The General Assembly officially began the 2018 Legislative Session on Tuesday. As the second year of a two-year session, all legislation introduced last year is still in play. This week the House took up the Governor’s vetoes on the budget. The Senate will take up the vetoes the House overrode next week. Most non-budget discussion regarded Dominion Energy’s proposed purchase of SCANA.
SCAC Legislative Program – Now is the Time to Reach Out to Legislators!
You received SCAC’s Policy Positions for the 2018 Session last week. This contains the legislative policy positions adopted by the Legislative Committee. The policy positions are also available on the web 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 contact from someone who lives in their district.
When SCAC staff speaks to legislators on an issue, the end result is almost always more favorable if they have already been contacted by their local officials. It is also important that legislators hear the details of how a bill will impact their constituents from county officials so they understand the local impact of legislation.
The 2018 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!
2018 SCAC Mid-Year Conference & Institute of Government — February 21 and 22
The SCAC Mid-Year Conference will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Columbia on Wednesday, February 21. Copies of the registration material and conference agenda are available on the SCAC website, where you can also register online. The program will include a legislative panel and other timely topics.
Following lunch, buses will provide transportation to the State House for visits with legislators. The legislative reception will be Wednesday evening at 5:30 p.m.
In an effort to increase the legislators’ participation in the Legislative Reception, the location has been changed to the Palmetto Club in downtown Columbia.
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 22 and include: Strategic Planning, Public Speaking, Economic Development, and The Policy Role of Council.
The Council Chairperson's Workshop will be offered free-of-charge on Thursday, February 22, 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
State revenues are expected to grow about 4.1 percent this year. Unfortunately, there is a potential shortfall of $45.8 million in FY18. The plan is to address this shortfall during the budget process because a reduced estimate would have triggered an across the board cut.
Currently, the Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) plans to certify around $304.1 million in increased General Funds for the General Assembly. Almost $92 million of this will be committed to cover the State employer’s share of the State Health Plan ($60 million) and the required retirement systems increases ($32 million).
The Ways and Means subcommittee which initially considers funding of the LGF is the Legislative, Executive, and Local Government subcommittee. This subcommittee is comprised of Reps. Bill Herbkersman, Chair; Alan Clemmons; and Todd Rutherford.
This subcommittee heard from SCAC and MASC regarding the LGF on Tuesday. Both SCAC and MASC expressed support for SCAC’s position regarding funding of the LGF.
Please contact the members of the Legislative, Executive, and Local Government Ways and Means subcommittee and ask that they increase the LGF by the same percentage as this year’s General Fund growth!
SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF is as follows:
“Support amending the Local Government Fund Formula to set the base funding level at $223.2 million with a yearly increase in the fund that corresponds with the growth in the State General Fund up to 5 percent. Also, standardize a list of state mandates that all counties are responsible for in order to quantify the need for the LGF.”
Representative Ott has introduced legislation which would implement this position in the House. Ask your House member to co-sponsor this bill and seek its passage through Ways and Means!
Other Legislation of Interest
Mistreatment of Police or Service Animals — S. 6 and H. 3243. This legislation increases the penalties for mistreatment, injuring, or killing a police dog or horse. It also makes it a felony to kill a service animal. A House Judiciary subcommittee took up H. 3243, increased the penalties further, and then incorporated those changes into the Senate companion bill, S.6. That bill was reported out favorably with an amendment.
Shelter Standards — S. 841. Section 12 of this bill would require county animal shelters to meet various standards related to housing dogs and cats. The standards range from requiring specific spacing and temperature ranges to providing quality time and enrichment for animals housed at the shelter. The standards also require county animal control officers to inspect and keep written reports on every animal shelter within the county. SCAC opposes this section in the interest of Home Rule. S. 841 was introduced in the Senate this week and placed on the calendar without reference. S. 841 is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.
Animal Facilities — H. 3929. This bill establishes specific requirements for the review and appeal of decisions by DHEC regarding the permitting of certain animal facilities, other than swine facilities, which are regulated in another section of the Code. The bill sets forth setbacks, buffers, and other requirements that must be met in order for DHEC to approve a permit. The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee gave H. 3929 a favorable report as amended and the bill is pending second reading on the Senate calendar.
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."
S. 755 — Requires sheriffs to maintain at least one onsite drop-off box throughout the year that is available to the general public for the purpose of disposing of controlled substances.
S. 757 — Requires the Senate Committee on Interstate Cooperation to conduct a study on the feasibility of the state exempting itself from the provisions of daylight savings time.
S. 759 — Authorizes a property tax exemption for the dwelling house and one acre of land for a person with a brain or spinal cord injury.
S. 761 — Authorizes the Department of Administration to study the requirements of a single, standardized, fully integrated paperless incident and case management system to be used by the state’s solicitors, public defenders, courts, and law enforcement agencies.
S. 762 — Enacts the “Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact Act.”
S. 764 — Authorizes the Ethics Commission to access a candidate’s income tax returns by a two-thirds vote of the Commission during a pending investigation or open complaint.
S. 765 — Redefines lobbyist as any person who is employed, appointed, or retained, with or without compensation, by another person to influence certain official actions by direct or indirect communication with public officials or public employees.
S. 766 — Provides that all contributions received by candidates shall be deposited into an interest on campaign account known as an “IOCA” that benefits the Ethics Commission.
S. 769 — Authorizes a concealed permit holder to carry a concealed weapon on school property leased by a church for church services of official church activities if the church provides express permission to the permit holder.
S. 773 — Increases the penalties for the offense of failure to stop a motor vehicle signaled by a law enforcement vehicle.
S. 774 — Repeals §§ 58-36-60 and 58-36-110, both relating to the notice of intent to excavate or demolish.
S. 775 — Provides that for counties that have adopted the Council-Administrator form of government, the terms of the members shall begin on the third business day following the certification of their election.
S. 776 — Requires SLED to compile and maintain a report listing every county that is in compliance with the state statutes regarding immigration.
S. 782 — Authorizes a county’s legislative delegation to remove the Governor’s appointment authority over the recreation commission and devolve the power to the county.
S. 783 — Allows a person to have an additional expungement if they have had a prior expungement pursuant to § 34-11-90(e).
S. 788 — Repeals § 10-1-165, which prohibits the relocation, removal, or renaming of certain monuments and memorials located on public property.
S. 790 — Exempts certain political subdivisions from the provisions of § 10-1-165, which prohibits the relocation, removal, or renaming of certain monuments and memorials located on public property.
S. 791 — Enacts the “Multifamily Dwelling Safety Act”, which requires the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation to adopt a multifamily dwelling balcony code and to conduct periodic inspections.
S. 792 — Provides that aircraft property taxes shall be credited to the State Aviation Fund.
S. 793 — Enacts the “Property Tax Procedure Act.”
S. 800 — Enacts the “South Carolina Economic Development Tax Incentive Evaluation Act.”
S. 801 — Provides for the appointment of chief magistrates by the senatorial delegation of each county.
S. 804 — Makes it unlawful to possess within or bring telecommunication devices upon the grounds of a correctional facility .
S. 806 — Requires the Ethics Commission to establish a new online campaign account monitoring and auditing department.
S. 810 — Authorizes counties to enact ordinances requiring the payment of taxes or fees related to pawn transactions or purchases.
S. 818 — Changes the primary date for candidates from the second Tuesday in June to the first Tuesday in May.
S. 820 — For purposes of counties issuing temporary permits to sell beer and wine off premises regardless of the day or hour of sales upon a referendum vote, amends § 61-6-2010 by deleting a prior reference to a certain date.
S. 822 — Deletes the earnings limitation under the retirement system for certified educators returning to employment, and for police officers under the police officer retirement system who return to work.
S. 829 — Creates a study committee to look at Act 388 and review the effects it has had on the various classes of property, the impact on school funding, and on property taxpayers.
S. 833 — Authorizes a county to adopt an ordinance requiring residential and commercial property owners to keep their lots free of rubbish.
S. 837 — Provides for a tax credit equal to 20 percent of new tax revenue paid by a taxpayer who has made a qualifying capital investment at their place of business.
S. 838 — Requires a provision in the annual budget bill that directs the manner in which funds are to be expended to specifically state the source of the funds, the authorized expenditures, and any program for which funds will be reduced as a result of the provision.
S. 854 — Provides that for purposes of disability retirement, members of the State Retirement System or the Police Officers Retirement System are considered to be in service on the date the application for disability is filed if the last day the member was in the system was no later than a year from the date of filing.
S. 864 — Revises the filing and filing fees that may be charged in the Register of Deeds or Clerks of Court.
S. 866 — Provides that the tax credits for the purpose of solar machinery and equipment shall be repealed on January 1, 2029.
S. 867 — For purposes of statements of economic interest, requires the name of each organization which paid for or reimbursed actual expenses of the filer, including payments or reimbursements by the organization to the government entity with which the filer serves or is employed, or for the filer’s attendance at an event based upon the filer’s office or position.
S. 874 — Adds organ procurement organization vehicles to the definition of authorized emergency vehicles.
S. 876 — Allows the Department of Public Safety to impose a $200 fine in addition to the penalties already provided in statute for driving over certain speeds on two-lane and four-lane highways.
S. 889 — Requires the ordinance for a capital project sales tax to specify whether the purpose of the tax proceeds would include economic development projects such as infrastructure and land purchases.
H. 4381 — Authorizes the Legislative Ethics Committee of the Senate and House of Representatives as the registration authority and records custodian for legislative special interest caucuses.
H. 4382 — Authorizes a joint resolution to provide that a statewide advisory referendum must be conducted at the 2018 general election on the question of whether SC should no longer observe daylight saving time.
H. 4392 — Enacts the “Multifamily Dwelling Safety Act” which sets minimum code standards for balcony railings that are constructed primarily of wood and are located in multifamily dwellings.
H. 4396 — Creates the Office of Freedom of Information Act Review within the Administrative Law Court.
H. 4398 — Repeals § 10-1-165 relating to the prohibition on the relocation, removal, or renaming of certain monuments and memorials erected on public property.
H. 4402 — Establishes the “Witness Protection Act.”
H. 4403 — For purposes of trespassing and the posting of notice of trespassing, provides an alternative method of posting notice by placing clearly visible purple-painted boundaries.
H. 4404 — Authorizes the issuance of certain ID cards to qualified retired law enforcement officers and provides for the circumstance under which they may carry a concealed weapon.
H. 4405 — Requires drivers to yield to a physician responding to an emergency while driving a private passenger car equipped with a flashing green light on the dash board in the same manner as they do to emergency and law enforcement vehicles.
H. 4407 — Provides for penalties for the unlawful interference with a road or street identification sign.
H. 4409 — Provides that a church that allows a concealed permit holder to carry a weapon upon its premises is not civilly or criminally liable in the event there is an incident on the premises involving the permit holder.
H. 4411 — Repeals § 48-39-40 relating to the Coastal Zone Management Appellate Panel.
H. 4416 — Requires all political subdivisions of the state not subject to periodic reapportionment to be reapportioned to a population variance of less than 10 percent within three years of the latest census.
H. 4418 — Requires the Election Commission to amend the voter application form to allow a registrant to voluntarily disclose their political party affiliation and to maintain a record of those that disclose their affiliation.
H. 4424 — Provides that is illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute bump stocks or trigger cranks to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic firearm.
H. 4427 — Enacts the “South Carolina Government Efficiency Act.”
H. 4429 — Provides that a bill that requires a fiscal impact statement must also include any estimated cost savings or offsets available.
H. 4430 — Allows a taxpayer to appeal the appraised value of a motor vehicle by submitting an appraisal of the motor vehicle by an authorized dealer.
H. 4435 — Enacts the “South Carolina Dreamers Act of 2018.”
H. 4442 — Provides that an employee may be granted a specified amount of paid leave time by their employer to attend certain elementary and secondary school conferences and activities.
H. 4443 — Expands the definition of ‘candidate’ to also include a person that maintains an open bank account containing campaign contributions.
H. 4444 — 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 official.
H. 4451 — Provides that in order for a homeowner to receive the homestead exemption, the home must also meet all of the requirements of the special assessment ratio tax of 4 percent and must be currently receiving the special assessment.
H. 4456 — Creates an independent redistricting commission.
H. 4458 — Expands the offense of dumping litter on private and public property to include cigarette butts and cigarette component litter, as well as deceased animals.
H. 4463 — Creates the offense of the unlawful discharge of a firearm in unincorporated areas without appropriate safety measures.
H. 4464 — Requires an owner or person in lawful possession of a firearm to report the loss or theft of the weapon to the appropriate local law enforcement agency.
H. 4465 — Requires the Department of Transportation to notify, in writing, all residential households within a 10 mile radius of a proposed road closure as well as the legislative delegation who represent the county in which the proposed road closure is located.
H. 4466 — Authorizes a county to adopt an ordinance to regulate the operation of certain unlicensed vehicles within its jurisdiction that are used for rental purposes.
H. 4469 — Provides that employees of a law enforcement agency who regularly issue parking violation tickets may also issue handicapped parking violation tickets.
H. 4470 — Creates the “Your Rights Under South Carolina Law” document to be issued simultaneously with a uniform traffic ticket.
H. 4471 — Creates a joint study committee to review state law and make recommendations on which traffic violations should be civil violations.
H. 4472 — Provides that a law enforcement officer who is directing or escorting a funeral procession is immune from liability as if they were performing other official duties.
H. 4480 — Creates the offense of driving under the influence of an electronic device.
H. 4481 — Prohibits an inmate who participates in the prison industries program and who is paid less than the federally established minimum wage from having part of the cost for room and board deducted from his wages.
H. 4484 — Allows for the corroboration of evidence in certain divorce actions through affidavits.
H. 4486 — Enacts the “Recognition of Emergency Medical Services Personnel Licensure Interstate Compact Act.”
H. 4487 — Provides a process for DHEC to schedule certain controlled substances on an emergency basis and removes DHEC from the enforcement of drug laws and transfers that function along with the agents to SLED.
H. 4488 — Authorizes coroners and medical examiners to have access to data maintained in the prescription monitoring program in certain circumstances.
H. 4496 — Requires SLED to prepare and maintain a report of all counties that are in compliance with the state immigrations laws and withholds the Local Government Fund from any county found to be noncompliant.
H. 4500 — Requires the Ethics Commission to establish a new online campaign account monitoring and auditing department and requires all candidates to maintain their campaign accounts in financial institutions with online banking. The Ethics Commission must have access to the online banking information.
H. 4502 — Requires a public official whose office has been vacated because of a criminal conviction to reimburse the appropriate state or local election office for the cost of conducting an election to fill the vacated office.
H. 4503 — Prohibits a county from using the at-large or plurality at-large method to choose more than 50 percent of its council members.
H. 4504 — Changes the date voter registration books must be closed before an election from 30 days to 24 days.
H. 4505 — Establishes standardized provisions for municipal candidate filing.
H. 4506 — Allows poll managers to serve anywhere in the state as long they are registered to vote.
H. 4507 — Prohibits a county from enacting an ordinance that provides conditions of employment that exceed or conflict with federal or state law relating to scheduling practices.
H. 4508 — Authorizes a county legislative delegation to remove for cause a member of county board of registration and elections whose appointment the delegation recommended.
H. 4511 — Increases the fines for the obstruction of a highway by a railroad car, locomotive, or other object.
H. 4513 — For purposes of a horizontal property regime, requires the annual review of the value of an individual apartment in relation to the value of the whole property based on county tax records.
H. 4518 — Prohibits the transfer of seized assets from state law enforcement agencies to federal agencies without a court order.
H. 4520 — Requires all mortgages executed after June 1, 2018, to include a clause setting forth the name of the party who prepared the mortgage.
H. 4521 — Authorizes a court to exercise its contempt powers when a person is going to or returning from any court.
H. 4524 — Allows a taxpayer a tax credit for the installation of a diaper changing station at their business location.
H. 4525 — Provides that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Training Council is authorized to approve aptitude testing and minimum test scores to serve as a prerequisite for admission into a basic training program at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
H. 4526 — Requires that all defendants in the summary courts of the state facing criminal charges with the possibility of imprisonment must be informed of their right to counsel.
H. 4528 — Affirms that the Greenville Health System’s governing board has the authority to create a health care system that meets its obligations and enter into contracts with other legal entities for strategic and operation management.
H. 4530 — Provides that if a qualifying charitable organization acquires property that will be exempt from taxes, the exemption takes effect as soon as the organization acquires the property.
H. 4534 — Authorizes counties to enact ordinances requiring the payment of fees and taxes on pawn transactions and purchases.
H. 4591 — For purposes of the state procurement code, provides that a business owned by a service-disabled veteran that resides in this state shall receive a 5 percent preference through the use of set-asides on contract awards.
H. 4593 — Enacts the “Rural Revitalization Act.”
H. 4594 — For purposes of the statutory provisions involving cruelty to animals and abandonment, defines the term “dog shelter.”
H. 4598 — Allows a concealed permit holder to carry a weapon on school property leased by a church for church services if the church provides express permission to the permit holder.
H. 4600 — Authorizes certain community organizations to distribute opioid antidotes to a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose.
H. 4610 — Revises the freeholder procedure for the creation of a special tax district.
H. 4614 — Enacts the “South Carolina Net Neutrality Preservation Act.”