subcommittee this week to present its budget request. The agency requested the following proviso to clarify its understanding of the 2017 Roads bill to be that as the motor fuel user fee increases over time, the money sent back to CTCs will also increase and that this new money will be spent on the state highway system. The subcommittee adopted the proviso.

86.1.  (CTC:  increased funding)  The requirement of § 13 of Act 40 of 2017 for increased funding to the County Transportation Committees shall come from the proceeds of § 12-28-310(D), and shall be used exclusively for repairs, maintenance, and improvements to the state highway system.

Other Legislative Action this Week

Animal Shelters – S. 105. This bill, among other things, would require animal control officers to inspect animal shelters to ensure compliance with certain state standards established by the bill. The bill, as introduced, would allow county animal facilities to adopt these standards. At SCAC’s request, a Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources subcommittee adopted an amendment to make it clear that only the county governing body or chief administrative officer may choose to adopt these state standards. This ensures that county shelters will not be required to be regulated by a state agency, an SCAC policy position. The bill received a favorable report as amended by the subcommittee.

Telecommunications Devices in Jail – S. 156. This bill, an SCAC policy position, prohibits the introduction or possession of a telecommunication device, such as a cell phone, in a jail or prison facility unless authorized by the facility. This offense would be a misdemeanor with a mandatory sentence of no more than three years. The Senate Corrections and Penology subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report.

Nursing Home Resident 4 Percent Assessment – S. 207. S. 207 allows a person who is receiving the 4 percent owner-occupied assessment ratio and becomes a patient of a nursing home or community residential care facility to retain the 4 percent assessment ratio while they are a patient of the facility. The person must intend on returning to their home and may not rent the home out for more than 72 days in any calendar year. A Senate Finance subcommittee and the full committee passed S. 207 out favorably and it will be before the full Senate next week.

Municipal Millage – S. 227. This bill provides that a municipality without an operating millage on January 1, 2019, or a municipality that incorporates after January 1, 2019, may impose an operating millage. A Senate Finance subcommittee adopted an amendment to “restrict” a first-time municipal millage imposition to 33 percent of the municipality’s previous year’s operating budget. If the municipality previously imposed a millage but repealed it, then it can re-impose the previous millage with retroactive increases subject to each year’s millage cap backdated to 2007 or since the previous millage was repealed, whichever is most recent. The subcommittee and the full Senate Finance Committee gave S. 227 a favorable report as amended.

Internet Sales – S. 214. This bill clarifies what the requirements are for marketplace facilitators as it relates to tax collection to make it easier for DOR to enforce South Carolina’s sales tax policy and capture internet sales tax from third parties. A Senate Finance subcommittee and the full committee reported S. 214 out favorably, and the bill is pending second reading on the Senate Calendar.

Accommodations and Hospitality Tax – S. 217. This bill would allow counties to use state accommodations taxes, local hospitality taxes, and local accommodations taxes for the control and repair of flooding and drainage at tourism-related lands or areas. This bill includes all counties. A Senate Finance subcommittee and the full committee reported S. 217 out favorably as amended and the bill is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.  Senate Finance Committee considered and adopted a verbal amendment that is technical in nature.

Property Tax Penalties Moratorium for Government Shutdown Employees – H. 3630. This bill delays the penalty schedule for late payment of 2018 property taxes for federal employees and federal contractors that have not received a paycheck because of the federal government shutdown. The penalty schedule and the commencement of a tax execution are delayed for three months, however, the taxes are still due on January 15, 2019. The county treasurer has sole discretion to determine whether someone complies with the requirements of this legislation. H. 3630 passed the House and will be introduced in the Senate.

Birth Certificates – S. 21. This bill amends the procedures for changing a birth certificate once a court determination is made to establish who the legal father of a child is. The clerk of court is to report the court order determining the legal father to the Registrar of the Division of Vital Statistics so that the Registrar can modify the birth certificate. After adopting a technical amendment, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee gave S. 21 a favorable report.

Marriage Licenses – S. 196. This bill would repeal the “pregnancy exception” statute that allows probate judges to issue marriage licenses to pregnant minors or minors who have given birth. By repealing this code section, only minors of the age of 16 can marry but only with parental consent. The bill received a favorable report by a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

Reduction of Agricultural Property Roll Back Taxes – H. 3596. Legislation was introduced this week which would limit roll back taxes to one year when agricultural property is applied to another use. Current law provides for five years of roll back taxes. This bill has not received a hearing but would create a negative fiscal impact on county governments.  

2019 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government – February 20 and 21

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 20. 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 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

In an effort to increase the legislators’ participation in the Legislative Reception, it will be held at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.

**DRESS CODE FOR THE LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: The Palmetto Club has a strict dress code policy for all guests. Gentlemen are expected to wear coat and tie, coat and turtleneck, coat and collared shirt, or sweater and collared shirt. Hats and caps are not allowed unless required for religious purposes. Ladies are expected to wear dresses, appropriate suits, slacks, or evening wear. Athletic wear, shorts, tattered jeans, or sport shoes are not allowed.

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 21, and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and the Property Taxation Process.

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 21, 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 on the SCAC website.


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. 366 — Enacts the “South Carolina Compassionate Care Act.”

S. 367 — Provides that an employee of a hospital that is an employer under the SCRS may opt out of being a member of the SCRS.

S. 369 — Allows for shoreline-perpendicular wingwalls that extend landward from the ends of existing erosion control structures.

S. 371 — Provides that DHEC shall defer to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in determining the permissible size of a private recreational dock being constructed on the Intracoastal Waterway.

S. 372 — Enacts the “Act to Establish Pay Equity.”

S. 374 — Establishes the South Carolina Election Security Council.

S. 378 — Deletes the provision that restricts a qualified law enforcement officer from carrying a concealed weapon onto certain premises.

S. 380 — Delays the real property tax penalty for three months for those affected by the federal government shutdown.

House Bills

H. 3580 — Provides for sentence modification and sentence reduction for certain inmates.

H. 3581 — Provides for partisan primary and partisan referendum voting requirements and procedures.

H. 3586 — Updates the 911 system and requires the S.C. Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office to update and implement a coordinated statewide 911 system.

H. 3589 — Prohibits certain employment practices involving disclosures and information about wages.

H. 3590 — Provides that a person arrested or within police custody is a victim of and unable to consent to sexual contact with an arresting or custodial law enforcement officer.

H. 3592 — Requires law enforcement officers transporting a person who is believed to have a mental illness to be a part of a therapeutic transport unit and to undergo mental health and crisis intervention training.

H. 3593 — Provides that certain people may not operate a drone within certain distances from a state or federal military installation without consent and provides a penalty.

H. 3596 — Limits rollback taxes to one year when land classified as agricultural real property is applied to another use.

H. 3597 — Increases the maximum time a voter may spend in the voting booth from three minutes to five minutes.

H. 3615 — Enacts the “Act to Establish Pay Equity.”

H. 3616 — Establishes the South Carolina Election Security Council.

H. 3617 — Provides that coroners and medical examiners may not charge a fee for a permit for cremation or a fee from a Burial-Removal-Transit permit.

H. 3620 — Removes the $10,000 earnings limitation on employees returning to employment who retired before January 2, 2019.

H. 3622 — Adds county to definitions relating to lobbying; and therefore, would require further lobbyist registrations and disclosures.

H. 3623 — Requires SLED to develop a pilot data integration and analytics system that would include state and local law enforcement departments and agencies.

H. 3625 — Provides that the millage rate cap can be overridden and further increased by a positive majority vote; restores funding for the residential property tax exemption; repeals the Article “Local Option Sales and Use Tax for Local Property Tax Credits;” and makes other tax-related changes.   

H. 3626 — Proposes to amend § 6, Article X of the State Constitution to require the General Assembly to define fair market value for the purposes of assessing real property tax.

H. 3629 — Provides that it is unlawful for a person to use a cell phone or device while operating a motor vehicle.

H. 3630 — Delays the real property tax penalty for three months for those affected by the federal government shutdown.

H. 3634 — Allows voters to share their marked ballot via social media or other means.

H. 3639 — Expands the amount of military personnel and their dependents who are entitled to in-state tuition.

H. 3643 — Adds an exception to the Tort Claims Act relating to counsel or advisory opinions of solicitors or authorized prosecutors.

H. 3654 — Requires a county that is planning to build a new public facility to include in its planning a study of transit-rider access to the location.

H. 3655 — Provides how a county may create a transit-oriented redevelopment agency.

H. 3658 — Requires a court to issue a courtesy summons if a charge against a defendant is dismissed or not processed but the defendant is subsequently indicted by a grand jury.

H. 3660 — Enacts the “South Carolina Compassionate Care Act.”

H. 3661 — Clarifies the term “contiguous” when a municipality located entirely within a special purpose district annexes unincorporated property also located within the special purpose district.

H. 3664 — Exempts injuries sustained by law enforcement in the line of duty from certain limitations within workers’ compensation.

Issue 1-19 - January 11, 2019 

Friday, January 11, 2019 11:07:00 AM

The General Assembly officially began the new, two-year session on Tuesday. This being the first year of the session, all legislation has to be introduced before being considered and there is no pending legislation. Also, with the inauguration of the Governor being held on Wednesday there was not much time for new legislation to be considered. SCAC staff expects the pace to pick up starting next week so please look out for the Friday Report and other Legislative Alerts to keep you aware of what’s happening in Columbia.

SCAC Legislative Program – Now is the Time to Reach Out to Legislators!

You received SCAC’s Policy Positions for the 2019 Session last week. This contains the legislative policy positions adopted by the Legislative Committee. The policy positions are also available online at www.SCCounties.org.  

The positions represent an ambitious legislative program, but SCAC believes it will be a successful one. County officials must 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.

The 2019 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government, discussed next, is the perfect time to both learn and to 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. Please utilize your SCAC staff!

2019 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government - February 20 and 21

The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 20. 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 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

In an effort to increase the legislators’ participation in the Legislative Reception, it will be held at the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.

**DRESS CODE FOR THE LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION: The Palmetto Club has a strict dress code policy for all guests. Gentlemen are expected to wear coat and tie, coat and turtleneck, coat and collared shirt, or sweater and collared shirt. Hats and caps are not allowed unless required for religious purposes. Ladies are expected to wear dresses, appropriate suits, slacks, or evening wear. Athletic wear, shorts, tattered jeans, or sport shoes are not allowed.

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 21, and include: Building an Effective County Team, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and the Property Taxation Process.

The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 21, 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 on the SCAC website.

Local Government Fund (LGF) and the State Budget

The Ways and Means subcommittee that initially considers funding of the LGF is the Constitutional subcommittee. This subcommittee is comprised of Reps. Bruce Bannister, Chair; Nathan Ballentine; and Mike Sotille.

SCAC staff testified before the subcommittee on Tuesday to discuss the LGF and our current position to reformulate it. The subcommittee was receptive to staff’s testimony and there are indications that this is a good year to achieve success on SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF. Representatives Murrell Smith, Lucas, Ott, Stavrinakis, Simrill, Rutherford, Pope, Clyburn, and S. Williams have filed H. 3137 to adopt SCAC’s position.

SCAC’s policy position 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 thank the sponsors of H. 3137 for supporting SCAC’s position on the LGF and ask your House members to cosponsor this bill and support its movement through the House.


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 Amends the provisions of the law pertaining to campaign practices by providing for disclosures and disclaimers by an independent expenditure committee related to the independent committee’s election communications.

S. 5 Establishes the interstate lane expansion fund to increase the number of lanes on existing mainland interstates and to provide the manner in which the South Carolina Infrastructure Bank selects eligible projects.

S. 6 Amends the Constitution to provide for an independent reapportionment commission.

S. 7 Increases the cap limits under the Tort Claims Act from $300,000 to $1 million for one person arising from a single occurrence, and from $600,000 to $2 million from a loss arising out of a single occurrence regardless of the number of agencies or political subdivisions involved, and to adjust the limits annually based on the Consumer Price Index.

S. 11 Provides that daylight savings time would be the year round standard for the state should the federal government allow states to observe daylight savings time year round.

S. 17 Provides that each county board of registration and elections is responsible for certifying that county’s candidates for coroner and sheriff.

S. 18 Allows a person under the age of 21 who is serving a suspension or denial of driver’s license for driving under the influence alcohol to enroll in the ignition interlock device program.

S. 19 Reduces the maximum fee that the Election Commission may charge each candidate certified by a political party for the conduct of a presidential preference primary.

S. 20 Requires the state Medicaid health insurance program beginning January 1, 2020, to be available to adults under 65 years old whose income does not exceed 133 percent of the federal poverty level, with a 5 percent income disregard.

S. 22 Eliminates the exception that would allow a juvenile being tried as an adult to be confined in an adult jail.

S. 36 Provides for a statewide advisory referendum to be held at the same time as the 2020 General Election to determine whether the voters of this state favor Medicaid expansion.

S. 37 Provides that when a person appears to vote and does not have a valid ID, they may complete a written statement at the polling place affirming that they meet the necessary qualifications to vote and will be given a provisional ballot to vote.

S. 38 Provides SLED with exclusive jurisdiction and authority to conduct investigations in all officer-involved shootings that result or could have resulted in bodily injury or death.

S. 40 Enacts the “South Carolina False Claims Act.”

S. 45 Provides that a person who hinders a law enforcement officer is guilty of a misdemeanor, but that a person is allowed to photograph or record a law enforcement officer performing their duties in a public place or in a place where the person has the right to be.

S. 46 Changes the age of separate confinement for juvenile offenders from under the age of 17 to under the age of 18.

S. 47 Prohibits a death sentence or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a person who commits an offense when they were less than 18 years of age.

S. 48 Reestablishes the Sentencing Reform Committee.

S. 50 Directs each circuit solicitor to establish a drug court program for adults and juveniles.

S. 51 Authorizes a first responder to make a workers' compensation claim for personal injury caused by post traumatic stress disorder arising from the first responder’s direct involvement in a significant traumatic experience.

S. 54 Requires at least 28 days to pass from the initiation of a criminal background check in order for a gun sale to proceed, unless the background check has concluded that the sale may proceed.

S. 55 Requires at least 28 days to pass from the initiation of a criminal background check in order for a gun sale to proceed, unless the background check has concluded that the sale may proceed.

S. 57 Authorizes pari-mutuel betting in specified areas of the state.

S. 59 Requires workers’ compensation commission hearings to be held in the districts in which the injuries occurred instead of the counties in which the injuries occurred.

S. 60 Requires certain questioning or interrogation by law enforcement to be audio or video recorded.

S. 69 Increases the civil jurisdictional limits of magistrate from $7,500 to $15,000.

S. 71 Creates a gambling study committee.

S. 72 Requires each law enforcement agency to have a written policy regarding the investigation of officer-involved deaths.

S. 73 Provides a pay schedule for full-time and part-time magistrates based on the salary paid to a circuit judge for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

S. 76 Extends the Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes Incentive Program for an additional five years.

S. 81 Establishes a procedure for an owner of a dam to determine if the dam fails under the authority of the “Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act”, and authorizes DHEC to issue an order to maintain, alter, repair, or remove a dam when it becomes a danger to human life or property to someone other than the dam owner.

S. 84 Authorizes the family court to establish a recovery court program in each judicial circuit.

S. 89 Prohibits the state or counties from approving a plan or permit application to construct or otherwise use infrastructure to facilitate the transportation of offshore oil into the land and waters of this state.

S. 92 Enacts the “Surface Water Stewardship Act.”

S. 93 Enacts the “Wetlands Restoration Act.”

S. 94 Allows victims or their immediate family members to submit film, videotape, or other electronic information that may be considered by the Board of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services to be considered in parole determination.

S. 98 Increase the civil jurisdiction in magistrates’ court from $7,500 to $10,000.

S. 99 Allows a voter to have their address, telephone number, and email address submitted to the voter registration office declared confidential upon the presentation of a certified copy of an injunction or a restraining order.

S. 101 For purposes of the eligibility exam for magistrates, extends the time period for the validity of an examination score from six months before and six months after the time the appointment is made, to one year before and two years after the time the appointment is made.

S. 102 Imposes an annual cap 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 10 completed state fiscal years.

S. 103 Eliminates the requirement that 4.5 percent of the General Fund be appropriated to the Local Government Fund, and to provide that the appropriations must be no less than the greater of the allocation ratio of the latest fiscal year or the average of the allocation ratio of the last five fiscal years.

S. 105 Provides that among other things, magistrates and municipal court judges must receive at least two hours of instruction on issues concerning animal cruelty.

S. 107 Redefines the definition of a dam to include the erection of an artificial barrier for the purpose of creating a reservoir, and to clarify the failure of a dam must cause danger to human life or the property of others.

S. 111 For purposes of statements of economic interest, requires a filer to disclose payment or reimbursement by an organization to the filer or government entity with which the filer serves for the filer speaking before a public or private group as well as actual expenses incurred by the filer for attendance or participation at an event based on the filer’s office or position.

S. 113 Authorizes municipalities without an operating millage on January 1, 2018, or that incorporate after January 1, 2018, to impose an operating millage.

S. 119 Provides that the property tax exemption for vehicles afforded to former prisoners of war applies to all former prisoners of war.

S. 122 Applies roll-back taxes to a certain property that is no longer used as an agricultural property.

S. 133 Expands the South Carolina Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program to include flood damage.

S. 134 For purposes of the State Retirement System, closes the defined benefit plan to new employees immediately following an actuarial determination that the retirement system is fully funded.

S. 135 Amends the Constitution to create an independent reapportionment commission.

S. 139 Enacts the “South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act of 2017.”

S. 140 Creates a joint resolution to require the Election Commission to submit a plan and process for the purchase of new voting machines by December 31, 2019.

S. 141 Allows absentee ballots to be tabulated beginning at 9:00 a.m. on the day immediately preceding election day.

S. 142 Establishes an early voting period to begin 10 days before an election and ending three days prior to an election.

S. 144 Creates a joint resolution to direct DHEC to establish a revolving fund to operate a financial assistance program to provide grants to dam owners to conduct engineering and safety studies on the dams.

S. 145 Exempts the sales tax on all sales made to military veterans on Veterans Day.

S. 147 Imposes a mandatory minimum wage in this state for people who are eligible for the minimum wage provided by federal law.

S. 149 Enacts the “South Carolina Minimum Wage Act.”

S. 150 Requires a state employee earning annual leave at the rate of 30 days a year to receive a lump sum payment for days of annual leave fewer than 30 days not used or donated by the employee in a calendar year.

S. 151 Repeals § 10-1-165 relating to the prohibition on the relocation, removal, or renaming of certain monuments and memorials erected on public property.

S. 152 Exempts counties from the provisions of § 10-1-165.

S. 154 Requires the clerks of court and magistrates to report to SLED within 10 days the disposition of certain types of cases and orders within specified periods of time.

S. 155 Provides parole eligibility for an inmate convicted of a “no parole offense” if the inmate has completed 65 percent of his sentence under certain circumstances.

S. 156 Prohibits the possession of telecommunication devices to include, but not limited to, cell phones, pagers, and laptops computers, upon the grounds of a county jail or detention center.

S. 160 Authorizes the Department of Revenue to implement a system of filing and indexing tax liens which is accessible to the public over the internet or through other means.

S. 161 Provides parole eligibility for an inmate convicted of a “no parole offense” if the inmate has completed 65 percent of his sentence under certain circumstances.

S. 167 Closes the South Carolina Retirement System and establishes a defined benefit retirement plan and a defined contribution retirement plan.

S. 171 Enacts the “Municipal Tax Relief Act’” which authorizes a municipal capital project sales tax.

S. 172 — Enacts the “Local Option Motor Fuel User Fee Act,” which allows a county to impose a user fee of $.01/gallon on retail sales of motor fuel for the sole purpose of beach renourishment within the county

S. 174 — Makes it unlawful to sell or offer a handgun to person under the age of 18.

S. 179 — Enacts the “Workforce Enhancement and Military Recognition Act” which allows the deduction of retirement benefits attributable to service on active duty in the Armed Force of the United States.

S. 180 — Makes it unlawful to operate a drone within a certain distance of a federal military installation.

S. 182 — Requires that by the 2020 Presidential Preference Primaries the voting machines used in this state will provide a voter-verified paper audit trail.

S. 183 — Authorizes supplemental appropriations for the Department of Administration to purchase electronic voting machines that produce a paper audit trail.

S. 184 — Provides that all contributions received by a candidate must be deposited into an interest on campaign account known as an “IOCA,” that benefits the Ethics Commission.

S. 185 — Extends the sunset provision of the Angel Investor Act from December 31, 2019, to December 31, 2025.

S. 190 — Enacts the “Sign Language Interpreters Act.”

S. 193 — Establishes a criminal domestic violence address confidentiality program whereby criminal domestic violence victims may use a designated address rather than their residence address to conceal their place of residence from their assailants.

S. 196 — Repeals § 20-1-300 which allows a marriage license to be issued to an unmarried female and male under the age of 18 when the female is pregnant or has a child.

S. 201 — Requires every public school to prepare a school safety plan.

S. 202 — Requires county election commissions and boards of registration to perform post-election audits before certification of an election.

S. 203 — Provides criteria for school district consolidation.

S. 207 — Provides that a homeowner that is receiving the 4 percent assessment ratio but is currently residing in a nursing home may retain the assessment as long as they remain in the nursing home.

S. 210 — For purposes of campaign reports filed by candidates, requires candidates and committees to contemporaneously file campaign bank account statements for the previous quarter’s campaign report.

S. 212 — For purposes of in-state tuition and fees for children and spouses of veterans and active duty personnel, redefines “covered individual” to include a child or spouse enrolling within three years of a veteran’s discharge.

S. 213 — Amends the provisions pertaining to income tax credits by providing limitations on the amount an individual or corporation can claim as credits, and to provide for the award of certain tax credits.

S. 214 — Amends the provisions pertaining to sales tax definitions by defining “marketplace facilitator” and to inform marketplace facilitators of their requirements.

S. 217 — Authorizes state accommodations taxes, local hospitality taxes and local accommodations taxes to be used for the control and repair of flooding and drainage at tourism-related lands or areas.

S. 218 — Provides that probation officers, county personnel, public officials, and private volunteers who participate in certain community service programs in which a probationer is completing community service as a condition of probation are not liable for civil damages unless the injury or damage is the result of gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

S. 220 — Prohibits an employer from inquiring, considering, or requiring the disclosure of the criminal record or criminal history of an employment applicant until after the applicant is selected for an interview, or before a conditional offer of employment is made to the applicant.

S. 221 — Enacts the “Savannah River Port Enhancement Zone Act.”

S. 226 — Establishes requirements for emergency service system billing and insurance coverage practices applicable to out-of-network emergency medical service providers.

S. 227 — Authorizes a municipality without an operating millage on January 1, 2019, or that incorporates after January 1, 2019, to impose an operating millage.

S. 230 — Creates an independent redistricting commission.

S. 231 — Prohibits a person who has made a campaign contribution to a popularly elected public official within the previous four years from being appointed to a public office by that public official.

S. 237 — Allows the holder of a conservation easement to contest an action to condemn property encumbered by a conservation easement under certain circumstances.

S. 239 — Requires all public and charter schools to conduct one fire drill, one active shooter/intruder drill, and one severe weather/earthquake drill each semester.

S. 248 — Implements a three-year pilot program in certain counties to determine the effectiveness of operating a year-round modified school calendar.

S. 249 — Amends the Constitution to authorize the creation of an independent citizens redistricting commission.

S. 250 — Requires a local public official whose office is declared vacant due to a criminal conviction during the official’s term of office to reimburse the county elections authority for the costs of holding a primary, runoff primary, or special election to fill the office.

S. 253 — Requires the Ethics Commission to establish a new online campaign account monitoring and auditing department, and to require all candidates and elected public officials to provide the Commission with access to the online banking information for their campaign account.

S. 254 — Establishes the “South Carolina Citizens Redistricting Commission.”

S. 255 — Restores the property tax provisions that were repealed by Act 388.

S. 256 — Exempts retired certified educators from the earnings limitations upon returning to covered employment under the state retirement system, and removes the earnings limitations for those returning to covered employment under the police officers retirement system.

S. 257 — Allows certain certified retired teachers to be hired without a loss of retirement benefits, and to provide that the teacher meets the unique qualifications required by the hiring school district.

S. 258 — Allows part-time cafeteria workers to opt out of becoming members of the state retirement system.

S. 259 — Establishes the “South Carolina Resilience Revolving Fund Act.”

S. 261 — Changes the filing period for candidates to qualify to run in the general election, changes the primary date to the second Tuesday of May in each general election year, changes the date of the party primary to the second Tuesday of May in each general election year, and makes the primary and general election dates legal holidays.

S. 272 — Provides that a business that serves food and beverages, and pays sales tax at the time the food and beverages are purchased at retail, is not considered to be in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail.

S. 273 — For purposes of probate proceedings, prohibits creditors from communicating with the decedent’s personal representative concerning outstanding debts unless otherwise directed to do so by the personal representative.

S. 274 — Requires SLED to provide criminal background checks to the legal representative of a state law enforcement agency free of charge.

S. 276 — Provides that it is unlawful to threaten, or conspire to threaten to damage or destroy a public school, church, or any public building or recreational park. Any person charged with violating this provision must undergo a mental evaluation and or treatment.

S. 281 — Makes it a misdemeanor crime to intentionally misrepresent an animal as a service animal.

S. 287 — For purposes of the major project facility exemptions, adds to the exemption building projects within certain use and occupancy classification codes from the 2015 International Building Codes.

S. 288 — Enacts the “Taxpayer Transparency Act.”

S. 289 — Requires counties to post certain information on their websites, requires the websites to be maintained, and requires that the information on the websites be easily accessible.

S. 292 — Allows a real estate licensee to represent a taxpayer during an administrative process.

S. 293 — Allows a concealed weapons permit holder to carry on school property leased by a church for church services or church activities if the governing body of the church provides express permission to the permit holder.

S. 295 — Provides a felony conviction for a person found guilty of using their official position or office for financial gain and precludes a person convicted from serving as a public official or public member or being employed as a public employee.

S. 296 — Prohibits DHEC from entering into leases that allow for the installation of infrastructure related to the exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas located in the South Atlantic Planning Area.

S. 302 — Provides for the eligibility for expungement even when a person has had a prior offense expunged pursuant to § 34-11-90.

S. 303 — Requires a local law enforcement officer responsible for transporting a person in custody who is believed to have a mental illness and is requiring immediate care to be part of a therapeutic transport unit and have undergone mental health and crisis intervention training.

S. 306 — Provides that a licensed veterinarian may administer a rabies antibody titer to determine whether to administer a rabies booster vaccine to a pet.

S. 307 — Establishes general election day as a state holiday.

S. 309 — Increases the aggregate annual tax credit for the industry partnership fund tax credit.

S. 311 — Limits the liability of certain individuals who provide volunteer transportation to a senior citizen for injuries and losses to the senior citizen and to the senior citizen’s spouse.

S. 317 — Enacts the “South Carolina Service Members Civil Relief Act.”

S. 319 — Provides that a person commits the crime of assault and battery of a high an aggravated nature if he unlawfully injures a health care professional, including, but not limited to: an EMS provider, a firefighter, an ER physician, an ER nurse, on an allied health care worker.

S. 321 — Provides that any child of a nonresident military personnel may enroll in a school district in which the child’s parent or legal guardian is relocating as a result of military service.

S. 326 — A Joint Resolution to direct SLED to distribute $250,000 to the S.C. State Firefighters Association to provide for post-traumatic stress disorder insurance and programs.

S. 328 — Requires a county auditor to provide a certified statement to the Secretary of State on behalf of a special purpose district in the event that the special purpose district does not have the available funds to perform an audit.

S. 329 — Provides that the tax credits for the purchase of geothermal machinery and equipment shall be repealed on January 1, 2022.

S. 331 — Prohibits a person from knowingly collecting voted or un-voted absentee ballots and provides a penalty.

S. 333 — Provides that probation officers, court personnel, county personnel, public officials, and private volunteers who participate in certain community service programs in which a probationer is completing community service as a condition of probation are not liable for civil damages unless the injury or damage is the result of gross negligence, recklessness, or intentional misconduct.

S. 336 — Creates the offense of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature on a law enforcement officer with degrees of the offense.

S. 338 — Requires a water or sewer utility that is subject to the Public Service Commission’s supervision and regulation must establish customer classes based on geographic location.

S. 340 — Increases the amount of a lien that may be enforced by a petition to a magistrate.

S. 341 — Requires the clerks of court and magistrates to report to SLED within 10 days the disposition of certain types of cases and orders within specified periods of time.

S. 362 — Provides for an income tax credit to an individual or business that constructs, purchases, or leases certain solar energy property and that places it in service in this state.

House Bills

H. 3009 — A House Resolution encouraging the South Carolina Congressional Delegation to update the 2009 study of feasibility of and potential impact of a flood reduction diversion canal in Horry County following Hurricane Florence.

H. 3029 — Requires the state executive committee to hear and decide protests and contests that may arise in the case of county officers and repeals §§ 7-17-530, 7-17-540, and 7-17-550 relating to hearings by county executive committees.

H. 3030 — Allows county employees who are authorized to issue parking violation tickets to also issue handicapped parking violation tickets.

H. 3031 — Changes the deadline for voter registration from 30 days to 20 days before an election.

H. 3032 — Requires the election of clerks of court be nonpartisan, provides for nonpartisan special elections when a vacancy occurs, and provides procedures for the nomination of candidates and the conduct of the nonpartisan elections.

H. 3033 — Deletes straight party ticket voting for general election ballots after July 1, 2019, generally.

H. 3034 — Requires the election of probate judges be nonpartisan and provides procedures for the nomination of candidates and the conduct of the nonpartisan elections.

H. 3035 — Provides that poll workers must be residents and registered electors of this state.

H. 3038 — Creates the “Poll Workers Compensation Study Committee.”

H. 3040 — Provides that the authority charged by law with conducting an election shall provide qualified electors with same day registration and voting procedures, provides that a qualified elector may cast a ballot during the seven day period before an election, and provides for the establishment of early voting locations in each county.

H. 3041 — Provides that state identification card applications or motor vehicle driver’s license applications, including renewals, serve as voter registration applications.

H. 3042 — Requires county councils to provide office space and appropriations for the operation of the county legislative delegation office.

H. 3043 — Requires voting machines have paper trails in service no later than the 2020 presidential primaries.

H. 3045 — Defines “independent expenditure committee” and “election communication.”

H. 3050 — Provides that the DMV will collect property taxes owed to counties when a person registers a vehicle.

H. 3052 — Provides that jury duty is not required on primary and general election dates.

H. 3062 — Names Chapter 27, Title 8 the “S.C. Whistleblower and Public Employee Protection Act,” and removes the one-year protection limitation.

H. 3065 — Increases civil jurisdiction from $7,500 to $15,000 (magistrates).

H. 3066 — Provides that a LEO or Prosecution agency may not charge or collect a fee for the destruction of arrest records for persons arrested as a result of mistaken identity.

H. 3073 — Allows clerks of court to carry a concealed weapon on duty.

H. 3076 — Increases the number of judges elected from the 1st and 8th Circuits.

H. 3078 — Adds that assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature occurs when a person injures a local law enforcement or correctional officer.

H. 3081 — Allows certified patients to use marijuana for medical purposes.

H. 3082 — Provides that certain local governing bodies may authorize the sale of liquor on Sundays under certain circumstances

H. 3087 — Provides that a county may not approve a plan, license, application, or permit of any kind to construct or use property or infrastructure to facilitate offshore seismic testing or the transportation or storage of offshore oil or gas.

H. 3091 — Allows counties to adopt and use voluntary inclusionary housing strategies to increase the availability of affordable housing.

H. 3097 — Prohibits a popularly elected public official from appointing a person who made a campaign contribution to them within the previous four years

H. 3101 — Enacts the “Interstate Medical Licensure Compact.”

H. 3103 — Provides procedures for law enforcement treatment of junk acquired by junk dealers that is believed to be stolen.

H. 3104 — Revises recordkeeping requirement of previous metals dealers.

H. 3106 — Provides that certain additional medical conditions must be presumed to be occupational diseases for workers’ compensation purposes for firefighters and modifies the definition of “injury” and “personal injury.”

H. 3108 — Requires that before taking office, public officials shall agree to forfeit retirement benefits if the official is convicted of certain crimes.

H. 3109 — Deposits a 7 percent fee from the sale of handguns in the “School Safety Fund” to fund school resource officers.  

H. 3111 — Makes a conforming change relating to DOT, and repeals sections relating to the creation and functions of DOT.

H. 3112 — Provides that the surviving spouse exemption for a subsequently acquired house applies to the surviving spouse regardless of the location of the original house.

H. 3114 — Sets the state’s minimum wage and provides that Sunday work must be compensated at a rate no less than minimum wage.

H. 3117 — Repeals Chapter 56 of Title 12 relating to Setoff Debt Collection and Repeals § 12-4-580 relating to DOR collecting debts on behalf of the counties.

H. 3122 — Allows a property tax exemption of 100 percent of the value subject to tax of an owner-occupied residence if the resident is 80 years old.

H. 3123 — Prohibits a county treasurer from refusing to accept full payment of property taxes on a motor vehicle.

H. 3126 — Creates the “South Carolina Flood Insurance Study Committee.”

H. 3127 — Establishes the Mold Abatement and Remediation Study Committee.

H. 3128 — Provides that the State Auditor will approve any auditor or auditing firm engaged by a county.

H. 3129 — Prohibits a candidate’s name from appearing on the ballot more than once.

H. 3130 — Increases the amount of the pension for certain members of the National Guard.

H. 3132 — Allows revenues to be expended for the control and repair of flooding and drainage at tourism areas.

H. 3137 — Sets the base of the LGF with a yearly increase that corresponds with the growth in the State General Fund up to 5 percent.

H. 3138 — Further defines who is a candidate and clarifies the types of prohibited expenses.

H. 3139 — Enacts the “South Carolina Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.”

H. 3143 — Provides that, for the purposes of making an award determination, a procurement officer will decrease a bidder’s price by 2 percent if the bid is submitted by a service-disabled Veteran’s business when the Veteran is a resident of this State.

H. 3147 — Enacts the” South Carolina State Employee Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.”

H. 3152 — Provides for county clerk of court and county register of deeds qualifications going forward and exempts current officer holders from the requirements.

H. 3161 — Provides that workers’ compensation commissioners must receive salaries equal to 85 percent of the salaries paid to circuit court judges.

H. 3162 — Provides that criminal cases in which the penalty does not exceed three years, rather than one year, may be transferred from General Sessions Court; keeps the $5,000 cap.

H. 3163 — Enacts the “Ban the Box Act,” by providing a job application cannot ask questions related to convictions of a crime, unless the crime directly relates to the position or license sought.

H. 3168 — Allows a municipality without an operating millage on January 1, 2019, or a municipality that incorporates after January 1, 2019, to impose an operating millage.

H. 3171 — Deletes the provision that restricts a qualified law enforcement officer from carrying a concealed weapon onto certain premises.

H. 3178 — Revises the cost and process of obtaining certain individual firefighter records and repeals sections relating to the duties of the State Fire Marshal.

H. 3179 — Establishes procedures for conducting elections by mail.

H. 3180 — Enacts the “South Carolina Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.”

H. 3185 — Deletes earnings limitation for retired members of the police officers retirement system returning to employment.

H. 3187 — Provides that a county may not prohibit vacation rentals or short-terms rentals.

H. 3188 — Provides that accommodations tax is not to be imposed on travel agents and intermediary online travel companies.

H. 3190 — Provides that a county may not impose a fine or penalty for late local hospitality tax payments received within seven days of the due date that exceeds 5 percent of the delinquent tax.

H. 3191 — Exempts certain school resource officers from the earnings limitation.

H. 3200 — Enacts the “South Carolina Lactation Support Act.”

H. 3201 — Provides that counties and school districts shall post certain information on their websites.

H. 3207 — Allows a property tax exemption of 100 percent of the value subject to tax of an owner-occupied residence if the resident is 70 years old and has an income of less than $50,000.

H. 3216 — Provides that, beginning on July 1, 2010, each county will have only one school district based on the area of each county.

H. 3217 — Sets the state’s base minimum wage and implements an adjusted minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over a three year period.

H. 3226 — Allows proceedings to be held in magistrates court if the value of property seized does not exceed $7,500.

H. 3230 — Requires a county grand jury to maintain a record of all proceedings except when the grand jury is deliberating or voting, and prohibits the use of third party summary, hearsay evidence as the only evidence presented to a county grand jury for indictment.

H. 3232 — Provides that criminal cases in which the penalty does not exceed three years, rather than one year, may be transferred from General Sessions Court; removes the $5,000 cap. Similar: 3162

H. 3236 — Provides that the sale of alcoholic liquors may be authorized by referendum.

H. 3238 — Provides for qualification requirements for a person elected as coroner.

H. 3240 — Prohibits the possession, distribution, or manufacture of a device or component that accelerates the rate of fire of a semiautomatic weapon.

H. 3243 — Provides for a flat fee of $25 for certain documents filed or recorded with the register of deeds or clerks of court, and a flat fee of $10 for certain other documents filed or recorded in those offices.

H. 3246 — Advances the Eastern Standard Time by one hour beginning at 2:00 a.m. beginning on the second Tuesday of March 2019 and thereafter making this the permanent standard time for the state.

H. 3248 — Requires the clerks of court and magistrates to report to SLED within 10 days the disposition of certain types of cases and orders within specified periods of time.

H. 3254 — Allows the spouses and widowed spouses of wartime veterans to receive free tuition at public institutions of learning in this state.

H. 3258 — Enacts the “South Carolina School Safe Space Act.”

H. 3259 — Removes the Freedom of Information Act exemption for members of the General Assembly and their immediate staff with some exceptions.

H. 3260 — Provides qualifications for the offices of clerk of court and register of deeds and exempts those currently serving in those offices from these requirements.

H. 3261 — Enacts the “Safe and Supportive School Environment Act.”

H. 3263 — Enacts the “Armed Service Members and Spouses Professional and Occupational Licensing Act.”

H. 3264 — Authorizes all elected public officials to conduct unannounced visits to any public schools located within the boundaries of the districts where they were elected.

H. 3265 — Enacts the “South Carolina Public Utility Employee Whistleblower Protection Act.”

H. 3266 — Establishes an early voting period beginning 30 days before an election and ending three days before the election.

H. 3268 — Allows a marriage license to be issued to minors not younger than 16 years of age in the case of a pregnancy or birth of a child.

H. 3272 — Enacts the “Put Patients First Act,” authorizing registered patients to use marijuana for medical purposes.

H. 3274 — Prohibits counties from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products.

H. 3275 — Authorizes law enforcement officers to seize a person’s firearms and ammunition if the person poses a risk of imminent personal injury to himself or other individuals.

H. 3290 — Prohibits a law enforcement agency from purchasing cell-site simulator technology from a company that requires the purchaser to enter into a nondisclosure agreement.

H. 3292 — Enacts the “South Carolina Access to Healthcare Act.”

H. 3297 — Among other things, eliminates the exception that allows a child to be placed in adult jail if they are being tried as an adult, and decreases the length of time a child may be held in a juvenile detention center for committing a status offense or violating a related court order.  

H. 3300 — Allows a person under the age of 21 who is serving a driver’s license suspension for a DUI to enroll in the ignition interlock device program.

H. 3302 — Provides for supplemental appropriations for the Department of Administration to purchase electronic voting machines that produce a paper audit trail.

H. 3303 — Provides that certain persons who have been wrongfully convicted and imprisoned may recover the monetary value of the loss sustained through their wrongful conviction and imprisonment.

H. 3304 — Provides that beginning with the 2022 general election cycle, all voting machines will use a nonproprietary, publicly owned, paper-based system that uses the paper ballot as the ballot of record and produces an individual voter-verified permanent paper record for each vote casted.

H. 3305 — Prohibits a member of or a candidate for a board or commission elected or appointed by the General Assembly from making a contribution to a member of the General Assembly.

H. 3307 — Requires SLED to establish and maintain a case tracking system and searchable website that includes certain information about property seized by law enforcement agencies.

H. 3308 — Makes it unlawful to smoke a tobacco product while driving a motor vehicle with a child that is five years old or younger.

H. 3309 — Requires SLED to create and operate a statewide sexual assault kit tracking system.

H. 3311 — Requires drivers and passengers in a motor vehicle to disclose to a law enforcement officer the existence of all firearms located in the vehicle during a traffic stop.

H. 3312 — Provides for various changes to provisions of the law regarding the suspension or revocation of a person’s driver’s license as result of a DUI conviction.

H. 3314 — Repeals § 56-5-2570 regarding the parking of an unattended motor vehicle.

H. 3315 — Prohibits the smoking of a tobacco product while operating a motor vehicle in which a minor is a passenger.

H. 3316 — Requires all law enforcement officers to undergo mental health evaluation before they can become certified or recertified.

H. 3317 — Requires certified law enforcement officers to annually obtain education credits in diversity training.

H. 3318 — Allows a person registered as a sex offender to petition the court after 10 years to terminate the registration requirement under certain circumstances.

H. 3319 — Requires the Department of Corrections and the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services to inform a person convicted of a felony or offense against the election laws, who has served their sentence including any probation and parole requirements, that they are eligible to register to vote.

H. 3321 — Provides that an individual who fails to pay a civil fine for not filing the ethics report or statement with the Ethics Commission, or who fails to file a report, is ineligible to become a candidate for local office  until the penalty has been paid or the report has been filed.

H. 3322 — Enacts a comprehensive crime bill.

H. 3323 — Requires public school districts to ensure the continuous presence of a resource officer in public schools during regular operating hours.

H. 3326 — Makes it an unlawful employment practice to refuse to hire someone because of their credit history.

H. 3332 — Increases the amount of the Homestead Exemption from the first $50,000 to the first $75,000 of the fair market value of the homestead.

H. 3333 — Provides for certain disclaimers on public communications disseminated by an agency funded in whole or part by federal or state funds.

H. 3335 — Provides that daylight savings time should be the year-round standard of time for the entire state should the federal laws be amended to allow states to observe daylight savings time year round.

H. 3336 — Provides an income tax credit to an individual or business that constructs, purchases, or leases certain solar energy property and places it in service in this state.

H. 3339 — Prohibits a telecommunications or internet provider that has entered in a franchise agreement, right of way agreement, or other contract with a county from collecting personal information from a customer using the telecommunications or internet provider without the express written approval from the customer.

H. 3341 — Revises the definitions of lobbying, lobbyist, public body, public employee, and public official.

H. 3342 — Enacts the “South Carolina Net Neutrality Preservation Act.”

H. 3345 — Provides that a public utility may not expand, adjust, or modify its use of an existing easement or right of way to conform to a future need without the written agreement of the property owner.

H. 3352 — Provides that workers’ compensation settlement agreements are unenforceable to the extent they are conditioned upon the release of certain legal claims by the injured employee or his dependents.

H. 3355 — Creates  the offense of driving while using an electronic device.

H. 3356 — Requires a bystander to remain at least 12 feet away from a law enforcement officer when the officer is apprehending, arresting, searching, or consulting an individual when the bystander is recording the actions of the officer.

H. 3360 — Makes it unlawful for a sex offender to work or perform volunteer work with or around minor children under certain circumstances unless approved by a circuit court order that requires the offender’s employment or volunteer service be recorded in the offender’s sex offender registry file.

H. 3363 — Allows a concealed weapons permit holder to carry a weapon openly on their person.

H. 3366 — Provides that only certain governmental entities may use an automatic license plate reader system and how the information obtained through the system may be used.

H. 3367 — Prohibits a law enforcement officer from using excessive restraint when detaining a person or unreasonable force while making an arrest.

H. 3368 — Prohibits law enforcement agencies from using or purchasing cell-site simulator technology or devices.

H. 3369 — Repeals § 20-1-300 relating to the issuance of a marriage license to minors when the female is pregnant or has given birth to a child.

H. 3370 — Prohibits employees, agents, and volunteers of nonprofit victim assistance organizations from testifying in actions or proceedings about communications made by victim clients or records kept during the course of providing services to clients.

H. 3371 — Prohibits all stores in this state from providing single use plastic bags to customers.

H. 3372 — Requires a private or public utility or municipality operating a public water system to provide the average purification levels on the customers water bill.

H. 3373 — Provides immunity from civil liability to a first responder for damage resulting from providing first aid services to a domestic animal in the course of responding to an emergency.

H. 3375 — Authorizes a homeowner or tenant to display a political sign within a certain time frame.

H. 3376 — Prohibits a homeowners association from enforcing a lien or imposing a penalty for regime fees not paid while a homeowner who is a service member is deployed or mobilized outside of this state.

H. 3378 — Authorizes a sheriff or local government to enforce the provisions of the law pertaining to abandoned watercraft and outdoor motors.

H. 3380 — Requires all mortgages executed after June 1, 2019, to include a clause setting forth the name of the party who prepared the mortgage or the attorney licensed in SC who assisted in the closing.

H. 3382 — Enacts the “Environmental Bill of Rights.”

H. 3383 — For purposes of the provisions relating to sharing the state forest land revenues with the counties, excludes the proceeds from land rentals and wildlife management area payments from the proceeds to be shared with the counties.

H. 3384 — Authorizes a circuit solicitor to designate a summary court judge to oversee a pretrial intervention program for persons who commit summary court offenses.

H. 3385 — Authorizes each circuit solicitor to establish a deferred prosecution programs for persons who commit summary court offenses.

H. 3387 — Provides that a violation of any provision of Chapter 13, Title 8 is sufficient cause for the removal of a public official, public member, or public employee from his office, position, or employment.

H. 3390 — Amends the Constitution to create an independent citizen’s redistricting commission to be known as the “South Carolina Citizen’s Redistricting Commission.”

H. 3395 — Provides a base state minimum wage and schedule to gradually implement and adjust the minimum wage to $12 an hour over a three year period.

H. 3401 — Creates the “Freedom of Employment Contract Act.”

H. 3404 — Allows people who are lawfully in this state and not precluded from establishing residency under the Federal Immigration law may establish domicile in this state for the purpose of receiving in-state tuition rates and fees and state supported scholarships and grants.

H. 3407 — Authorizes the director of the Department of Insurance to promulgate an emergency regulation concerning the payment of a claim after the Governor declares a state of emergency.

H. 3409 — Amends the Constitution to allow for the establishment of pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, sports betting on professional sports, and casino activities in specified areas of the state.

H. 3410 — Authorizes a county to impose a community charge on nonprofit hospitals and institutions of higher learning.

H. 3411 — Allows the Department of Revenue to implement a system of filing and indexing liens which is accessible to the public over the internet or through other means.

H. 3412 — Enacts the “Sales and Use Tax Collection Protection Act.”

H. 3414 — Provides for a zero base budget process beginning with fiscal year 2020-2021.

H. 3415 — Provides that the gross proceeds of sales or the sales price of any device, equipment, or machinery actually used in the production of electric or hybrid motor vehicles is exempt from the state sales tax.

H. 3416 — Provides that the gross proceeds of sales or the sales price of machinery, machine tools, and parts of them, used in the production of electricity from a renewable energy source is exempt from the state sales tax.

H. 3417 — Establishes the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit within the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED).

H. 3419 — Changes the definition of “alternative nicotine product.”

H. 3420 — Prohibits minors from entering retail establishments that primarily sell tobacco products, alternative nicotine products, or both.

H. 3421 — Provides that the measures to strengthen age verification to prohibit internet sales of alternative nicotine products to minors also applies to the internet sale of tobacco products.

H. 3423 — Allows the Department of Corrections to conditionally release an inmate who is serving a sentence for the possession, manufacture, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance, and offer the inmate the opportunity to enroll in a chemical dependency treatment program.

H. 3424 — Prohibits a detention facility from denying access to legal counsel to an inmate when requested under certain circumstances.

H. 3425 — Provides that all testimony at a parole hearing must be taken under oath, and that potential parolees being considered for parole have the right to confront any witness that appears before the Probation, Pardon and Parole Board.

H. 3426 — Allows a person applying for a pardon for certain offenses to request the Probation, Pardon and Parole Board recommend the expungement of criminal records related to the offenses.

H. 3427 — Prohibits a person from being placed under custodial arrest when they are charged with certain traffic offenses for which a Uniform Traffic Ticket is issued.

H. 3429 — Prohibits a detention facility from intercepting, recording, monitoring, or divulging any communication between an inmate and his attorney.

H. 3430 — Provides a procedure for juvenile sex offenders to have their name removed from the sex offender registry.

H. 3432 — Establishes the “South Carolina Citizens Redistricting Commission.”

H. 3434 — Requires a local public official whose office is declared vacant due to a criminal conviction during the official’s term of office to reimburse the county elections authority for the costs of holding a primary, runoff primary, or special election to fill the office.

H. 3435 — Requires the Ethics Commission to establish a new online campaign account and monitoring and auditing department.

H. 3438 — Makes the Division of Veterans Affairs a division of the Executive Branch.

H. 3439 — Enacts the “Local Government Efficiency Act.”

H. 3440 — Enacts the “South Carolina Net Neutrality Protection and Maintenance Act.”

H. 3442 — Increases the penalties for the obstruction of a highway by a railroad car, locomotive, or other object.

H. 3448 — Creates the Office of Freedom of Information Act Review within the Administrative Law Court.

H. 3450 — Changes the age of separate confinement for juvenile offenders from under the age of 17 to under the age of 18.

H. 3451 — Prohibits the sale, furnishing, or provision of cigarettes or alternative nicotine products to a person under the age of 21.

H. 3454 — Provides that failure of emergency medical responder agencies and emergency medical technicians to maintain proper amounts of pediatric supplies and oxygen for use in emergency transport may be considered gross negligence and certain financial award limitations do not apply in a civil action.

H. 3456 — Enacts the “South Carolina Constitutional Carry Act of 2019.”

H. 3457 — Authorizes a municipality without an operating millage on January 1, 2019, or that incorporates after January 1, 2019, to impose an operating millage.

H. 3459 — Provides that intentional misrepresentation of a service animal is a misdemeanor.

H. 3460 — Authorizes a county to impose a one-time impact fee on a private developer for each new residential or commercial unit constructed by the developer within the county.

H. 3463 — Provides that no job application may include questions related to conviction of a crime unless the crime for which the person was convicted directly relates to the position of employment sought.
 
H. 3465 — Enacts the “Stop the School House to Jail House Pipeline Act.”

H. 3467 — Provides that the minimum wage for this state is the greater value of either $13 or the minimum wage set by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

H. 3468 — Creates the address confidentiality program in the Attorney General’s Office to protect the addresses and telephone numbers of victims of domestic violence, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking.

H. 3470 — Prohibits counties from approving plans or ordinances that would deter, prohibit, or impede the construction or use of infrastructure used to facilitate Atlantic Ocean marine seismic testing to locate reserves of oil and natural gas.

H. 3471 — Prohibits counties from approving plans or ordinances that would deter, prohibit, or impede the construction or use of infrastructure used to facilitate Atlantic Ocean marine seismic testing to locate reserves of oil and natural gas or facilitate the transportation or storage of offshore oil or gas onto land or waters of this state.

H. 3472 — Authorizes the Attorney General and Assistant Attorney Generals to carry concealed weapons while on duty.

H. 3483 — Repeals § 3 of Act 138 of 2016, which would have automatically repealed the statutory provisions requiring certain coal combustion residuals be placed in a Class 3 landfill.