SC Public Policy Update - May 2016 #2

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC
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SENATE

It was a short but busy week in the Senate as members worked through numerous bills remaining on the Senate calendar. The Senate gave third reading on Thursday to H. 5009, relating to the “Textiles Communities Revitalization Income Tax Credit.” This legislation, by Representative Derham Cole (R-Spartanburg), removes the 50% cap on the income tax credit. To be eligible for the tax credit, the property owner or developer must not have owned the site before it was abandoned nor have previously received a textile mill credit. The Senate also gave second reading to H. 4932 by Representative Rita Allison (R-Spartanburg). This legislation makes revisions to the specifications and limitations for vehicles and trailers operated along the State’s highways. New provisions are included in the bill to allow motor vehicles fueled primarily by natural gas to exceed weight limitations by specified amounts. The bill will be eligible for third reading when the Senate returns on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, the Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee met on a number of bills of interest. The Subcommittee reported favorably on H. 5193, by Representative Chip Huggins (R-Lexington), that would require the Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Pharmacy to issue a joint written protocol to authorize pharmacists to dispense a drug to reverse the effects of an opioid related drug overdose. The Subcommittee also reported favorably on H. 4327 by Representative Murrell Smith (D-Sumter) relating to hospice programs. This legislation allows for the expansion of service areas for outpatient hospice programs. H. 3952, by Representative Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville), would legalize emergency or involuntary commitments for persons who are likely to injure themselves or would become gravely disabled if not for immediate hospitalization. After a brief discussion, the bill received a favorable report as amended. The full Medical Affairs Committee will take up the three bills at their next meeting on Thursday, May 19th.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a lengthy meeting and reported on the following bills:

H. 3450 (Bannister) At-Rest Legislation for Alcoholic Beverages: Favorable Report (Minority Report);
H. 4701 (Pitts) Second Amendment Preservation Act: Favorable Report (Minority Report);
S. 1052 (Alexander) SLED Fingerprinting: Favorable Report;
H. 4492 (Putnam) Notice of Child Abuse and Neglect Hearings: Favorable Report as Amended;
H. 4262 (Erickson) Training for Family Childcare Home Operators: Favorable Report as Amended;
H. 4546 (Putnam) Definitions Used in the Children’s Code: Favorable Report as Amended; and
H. 4413 (H.A. Crawford) Infant Safe Havens: Favorable Report as Amended.

The Senate Labor Commerce and Industry Regulatory and Local Government Subcommittee on S. 1062 heard testimony this week from interested parties regarding the legislation. S. 1062, by Senator Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley) provides that existing industrial facilities shall not be eligible for nuisance suits. After receiving testimony, the Subcommittee moved to carry the bill over.

The Senate Higher Education Subcommittee also convened this week to take up H. 4145 by Representative Brian White (R-Anderson). This comprehensive legislation would establish the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development within the Department of Commerce. Along with establishing the Council, the bill also seeks to provide centralized oversight and comprehensive planning for the numerous job training initiatives housed in various State agencies as way of maximizing the benefits of these programs. Representatives from the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, SC Technical Colleges, and the Department of Commerce all provided testimony regarding ways to improve the legislation. Subcommittee Chairman Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington) stated that he plans to bring a large amendment before the full Education Committee next week with several changes in an attempt to simplify the bill. After a brief debate, the bill received a favorable report as amended.

Bills passed by the Senate this week include:

S. 923 – provides that a person who tortures, mutilates, injures, disables, poisons, or kills a police dog or horse may be fined up to thirty thousand dollars and may be imprisoned for up to ten years;
S. 1212 – adds a new voting precinct in Spartanburg County;
S. 1243 – allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue “Chase Away Childhood Cancer” special license plates;
H. 3193 – revises the manner in which campaign contributions are attributed to a primary election and to a primary election runoff by providing that, if there is a primary runoff, a contribution made after the date of the primary and through the date of the primary runoff is attributed to the primary runoff;
H. 3343 – addresses methods of euthanasia in animal shelters;
H. 3685 – brings South Carolina into compliance with federal electronic ticketing provisions;
H. 3710 – extends the multiple lot real property tax discount that has been provided to property developers;
H. 3848 – requires the State Board of Education and Education Oversight Committee to incorporate instruction on the founding principles that shaped the United States into the required study of the United States Constitution and the South Carolina Social Studies Standards upon the next cyclical review;
H. 3927 – provides authority for the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue special organizational souvenir license plates;
H. 4705 – relates to the designation of voting precincts in Lancaster County;
H. 4743 – declares Lake Conestee Nature Park in Greenville County as a wildlife sanctuary;
H. 4786 – approves regulations relating to local emergency preparedness standards;
H. 4940 – outlines the duties of the Office of Transformation within the State Department of Education;
H. 5009 – makes revisions to the “Textiles Communities Revitalization Income Tax Credit;”
H. 5066 – requires candidates seeking election to the Beaufort County Board of Education to submit a statement of candidacy rather than submitting a signed petition; and
H. 5218 – declares May of each year in South Carolina as “Water Safety Awareness Month.”
The Senate will reconvene Tuesday at noon.

HOUSE

The House of Representatives observed their third and final week of furlough this year and did not meet in statewide session. The House will reconvene Tuesday at noon.

Top News Articles

Haley farm bill veto may mean hardships for South Carolina farms
Gov. Nikki Haley will sign what is arguably one of the biggest vetoes of her career, a move South Carolina farmers fear will leave them facing tougher times ahead. Read more.

No word on farm bill veto
Haley has five days — excluding Sundays — to sign the bill, veto it or let it become law without her signature. Read more.

‘Tucker Hipps’ bill slows in the Senate
South Carolina senators want to expand the scope of a House-approved bill requiring public colleges to post online any information about infractions committed by fraternities and sororities. Read more.

Bill providing opioid antidote without prescription cruising through SC legislature
A bill that would allow pharmacists to dispense and administer a drug without a prescription that could reverse the effects of an opioid-related drug overdose is quickly making its way through the Legislature. Read more.

State House gun reform rally ends shortly before Senator decides to hold background check bill hearing
Pickens Republican Sen. Larry Martin, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, agreed to take public testimony this summer on proposed bills that could extend the time allowed for running a background check when purchasing a handgun from three days to up to 28. Read more.

Republicans debate for Mount Pleasant seat in State House
The five Republicans who want to represent this fast-expanding town in the S.C. House of Representatives appeared at a forum Thursday where they pitched their views on everything from whether to raise the state’s gas tax to protecting the Port of Charleston. Read more.

Second amendment bill advances to SC Senate floor
A House-passed bill that would prohibit the enforcement of certain federal gun laws is headed to the Senate floor but its detractors could keep the legislation from being passed before next month’s adjournment. Read more.

Personhood bill appears dead for year
A bill that would effectively outlaw abortion if enacted appears dead for the year after supporters could not gain enough votes in the Senate to set it for debate. Read more.

Ban on Sharia law defense in SC courts dies at State House
A bill that would have made the Muslim world’s Sharia law an illegal defense in South Carolina courts was narrowly defeated in the state Senate on Wednesday, killing it for the year. Read more.

Meetings and Events

Tuesday, May 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00 House Republican Caucus Business Roundtable Reception
                  City Art, 1224 Lincoln Street

5:30 – 7:00 Reception for Scott Talley for Senate
                  Nexsen Pruet

6:30 Senate Republican Caucus Spring Reception
        Columbia Fireflies, Spirit Communications Park, Bull Street

Wednesday, May 18, 2016
5:30 – 7:00 Reception for Senator Michael Fair
                  Nexsen Pruet

5:30 – 7:00 Reception for Senators Nicholson and Reese
                  Inn at USC

Newly Introduced Legislation

EDUCATION:
S. 1297 (Sheheen) RELATING TO PER DIEM PAYMENTS FOR MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF THE CHESTERFIELD COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT - Placed on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.

TRANSPORTATION:
S. 1296 (Sheheen): TO PROVIDE THE KERSHAW COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE SHALL BE COMPRISED OF SEVEN MEMBERS - Placed on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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