Bills filed during 1/12/21 – 1/21/21

Education

  • H.3611  – Creating a massive data collecting system that tracks children from preschool through the workforce (the data warehouse) the bill is nearly identical to what lawmakers introduced in 2019, which you can read about here
  • H.3588  Requiring students have one credit in computer science, math and English, and achieve a score of at least 22 on the ACT in order to qualify for the LIFE scholarship
  • H.3589 – Re-designating “schools of choice” as “schools of innovation”, allowing districts to have more than one. Schools must identify each regulation they want to be exempted from and must be approved by the local school board and the State Board of Education
  • H.3590 – Schools may hire non-certified teachers if schools or career centers have vacancies leading up to the school year, with certain restrictions
  • H.3591 – Creating an annual “report card” for teacher education programs as graded by the State Board of Education, Dept. of Ed., SC Commission on Higher Ed., and the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. This grading system will rely on schools and educator programs to report data on grades, retention, standardized testing and more
  • H.3592  Regulating standardized tests; removing a requirement for social studies tests in certain grades, requiring all students in 11th grade take the ACT, and giving the State Board of Education approval power over certain tests to be administered at request of the district
  • H.3610  – Mandating the Dept. of Ed. make a tiered system of assistance for underperforming schools, and allowing the superintendent of education to take over schools and dissolve school boards that are chronically underperforming              
  • H.3612  – Requiring each high school to offer a computer science course by 2022, directing the State Board of Education to create a statewide computer science plan
  • H.3613  – Reading comprehension education bill; limits assessment tests in certain grades to 5 total, creates a related study committee, shifts priorities of various reading programs, focuses reading coaches on underperforming schools
  • H.3614  – Requires high school students to complete FAFSA (federal student aid application) allows students to opt out if 18 or permitted by parent or school
  • H.3616  – Requiring each school district to make a Student Bullying Advisory Council
  • H.3618  – Mandating the Dept. of Ed. administer certain tests this year and suspending school report cards this year
  • S.459 – Children of military members may remotely enroll in schools before they arrive in the district if their parents are being sent to the area.

Spending

  •  H.3605 – Repealing the requirement that lawmakers hold joint open committee hearings during the budget writing process
  • S.443 H.3607 – Expanding the possible use of economic development bonds, which are backed by every taxpayer in the state. The bonds could be issued for virtually any infrastructure project deemed to support economic development, including building facilities for a public broadband internet program, training centers for incoming businesses, “research facilities” and much more. 
  • H.3595 – Removing the earnings limitation for certain state employees and police retirees, allowing them to return to work and earn salary while also earning retirement benefits
  • S.421 – Amending the unemployment formula that determines when the extended benefit period is activated (would be based on data from previous two years, whereas current law uses the previous three years)
  • H.3608 – Appropriating $9 million from the Contingency Relief Fund to be distributed to the Public Charter School District
  • H.3609  – Appropriating $50 million from the Contingency Reserve Fund to resume pay raises for teachers
  • S.468 – Removing the requirement that a14 week break take place in between one extended benefit period and another, for purposes of unemployment payments 

Energy

  • S.439 – Santee Cooper must divest from its monopoly over power generation and transmission so that customers can choose their provider
  • H.3582 – Establishing that electric vehicle charging stations are not an electric utility if the electricity comes from another power producing electric utility, political subdivision, or electric cooperative. The charging station must also be immobile and is used exclusively for charging vehicles. 
  • H.3673  Electrical utilities must bury all new lines installed within municipalities starting 2022, and bury existing ones by 2027
  • S.444 – Authorizing the sale of Santee Cooper, creates a board selected by lawmakers to negotiate the deal
  • S.464 – Setting a two-term limit for the Santee Cooper director, adding additional education requirements for board members. Grants the Office of Regulatory Staff with inspection powers over Santee Cooper’s rates. Santee Cooper must submit a resource plan to the Public Service Commission.
  • S.475 – A resolution demanding that NextEra, a Florida based energy company, provide lawmakers with all its correspondence related to the sale of Santee Cooper 

Regulations

  • H.3693 – Making it illegal to use a credit report as a deciding factor when vetting a potential tenant
  • S.445 – Statewide mask mandate that would last indefinitely 
  • H.3583 & S.467  Omnibus bank regulation bill; Board of Financial Institutions (most appointees selected by bankers) can decide to approve or deny new banks or bank branches, and more
  • H.3585 – Insurers may not terminate issuance for an entire class of business without notifying and providing an explanation to the Dept. of Insurance and getting their exit plan approved. If a workers compensation insurer doesn’t provide a year’s notice of nonrenewal they cannot cease insurance 
  • H.3587 – States clearly that an insurer’s change in coverage to meet a legislative mandate or fix an error is not considered a reduction in coverage (language would be changed from “may not be considered” to “is not”) 
  • S.420 – A property disclosure statement must acknowledge the existence of a neighboring property being used for agricultural purposes
  • S.422 – States that certain indemnification provisions in construction agreements are not enforceable
  • S.426  Clarifies that a temporary occupational license issued during a State of Emergency expires 30 days after the expiration of the State of Emergency
  • S.435 – Adding additional requirements when issuing travel insurance
  • H.3599 – Entering South Carolina into a compact with other states to make occupational therapy licenses reciprocal 
  • H.3600 – Regulating utility terrain vehicles (off road vehicles similar to ATVs) and requiring them to have a $5 permit to operate on certain roads which must be renewed every 5 years
  • H.3601 – Requiring dam owners to notify the state when they suffer a breach in the dam. If the owner does not intend to repair the dam, and if a road running atop the dam is compromised, the state Department of Transportation Owner will proceed with repairing the road without concern of saving or repairing the dam.    
  • H.3606  –Exempting homeowners from needing permits or licenses to make a number of small changes and improvements to a house, but states that specialty contractors cannot do certain jobs without supervision by a licensed person
  • H.3664 – Requires a social security number-based background check for licensed real estate agents 
  • H.3667 – Law enforcement agencies must make an effort to hire people that racially represent their jurisdiction
  • H.3675 – $17 an hour minimum wage by 2022
  • H.3676 – 20 day grace period for late payments on mortgages, during which a bank cannot assign a penalty
  • H.3678 – At least 30% of each mortgage payment must go toward paying down the principal
  • H.3682 – Allowing two nurse types (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist & Advanced Practice Registered Nurse) to perform more tasks without supervision
  • H.3684 – Regulating catch numbers for a saltwater fish called the Cobia, making it illegal to sell the fish unless through a wholesaler 
  • H.3688 – To qualify for housing under the SC Housing Authority a person must take a financial literacy class offered by the Dept. of Consumer Affairs
  • H.3689 – Internationally registered commercial vehicles owned by someone other than the driver may be registered with SC DMV by the owner with fees
  • H.3694 – Allowing for bear hunting using bait during one week in October
  • S.457 – Increasing the distance a boat has to be from a dock in certain lakes to go above idling speed
  • S.465 – Regulating how abandoned or totaled vehicles may be salvaged and how titles may be acquired for them
  • S.479 – Allowing micro-distilleries to serve food and drinks on the premises, with several requirements (similar to how breweries may also operate as a place to sit down and have drinks)
  • S.472 – Requires extensive alcohol training for servers 

Government Structure

  • H.3586 – Moving the Insurance Fraud Division from the Attorney General’s Office to the Department of Insurance and changing the division’s funding source from insurance premium taxes to fines and awards from cases
  • H.3598 – Creating a fund to help offset costs of ceremonial burial of veterans through veteran service organizations 
  • H.3668 – Mandating local governments create a Law Enforcement Civilian Review Board which would investigate complaints about law enforcement officers and recommend disciplinary action 
  • H.3683 – Limits the damages a fired Santee Cooper employee can recover through court action (and and the action must take place within one year), subjects the Public Service Commission to additional ethics requirements
  • H.3685  Renaming the State Commission for Minority Affairs to bthe State Commission for Minority and Multicultural Affairs
  • H.3686  Creating a new office within the Department of Consumer Affairs to regulate and respond to student loan complaints
  • H.3695 – An emergency order by the Governor cannot force bars to stop serving alcohol before midnight
  • H.3696 – Increasing the number of family court judges elected from the 16th & 1st circuit
  • H.3691  & S.466 Adopting revised code volumes 1A and 14A as the official statutory law of the state 
  • S.461 – Creating a new type of contract and accompanying fund where the vendor is only paid to the degree to which the contract is completed 

Elections/Ethics 

  • H.3670  Joining South Carolina into a multi-state agreement to elect the President of the United States by popular vote
  • H.3617  – Early voting is allowed up to 30 days before election day
  • S.474 – A candidate seeking to run for office in Aiken County only needs to submit a statement of candidacy in order to be placed on the ballot
  • S.476 – Prohibits public officials or employees from using a credit card that is reserved for use by a department/agency senior official 

Criminal Justice

  • H.3621  – Criminalizing “coercive” and “controlling” behavior which could range from humiliation, manipulation and emotional abuse, carries a prison sentence of up to ten years
  • S.456 – SLED can send fingerprint data to the FBI for the purpose of conducting a nationwide fingerprint background check, and the fingerprint data would remain in the FBI’s system 
  • H.3622  Eliminating exemption that protects lawmakers from Freedom of Information inquiries
  • S.425 – Authorizes various financial institutions to decline a transaction if they believe a vulnerable adult is being exploited as part of the process
  • S.428 – Creates stricter penalties for various crimes that involve assaulting and harming a healthcare worker
  • S.429 – Creates the offense of “drug-induced homicide” in which a dealer is charged if they give drugs to someone that lead to their death
  • H.3596 – Law enforcement must obtain a warrant or owner’s permission before placing farm land or non-developed property under surveillance 
  • H.3619  – Limitations on asset forfeiture; bans confiscation of small sums of money ($500) or items worth less than $2,500, requires a receipt for forfeited items in limited scenarios, cash alone is not probable cause, simple possession of marijuana is no longer grounds for forfeiture
  • H.3620  – Penalty enhancements for hate crimes          
  • H.3666 – A police officer who lies in an official report is guilty of perjury 
  • H.3623 – Reducing drug crime penalties for existing sentences and future crimes
  • H.3624 – Ordering circuit court solicitors to create drug court programs
  • H.3672  Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is no longer punishable by jail time
  • H.3665 – Making it unlawful for an officer to tamper with his/her body camera recording; setting rules for when it must be worn and activated 
  • H.3677 – Making it unlawful to use a cell phone while driving without a hands free device (such as using Bluetooth)
  • H.3687 – Making it unlawful for cops or EMTs to use ketamine to incapacitate a suspect
  • S.458 – Stronger penalties for trafficking fentanyl
  • S.462 – Creating a new classification of law enforcement called “advanced state constables” that are trained as reserve officers and must be under supervision of a fully licensed officer 

Constitution

  • H.3671 – Constitutional amendment to eliminate the cap on how much property value can increase over five years (currently it cannot increase more than 15%) and allowing the Legislature to define “fair market value” 
  • H.3663  Call for an Article V convention to amend the U.S.Constitution to enact term limits
  • H.3690 – Constitutional amendment restricting education lottery revenue to fund tuition assistance and scholarships 

Medical / COVID

  • S.418419H.3602, & 3603 – Authorizes any healthcare worker (H.3602 also allows medical school students) who has permission to administer an injection to administer the COVID-19 vaccine 
  • S.427 – Allows a renal drug manufacturer to deliver drugs to a patient under certain conditions
  • S.431 – Updates the name of hospitals that are authorized to be regional tertiary level development evaluation centers
  • H.3604  If an employer offers sick leave they cannot require an employee to produce a doctor’s note for three days each year
  • H.3697 S.454 – Allowing non-licensed workers to provide medicine in prisons
  • S.455 – Allowing graduate nurses to get temporary nursing licenses 

Transportation 

  • S.434 – Drivers using the leftmost lane on an interstate highway must be passing another vehicle, with exceptions such as when traffic conditions which make driving in the right lane impractical
  • S.424 – Eliminates the fee for a special veterans license plate
  • S.437 – Defines “mass transit” for the purposes of when a local government can establish tolls to pay for a project
  • S.438 – Revives a program allowing transportation authorities and local governments to build benches upon which advertisements can be placed, creating a new revenue stream for the entities 

The Legislature / Rule changes

  • S.477 – Establishes that legislative leadership have an “unconditional right” to intervene on behalf of their respective legislative bodies in a state court action and may provide evidence or argument against a party that challenges the legality of an action by the General Assembly
  • H.3661 – Every day the House does not consider a matter of economic development the members forfeit a day’s subsistence allowance
  • H.3581 – Allowing legislative committees to make their own rules for alternative meeting arrangements in the case of an emergency, but must provide for public participation and video and audio available to the public
  • S.406 – Amending parts of the Senate rules, requires appropriations bills to include explanations of all funding requests made by Senators (earmarks)
  • H.3659 – Rule change in how seating for members is selected, each desk will have both a Republican and Democrat sitting at it, where possible
  • H.3660 – Raising the number of the votes needed to invoke the previous question during a debate, from 50% of the body + five members to 75% of the body 

Taxation

  • H.3674  Property tax omnibus bill; eliminates the two-thirds vote requirement by local government to exceed annual millage rate (property tax) caps, allowing an automatic “step-up” in property tax to fair market value at a sale of a property, and more (all dependent on the ratification of a required constitutional amendment) 
  • H.3615  – Eliminating a millage cap (property tax) for a fire department expenditures
  • S.436 – Removes the total cap for the community development tax credit and sets an annual cap of $3M annually
  • H.3593 – Creates a $2,000 income tax credit for a person who employs a grade 6 – 12 teachers as an intern, for each teacher employed 
  • H.3594 – Tax credit equal to entire property tax bill for employees of public schools in tier IV counties for 5 consecutive years
  • H.3625  Allowing a spouse to live outside of a house receiving the special residence tax assessment and changing what documents are acceptable when applying for the assessment
  • H.3669 – Allowing a property tax exemption for veterans who are considered totally disabled 
  • S.463 – Eliminating a tax credit for purchase of geothermal equipment 

Local

  • S.447 – Paying Lee County Transportation Committee members using gas-tax funds
  • S.423 – Authorizes a county to pass an ordinance requiring a property owner to keep their property clean, provides an exemption for farmers 
  • H.3679 – Aiken City Council and County Council are to transfer the Vietnam War Memorial, eternal flame, and United States flag installations to the Aiken County Veterans Memorial Park 
  • H.3681 – Local governments (going forward) cannot regulate ingredients, flavors or licensing of tobacco or other nicotine alternatives
  • S.446 – Increasing the membership of the Hartsville Community Center Building Commission
  • S.448 – Adding 4 members to the Chester County board of Directors, all of whom are appointed by the local delegation
  • S.449 – Adds two members to the Aiken County Commission for Tech Education (all members are appointed by the governor)
  • S.478 – Adding two members to the Clarendon County School district (who are originally appointed by Legislative Delegations) and then reverting back to seven members in 2024
  • H.3584 – Restructuring how the Oconee County Board of Assessment Appeals is appointed 

Legal

  • S.432 – Allows for contributions for defense costs for the same claim, suit, or action among more than one liability insurer
  • S.433 – Limits the legal liability for a person who voluntarily transports seniors
  • S.440 – In dealing with the removal of false documents, a person provided with notice of document removal may initiate a lawsuit to prevent the removal of the document
  • H.3597 – Resolution to provide liability protection for healthcare providers and businesses who followed guidelines from covid related litigation 
  • H.3698 – Liability protection from covid lawsuits for health care and businesses that followed public health guidance
  • S.473 – States that an order execution can have active energy beyond the ten year period under certain circumstances
  • S.471 – Rewrites voir dire procedure
  • S.451 – Setting a date for judicial elections 

Resolutions (Highlights) (45 total)

  • H.3640 – Resolution for a fox hunting club leader
  • H.3680 – Making restoration and exhibition of classic cars the official “family-friendly pastime of the state”
  • H.3692 – Welcoming the “Supreme Governor of the Order of the Moose” 

Road naming

  • H.3662 – DOT shall name a road “Othniel Wienges, Jr. Memorial Highway”
  • S.450 – DOT shall name a road “Curtis B. Inabinett, Sr. Highway”
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