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Week In Review Thumbnail

Week In Review

Bills That Have Passed The Senate

S.28 – Ignition Interlock Device Program: A bill to allow a person under the age of twenty-one who is serving a suspension or denial of a license to as a result of a DUI to enroll in the ignition interlock device program for motor vehicles, not including motorcycles. The ignition interlock restriction must be maintained on temporary alcohol license for three months, then the person can obtain a license without an ignition interlock restriction, and make other provisions.

S.29 – Watercraft Liability Insurance: A bill to provide that owners of watercraft or more than seventy horsepower must carry liability insurance of at least fifty thousand dollars of coverage per occurrence and to provide penalties for failure to comply and a method of collection of fines.

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.177 – Vaccinations: A joint resolution to provide that no person in the State must be compelled to undergo vaccination to prevent COVID-19 if a person chooses not to undergo vaccination, then the person’s employer may not subject the person to adverse employment action including termination, suspension, involuntary reassignment or demotion. The provision is extended to DHEC’s authority to require isolation and quarantine to not require a person to undergo a vaccination during a public health emergency.

S.232 – Conversion of a Nonprofit to LLC: A bill related to the mergers under the SC Nonprofit Corporation Act to provide a mechanism for a nonprofit corporation to convert to a limited liability company. The Board of Directors shall adopt a plan of conversion that includes the name of the corporation and the name of the resulting LLC, the terms and conditions of the plan, the manner and basis of converting memberships to the resulting LLC and make other conforming changes.

S.236 – Pooling Precincts: A bill to provide that make changes to the ability of municipalities to pool precincts for municipal elections only so that a municipality may pool if: a precinct contains three thousand or more registered voters, the total number of registered voters cannot exceed three thousand registered voters, the voting place cannot be more than three miles from the nearest part of any pooled precinct. Notice of the precincts including those pooled must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality on the day of the election.

S.296 – Golf Carts After Sunset: A bill to provide that a municipality with a land area of approximately 3.87 square miles and a population between ten and eleven thousand persons, as of July 1, 2017, that is located within a county that had a population of two hundred twenty-six thousand seventy-three persons according to the 2010 Census may enact an ordinance allowing the operation of a permitted golf cart up to sixty minutes after sunset on locally owned roads for which the posted speed limit is twenty-five miles and hour or less if the golf cart has operable headlights and brake lights.

S.351 – Inmate Discharge: A bill to require that when an inmate is discharged from a state prison, if the person has been convicted of a felony of offenses against the election laws, the Department of Corrections must provide a written notice that contains the information of the voter registration board in his county of residence and a copy of SC Code 7-5-120. If the person’s supervision is completed through the granting of a pardon, then the probation agent may fulfill the requirement by including the information with the pardon certificate. A person formerly disqualified from being registered to vote must provide verification at the time of registration that his disqualifying sentence has been fully completed.

S.379 – Perinatal Integration: A bill to relating to birthing center licensure to provide that DHEC shall promulgate regulation to integrate birthing centers and licensed midwives into perinatal care services and provide conforming definitions. Nothing in the bill shall be construed to require the department to promulgate regulations to restrict the scope of practice permitted under current licenses issued by the department or change existing licensure requirements or a hospital or birthing center to change the way it creates or maintains credentialing and admitting privileges.

S.425 – Protection of Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation: A bill to provide that a bank, credit union, wealth management institution or other financial services company may, but is not required to, decline or place a hold on any transaction of a vulnerable adult if the account is suspected to be engaged in financial exploitation of the vulnerable adult. A institution that declines or places a hold on the transaction shall make a reasonable effort to notify all parties of the hold and report the incident to the appropriate investigative entity.

S.436 – Community Development Tax Credits: A bill to delete an aggregate credit provision related to community development tax credits, and set an annual limit of two million dollars for all taxpayers in tax year 2021; and three million dollars for all taxpayers in tax years after 2021.

S.499 – Election Commission Restructuring Act: A bill to make restructuring changes to the South Carolina Election Commission. The President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on behalf of their respective bodies, have the unconditional right to intervene in a state court action that challenges the validity of an election law, policy, or the manner in which the election is conducted. The State Election Commission must notify the President and the Speaker within twenty-four hours of the receipt of service of a complaint that challenges election law or policy. Further, the Election Commission shall be appointed by the Governor upon Advice and Consent of the Senate. The terms of the members shall be four years until their successors are appointed and qualify. The Commission shall appoint an executive director, upon advice and consent of the Senate. In the event of a vacancy of the executive director, an interim director must be appointed by the commission and a formal appointment submitted to the Senate as soon as practical. If a person who is appointed is rejected, the person must not serve as an interim director. A member may not serve in holdover status for more than one year. IF a member who has been reappointed and is serving in holdover status is not confirmed by the Senate or before the sine die adjournment of the General Assembly following the expiration of the member’s term, then the member’s seat is vacated and is ineligible to serve on the Commission as a recess or interim appointee; If a person to be executive director is not confirmed by the Senate by the date for the sine die adjournment following the appointment, the person must not serve as an interim or permanent executive director.

S.500 – Licensure or Regulation by Board of Architectural Examiners Exemption: A bill to revise an exemption for plans and specifications for certain dwellings as it relates to exemptions from licensure and regulation by the Board of Architectural Examiners to include one-family and two-family dwellings, including townhouses. All other buildings and structures classified for residential occupancies or uses in the SC Building Code that are beyond the scope of the Residential Code are not exempt.

S.527 – Legally Separated Assessment Ratios: A bill to define “legally separated” for purposes of certificate contained for the special four percent assessment ratio for owner-occupied residential property and require the annual reapplication and recertification to maintain the special assessment, and other provisions.

S.533 – Subminimum Wages to Individuals with Disabilities: A joint resolution to provide that no individual with a disability may be paid less than the federal minimum wage. The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs shall submit a report to the General Assembly identifying all providers of the state that maintain a Section 14(c) certificate; those that pay a subminimum wage; those who have stopped the practice; those that stopped paying a subminimum wage due to an increase in the federal minimum wage and provide data regarding the success in obtaining minimum wage employment., and makes other conforming changes and reporting requirements. The resolution takes effect on August 1, 2024.

S.587 – Reimbursement of Bond Proceeds: A bill related to economic development bonds for conventions and trade shows to provide the reimbursement is not applicable for a new meeting and exhibit space of not less than fifty thousand square feet or to reimburse a state agency, instrumentality, or political subdivision for the acquisition or construction or a new meeting and exhibit space of not less than fifty thousand square feet if the construction occurred prior to the sale of the original meeting and exhibit space and other related provisions.

S.609 – Criminal Background Checks for Employees: A bill to authorize state agencies and political subdivisions to have access to federal tax information to conduct criminal background checks on its employees and contractors. Each agency or political subdivision is required to conduct background checks and investigations pursuant to the law and establish written policies concerning implementation of the checks and investigations.

S.619 – Sale of Wine by Wineries: A bill to provide for sales of wine on winery premises if the winery is the primary American source of supply for the wine sold, and to provide for the sale of beer with an alcohol content of twelve percent or less. To provide for the retail sales and tastings of alcoholic liquors at micro-distilleries if the micro-distillery is the primary American source of supply, subject to other limitations. In addition, a holder of a valid micro-distillery or manufacturer license is authorized to sell alcoholic liquors distilled at the licensed premises to consumers for on-premises consumption. These establishments may also apply for separate beer and wine licenses for on-premises consumption provided the entity: does not sell or allow the consumption of alcoholic liquor by the drink on that part of the micro-distillery or manufacturer’s premises designated and permitted for distilling and manufacturing operations; it maintains all financial records of the restaurant operation separately from the distilling and manufacturing operations and maintains a physical partition between distilling and manufacturing operations and food establishment operations, and establishes additional requirements for maintaining the operations.

S.623 – Rate Increase Requirements: A bill to provide that a rate increase may not be implemented until the onset of a new policy period, to require approval by the Director of the Department of Insurance for certain rate increases and to remove language requiring the submission of a report by the Director.

S.644 – Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification: A bill to transfer the division of Small and Minority Business Contracting and Certification, in the Department of Administration, to the Commission for Minority Affairs and make conforming changes.

S.658 – South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority Board of Directors: A bill to establish PEBA may establish rules for eligibility and enrollment for full insured and insurance products for which it is the plan sponsor and to provide medical evidence of insurability shall not be required sooner than thirty days from the date a person is first eligible to enroll in a full insured insurance product, and make other changes related to the contingent beneficiaries.

S.685 – Name, Image or Likeness: A bill to permit intercollegiate athletes to engage in name, image or likeness (NIL) contracts with third parties, to obtain athlete agents and require disclosures and restrictions. NIL may not exchange for athletic performance or attendance at a particular institution and be provided only by a third party. The athlete would be permitted to receive compensation for non-athletic work or activities related to a business he owns. An institution is prohibiting from facilitating NIL opportunities as a means to recruit or paying an athlete. NIL cannot be tied to endorsements of tobacco, alcohol, illegal substances or activities, banned athletic substances, or gambling to include sports betting, nor can it interfere with policies on missed class time and academic standing, and other limitations. A NIL contact shall be void if the intercollegiate athlete is convicted of a felony.

Bills Given Second Reading

S.401 – Millage Limitations: A bill to permit a governing body of a county, by a majority vote, to adopt an ordinance or resolution to suspend the millage rate limitation for the purpose of supporting a fire protection district.

S.628 – Pharmacy Access Act: A bill to establish protocol and processes for pharmacists in the state. The bill does not create a duty of care for a person who prescribes or dispenses a self-administered hormonal contraceptive or administers an injectable hormonal contraceptive. A person licensed under the South Carolina Pharmacy Practice Act may dispense to a patient eighteen years of age or older or under the age of eighteen with a written order, and other requirements including continuing education requirements.

S.675 – Tax Proceeds To State Aviation Fund: A bill to provide the disposition of tax proceeds, to credit the proceeds of taxes to the State Aviation Fund, to phase in the crediting of the proceeds and provide a portion of the revenues collected must be used to obtain or develop through the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission an airport facility in a county without an airport facility.

S.677 – Allocation of Tax Credit: A bill to provide that a tax credit earned by a partnership or a limited liability company taxed as a partnership, may be passed through to the partners or members and may be allocated among any of its partners or members on an annual basis, including , without limitation, an allocation of the entire credit to any partner. The allocation must be allowed without regard to any provision of the Internal Revenue Code or regulation.

H.3726 – Gross Proceeds of Sales: A bill to exclude amounts of gross proceeds of sales received from a buydown. A buydown means an agreement between a retailer and a manufacturer or wholesaler in which the retailer receives a payment from the manufacturer or wholesaler that requires the retailer to reduce the sales price of the manufacturer’s or wholesaler’s product to the retail purchaser. This does not apply to amounts received by a retailer from a retail sales transaction in which a retail purchaser uses a manufacturer’s or wholesalers’ coupon.

This Week In Committee

Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee: 

S.41 – Redevelopment Fees for Museum Projects: A bill to provide that certain redevelopment fees may be used for financing, acquiring, developing, supporting and operating museum projects, to include real and personal property that the redevelopment authority determines are appropriate to support or undertake tourism and economic development in the territorial boundaries of the authority. A museum project is considered a redevelopment project and the area of the museum is considered within its area of operation. The authority may assign, grant, contribute or otherwise appropriate development fees in connection with financing, acquiring, developing, supporting and operating a project.

S.635 – SC Research Authority Board of Trustees: A bill to make changes to the Board of Trustees of the South Carolina Research Authority so permit presidents’ designees of Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina and the University of South Carolina at Columbia. A designee of the university presidents must be an individual serving in no less than a vice president or comparable role and report directly to the president. Each university president may designate only one person for each calendar year, except in cases of incapacity or other related incidents. Additionally, the bill extends the of a company to remain in an innovation center from up to four years to five years or until exceeding five million dollars in annual commercial revenue (previously one million), but may not apply with respect to thirty-five percent of the square feet in an innovation center.

H.3024 – Mobile Barbershops: A bill to authorize the State Board of Barber Examiners to issue mobile barbershop permits and establish requirements and regulation of mobile barbershops. An individual may operate a mobile barbershop, as defined, if he is licensed in the practice of barbering and does not have a physically stationary office at the location where the barbering services are provided. An individual must apply to the board for a permit and submit an application and fee in the manner prescribed by regulation and undergo inspection of the mobile barbershop. The bill also requires notification for any change in official business address or phone number, requires the barbershop to comply with all local ordinances and requirements.

H.3664 – Criminal Background Checks by Real Estate Commission: A bill to require the Real Estate Commission to conduct certain fingerprint-based criminal records check for applicant’s for licensure as a salesman, broker, broker-in-charge, property manager and property manager-in-charge to include social security number-based criminal records check from a source approved by the commission.

Fish, Game and Forestry Committee: 

H.3056 – Prestwood Lake Wildlife Refuge Board: A bill to repeal sections of the code related to Prestwood Lake Wildlife Refuge Board, Catawba-Wateree Fish and Game Commission, Cherokee Fish and Game Club, Darlington County Advisory Fish and Game Commission, Lee County Protect Fish and Game, Shelly Lake Fish Sanctuary and others.

H.3548 – Nongame Fishing Devices: A bill to delete the prohibition of possession of a game fish device while possessing or using a nongame fish device.

Transportation Committee: 

H.3101 – Disposition of Motor Vehicles by a Salvage Pool Operator: A bill to provide for the disposition of a motor vehicle in the possession of a salvage pool operator. A salvage pool operator who, on request of an insurance company, takes possession of a motor vehicle that is the subject of an insurance claim when the company denies coverage or does not otherwise take ownership of the vehicle. An insurance company shall notify the operator of the denial of the claim with certain requirements. The bill further defines terms and definitions of salvage, junk, and off-road use vehicles, and makes other conforming changes.

H.3505 – Infrastructure Maintenance Fee Assessed: A bill to provide that the infrastructure maintenance fee assessed against a vehicle also applies to the first titling of a vehicle or other item. If the dealer does not license, title or register the item, the customer must pay the infrastructure maintenance fee to the department when titling or registering the vehicle. If the lessee purchases the vehicle he originally leased and the registrant of the vehicle remains the same, the person does not owe and additional infrastructure maintenance fee.

H.3689 – Internal Registration Plan: A bill to related to the registration and licensure of vehicles by DMV so that if a commercial motor vehicle is registered through the International Registration Plan and is operated under a USDOT number assigned to a person other than the vehicle’s owner, the person assigned may register the commercial motor vehicle by submitting the appropriate application and fees to the DMV.

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.