Legislative Update

May 16 - 20

Recent Legislation

Farm Aid Bill: The Senate voted this week to override the governor’s veto of H. 4717, also known as the Farm Aid Bill, which provides $40 million in assistance to farmers following last October’s flooding. Senators voted 39-3 to override the veto of the legislation, which allows farmers in disaster-declared counties to apply for up to $100,000 in grants that would cover up to 20 percent of crop losses.


Dealer Closing Fee Bill: The Senate also gave third reading to H. 4548, known as the dealer closing fee bill. This legislation responds to two lawsuits filed by consumers claiming that the fee, charged to finalize purchases of cars, didn’t relate to any real closing expenses. This bill clarifies what dealers can count as closing costs and calls for lawsuits brought under the closing fee statute to only be heard individually rather than as a group.


Eye Care Consumer Protection Law: The Senate also overrode the governor’s veto on S. 1016, known as the “Eye Care Consumer Protection Law,” which establishes regulations and requirements for the sale of prescription eyewear in the state.

Other News

Memorial Day – Pause To Remember and Take Time To Say “Thank You”: As we approach Memorial Day next Monday, many of us will be thinking of the official start of summer. Between now and next Monday, I hope that you will pause to remember both those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation and those who risk their lives each day so that we can enjoy freedom and the blessings we have in the United States. In addition, take time to thank our veterans and active duty service men and women for their service and sacrifice.


Ethics -- Income Source Disclosure and Independent Investigations: Last week, the House of Representatives sent back to the Senate the ethics legislation (H.3184). If the Senate concurs with the House version this week, the legislation will go to the Governor for her consideration. If the Senate non-concurs, the bill will go to a conference committee. To learn more, go here.


Contraband Cell Phones -- State Prisons: State prison officials have repeatedly cited the use of contraband cell phones by inmates as a security threat to people both inside and outside of the prisons. Yesterday, Governor Haley joined with other governors in requesting that the Federal Communications Commission change cell phone regulations so that states will have the flexibility to address this public safety threat. To see the letter, go here.


Foster Care Legislation: There are three bills related to foster care on the Senate calendar that the Children’s Committee has supported. I expect movement and action to be taken this week. They are as follows:

  • H.4492 requires the Department of Social Services to provide 10 days notice of permanency planning and child abuse and neglect hearings to foster parents, as well as inform them of the right to address the court.
  • H.4262 mandates training beyond the current two-hour requirement for family child care home employees, and it strengthens background check and appeals processes for operators.
  • H.4546 broadens permissions for foster parents adding definitions in the Children's Code related to the standard of care of a "reasonable and prudent" parent and requiring court consideration of local foster care review board recommendations in permanency planning cases.

Summary Of This Week In Review: May 16-20, 2016

Senate Session

The Senate had Third Reading on the following and it was sent to the House of Representatives:

S936 Driver’s Licenses: A bill to provide for minors to be able to apply for a beginner’s permit, instruction permit, or driver’s license under the authorization of a responsible adult willing to assume the obligation imposed.

The Senate had Third Readings on the following and they were returned to the House of Representatives with amendment:

H3653 Multijurisdictional Agreements (with amendment): A bill to provide a framework for agreements between different law enforcement agencies for law enforcement services in specified circumstances.

H3560 Teachers Dismissal: A bill to provide that the Board of Education may designate a hearing officer to conduct a dismissal hearing and issue a report with recommendations, to further provide related requirements of a hearing officer and that a notice of dismissal must be given by the superintendent or his designee instead of the school board.

H4932 Vehicle Length: A bill to provide a maximum length for trailers or semitrailers used to transport vehicles used in connection with motorsports competition events.

H3891 Rental or Private Passenger Motor Vehicles: A bill to provide rental companies engaged in the business of renting vehicles for periods of ninety days or less may charge separately stated fees which may include certain fees and taxes, that the charge must represent the good faith estimate by the motor vehicle rental company of its daily charge calculated to recover its actual total annual recoverable costs and to provide certain descriptions of vehicle license fees in the vehicle rental agreements.

H4939 Education and Public Works Committee: A bill to establish a committee composed of specified members to review all existing state education statutes and report to general assembly, to provide that the DOE shall develop the system for providing services and technical assistance for school districts on a regional basis to include academic assistance and assistance with finances and that the superintendent of education shall report the design of the system to the General Assembly yearly.

H4548 Motor Vehicle Dealer Fees: A bill to provide a motor vehicle dealer who meets certain statutory requirements may charge a closing fee, to establish defenses for a motor vehicle dealer, and to authorize the Department of Consumer Affairs to administer and enforce motor vehicle dealer closing fees.

H4413 Save Havens: A bill to require safe havens to post a notice stating that the location is a safe haven where a person may leave an infant under certain circumstances without criminal penalty.

H4938 Survey Higher Education Students: A resolution to provide that the DOE shall survey students enrolled in the state’s colleges of education and include questions inquiring as to whether the students have ever considered teaching in rural and economically challenged school district and what incentives, if any, would cause them to consider working in such a district.

The Senate had Second Reading on the following and it was ordered for third reading:

S1204 Physical Education (with amendment): A bill to provide that marching band instruction based on the SC academic standards for the visual and performing arts must be considered the equivalent of physical education instruction.

Enrolled for Ratification:

H3193 Campaign Contributions: A bill to revise the manner in which campaign contributions are attributed to a primary election and to a primary election runoff.

H3685 Electronic Tickets: A bill to require that the DMV shall electronically receive dispositional information and license surrender information, to require time frames for certain traffic tickets to be electronically transmitted between issuance by the law enforcement officer to DMV and the court.

H3848 South Carolina Founding Principles Act: A bill to require the completion of a separate, full semester course consisting only of instruction in certain founding principles of the United States of America, to require a passing grade in the course and on the naturalization test for United States citizenship as a condition for graduation from High School.

H4936 High School: A bill to provide for educational goals for all South Carolina high school graduates and the standards and areas of learning by which these goals are measured.

H4817 Bondsman and Runner License: A bill to require an individual who applies for a bondsman or runner license to provide certain information.

H4138 Contractor’s Licenses and License Classifications: A bill to provide that each person holding a license in the mechanical contractor subclass of HVAC shall display the mechanical contractor license in a conspicuous manner at his principal place of business, commercial vehicle, advertisements proposals and invoices.

H4999 Immunity from Liability for Providers: A bill to provide that the services of a health care provider treating a patient free of charge are deemed to be within the scope of the good Samaritan statute.

H5024 Literacy Coaches and Teachers: A bill to require the State Department of Education provide all reading/literacy coaches and teachers with training on Dyslexia, including evidence-based dyslexia screening, instructional methods and interventions.

H4510 Foster Children: A bill to place limitations on the number of foster children who may be placed in a foster home.

H3114 Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: A bill to prohibit someone from performing an abortion except in cases of a medical emergency and certain other exceptions provided in the Act after 20 weeks.

H3849 Public School Educators and Student Teachers: A bill to amend statute to exempt certain personally identifiable information in certain evaluations of public educators and student teachers from public disclosure.

S277 State Telecom Equity in Funding Act: A bill that would provide that a local exchange provider must collect the dual party relay charge established under state statute on each local exchange access facility.

Veto Overridden:

S4717 S.C. Farm Aid Fund: A bill to establish the “South Carolina Farm Aid Fund” to assist farmers who suffered at least a forty percent loss of agricultural commodities as a result of a natural disaster.

S1016 Eye Care: A bill to enact the “Eye Care Consumer Protection Law” to establish requirements for a person who sells spectacles or contact lenses using refractive data or information generated by an automated testing device.

Special Order:

H3799 Concealed Weapon Permits: A bill to provide that South Carolina shall recognize concealed weapon permits issued by Georgia and North Carolina under certain circumstances.

Committee Reports

Judiciary Committee

Favorable Reports

H4339 State Grand Jury System: A bill to provide additional findings concerning certain crimes involving insurance fraud, to include certain crimes involving insurance fraud in the subject matter jurisdiction of the state grand jury, to further provide for the suspension of the driving privileges of a person found on the record by the Court of having carelessly or recklessly operated a motor vehicle in the commission of such a violation and to forfeit related property used in the commission of said violation.

H4398 Exempt Property (with minority unfavorable): A bill to exempt three firearms of any value and one thousand rounds of ammunition for each firearm owned by the debtor from bankruptcy proceedings or attachment.

H4763 Internet Crime: A bill to create the internet crimes against children fund to investigate, prosecute and prevent internet crimes against children.

H5245 Coupons and Rebates: A bill to provide that a manufacturer, brewer, importer or retailer may offer or sponsor certain coupons and rebates to a consumer for the purchase of beer, to provide that a wholesaler is prohibited from participating in the procurement, redemption or other costs associated for any coupon or rebate for Beer.

H4579 Lieutenant Governor: A bill to provide that the Governor shall appoint with the advice and consent of the Senate, a successor to fill the unexpired term in case of a vacancy in the office of Lt. Governor, to further provide that beginning with the 2018 general election the Lt. Governor and Governor must be jointly elected and to delineate joint candidacy procedures, to delete the preference to the President of the Senate pro tempore as a successor.

H4878 Confidentiality: A bill to provide that communications between a client and any member of a peer-support team shall be confidential and privileged under certain circumstances.

Finance Committee

Favorable Reports

H5270 Payroll Deduction for State Employees’ Association dues: A bill to allow membership dues for the society of former agents of the SLED to be deducted from the compensation of state retirees and paid over to the association in the same manner other membership dues are deducted and paid.

H5119 SC State Guard (with amendment): A bill to require a member of the State Guard to complete a minimum of one hundred ninety-two hours of training or drill each year in order to qualify for the deduction under 12-6-1171, to authorize SC State Guard JAG’s to provide services and to include them within the personal liability exemption, to further clarify the ability of the Governor to authorize the call of the State Guard into duty and to further provide that State Guard Members on Active Duty may receive a daily stipend or per diem pay for reasonable expenses, or both, if approved by the Adjutant General.

H5034 Bingo Tax Revenue (with amendment): A bill to require the DOR to establish an informational charitable bingo webpage on its website, to redefine certain terms of the bingo tax act, to extend the time by which the Department must respond to applications for a bingo license by nonprofit organizations and promoters, to exclude certain raffles from statutory application and to increase the percentage of charitable distributions of bingo revenues.

H5078 Capital Project Sales Tax Imposition (with amendment): A bill to define certain terms relating to various local sales and use taxes, to provide that the capital projects sales tax must terminate on April 30

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of an odd or even numbered year and to require publication of certain notice requirements prior to a referendum on local sales and use tax implementation.


H4577 State Aviation Fund (with amendment): A bill that would direct the excess of aircraft property taxes levied over 2.5 million but not to exceed 5 million to the state aviation fund. Any amounts levied over 5 million shall equally be divided between the state aviation fund and the general fund.

H4762 Limitation on Millage Rate Increases & Exemptions: A bill to revise the exception to the limitation on millage rate increases for the purchase of capital equipment and other expenditures in a county having a population of less than one hundred thousand persons and having at least forty thousand acres of state forest land.

H4765 Income Tax Check Off for Habitat for Humanity: A bill to allow voluntary contributions to Habitat for Humanity made by an individual by means of the income tax return check off list.

Transportation Committee

Favorable Reports

H5089 Liens Recorded on Vehicles/Mobile Homes: A bill to add additional terms and definitions relating to the protection of titles to and interest in motor vehicles, to provide that a lien or encumbrance on a motor vehicle or titled mobile home must be noted on the printed title or electronically through the DMV electronic title and lien system, to provide the transmittal must be done electronically for business entities, to provide the effective date and lapse date for certain liens, to require the department to publish certain forms to provide process for filing a lien continuation statement.

S946 Civil Citations: A bill to provide that the registered owner of a vehicle that unlawfully overtakes a school bus may be issued a civil citation if the driver of his vehicle cannot be identified by a law enforcement officer or digital video recording device mounted on a school bus, to provide the procedure of issuing and dismissing these citations.

Medical Affairs Committee

Favorable Reports

H3952 EMT Transport of Mentally Ill: A bill to allow EMT’s to transport mentally ill patients from a mental health center or a hospital emergency room to an inpatient facility, to further extend immunity to EMT’s under these circumstances.

H4542 Right to Try: A bill to allow terminally ill patients to access a drug, biological product or device that is currently in a clinical trial and has completed stage one in that trial, to further provide the circumstances and requirements for this access.

H4773 Margy’s Law: A bill to make available “do not resuscitate” bracelets to all persons with a DOR order.

H3999 Health Care Decisions: A bill to amend SC Adult Health Care Consent Act by providing 2 additional priority rankings and changing the priority rankings for a person who may make decisions concerning the health care of a patient who is unable to consent.

H4124 Department of Mental Health: A bill to conform DMH’s current practice of employing law enforcement officers rather than “state marshals”.

H4327 Hospice Programs: A bill revising the licensing provisions for out-patient hospice programs to require registration with DHEC to include multiple locations and expansion of service areas prior to the actual expansion, to require compliance by all programs within 24 months of Governor’s signature.

H5193 Opioid Antidotes: A bill to allow a pharmacists to dispense an opioid antidote for a person at risk for overdosing of for their caregiver, to provide for certain record keeping procedures, notification and training requirements.

Coming This Week

Judiciary Committee TIME CHANGE TUESDAY AT 10:00 a.m.:

H3989 Persons with Disabilities Right to Parent Act: A bill to enact the Persons with Disabilities Right to Parent Act to require the DSS, law enforcement and the family and probate courts to protect the parenting rights of persons with a disability by establishing certain requirements and safeguards applicable in child custody, child protection and probate guardianship proceedings to ensure that persons with disabilities are not denied the right to parent or to have custody of or visitation with a child because of the disability, to prohibit child placing agencies, adoption service providers and assisted reproductive technology service providers from denying persons with a disability the right to access services because of the persons disability with exceptions.

H4944 Elections: A bill to remove a municipality’s authority not to conduct general elections under certain conditions relating to special elections to fill vacancies in offices.

H4387 Citations: A bill to provide that a law enforcement agency, department or division may not require its officers to issue a specific amount or meet a quota for the number of citations their officers issue during a designated period of time, to prevent a law enforcement agency from comparing the number of citations issued by its officers for the purpose of evaluating an officer’s job performance, to provide that “point of contact” may be used to evaluate an officers performance and to provide that an employee who files a report that alleges a violation of this section is protected by the “whistle blower act”.

Education Committee

H5021 Adult Students with Disabilities Education Rights Consent Act: A bill to enact the “Adult Students with Disabilities Education Rights Consent Act” so as to provide procedures and policies through which students who are eligible for special education under the individuals with disabilities act and who have not been determined to be incapacitated in probate court to delegate the authority to make educational program decisions to an agent once he is emancipated.

H4145 Coordinating Council for Workforce Development: A bill to create the coordinating council for workforce development, to develop a comprehensive plan for workforce training and education under the coordinating council for workforce development.

H4521 Tucker Hipps Transparency Act: A bill to enact the “Tucker Hipps Transparency Act” to provide that public institutions of higher learning shall maintain reports of investigations and related information of members of fraternities, sororities and other social organizations, to specify information that must be included in the reports, to provide institutions shall make the reports available to the public and online.

The information contained herein is prepared by the staff of the South Carolina Senate and is not the expression of the Senate. It is strictly for the internal use and benefit of members of the Senate and is not to be construed by a court of law as an expression of legislative intent.

Senator Mike Fair

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or need assistance.