Friday Report - May 5, 2023
The House spent most of the week in subcommittees and committees to advance bills to the floor prior to sine die Thursday, May 11. The Senate spent most of the week debating bills on the floor but also heard testimony in subcommittees on several bills relevant to counties. Bills of interest are discussed below:
Revenue, Finance and Economic Development
Commercial Solar Property Tax Exemption – H. 3948. As drafted, this bill would have provided a property tax exemption on renewable energy resource property including solar energy equipment, facilities, or devices that support, collect, generate, transfer, monitor, or store thermal or electric energy, no matter the operating power of the property. SCAC worked with representatives of the solar industry on an amendment to limit the exemption to residential and commercial rooftop solar panels and to ensure that solar farms were not given the exemption. Under the amendment, only those customer-generator resource properties that operate at a capacity of less than 1,000 kilowatts, are intended primarily to offset part or all of the customer-generator’s own electrical energy requirements and meet the other requirements of the definition of customer-generator provided for in Section 58-40-10(C) of the Code would qualify for the exemption. The House Ways and Means Committee adopted the subcommittee amendment and gave the bill a favorable report, as amended, and the bill will be placed on the House calendar.
Local Sales Tax Workforce Housing – S. 284. This bill would allow local accommodations and hospitality tax proceeds, as well as a special fund for tourism, to be used for workforce housing. It would also allow local governments to issue bonds to finance workforce housing projects. Proceeds used for workforce housing projects must promote home ownership. Also, if the local government intends to use the funds for workforce housing, the governing body must prepare a housing impact analysis prior to the second reading of the enabling ordinance. All local governments that have adopted a local comprehensive plan must solicit input for their analysis required in Section 6-29-510(D)(6) of the Code from homebuilders, developers, contractors, and housing finance experts. The bill also creates a Land Development Study Committee to examine current and future methods to plan for and manage land development in the state. The study committee would be composed of three members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate and three members of the House appointed by the Speaker of the House. The study committee would seek assistance from several governmental agencies and private organizations, including SCAC.
A House Ways and Means subcommittee adopted an amendment that:
- Deletes the reference to the Hospitality Tax in the bill entirely so that only Accommodations Tax revenues could be used for workforce housing;
- Imposes an annual 15 percent cap on the amount of Accommodations Tax revenues that a local government could devote to workforce housing;
- Includes a sunset of seven years on the ability of a local government to use Accommodations Tax revenues for workforce housing; and
- Requires that on or before the sixth year of the Act’s effective date, the directors of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, the Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture shall issue a report to the General Assembly on the effect S. 284 has had on tourism and workforce housing. The purpose of the report is to assist the General Assembly in deciding whether or not to reauthorize local governments to continue to use the revenues for workforce housing after the sunset of the bill.
The House Ways and Means Committee adopted the subcommittee amendment, made an additional amendment involving the composition of the Land Development Study Committee, and gave S. 284 a favorable report, as amended. S. 284 will be placed on the House calendar.
Short-Term Rentals – H. 3253. As originally drafted, this bill stated that a local government may not prohibit short-term rentals of a residential dwelling through an ordinance, resolution, or regulation. If a county or municipality violates this provision, it would not be able to assess or collect the 6 percent property tax assessment ratio on the property, receive any distributions from the Local Government Fund, or receive any other funds pursuant to the State Aid to Subdivisions Act until the ordinance, resolution, or regulation is repealed. Stakeholders, including SCAC, met over the past few weeks to discuss concerns with the language of the bill. As a result, an amendment was introduced in a House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs subcommittee. The amendment would provide for the collection of local Accommodations Taxes from the short-term rentals and would limit the restrictions on a local government’s ability to regulate short term rentals. Most importantly, the amendment removed the draconian penalty provisions contained in the original bill. While the amendment was not ideal, SCAC urged the subcommittee to adopt the amendment as a working document while stakeholders continue to meet. However, the subcommittee adjourned before taking any action on the bill or the amendment.
Continuing Resolution – H. 4299. This bill, also referred to as a “continuing resolution,” would provide authority for the operation of state government and the payment expenses at the current funding levels approved in Act 239 of 2022 in the event that the 2023-24 state fiscal year were to begin without the passage of the general appropriations act. The House gave H. 4299 second and third readings and the bill was placed on the Senate calendar.
Assessment Ratio following Owner’s Death – H. 3072. This bill would provide that when an owner receiving the 4 percent special assessment rate dies, the property would continue to receive the special assessment rate until the decedent’s estate is closed, upon the recording of a deed or deed of distribution out of the estate, or after December 31 of the year following the date of death, whichever occurs first. The extension does not apply if the property is rented for more than 72 days in or following the calendar year of death or if a change of use occurs. The House Ways and Means Committee gave the bill a favorable report, as updated by a technical amendment, and H. 3072 will be placed on the House calendar.
Police Officers Retirement Earnings Limitation – H. 3425. This bill would remove the earnings limitation for a retiree of the Police Officers Retirement System if the employee is separated from covered employment for at least 12 months before returning to covered employment or if the retiree returns to employment in a critical needs law enforcement position. Also, the bill would remove the earnings limitation for a retiree of the South Carolina Retirement System if the employee is separated from covered employment for at least 12 months before returning to covered employment. The House Ways and Means Committee made a technical amendment to the bill, gave H. 3425 a favorable report as amended, and the bill will be placed on the House calendar.
Disabled Veterans Property Tax – H. 3116. This bill would provide that a veteran of the US Armed Forces, who is permanently and totally disabled because of a service-connected disability and who files with the department and meets the other requirements of Section 12-37-220(B)(1) may immediately claim the tax exemption for the entire year in which the disability occurs. Also, a veteran who is permanently and totally disabled for any part of the year would be entitled to the exemption for the entire year. The House Ways and Means subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report and H. 3116 will be placed on the House calendar.
Streaming Service Franchise Fees – H. 3782. This bill would amend the definition of “Video Service” in Section 58-12-300 of the Code by adding “any video programming provided by direct-to-home satellite services” and “streaming content.” The purpose of the bill is to codify that streaming content revenue is not subject to franchise agreements between a governmental entity and a video service provider. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee adopted a technical amendment to the bill and gave H. 3782 a favorable report, as amended.
Craft Beer Economic Development Act – S. 566. This bill would allow a craft brewery to sell beer wholesale and retail to licensed retailers in the state. It would also allow the brewery to transfer beer brewed at its brewery to other facilities owned, leased, or rented by the brewery without being subject to state or local taxes. The Senate amended the bill this week to include several changes that represented a compromise between craft brewers and beer wholesalers such as raising the amount of beer a brewery could sell for off-premises consumption to 864 ounces per day. The Senate also removed the provision that would allow the brewery to transfer beer created at its brewery to other facilities owned, leased, or rented by the brewery without being subject to state or local taxes. The House gave S. 566 second and third readings and the bill was enrolled for ratification.
Tax Conformity – H. 4017. This bill would conform the state tax code with any changes to the federal tax code and updates the reference year to 2022. The Senate gave the bill second reading and H. 4017 is pending third reading on the Senate calendar.
Education and Workforce Development – H. 3726. This bill would enact the “Statewide Education and Workforce Development Act,” which is a work product of the House Economic Development & Utility Modernization Ad-Hoc Committee to streamline the State’s workforce development efforts through the Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW).
The bill would:
- Establish within DEW the Office of Statewide Workforce Development Coordination (OSWD) and the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development (previously under the Department of Commerce);
- Require the OSWD to establish 10-year goals to reduce unemployment and increase the number of South Carolinians with high-quality or post-secondary degrees;
- Require all state and local government agencies, non-profit groups, and quasi-governmental groups that receive state funds or are authorized to expend federal funds, to provide information requested by the OSWD prior to the Comptroller General approving the release of such funds;
- Ensure proper reporting of any activities that may be workforce development related and require these groups to prepare an annual report detailing anticipated workforce development related projects by August 1; and
- Require the submission of a comprehensive report by the OSWD annually by October 1 to the General Assembly detailing the findings and listing all state and local governmental entities that failed to comply with the reporting requisites.
A Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee made a technical amendment and gave the bill a favorable report as amended. H. 3726 is pending a second reading on the Senate calendar.
Municipal Audits – S. 31. This bill would allow municipalities with less than $500,000 in total revenues to provide a compilation of financial statements in place of an annual audit report. SCAC worked with the stakeholders and members of the Ways and Means Committee to include a provision giving counties flexibility in providing their annual audit report to the state before their allotment of the Local Government Fund could be withheld. Under the amendment, the annual audit report would have to be provided to the State Treasurer by January 1 of each year. Upon showing proper cause, as determined by the State Treasurer, the county will receive an automatic 90-day extension. To be considered, a request for an extension must be signed by the chair of the council prior to the deadline for filing. The House Ways and Means Committee adopted the subcommittee amendment and gave S. 31 a favorable report as amended. The bill will be placed on the House calendar.
Recreational Trail Easements Tax Credit – H. 3121. This bill would provide an income tax credit to a property owner who encumbers his property with a perpetual recreational trail easement held by a municipality or county within the state or by a Land Trust Alliance accredited land trust. The easement must be recorded with the register of deeds and must include an agreement with the municipality, county, or land trust. The House Ways and Means Committee adopted a subcommittee amendment to include special purpose tax districts to the list of entities that can hold the easement and gave the bill a favorable report as amended. H. 3121 will be placed on the House calendar.
Public Safety, Corrections and Judicial
Death Benefits for First Responders – S. 108. This bill would provide for a $150,000 death benefit for a law enforcement officer or volunteer officer killed while in the line of duty. The bill was amended prior to passing the Senate to expand this benefit to first responders including emergency medical services providers (including volunteers), a fire department worker (including volunteers), and a coroner or deputy coroner who is directly engaged in examining, treating, or directing people during an emergency. Adding a coroner as a first responder is an SCAC policy position. The House Ways and Means Committee gave S. 108 a favorable report and the bill will be placed on the House calendar.
Sexually Violent Predators Act – S. 146. This bill would amend the “Sexually Violent Predators Act,” relating to the parole, release, and commitment procedures for people convicted of sexually violent offenses. Further, it would clarify whether a person meets the definition of a sexually violent predator and establish procedures for those individuals. The bill would also provide for supervised re-entry under certain circumstances. The House gave S. 146 second and third readings and the bill will be enrolled for ratification.
Cell Phones in Jails – H. 4002. As drafted, this bill would have provided that it is unlawful for an inmate under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections to possess a telecommunication device unless authorized by the director. SCAC testified before a House Judiciary subcommittee and requested an amendment to also make it unlawful in county detention centers, an SCAC policy position. The House adopted SCAC’s amendment and gave the bill a favorable report as amended. H. 4002 received second and third readings and was sent to the Senate.
Law Enforcement Personal Privacy Protection Act – S. 252. This bill would create the “Law Enforcement Personal Privacy Protection Act” and provide that any personal identifying information of an active law enforcement officer held or maintained by any state or local governing entity would be confidential and must not be disclosed to the public if the officer has filed a formal request with the entity. Information relating to the personal identifying information of the officer or revealing whether the individual has family members would be deemed confidential. Any government entity that redacts or withholds information under this article would be required to provide the request or a description of the redacted or withheld information. The Senate amended the bill this week to include the “Judicial Personal Privacy Protection Act” that would provide similar requirements for the withholding of personal information for judges.
The House adopted an amendment striking the word “home” in the bill, striking the phrase, “or that reveals whether the individual has family members,” and making the effective date of the bill July 1, 2024. S. 252 received second and third readings and the bill was returned to the Senate for consideration of the House amendment.
Cost of Care for Seized Animals – H. 3682. This bill would remove provisions regarding a lien on the seized animals and would outline hearing procedures for ordering the cost of care of the seized animals. The care costs would go to the entity providing care for the animal (law enforcement, county animal shelter, or non-profit agency). Additionally, the bill would provide that failure of the owner to make the payment for the cost of care ordered would result in forfeiture of the animal to the entity providing the care. A Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources subcommittee amended the bill to provide that if the animal owner is adjudicated not guilty, the owner would be entitled to reimbursement of the cost of care, interest, and court fees from the entity providing care for the animal. H. 3682 is currently on the contested Senate calendar.
Structured Settlements – S. 259. This bill would regulate settlement companies and require them to be registered in order to protect payees from high interest rate settlements. It would also add some criteria to be considered for court approval of a structured settlement transferred to a settlement company. The Senate amended the bill with language intended to strengthen the contractual agreement for the payee. The House gave S. 259 second and third readings and the bill will be enrolled for ratification.
Illegal Immigration and Enforcement Unit – H. 4120. This bill would transfer the Illegal Immigration Enforcement Unit from the Department of Public Safety to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). This unit would be tasked with enforcing immigration laws as authorized pursuant to federal and state laws. The bill would also require SLED to develop an illegal immigration enforcement training program and to make the program available to all local law enforcement agencies. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report and H. 4120 will be on the next full committee’s agenda.
Trafficking Fentanyl – H. 3503. H. 3503 would create the criminal offense of trafficking in fentanyl and would provide substantial penalties for such offenses. A Senate Judiciary subcommittee adopted a strike and insert amendment to insert the language from the Senate bill, S. 153. An additional amendment was adopted by the subcommittee that would provide penalties for the possession of a handgun by individuals who are otherwise prohibited from owning, carrying, or purchasing a firearm as provided for by state or federal law. H. 3503 received a favorable report as amended, and the bill will be on the next full committee’s agenda.
Destruction of Utility Systems – S. 330. This bill would modify the penalty structure for crimes involving malicious injury to telegraph, telephone, cable, or electrical utility systems and natural gas infrastructure. Under current law, destruction of such systems or infrastructure is considered a felony offense that is punishable by a fine set at the discretion of the court or imprisonment for not more than 10 years. The Senate amended the bill this week to provide that certain violations could result in a felony conviction and to further outline a tiered penalty structure based on the cost of damage to the utility systems, the danger to the public, and whether the damage involves death or bodily injury. The House amended the bill by adding the provisions of the fentanyl bill (H. 3503) and gave S. 330 second and third readings. S. 330 was returned to the Senate for consideration of the House amendment.
Antisemitism – H. 4042. This bill would codify antisemitism as a listed discriminatory act by incorporating definitions and examples from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and would prohibit discriminatory acts relating to antisemitism. The House gave H. 4042 second and third readings and the bill was sent to the Senate.
County Government and Intergovernmental Relations
Municipal Elections – H. 3734. This bill would require all municipal elections to be conducted using the voting system approved and adopted by the State Election Commission. It would also require all municipal elections to be held on odd-numbered years on one of the following three dates: (1) on the third Tuesday in March; (2) on the first Tuesday in July; or (3) on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. A county board of registration and elections shall conduct a municipal election if a municipality elects to transfer its election authority to the county. The House Judiciary Committee amended the bill to provide that the terms of incumbent council members elected in an odd year may be extended to the new election date and that the terms of newly elected officers do not commence until the next regular meeting of the municipal council in the month following certification of the election results by the election commission. The House gave H. 3734 second and third readings and sent the bill to the Senate.
Omnibus Tobacco Enforcement Act (E-Cigarette Preemption) – H. 3681. This bill would prohibit political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic smoking devices, e-liquid, vapor products, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products. The Senate amended the bill to prohibit the sale of tobacco products to minors, gave the bill second and third readings and returned it to the House.
Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) Restructuring – S. 399. This bill would restructure DHEC and amend Chapter 1 of Title 44 to create the “Department of Public Health” and would add Chapter 5 to Title 38 to create the “Department of Environmental Services.” The bill would direct the Department of Administration to analyze and determine the best manner to restructure the agency effectively and efficiently and to submit a report to the General Assembly. The new structure would take effect July 1, 2024, after receipt of the report and approval by the General Assembly.
The Senate Medical Affairs Committee adopted an amendment that would do the following:
- The authority to manage certain veterans nursing homes would be transferred to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs;
- The food safety program would be transferred to the Department of Agriculture;
- The flood mitigation program currently housed with the Department of Natural Resources would be transferred to the Office of Resiliency;
- Both the Department of Public Health and the Department of Environmental Services would become cabinet agencies with their directors being appointed by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate; and
- Water Resources would be transferred from the Department of Natural Resources to the Division of Water within the Department of Environmental Services.
The Senate debated several amendments on the floor before giving the bill second and third readings.
State Health Facility Licensure Act (Certificate of Need) – S. 164. This bill, as introduced, would eliminate the requirement of obtaining a Certificate of Need (CON) from DHEC with the exception of nursing homes and ambulatory surgical facilities with more than eight operating rooms. Additionally, before acquiring a hospital facility, the bill requires the Medical University of South Carolina to submit details of the proposed acquisition to the Joint Bond Review Committee, receive approval by the Fiscal Accountability Authority, and apply for a CON or licensure. Further, the bill creates the CON study committee to examine the effect of the repeal of the CON program in rural parts of the state.
SCAC supported legislation last session that would reform the state's CON to limit the appeals process, reduce the projects that require approval, and streamline the system. Last session, the bill was passed by the Senate (S. 290) and was forwarded to the House; however, the stakeholders could not reach a consensus. Although S. 164 repeals the CON provision, the amended bill now imposes the following conditions:
- Allows hospitals to continue under CON until January 1, 2027;
- After January 1, 2027, only nursing homes would be under CON;
- Removes ambulatory surgery centers from CON; and
- Includes these exemptions for CON review: for relocation of a licensed hospital in a county, for the acquisition of an existing hospital, and for building a hospital in a county without a hospital.
The Senate concurred with the House amendments and the bill will be enrolled for ratification.
Veterans’ Trust Fund – S. 317. This bill would reorganize the Board of Trustees for the Veterans' Trust Fund of South Carolina by reducing the number of board members from 19 to 11. The House adopted a strike and insert amendment to the bill that would incorporate the language from its version of the bill (H. 3802). As amended, the bill would require that the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint board members consisting of one member from each congressional district of the state, and four members from the state at large. Of the members who are appointed “at large,” two of the members must be residents of a rural county. Additionally, of the 11 appointed members of the board, at least six members must be US Armed Forces veterans.
Further, the bill provides that individuals appointed by the Governor from each congressional district shall serve four-year terms and the remaining initial appointees shall serve two-year terms. No board member shall serve more than two consecutive terms or eight continuous years, whichever is greater. The House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee gave S. 343 a favorable report as amended, and the bill is pending second reading on the House calendar.
Certificate of Need: Crisis Facilities – S. 343. This bill includes all short-term residential stabilization and intensive crisis services in the definition of crisis stabilization unit facilities and changes the age of the individuals served from 18 and older to five and older. The House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee gave S. 343 a favorable report and the bill is pending second reading on the House calendar.
Election Protests on Holidays – S. 92. This bill would extend the deadline for filing an election protest to the boards of canvassers by one day if the original deadline falls on a legal holiday. The change will apply to protests for state and local elections. The House gave S. 92 second and third readings and the bill will be enrolled for ratification.
Expediting Voting Tallies – S. 406. This bill specifies that ballots cast during the early voting period may begin to be tabulated at the same time as absentee ballots. Additionally, this bill creates a new felony for those who intentionally publicly report the results of the early voting period before the polls are closed. A House Judiciary subcommittee amended the bill to require that these tabulated ballots be reported prior to the precinct results in a manner to be prescribed by the State Election Commission Executive Director. The House Judiciary Committee adopted the subcommittee’s amendment and gave S. 406 a favorable report as amended. The bill is pending second reading on the House calendar.
Land Use, Natural Resources and Transportation
Rural Infrastructure Authority Division of Local Government – H. 3075. This bill requires the Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA), through its Division of Local Government, to provide staff support and assistance for the South Carolina Infrastructure Facilities Authority and the South Carolina Water Quality Revolving Fund Authority. The House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee adopted an amendment to the bill to provide that public entities would no longer be required to hold grant funds separate from any other funds or need authorization to expend funds by the individual who signed the grant application. The bill was further amended by adding language that would define “rural infrastructure projects” as eligible projects that must be located in counties designated as “Tier III or IV” pursuant to the Department of Commerce’s “Jobs Tax Credit” criteria, in the year in which the loan or financial assurance would be awarded. The House gave H. 3075 second and third readings and the bill was sent to the Senate.
Solar, Agricultural, Farmland, and Environmental Act – H. 3989. This bill would establish the Solar, Agricultural, Farmland, and Environmental (SAFE) Act to provide for the application and certificate requirements to construct a photovoltaic energy facility. The House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee amended the bill to remove a provision that would have established the Agricultural and Farmland Viability Protection Fund under the purview of the Department of Revenue to be used for agricultural and farmland protection activities. The House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee gave H. 3989 a favorable report as amended, and the bill is pending second reading on the House calendar.
Working Agriculture Lands Preservation – H. 3951. As originally drafted, this bill would establish the “Working Agriculture Lands Preservation Program” that outlines program criteria and creates a committee to administer the program through a new “Working Farmland Protection Program Fund.” The committee would identify and provide permanent protection through the new fund that would be used for conservation easements on significant working farmland properties whose continued availability to commercial agricultural business is deemed to be essential to the long-term future of this economic sector. Administration of the program would be contingent upon funding through the state’s General Fund.
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee adopted an amendment to the bill that would place the administration of the agriculture preservation program under the direction of the South Carolina Conservation Bank and would place the “Working Farmland Protection Fund” within the State Treasurer’s Office. The amendment would also reinstate the “real estate transfer fee” that would transfer a portion of the state’s fees from deed recordings to the Conservation Bank. The Bank would then be required to make appropriations to the new “Working Farmland Protection Fund” once certain funding thresholds are met. Further, the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of the Department of Transportation would be added as ex officio members on the South Carolina Conservation Bank Board. The Senate recommitted H. 3951 this week to the Senate Finance Committee for further discussion.
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H. 4420 (Reps. Wetmore, Robbins, Murphy, Caskey, Wooten, Stavrinakis, Brewer, Sessions, Rutherford, Kilmartin and Gilliam) — Amends Section 14-7-1370, relating to compensation of jurors in circuit courts, to revise the statute and provide minimum juror compensation in all counties of the state for jury service in circuit courts.
H. 4427 (Reps. Bailey and Schuessler) — Amends Section 2-19-10, relating to the membership of the Judicial Merit Selection Commission, to provide that the President of the Senate appoints three members of the Senate and two members of the general public, and to provide that no member of the Commission may serve for more than eight consecutive years.
H. 4436 (Reps. Wooten, Ballentine, Long, Erickson, Caskey, Calhoon and Wetmore) — Amends Section 56-5-1538, relating to emergency scene management, to provide drivers are responsible for maintaining vehicle control in certain emergency circumstances to avoid interfering with the operation of authorized emergency vehicles and to provide penalties for violations.
H. 4442 (Reps. Taylor, Herbkersman, Yow, B. J. Cox, T. Moore, Oremus, Wooten, Sessions, Crawford, Ligon, Erickson, J. E. Johnson, Hardee, Guest, McGinnis, B. Newton, Mitchell, Forrest, Brittain, Chapman, Bradley, Caskey, Jordan, Elliott, A. M. Morgan, May, T. A. Morgan, Lawson, Carter, West, Pope, W. Newton, Bannister, Blackwell, Hiott, Hixon, Lowe, Sandifer, Thayer and Whitmire) — Amends Section 36-1-201, relating to the definition of "money," to provide that money does not include a central bank digital currency.
S. 755 (Sen. Alexander) — Adds Part 4 to Article 6, Chapter 6, Title 62 to provide for transfer on death designations for certain categories of titled personal property.
S. 763 (Sen. Loftis) — Amends Section 44-96-170, relating to waste tires, to remove the cap on tipping fees that a county may charge for recycling and disposal of certain waste tires and to encourage stakeholder collaboration on market development opportunities regarding end-of-life tire recycling in South Carolina.
S. 767 (Sen. Alexander) — Adds Section 7-5-115 to provide that a person is not allowed to vote in a partisan primary election or partisan advisory referendum unless the person has registered as being a member of that party.
S. 779 (Sen. Talley) — Enacts the "Energy Independence and Risk Reduction Act."
S. 781 (Sen. Gustafson) — Amends Section 6-1-320, relating to the limitation on millage increases, to allow the governing body of a rural county to suspend the limitation for the purpose of supporting a fire protection district.
The following bill has been sent to and signed by the Governor:
R16, S. 39 (Sen. Grooms) — An Act to add Chapter 8 to Title 59 to establish the "Education Scholarship Trust Fund Program.”