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Week In Review Thumbnail

Week In Review

Bills That Have Passed the Senate

S.38 – REACH Act: A bill to add to current law requirement that all high schools and institutions of higher learning give instruction in the essentials of the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers for one year. The bill adds the instruction of the Emancipation Proclamation, removes the loyalty oath requirement and testing requirement, and adds that public high school students must successfully pass a course of instruction that includes the documents. Higher education is to give three semester credit hours in a course during the matriculation of undergraduate students and would apply to incoming freshman undergraduates entering 2021-2022 academic year. Additionally, the bill requires the Commission on Higher Education to ensure each public institution is in compliance with the provisions and report annually to the House Ways and Means, House Education, Senate Finance and Senate Education committees.

S.105 – Magistrate Liens: A bill to increase the amount of a lien that may be enforced by a petition to a magistrate, to increase from one hundred dollars to the claim limitations for actions under Section 22-3-10.

S.200 – Death Sentences: A bill to provide a method to complete the sentence of death imposed upon a person sentenced to death for being convicted of a capital crime. The bill adds firing squad to the sections of carrying out the sentence, in addition to electrocution or lethal injection. The bill provides that if a convicted person receives a stay of execution or the execution date has passed, then the election expires and must be renewed in writing fourteen days before a new execution date. The bill provides electrocution as the default selection, previously lethal injection. If lethal injection is determined and certified to be unavailable at the time of the execution, the Department of Corrections may appeal to inflict the death sentence by electrocution, regardless of the method elected by the convicted person.

S.208 – Schools of Innovation: A bill to provide that school districts may instead create multiple schools of innovation and provide exemption from state statutes and regulation by schools of innovation if approved by a two-thirds vote of the State Board of Education.

S.430 – Commission for the Blind Meetings: A bill to reduce the amount of regular meetings required by the South Carolina Commission for the Blind to provide that the Commission shall meet at least once each year.

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.

H.3589 – Schools of Innovation: A bill to provide that school districts may instead create multiple schools of innovation and provide exemption from state statutes and regulation by schools of innovation if approved by a two-thirds vote of the State Board of Education.

H.3608 – Public Charter Schools Appropriation: A joint resolution to appropriate $9,000,000 from the 2018-2019 Contingency Reserve Fund to the Department of Education for distribution to the Public Charter School District for per pupil funding. The funding shall not be used for administrative salary increases. A charter school may, but is not required to, approve charter applications that meet the requirements set for in the Code.

H.3609 – Teacher Step Increases: A joint resolution to appropriate $50,000,000 to the Executive Budget Office to provide teacher step increases, including fringe, for the 2020-2021 School Year. Funds must be held in a separate account and disbursed to school districts, and any funds remaining in the account after June 30, 2021, must be remitted to the Contingency Reserve Fund. The Department of Education shall distribute the funds to each school district in an amount equal to the increased cost of salaries to the school district due to the step increase in the state minimum salary schedule.

Bills Given Second Reading

S.108 – Topographic Mapping Using LiDAR: A bill to conduct topographic mapping using light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data collections by December 31, 2021, and at least every seven years thereafter. The information collected must be shared with SCDNR Flood Mitigation Program . The unit is authorized to work with local, state and federal governmental entities to complete the mapping and publish the results to the public on the DNR website.

S.457 – Safe Boating Distances: A bill to provide it is unlawful to operate a personal watercraft, specialty propcraft, or vessel while upon a narrow waterway in excess of idle speed within fifty feet of a moored or anchored vessel, wharf, dock, bulkhead, pier or person in the water; or upon all waters of the state within one hundred feet of a moored or anchored vessel, wharf, dock, bulkhead, pier or person in the water, or one hundred yards of the Atlantic Ocean coast line. This does not apply to a person who is on water skis or a floating device with the permission of the operator of the vessel or watercraft.

S.505 – Electronic Dissemination of Commercial Recordings: A bill to require a person who owns or operates a website or online service dealing in substantial part in the electronic dissemination of third-party commercial recordings or audiovisual works, directly or indirectly, and who electronically disseminates the works to consumers to disclose clearly and conspicuously his correct name, physical address, telephone number and email address on his website in a location readily accessible by a consumer. The owner, assignee, or authorized agent or exclusive licensee of a commercial recording or audiovisual work electronically disseminated by a website may bring a private cause of action to obtain declaratory judgment for a person who violates the section.

This Week In Committee

Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

S.506 – Home-based Foods: A bill to extend the privileges offered of home-based food production to include online, mail order, or to retail stores including grocery stores. The bill permits nonpotentially hazardous foods to be provided for sale under strict circumstances, if the operation has a net earnings of less $1,500 annually.

Fish, Game and Forestry Committee

S.545 – Nongame Fishing Devices A bill to add to the use of set hooks within certain portions of the Santee River, recreational license-fifty and commercial license-fifty.

Medical Affairs Committee

S.571 – Naloxone Prescriptions: A bill to provide a prescriber shall offer a prescription for naloxone hydrochloride or another drug approved by the USFDA for the complete or partial reversal of opioid depression to a patient under certain circumstances. The prescriber must follow standard labeling and care practices.

H.3900 – Podiatrists To Administer COVID-19 Vaccine: A bill to permit licensed podiatrists in good standing with the SC LLR Board of Podiatry Examiners to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, if they have successfully completed COVID-19 training programs through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The joint resolution expires with South Carolina is no longer under declared public health emergency concerning COVID-19.

Transportation Committee

H.3501 – Revolutionary War Special Commemorative License Plates: A bill to permit the DMV to issue special commemorative motor vehicle license plates commemorating two hundred fiftieth anniversary of the American Revolution to owners of private passenger carrying motor vehicles or motorcycles. The South Carolina Revolutionary War Sestercentennial Commission shall submit to the department for approval or the design, emblem, seal, logo or other symbols for the special license plate. Production of the special plate will cease January 1, 2033.

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.