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Week In Review

Bills Given Third Reading

S.454 – Correctional Facilities Medications Authorized: A bill to include correctional facilities among the facilities authorized to provide medications by unlicensed persons with documented medication training and skill competency evaluation. Only limited medications is permitted and must be supervised. 

Bills Given Second Reading

S.107 – Baseline for Coastal Erosion Zones: A bill to establish a baseline for coastal erosion zones. If a primary ocean front sand dune is more than 200 feet landward of the line of stable vegetation, the baseline must be seaward of the primary oceanfront sand dune at least thirty percent of the measured distance. If there is no primary sand dunce, the baseline must be established further landward of the most seaward of the locations or the landward edge of active beach.

S.158 – Exemptions from Continuing Education Requirements: A bill to add brokers or salespersons with twenty-five years or more of experience who is 65 years of age or more to the exemptions from biennial continuing education requirements.

S.287 – Requirements for Licensure By Board of Physical Therapy Examiners: A bill to require the department to require a state criminal records check, and fingerprints, for licensure to the Board of Physical Therapy Examiners. The results of the records check must not be shared outside the department.

S.516 – Teacher and Support Staff Vaccination Plan: A joint resolution to require the Department of Health and Environmental Control to identify certified teachers and school support staff, as mission-critical workers, and be eligible for vaccination under Phase 1a of the South Carolina COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. DHEC shall offer teachers and support staff to be fully vaccinated within thirty days of the effective date of the joint resolution. Upon the opportunity to be fully vaccinated, every school district must offer five-day, in-person classroom instruction to students no later than March 22, 2021. All South Carolina residents who are eligible under Phase 1a who have received the first vaccine dose remain eligible to be fully vaccinated within the appropriate recommended time period. Additionally, 37,500 doses allocated for long-term care facilities shall be set aside for the teacher vaccination allocation.

H.3707 – Teacher and Support Staff Vaccination Plan: A joint resolution to make appropriations for the State’s Public Heath Response to the COVID-19 virus, including vaccinations. From the Contingency Reserve Fund, $63 million will be directed to DHEC, and $45 million to MUSC to expand the statewide vaccination capacity and testing. DHEC shall implement a plan to reach rural and underserved populations in coordination with MUSC, the South Carolina Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare and other relevant stakeholders. The joint resolution includes other provisions related to the statewide vaccination plan.

This Week In Committee

Finance Committee

S.131 – Capitol Grounds: A bill to re-define the South Carolina capitol grounds, to reflect complex expansion, to include the inward area of Gervais, Sumter, Pendleton and Assembly Streets in Columbia. Additionally, the bill provides the Sergeant at Arms of the House or Representatives and the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate the powers of commissioned constables and be permitted to exercise the duties of their office throughout the State.

S.271 –Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act: A bill to extend the provisions of the South Carolina Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act until December 31, 2025. Additionally, the bill ads railroads rights of way to the provision. 

S.491 –Economic Development Bonds: A bill to issue up to $550,000,000 in economic development bonds to defray the cost of intermodal container transfer infrastructure, waterborne cargo infrastructure for the Port of Charleston. The State Fiscal Accountability Authority shall effect the bonds and provide a schedule reflecting the aggregate principal and interest of all obligation bonds, a schedule of the proposed bonds issued, and a schedule reflecting compliance with the limitation on maximum annual debt service, and additional provisions. 

Corrections and Penology Committee

S.200 – Death Sentences: A bill to provide that persons convicted of a capital crime and which have a sentence of death imposed may select lethal injection if available at the time of election. If the convicted person waives the right of election or lethal injection is unavailable at the election, the penalty must be administered by electrocution. The Director of the Department of Corrections shall certify by affidavit under penalty of perjury to the Supreme Court whether the method selected is available. The Department must provide written notice to a convicted person of his right to election.

Transportation Committee

S.40 – On-Street Parking: A bill to provide that a municipality may not establish or alter parking facilities on any state highway facility without prior approval by the Department of Transpiration. A highway includes the entire area within the highway right-of-way, including the shoulders and parking areas. If any portion of a public highway is obstructed then the governmental entity responsible for maintaining the stretch of highway where the obstruction is located shall remove the obstruction as soon as possible. 

S.242 – Drivers For A Cure Special License Plates: A bill to authorize the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue ‘Drivers For A Cure’ special license plates to owners of private passenger-carrying motor vehicles or motorcycles. The plates expire twenty-four months from the date issued and must be the same size and general design as regular motor vehicle license plates. The biennial fee for each plate is thirty dollars plus the regular motor vehicle license fee. Any portion of the fee must be distributed evenly between the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center and the Duke Cancer Institute. 

S.510 – Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, Distributors, Dealers: A bill amending existing regulation of motor vehicle manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. The bill relates to consumer data, methods of competition, ownership and operation of dealerships and other provisions.  

Looking Ahead to Next Week

Family & Veterans’ Services Committee

S.221 – Extended Foster Care For Persons Eighteen To Twenty-One A bill to extend foster care for persons eighteen to twenty-one, create an extended foster care program and provide voluntary placement, and other conforming changes. 

S.222 – Kinship Foster Care Program: A bill to provide that fictive kin - an individual not related by birth, adoption, or marriage to a child but has an emotionally significant relationship with the child - is eligible to be foster parents under the kinship foster care program under certain circumstances. 

S.441 – DSS Investigations A bill to provide investigations of abuse in qualified residential treatment programs, restrictions on foster care or adoption placements, and make other review requirements.  

S.521 – Invest In Veterans Week: A concurrent resolution to commemorate Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center for declaring March 1-7 in support of veteran-owned businesses, and name Invest In Veterans Week. 

H.3825 – Invest In Veterans Week: A concurrent resolution to commemorate Lexington Chamber and Visitors Center for declaring March 1-7 in support of veteran-owned businesses, and name Invest In Veterans Week. 

Education Committee

S.160 – Surplus Property: A bill to require the Midland Technical College Enterprise Campus Authority to file certain documents with the State Fiscal Accountability Authority related to disposal of surplus property, to permanently authorize the act and repeal the sunset.

S.203 – Removal of School District Trustees: A bill to provide district trustees guilty of malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetency, absenteeism, conflicts of interest, misconduct, persistent neglect of duty in office or incapacity shall be subject to removal by the Governor.

S.16 – Personal Finance Coursework: A bill to add a requirement of students in a public high school or charter school to complete a one-half course of study in personal finance as a requirement for high school graduation in place of economic coursework requirements and develop a curriculum.  

S.38 – REACH Act: A bill to require the study of the U.S. Constitution Declaration of Independence, Emancipation Proclamation, Federalist Papers, and the study of American institutions and ideals in all public institutions of higher learning and complete the requirements prior to certification of graduation for any baccalaureate degree program. 

S.208 – Schools of Innovation: A bill to provide districts may create multiple schools of innovation, exempt from state statutes and regulations if approved by two-thirds of the State Board of Education in the affirmative.

The information provided in this review is not intended to represent Senator Bennett's approval or disapproval but rather a listing of the activity and outcomes within the South Carolina Senate. You may find Senator Bennett's voting record here.