Can’t spell Champions without Chapin!

Today, Chapin High sets their sights on a possible TWO more State Championships!

In addition to the dynasty Vicki Wiliams has created with the Cheerleading Squad and the Championship performance by Mr. Herbert’s band ; Chapin boasts many champions in others sports every year. (The girls’ softball team is trying to make their mark this year as well!)

Good luck to all our student athletes!

2016 Chapin soccer

Richland County: It’s happening…again

2016 GOP primary

Everyone makes mistakes. But it seems Richland County is getting “real good” at making “mistakes” lately: the county Penny Tax county Recreation …. county elections .

Thanks to my neighbor, who first brought this to my attention April 29th when he walked over and showed me the letter you see above, I learned 203 voters in our community received this letter…by mistake.

The letter begins:

“You requested an absentee ballot for the REPUBLICAN Primary on June 14th, 2016, but there will be no REPUBLICAN primary for any of the offices you are eligible to vote….Therefore, you will NOT be receiving a REPUBLICAN ballot for June 14, 2016.

Not sure how the county didn’t know there was a Republican race out here. It’s the only Republican race in the entire county so it should stand out. I would hope they wouldn’t “forget about us” about here – but looks like they did.

The State wrote about it this week and I’ve copied some of the article below.

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC

More than 200 voters in Richland County mistakenly were told by the beleaguered county elections office that they could not vote absentee in the June Republican primary for state House District 71.

Thousands of voters across the county requested absentee ballots for the June 14 primary. Most of them correctly received letters from the Richland County Voter Registration and Elections office telling them there is no Republican primary for them to vote in, elections director Samuel Selph said.

But 203 voters in House District 71, who are eligible to vote in the county’s sole Republican primary, received those letters by mistake, Selph said.

“We were just trying to be proactive” by informing voters when there were no primaries in their districts, Selph said. “We made a mistake and sent it to some people in District 71, and we corrected that. … You don’t like for these things to happen, naturally.”

Read more here

The county has since mailed those 203 voters a corrected letter (see below) and it’s my hope that all voters will receive their absentee ballots and that come June 14th, every vote will count and the county will have the legal number of (working) machines at every precint.

2016 GOP correction

The Weekly Rewind: Week of May 2nd

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NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION’S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
May 6, 2016

The House of Representatives concurred in Senate amendments to H.4717 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation responds to the unprecedented damage of the October 2015 floods by creating the “SOUTH CAROLINA FARM AID FUND” to assist farmers in order to prevent the economic collapse of many of the state’s farms which could cause a severe disruption in the state’s economy and food supply chain. Established with a $40 million appropriation from the 2014 2015 Contingency Reserve Fund, the South Carolina Farm Aid Fund is created for making financial awards to farmers who have experienced a verifiable loss of agricultural commodities of at least forty percent as a result of the catastrophic flooding of October 2015. Grant awards must be used for agricultural production expenses and losses due to the flood which demonstrate an intent to continue the agricultural operation, such as purchases of seed and fertilizer. Awards may not be used to purchase new equipment. Grant awards that are falsely obtained or misspent must be refunded. Criminal penalties are provided to address fraud. The legislation makes provisions for each grant to equal up to twenty percent of the person’s verifiable loss of agricultural commodities, and establishes limitations so that grants may not exceed one hundred thousand dollars and may not, when combined with losses covered by insurance, exceed one hundred percent of the actual loss. The grant program is to be administered by the Department of Agriculture in consultation with the Department of Revenue and a Farm Aid Advisory Board composed of: the Commissioner of Agriculture, or his designee, who serves as chairman; the Director of the Department of Revenue, or his designee; the Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture of Clemson Public Service Activities, or his designee, the Vice President for Land Grant Services of South Carolina State Public Service Activities, or his designee; one member representing South Carolina Farm Bureau appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture; one member representing a farm credit association appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture; one member representing the crop insurance industry appointed by the Director of the Department of Revenue; and, one member who is an agricultural commodities producer appointed by the Director of the Department of Revenue. Sunset provisions are included so that the Farm Aid Fund and the Advisory Board are dissolved no later than June 30, 2017.

The House returned S.277, the “STATE TELECOM EQUITY IN FUNDING ACT”, to the Senate with amendments. Responding to innovations in such areas as wireless communications and Internet-based services that have transformed the telecommunications marketplace over the course of recent years, the legislation revises statutory requirements for telecommunications service providers to make contributions to the Universal Service Fund as well as to the program that provides specialized telecommunications services to those who are deaf or have other hearing or speech impairments. Act 488 of 1990 authorized the Public Service Commission to establish a statewide program to provide telephone access to individuals with hearing or speech impairments through a dual party relay system that allows those who are deaf, hearing, and speech impaired to communicate through an intermediary party, and authorized that the program be funded through monthly surcharges imposed on all of a local exchange telephone company’s residential and business lines. This legislation revises the funding mechanism for the dual party relay program so that surcharges are collected not only on traditional land line telephones, but also on the full array of telecommunications services offered in the contemporary market, including commercial mobile radio service (CMRS), prepaid wireless service, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service. The legislation revises statutory provisions for the state’s Universal Service Fund, which is used for initiatives to guarantee access to affordable telecommunications services in sparsely-populated rural areas and other places that may be underserved by the marketplace, to accommodate the collection of surcharges not only on traditional land lines, but also on wireless telecommunications services. The legislation revises provisions that govern the maximum size of the state’s Universal Service Fund to establish a new, lower, cap on USF funds. A carrier of last resort authorized to receive funds from the USF is subject to random compliance audits and other investigations by the Public Service Commission Office of Regulatory Staff. The Office of Regulatory Staff is also charged with new responsibilities for making regular reports to the to the Public Utilities Review Committee on the status of the Universal Service Fund detailing funding needs and appropriate levels of USF distributions.

The House returned S.1035, the “SOUTH CAROLINA TELEMEDICINE ACT”, to the Senate with amendments. The legislation revises statutes governing the practice of medicine to incorporate provisions for telemedicine which involves the use of such means as electronic communications and information technology to allow a physician to practice medicine in one location while the patient is in another location. The legislation establishes requirements that address such issues as record keeping and the proper conduct of an evaluation and diagnosis when the physician is at a distance from the patient rather than in a more traditional in person medical care setting. The legislation makes provisions for how a physician patient relationship is established through telemedicine.

The House returned S.338, a bill establishing NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ESTABLISHING RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES FOR RECENTLY PAROLED PRISON INMATES, to the Senate with amendments. The legislation requires any public, private, or nonprofit entity helping to rehabilitate and reintroduce paroled prison inmates into communities that also provide residential housing to these parolees to publish notice in a newspaper of general circulation all addresses for these residential housing facilities at least sixty days prior to opening them. They also must conduct a public hearing at least thirty days before the first residential facility opens in the community where all residents of the community must be given an opportunity to comment on the program and on the location of any or all of the proposed facilities. These requirements only apply to a county, incorporated municipality, or town where there are no zoning requirements.

The House returned S.916, a bill INCREASING AGES WHEN INDIVIDUALS ARE CONSIDERED CHILDREN AND JUVENILES IN CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS, to the Senate. These adjustments of ages provided in various statutes impact such issues as when a case may be transferred to Family Court and when the Department of Juvenile Justice exercises its responsibilities.

The House returned S.788, the “MANAGED TIDAL IMPOUNDMENT PRESERVATION ACT”, to the Senate with amendments. The legislation exempts property that is deemed eligible under a general permit issued by the United States Army Corp of Engineers from state Department of Health and Environmental Control permitting requirements for routine, normal, or emergency maintenance or repair activities of tidal impoundment fields and adjacent nontidal fields. These coastal properties are commonly former rice fields that are now being used as duck hunting preserves.

The House approved S.1272, a joint resolution affording the Department of Education access to certain funding relating to the federal INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES EDUCATION ACT (IDEA), and enrolled the legislation for ratification.

The House approved S.780 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation revises provisions dealing with importing, possessing or selling imported fish, to clarify language in current law that the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will continue to issue permits for the importation, breeding, and possession of GRASS CARP or grass carp hybrids. The legislation revises statutes to incorporate references to the more familiar designation of grass carp alongside the more technical and less recognizable name for the fish, white amur.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.5299, a bill establishing authority for TRANSPORTING NECESSARY GOODS AND SERVICES TO DISASTER AREAS DURING CURFEWS. The legislation revises the Governor’s authority in times of emergency to make provisions for a certification process to authorize someone to enter a disaster area and operate during times when a curfew has been imposed in order to transport necessary commercial goods to the curfew area, assist in ensuring the availability of these needed goods, or to assist in restoring utility services.

The House amended and gave second reading approval to H.3133, a bill that establishes a protocol allowing SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN PLACED IN THE JUVENILE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY TO PETITION THE FAMILY COURT TO REMOVE THE PERSON’S REQUIREMENT TO REGISTER AS A SEX OFFENDER once the individual has reached twenty one years of age and has been released from the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice, South Carolina Department of Corrections, or South Carolina Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.5245, which provides authorization for a manufacturer, brewer, importer, or retailer to offer consumers COUPONS AND REBATES FOR THE PURCHASE OF BEER, including retailer instant redeemable coupons, mail in rebates, and coupons and rebates offered or redeemed through any electronic means.

The House voted to continue H.4544, a bill to establish requirements and conditions that must be met in order for ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION DRUGS to be prescribed, so that the legislation may not be considered this session.

The House voted to continue H.3229, a bill revising provisions for TASTINGS AND RETAIL SALES OF ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS AT LICENSED PREMISES OF A MICRO DISTILLERY OR MANUFACTURER, so that the legislation may not be considered this session.

The Weekly Rewind: Week of April 25th

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NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION’S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
April 29, 2016

The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4776, the “SOUTH CAROLINA EDUCATION SCHOOL FACILITIES ACT”. The legislation makes provisions for state financial assistance to school districts, through such means as the issuance of state general obligation bonds and the awarding of grants, that must be used for permanent school instructional facilities, health and safety upgrades, technology access inside the school, and fixed building assets including the costs for construction, improvement, enlargement, or renovation of school facilities. The legislation does not provide financial assistance for unimproved real property, centralized school district administration facilities, or facilities normally identified with interscholastic sports activities. Under the legislation, the State Department of Education is charged with conducting a comprehensive study of all school districts’ facilities and physical assets and is assigned the responsibility of producing an annual prioritization report, with a total project cost that must not exceed two hundred million dollars, that ranks the qualified school projects. The department’s prioritization report must also provide a recommendation of whether financial assistance for a specific school project should be in the form of grants, loans or a combination of both. The legislation makes provisions for financial assistance to be allocated using the priorities established by the Office of School Facilities of the Department of Education as approved by the State Board of Education. Upon review of the information, the General Assembly may, through budget proviso or joint resolution, set the principal amount of the State School Facilities General Obligation Bonds to be considered. Upon approval of the Joint Bond Review Committee, the project prioritization report, with certification from the State Board of Education, must be submitted to the State Fiscal Accountability Authority in order for bonds to be issued. The legislation makes provisions for the State Board of Education to establish a revolving fund with such monies as may be appropriated by the General Assembly to operate a grant program that provides nonrecurring aid to school districts for facility maintenance expenses to include roof and heating and air conditioning repairs or replacements.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.5006, a bill addressing RETIREMENT SYSTEM OVERSIGHT AND INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT. The legislation makes comprehensive revisions regarding the governance of the state’s pension systems and the investment of retirement system funds. The legislation clarifies that the Board of the Public Employee Benefit Authority is the sole governing body of the authority and revises terms for PEBA Board Members to provide for terms that are five years in duration and staggered. A member may not be appointed to serve more than two consecutive full five year terms. Rather than serving at the pleasure of the appointing authority, PEBA Board Members may be removed by the Governor only for cause. The PEBA Board must meet at least quarterly, rather than monthly. Provisions are made for the PEBA Board to employ an executive director to serve as the authority’s chief administrative officer and the fiduciary duties of the director are established. The legislation provides for revisions to the Retirement System Investment Commission that makes decisions regarding the investment of state pension funds. The legislation provides for an appointment by the Governor to Commission who is an active or retired member of the South Carolina Retirement System, Police Officers Retirement System, the Judges and Solicitors Retirement System, or the National Guard Retirement System. A commission member may not be appointed to serve more than two full five year terms. Further qualifications for RSIC members are established that require additional experience and financial expertise. South Carolina Retirement Investment Commission members appointed by the Governor or members of the General Assembly are added to the list of officers who may be removed by the Governor only for cause. The legislation makes provisions for the RSIC to employ an executive director and engage attorneys on a fee basis. The required audit of the Retirement System Investment Commission is revised so that the audit firm must be selected using the state’s Procurement Code. The legislation makes revisions relating to the investment of retirement system funds, by requiring the total amount of fees paid on investments to be reduced and ultimately capped at one half of one percent of the total value of the system’s assets. The legislation makes revisions relating to the assets of the retirement systems and investment of retirement system funds, so as to require the Public Employee Benefit Authority to hold the assets of the retirement systems in a group trust and to prohibit investments in certain money mortgages and real estate investment trusts. Provisions are included to preclude conflicts of interest in investments made by the Retirement System Investment Commission. Lobbyists are prohibited from contacting commission members or staff to solicit the investment of funds. The commission may not make an investment with or invest in a fund managed by an external investment manager if a placement agent receives compensation as a result of the commission’s investment. The commission is prohibited from investing in any asset or with any entity in which a commissioner has any interest, excluding such arrangements as index or mutual funds that are managed by a professional fund manager. The legislation creates the nine-member Review and Oversight Commission on the Retirement System Investment Commission, composed of the chairs of the two legislative budget-writing committees, or their designees, two members of the Senate appointed by the President Pro Tempore, two members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, and three gubernatorial appointees from the state at-large, one of whom must be an active member of the South Carolina Retirement System and one of whom must be an active member of the South Carolina Police Officers Retirement System. The Oversight Commission is charged with screening those appointed to serve on the Retirement System Investment Commission, receiving annual audits and other analysis required of the RSIC, conducting an oversight review of the RSIC and its operations at least once every two years, and undertaking any additional reviews, studies, or evaluations it considers necessary.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.5007. This bill provides that the ASSUMED RATE OF RETURN FOR STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM INVESTMENTS expires every four years unless action is taken by the General Assembly to revise it. If the General Assembly does not set the assumed rate of return prior to its expiration, the rate must be set by vote of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3084, a bill providing ADDITIONAL TIME FOR COUNTING ABSENTEE BALLOTS by allowing the process of examining absentee ballot envelopes to begin at 9:00 a.m. on the day immediately prior to election day, rather than at 2:00 p.m. on election day. Before the counting of absentee ballots may begin, the county board of voter registrations and elections shall disclose the number of absentee ballots to be counted. This number may increase only if additional absentee ballots are received due to emergency hospital admission provisions, and a new total must be disclosed.

[Read more…]

UPDATE: Housing projects proposed for area

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Nathan’s News readers will recall last month I shared the news of 2 housing projects proposed for our area .

The Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC) is designed to provide an incentive to owners developing multifamily rental housing. Developments that may qualify for credits include new construction, acquisition with rehabilitation, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse. Owners of and investors in qualifying developments can use the credit as a dollar-for-dollar reduction of federal income tax liability. Allocations of credits are used to leverage public, private and other funds in order to keep rents to tenants affordable.

Today, I asked additional questions from the SC Housing Authority and was given these timeframes:

* Preliminary scores for each project should be posted mid-to-late June
* Awards are anticipated to be announced in mid-August

Of the 42 projects that applied, funding will only be available for 20 projects.

I appreciate your feedback here on the website, via email and particularly emails and letters sent to SC Housing.

As usual, I will keep everyone informed.

(Note: Very similar project was not approved years ago in our area).

UPDATE: community road improvements

Road_Construction_Sign

As I continue to speak with constituents in the district, everyone wants to know about roads! I’m pleased that most see the improvements in our area; but also understand their frustration with our state road system.

Below is an update to the report provided last August of improvements in our area:

SC-6 @ Salem Church Road Intersection Improvement
Project is now complete.

S-40-216: Lowman Home Barn Road
Project is now complete.

S-40-296 – A.J. Amick Road
Project is now complete.

S-40-620: Captain Lowman Road
This road is under contract for single treatment – Contract ID 5190090. C. R. Jackson is the prime contractor. No work has been performed on this road to date. We anticipate that C. R. Jackson will begin full depth patching in May 2016 and follow up with surface treatment shortly after patching is complete. The project has a completion date of September 30, 2016.

US-76 @ Johnson Marina Road Intersection Improvement

This is an intersection improvement project that will provide turn lanes on both US-76 and Johnson Marina Road. Traffic Engineering is currently developing plans for the project. They have indicated issues with both right of way and railroad at this location. The project is tentatively scheduled to be let September 2016.

Richland County Penny Project – Kennerly Road at Coogler Road
This is a Richland County Penny Project begin administered by ICA Engineering. Per my discussion with Project Manager Jennifer Bragg, the scope of the project is to install a roundabout at this intersection. It is one of six intersections included in a Design Build contract. The contract was awarded to C. R. Jackson with a window for completion in Spring 2017 of all intersections. For more information, you may contact Project Manager Jennifer Bragg at (803) 726-6146 or Richland County Transportation Director Rob Perry at (803) 576-1526.

Richland County CTC Resurfacing
Shadowood Drive (S-1680) is complete. West Shady Grove Road (S-612) needs additional full depth patching and then will be resurfaced. Water Garden Court (S-1708) is complete. The contract completion date is October 31, 2015. Lane is in Liquidated Damages at this time for not completing the project by the completion date.

Amicks Ferry Safety Improvement
This project was awarded to Lane Construction in September 2015. This project involves select clearing, widening the pavement ~1’ on each side, resurfacing, pavement markings, and guardrail. Clearing work is expected to begin mid to late April. The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2016.

St. Peters Church Road Safety Improvement
Tentative July 2016 Letting. This project involves moving the ditches back, widening the road ~2’ on each side, resurfacing, pavement markings, and guardrail.

Murray Lindler Road @ Old Lexington Road Roundabout
Tentative November 2016 letting.

OTHER COMPLETED PROJECTS

Firetower Road Bridge Replacements
Both of the bridges on Firetower Road have been replaced with SCDOT crews and the road has been reopened.

PROJECTS ADDED TO THE LIST

S-40-621: Trillie Lane
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surface triple treatment. The completion date is November 30, 2016.

S-40-2265: Silver Point Road
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surface triple treatment. The completion date is November 30, 2016.

S-40-940: Peace Haven Road
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surfacing. The completion date is October 31, 2016.

S-40-1403: Three Dog Road
This road is under contract for full depth reclamation and asphalt surfacing. The completion date is October 31, 2016.

I-26 and Interstate Pavement Preservation
Interstate Preservation: I-26 from MP 100.8 to MP 107.7 in Richland and Lexington Counties. Anticipated to be in the April 12, 2016 Letting with a June 30, 2018 Contract Completion Date

I-126 Interstate Pavement Preservation
Interstate Preservation: I-126 from MP 0.00 to MP 3.68 in Richland County. Anticipated to be in the April 12, 2016 Letting with a June 30, 2018 Contract Completion Date

I-26 Widening
FROM EXIT 101 (US 176) HEADING WEST TO BE DETERMINED – RICHLAND, LEXINGTON, AND NEWBERRY COUNTIES
The project includes widening of I-26 from MM 101 (US 176, Exit 101- Irmo) heading west on I-26 with the western termini to be determined. Project includes widening I-26 from 4 to 6 lanes for approximately 16 miles; overpass bridge replacements at S-58 (Koon Road), S-80 (Shady Grove Road), S-234 (Mt. Vernon Church Road), S-405 (Old Hilton Road), and S-49 (Peak Street); and jacking/rehabilitating overpass bridges at S-39 (Peak Road) and S-167 (Parr Road). Project is scheduled for 2018.

Other notable projects in the Chapin area include:
• Lexington Avenue Enhancement (Landscaping) Project for the Town of Chapin

The Weekly Rewind: Week of April 18th

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NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION’S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
April 22, 2016

The House of Representatives appointed a conference committee to address its differences with the Senate on H.3579, legislation that includes DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RESTRUCTURING AND ROAD FUNDING INITIATIVES.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4763, legislation designated as “ALICIA’S LAW” to acknowledge the advocacy efforts of Alicia Kozakiewicz of Pennsylvania who, in 2002 at the age of thirteen, survived abduction by an Internet predator. The legislation provides for a 6.1% assessment on criminal court fines to be deposited in a newly-created INTERNET CRIMES AGAINST CHILDREN FUND that is to be used to investigate, prosecute, and prevent Internet crimes against children, such as cyberenticement and child pornography, including the necessary staffing, training, and equipment. Of the revenue credited to the fund each year, sixty percent must be allocated to the Attorney General to operate the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and the remaining forty percent must be transferred to the Department of Public Safety to provide grants to local law enforcement agencies.

The House approved S.1090 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation names Chapter 19, Title 24 of the South Carolina Code of Laws the “JUDGE WILLIAM R. BYARS YOUTHFUL OFFENDER ACT” in recognition of the many contributions that Judge Byars has made to the juvenile justice system in such capacities as family court judge, Director of the Children’s Law Office at the University of South Carolina School of Law, Director of the Department of Juvenile Justice, and Director of the Department of Corrections.

The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3768 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides for the “SOUTH CAROLINA ABLE SAVINGS PROGRAM” that allows for the establishment of savings accounts as a means of empowering individuals with a disability and their families to save private funds to support the individual with a disability. The legislation establishes the Savings Program Trust Fund and Savings Expense Trust Fund and provides guidelines to the State Treasurer for the maintenance of these accounts. The legislation allows for state implementation that coordinates with the federal Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014.

The House approved S.849 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation establishes REQUIREMENTS FOR INSURANCE PLAN PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGERS TO COMPILE MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE DRUG COST LISTS that show the maximum amount for the cost of a particular generic drug that will be reimbursed to a pharmacist or pharmacy who provides covered health care services or supplies as a participating network plan provider. The legislation includes requirements for pharmacy benefit managers to make these maximum allowable cost lists available to network pharmacy providers and to review and update maximum allowable cost price information. Provisions are included that allow a pharmacy to appeal the provider’s reimbursement for a drug subject to maximum allowable cost pricing.

The House returned S.339, legislation designated as “HOPE’S LAW”, to the Senate with amendments. The legislation establishes REQUIREMENTS FOR MAMMOGRAPHY REPORTS TO BE PROVIDED TO PATIENTS THAT INCLUDE INFORMATION ABOUT BREAST DENSITY. When a mammogram shows that breast tissue is dense, the required report must include notice to the patient explaining that dense tissue is common and not abnormal, but can, however, make it harder to evaluate mammogram results and may also be associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.5140, a bill that makes revisions relating to a school district’s ANNUAL SCHOOL CALENDAR for teachers, staff, and students. The legislation provides that, beginning with the 2017 2018 school year, the school start date for students must not be before August fifteenth, rather than the opening date limit of the third Monday in August that is set in current law, except for schools operating on a year round modified school calendar. The legislation revises the deadline for notification of teaching assignments and makes provisions for the types and timing of student assessments. Beginning in the 2017 2018 school year, the legislation requires, with certain exceptions, that school districts administer the statewide summative assessment for grades three through eight during the last twenty days of school and that such testing may not exceed seven days each school year.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4774, a bill to provide for a two-year REAUTHORIZATION OF SOUTH CAROLINA FIRST STEPS TO SCHOOL READINESS so that the program is extended until July 1, 2018.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4391, a bill REVISING THE UNIFORM ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT TO ALLOW FOR THE DONATION OF BRAIN TISSUE to be used only for research or education.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4574, legislation enacting the “ELECTROLOGY PRACTICE ACT” to provide for the licensure and regulation of electrologists and electrology instructors by an Electrology Licensure Committee established under the Board of Medical Examiners. The legislation is offered as a means of ensuring minimum standards of competency for those who practice or offer instruction in electrology, which involves the permanent removal of hair from the skin through the application of an electric current.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4492, a bill revising NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES CHILD PLACEMENT HEARINGS that inform foster parents, preadoptive parents, or relatives providing care to abused or neglected children so that, with certain exceptions, notification must be given at least ten days in advance. The legislation includes provisions that allow these parties to file reports with the family court.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4525, a bill extending and revising provisions for DEVOTING A PORTION OF INSURANCE PREMIUM TAX REVENUES TO THE FUNDING OF FIREFIGHTING NEEDS AND EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES TRAINING. The legislation extends until June 30, 2030, the requirement for using two and one quarter percent of each year’s insurance premium tax revenues to fund emergency response needs and redistributes the revenue so that one percent is transferred to the South Carolina Forestry Commission to be used for firefighting and firefighting equipment replacement, one percent is transferred to the aid to fire districts account within the State Treasury to be distributed to local fire departments for firefighting equipment replacement, and one quarter of one percent is transferred to the aid to emergency medical services regional councils within the Department of Health and Environmental Control to be used for grants to fund emergency medical technician and paramedic training.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4556, a bill providing a PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR PERMANENTLY AND TOTALLY DISABLED EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIANS. The legislation extends to permanently and totally disabled former emergency medical technicians the homeowner property tax exemption that is currently allowed for military veterans, former law enforcement officers, and former firefighters who are permanently and totally disabled.

The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.4712, a bill making clarifications regarding the CLASSIFICATION OF OFF PREMISES OUTDOOR ADVERTISING SIGNS AS PERSONAL PROPERTY FOR TAX PURPOSES. The legislation establishes conditions under which an off premises outdoor advertising sign is classified as tangible personal property for tax purposes, and establishes provisions under which the value of a lease or lease income on such billboards may not be used in the assessment of the tax value of the real property on which the advertising sign is erected. The legislation includes provisions for any sign permit required by local, state, or federal law to be considered as intangible personal property for ad valorem property tax purposes.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4398, a bill establishing a FIREARMS EXEMPTION IN BANKRUPTCY CLAIMS. The legislation revises provisions for the real and personal property of a debtor that is exempt from attachment, levy, and sale in a bankruptcy proceeding by adding an exemption that covers any firearms not exceeding a total value of five thousand dollars owned by the debtor. The legislation revises the exemption for a debtor’s aggregate interest, not to exceed fifty thousand dollars in value by providing that, except that a surviving spouse may exempt, in addition to their interest, the aggregate interest of a deceased spouse not to exceed fifty thousand dollars in value.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4795, a bill ALLOWING A STUDENT WHO HAS BEEN AWARDED A PALMETTO FELLOWS SCHOLARSHIP THE OPTION OF DEFERRING ENROLLMENT IN A HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTION FOR ONE YEAR following high school graduation without declining the award.

The House returned S.1013, a bill overhauling and updating the licensure and regulation of REAL ESTATE BROKERS, SALESPERSONS, AND PROPERTY MANAGERS, to the Senate with amendments. Notably, the bill includes provisions for the operation of real estate teams supervised by a broker-in-charge and increases continuing education requirements for real estate license renewals from eight hours to ten hours.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.5023, a bill making various revisions to the SOUTH CAROLINA REAL ESTATE APPRAISER LICENSE AND CERTIFICATION ACT. Notably, the legislation makes provisions for one of the members of the Real Estate Appraisers Board to be a certified residential appraiser and includes alignment provisions for federal and state chartered banks.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3969, a bill making provisions that allow for the ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF INSURANCE NOTICES AND DOCUMENTS should the insured choose to receive notices and documents electronically.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.5040, a bill updating and revising various provisions relating to the application and enforcement of the CONSUMER PROTECTION CODE.

The House amended, adopted, and sent the Senate H.5108, a concurrent resolution establishing a temporary STUDY COMMITTEE TO ASSESS THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT FLEETS IN HIRING ENTRY-LEVEL COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSED DRIVERS.

The Weekly Rewind: Week of April 11th

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NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION’S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
April 15, 2016

The House of Representatives amended Senate amendments on H.3579, legislation that includes DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION RESTRUCTURING AND ROAD FUNDING INITIATIVES, and returned the bill to the Senate. The legislation includes a restructuring of the Commission overseeing the South Carolina Department of Transportation that retains the commission’s geographical representation, but provides that legislators would no longer elect commissioners and that all commissioners would, instead, be appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the General Assembly, by a roll call vote in each legislative house. Commissioners are to serve at the pleasure of the Governor and their terms of service are limited to a maximum of twelve years. Under restructuring, the DOT Commission assumes the responsibility of appointing the Secretary of Transportation, upon the advice and consent of the General Assembly, by a roll call vote in each legislative house. In order to afford the chief internal auditor of the Department of Transportation greater independence, the legislation provides for the department’s chief internal auditor to be appointed and overseen by the State Auditor rather than the DOT Commission. The legislation provides for all of the motor vehicle sales tax revenue to be transferred to the Department of Transportation to be used exclusively for highway, road, and bridge maintenance, construction, and repair. The legislation also provides for revisions to the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank. Before providing a loan or other financial assistance, the Board of Directors that oversees the Infrastructure Bank must, under the legislation, submit its decision to the Department of Transportation Commission for its consideration. The DOT Commission can, in turn, approve or reject the decision or request additional information from the bank’s board of directors. The Infrastructure Bank’s policy of following the SC Department of Transportation’s project priority criteria is established as a statutory requirement. The General Assembly may, however, enact a joint resolution specifically allowing the bank to fund a project without using DOT’s prioritization criteria. The minimum project amount set in Transportation Infrastructure Bank requirements is lowered from $100 million to $25 million. This threshold is lowered to allow more areas to be able to afford local match requirements and take advantage of the bank’s bonding capabilities for financing their transportation projects.

The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3204, the “CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION ACT”, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation provides that, beginning with the 2016-2017 school year, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) may offer the cervical cancer vaccination series, the human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) series, for adolescent students including those enrolling in the seventh grade in any school, public, private, or home schooling program, in this state. The legislation includes parental consent requirements for vaccinations provided by DHEC and provides that no student is required to have the cervical cancer vaccination series, the human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) series, before enrolling in or attending school. The department may develop and provide informational brochures concerning adolescent vaccinations, including the cervical cancer vaccination series, that schools and home schooling programs may distribute to the parents or guardians of all students in the sixth grade. DHEC’s informational brochure must state the benefits and side effects of the cervical cancer vaccination series and that the vaccination series is optional. The brochure shall encourage the student’s parent or guardian to go to the child’s own health care provider for vaccination. DHEC may not contract with a health care provider to offer the vaccination series if the health care provider performs abortions.

The House concurred in Senate amendments H.4328, a bill including various TAX PROVISIONS, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation synchronizes certain filing deadlines regarding income tax withholdings to eliminate a lag time that presents an opportunity for fraud. The legislation updates statutory references to U.S. Internal Revenue Code provisions so that state tax provisions coordinate with federal tax provisions. The legislation provides for a state sales tax exemption for liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas sold to a person with a miscellaneous fuel user fee license for use as motor fuel in motor vehicles. Applicable motor fuel user fees must be remitted.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4165, the “HOMEOWNERS’ ASSOCIATION REGIME FEE FAIRNESS TO DEPLOYED SERVICE MEMBERS ACT”. The legislation provides that, once a service member who belongs to a homeowners’ association has provided proper notification to the association of orders of military deployment, the homeowners’ association is prohibited from assessing or imposing penalties or enforcing a lien on unpaid regime fees that accrue during the time when the homeowner is deployed or mobilized outside of this state.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4580, a bill to provide an exemption from Department of Health and Environmental Control licensure provisions for MEDICAL FOSTER HOMES FOR VETERANS that provide care for up to three veterans per home as approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.5091, a bill to provide for the nineteenth day of June of each year, designated as “Juneteenth Celebration of Freedom Day” to also be recognized as “SICKLE CELL DAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA” to coordinate with “World Sickle Cell Day” initiatives to raise awareness of the genetic disease and support and encourage research, treatment, and management of sickle cell disease.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4327, a bill that includes provisions for HOSPICE PROGRAMS for terminally ill patients to apply to the Department of Health and Environmental Control for an expansion of their service areas and provisions that allow parent hospice organizations to offer services at multiple locations.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4773. Designated as MARGY’S LAW, the legislation expands South Carolina’s Emergency Medical Services Do Not Resuscitate Order Act by including provisions for a DO NOT RESUSCITATE BRACELET that may be worn by someone with a terminal condition to signify to health care providers and EMS personnel that they are to withhold resuscitative treatment in keeping with a “do not resuscitate” order.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.5100, legislation INCLUDING ORAL SURGEONS AND DENTISTS AS EMERGENCY MEDICAL PROVIDERS under the Access to Emergency Medical Care Act so that they can be reimbursed for emergency care services.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3952, a bill REVISING THE PROCESS FOR COMMITTING THE MENTALLY ILL TO MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES. The legislation adds to commitment provisions the category of the “gravely disabled” which is defined as person who, due to mental illness, lacks sufficient insight or capacity to make responsible decisions with respect to his treatment and because of this condition is likely to cause harm to himself through neglect, inability to care for himself, personal injury, or otherwise. The legislation includes a preference that emergency admissions of the mentally ill be conducted by plain clothes law enforcement officers that have had crisis intervention training and, in certain instances, the legislation allows for the option of having someone transported to a facility, not by law enforcement officers, but by emergency medical technicians in an ambulance. For an individual who has eloped after commitment, a request for an order to search, locate, and return must be issued by the probate court and transportation must be by a state or local law enforcement officer.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.5024, a joint resolution providing for REQUIRED TRAINING ON DYSLEXIA FOR LITERACY COACHES AND LITERACY TEACHERS. The legislation provides that, before the 2016 2017 school year, the State Department of Education shall provide training to all literacy coaches and literacy teachers in kindergarten through grade three on dyslexia, including evidence-based dyslexia screening, instructional methods, and interventions. Before October 1, 2016, the State Department of Education shall provide the Senate Education Committee and the House Education and Public Works Committee with a report describing the specific training used and stating the number and percentage of literacy coaches and teachers who successfully completed the training.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4932, a bill making revisions to SPECIFICATIONS AND LIMITATIONS FOR VEHICLES AND TRAILERS operated along the state’s highways. The legislation revises provisions for maximum trailer lengths to provide for a greater maximum length that applies only to trailers or semitrailers used exclusively or primarily to transport vehicles used in connection with motorsports competition events. The legislation makes revisions relating to axle and weight limits for motorhomes and intrastate public agency transit passenger buses. The legislation makes provisions for increased weights associated with idle reduction systems. New provisions are included to allow motor vehicles fueled primarily by natural gas to exceed weight limitations by specified amounts.

The House returned S.454 to the Senate with amendments. The legislation provides for the issuance of DEER HUNTING TAGS for in-state residents and non-residents. This new tagging system does not revise game zones or seasons, but it does include requirements for hunters to tag every deer taken in the state. The legislation provides for the Department of Natural Resources to issue eight doe day specific tags and three buck tags with the purchase of a South Carolina hunting license and big game permit for in-state residents. Hunters (including youth and gratis licensees) will have the option to purchase two additional buck (with four points on one side or a minimum 12-inch antler spread) tags at $5 each and/or four additional doe tags at $5 each. All funds collected from the two additional buck tags sales will go into a Coyote Management Program. With the purchase of a hunting license and big game permit, non-resident hunters will pay $50 for the first purchased antlered tag and $20 for each additional antlered tag (with a maximum purchase of four tags of which two must have size restriction). There is a $10 charge for each antlerless tag purchased. The legislation provides for antlerless and antlered deer limits to be two doe taken per day and two bucks taken per day. The Department of Natural Resources to provide a report of a four year study by July 1, 2022, to the Chairman of the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee and the Chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee on such issues as the status of state’s the white tailed deer population and a review of the tagging program. As part of its Coyote Management Program, DNR is directed to develop and implement a coyote tagging and bounty program. The department must tag and release no less than three coyotes in each of the four game zones and apply a bounty of not less than one thousand dollars per tagged coyote. The department must neuter any coyote before it is released.

Back again: Proposed Housing Development submits application

Letter

URGENT: DEADLINE TO HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD IS THURSDAY, APRIL 7th

Readers may recall a few years ago, a federal-tax credit development was proposed for our area. By law, Members of the General Assembly are to be notified of applications made in their districts.

These developments have been trying to pop up in Chapin and Irmo for some time. Including 1 currently proposed for Chapin.

Just as I did years ago (and actually last month when I received a letter from a consultant working for this development group), I shared what you have asked me to share in the past. Our community does not have a need for these facilities nor do we have the current infrastructure in place to support it.

We have a lot of growth as it is that goes unchecked or unquestioned at the county level. I’m glad members of the General Assembly are dialed in on these federal-tax credit projects so that we can speak for the community and not have a local council or commission approve a change without the community knowing about it.

While I do not get a “vote” on these matters. I do get to share my response and ask that you share yours as well.

To have your voice heard, you can do one of two things:

1) Email me directly at NathanBallentine@schouse.gov with the title “The Park and The Pointe” (names of the 2 almost identical proposals) and I will forward you emails to the SC State Housign Finance and Development Authority

or

2) Email Laura Nicholson directly (please cc: me at email above) at her address: Laura.Nicholson@schousing.com

There are currently more than 40 developments vying for tax credits. These 2 or our community along with 1 in Irmo (Lake Murray Boulevard/Lexington) and 1 in Chapin.

For a complete list of all 40+ projects in the state, click here and then select 2016 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program List

The Pointe

The Weekly Rewind: Week of March 21st

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NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION’S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
March 24, 2016

The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.5001, the General Appropriation Bill, and H.5002, the joint resolution making appropriations from the Capital Reserve Fund, which together comprise the proposed FISCAL YEAR 2016-2017 STATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET. The budget includes $7.5 billion in state general funds with $767 million in recurring revenue newly available for appropriation and $597 million in nonrecurring revenue.

$415 million is devoted to the state’s roads. Of that total, $316 million is appropriated to the State Highway Fund for paving, rehabilitation, resurfacing, and reconstruction of the primary road system, $49 million is allocated to the Department of Transportation to address road repair costs from the October 2015 flood damage, and $50 million in nonrecurring funds is distributed among the County Transportation Committees to use for resurfacing, reconstructing, and repairing roads and bridges in the state owned secondary road system.

The Department of Transportation is charged with developing and implementing a needs-based weighting methodology to allocate funding within the state funded road resurfacing program, which must include consideration on a county-by-county basis, to ensure that each county in the state is guaranteed funding.

For K-12 public education, $218 million is used to increase the base student cost by $130 to arrive at an estimated $2,350 per pupil.

The budget legislation makes provisions for a 2% teacher salary increase and a one year step increase for teacher salaries which must be applied uniformly for all eligible certified teachers.

$750 thousand in Education Improvement Act funds is included for teacher supplies.

$19.2 million in recurring funds is allocated for bus driver salary enhancements to address driver shortages.

$7.2 million is provided from the Capital Reserve Fund for purchasing or leasing new school buses along with $6.5 million in Education Lottery funds and $3.5 million in unclaimed lottery prize money.

The K-12 technology initiative is afforded $29.3 million in Education Lottery proceeds.

The State Department of Education is provided $18 million in Education Lottery proceeds for instructional materials.

Education and Economic Development Act initiatives are afforded $10 million in recurring funds.

The State Department of Education is provided $3 million in Education Lottery proceeds for college and career readiness.

$13 million in Education Improvement Act funds is included to address S.C. Public Charter School District growth.

Virtual SC is afforded $1.1 million in recurring funds.

The Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics is provided $1.2 million in recurring funds for its statewide Accelerate Engineering program.

$2.5 million in Education Improvement Act funds is allocated for AdvancED technical assistance.

$1 million in recurring funds is provided for full-day four-year-old kindergarten instructional costs.

$1.5 million from the Capital Reserve Fund is provided to the State Department of Education for a statewide facilities assessment.

$9 million in nonrecurring funds is allocated for school districts that have a poverty index of at least eighty percent to use for teacher recruitment and retention purposes, such as providing signing bonuses or merit bonuses.

$8.25 million in Education Improvement Act funds is included for the rural teacher initiative that allows one year of a teacher’s student loan debt to be forgiven for every two years of teaching in an underserved area.

$16.8 million in nonrecurring funds is included for technical assistance to the Abbeville education lawsuit plaintiff districts and other rural school districts to facilitate online test taking and increase access.

$3 million in Education Lottery funds is provided for mobile device access and management.

$3.1 million in Education Lottery funds is included for efficiency studies in all plaintiff school districts.

Provisions are included for a system of tiers of technical assistance that the State Department of Education provides for low-performing schools which are failing to meet state standards or which have the lowest high school graduation rates.

New provisions are included that authorize the State Superintendent of Education to declare a state of emergency in a school district if the accreditation status is probation or denied, if a majority of the schools fail to show improvement on the state accountability system, if the district is classified as being in “high risk” status financially, or for financial mismanagement resulting in a deficit. A state of emergency may be declared by the State Superintendent for an individual school if the accreditation status is probation or denied or if the school fails to show improvement on the state accountability system. Upon declaration of a state of emergency, the State Superintendent of Education may take over management of the school or district, which may include direct management, consolidation with another district, charter management, public/private management, or contracting with an educational management organization or another school district.

In response to multiple reports that have highlighted the cost inefficiencies at the John de la Howe School for at risk youth and the lack of data regarding the impact of the program on student outcomes, the budget legislation includes a provision that temporarily suspends the school’s board of trustees and forms an advisory group, combining representation from the legislature, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Education, and the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, that is charged with recommending an educational, vocational, and life skills training program at the John de la Howe School for older youth who are at risk and who are aging out of foster care or juvenile justice supervisory programs. In consultation with the advisory group, the Department of Juvenile Justice is directed to procure a contract with a non-profit child-service provider to operate the program.

Full funding is provided for the LIFE, HOPE, and Palmetto Fellows higher education scholarship programs.

Tuition grants are increased by $100 per student for a new maximum grant of $3,100 which provides need-based assistance to students attending eligible independent non-profit in-state colleges.

$5 million in Workforce Scholarships is included to provide grants for tuition, fees, transportation, or textbook expenses to state residents enrolled in a career education program at a technical school or professional certification program.

In higher education, the budget emphasizes an increase in the recurring funding that is directed to the state’s colleges, universities, and technical schools.

Provisions are included for the forgiveness of the $12 million in state loans disbursed to South Carolina State University if the university meets specified benchmarks such as maintaining academic accreditation, maintaining a balanced budget, and meeting enrollment growth goals. The budget includes a provisions that it is the intent of the General Assembly that the SC State Interim Board of Trustees conduct a national search to hire a permanent President for the university by December 31, 2016.

Provisions are included for the transfer of the Felton Lab from S.C. State University to the S.C. Public Charter School District.

$13.5 million in nonrecurring funds is devoted to worker training through the Ready SC Program at the state’s technical colleges. $8 million in recurring funds is provided for manufacturing, healthcare, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) training. $20 million in nonrecurring funds is provided to the Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education for critical training equipment.

$7 million in recurring funds and $10 million in nonrecurring funds is provided for the Deal Closing Fund that the Department of Commerce uses to recruit new business to the state. The Department of Commerce is afforded appropriations of $5.4 million in nonrecurring funds for the Locate SC Site Inventory for potential business relocation prospects, $3 million in nonrecurring funds for research initiatives, $500,000 in nonrecurring funds for the Office of Innovation, $500,000 in recurring funds for the SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership, $400,000 in nonrecurring funds for IT-ology Coursepower, $350,000 in recurring funds for the SC Council on Economic Competitiveness, and $300,000 in nonrecurring funds for the US Department of Defense Business Diversification grant match.

$1.5 million in recurring funds is allocated to the Rural Infrastructure Fund that is used to provide grants for water and sewer projects that facilitate economic development in rural areas. $4.3 million is included for a new Statewide Water and Sewer Fund that allows areas that do not meet the criteria for being considered rural to obtain grants for sewer and water projects that are needed to support economic development.

The Department of Employment and Workforce is allocated $1.8 million in recurring funds for the Certified Work Ready Communities initiative.

A 2% state employee pay increase is provided with $33.4 million in recurring funds.

$25.4 million is included to cover the increased costs of operating the state’s health insurance plan and $1.5 million is included to cover increased dental plan costs with no increases in the premiums paid by employees and no reductions in coverage.

$18.4 million is allocated for retirement contributions increases in the South Carolina Retirement System and the Police Officers Retirement System.

The budget legislation defunds the Retirement System Investment Commissioners by eliminating the commissioners’ salaries.

$28 million is used to fully fund the reserve accounts that the state uses to cope with revenue shortfalls.

The Department of Administration is afforded $9.6 million to implement an information technology disaster recovery plan for all state agencies.

The Local Government Fund is maintained at its $212 million level and a $12.5 million component of the fund which has been comprised of nonrecurring dollars is replaced with recurring dollars so that the fund is entirely made up of recurring revenue.

The Department of Health and Human Services is afforded $129 million in recurring funds to accommodate part of the growth in the state’s Medicaid Program with recurring funding rather than funding from reserve accounts.

$8.5 million in nonrecurring funds is provided for an updated Medicaid Management and Information System.

The budget provides for the continuation of Medicaid Program accountability and quality improvement programs such as: the Healthy Outcomes Initiative for meeting the needs of chronically ill uninsured patients through home visits and care in other settings outside the emergency room; a Primary Care Safety Net utilizing such resources as Federally Qualified Health Centers and free clinics; and efforts to enhance provider capacity in rural and underserved areas.

Telemedicine is afforded $10 million through the Healthy Outcomes provisions and $2 million in recurring funds.

$6 million is provided for a Rural Health Initiative partnership between DHHS and the USC School of Medicine to enhance the recruitment of physicians to practice in underserved areas and to improve access to life-saving emergency room care in the wake of rural hospital closures. Provisions include an exemption from Certificate of Need requirements for the construction of a facility in a medically underserved area that can provide emergency care and stabilization beds twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and is designed to utilize the Statewide Telemedicine Network.

The budget legislation includes a provision that sets priorities in the awarding of state and federal family planning funds to contractors with top priority given to state, county and other public entities that provide family planning services and local community health clinics and federally qualified health centers; middle priority assigned to nonpublic entities that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health services in addition to family planning services; and lowest priority given to nonpublic entities that provide family planning services but do not provide comprehensive primary and preventive health services. Those who award family planning funds must submit an annual report to the General Assembly that details funds awarded to the lowest priority contractors and includes an explanation of how it was determined that there was an insufficient number of preferred service providers available to be awarded family planning funds and meet the need for services.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control receives $661,500 in recurring funds to enhance its dam safety inspection and permitting program, $8 million in recurring funds along with $2 million in nonrecurring funds for its data center infrastructure, $2 million in recurring funds for electronic medical records, $1.75 million in recurring funds to enhance its infectious disease tuberculosis program, $2.75 million in nonrecurring funds for water quality infrastructure, $945,00 in recurring funds for ambient water quality monitoring, and $100,000 in nonrecurring funds for Donate Life’s Organ Donor Registry.

The budget allocates nonrecurring funds derived from the sale of DHEC’s home health services by providing $3.6 million for data center infrastructure, $5.2 million for Pinewood Custodial Site capital improvements and repairs, $5.8 million for electronic medical records, and $2.5 million for flood recovery operations.

The Department of Mental Health is allocated $4.2 million in recurring funds for the Sexually Violent Predator Program, $2.5 million in recurring funds for inpatient clinical and medical services, $2.5 million in recurring funds for forensics, $500,000 in recurring funds for school based services, and $1 million in recurring funds for a crisis stabilization unit.

The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs receives $6.6 million in recurring funds to reduce its waiting lists, $1.2 million in recurring funds for the transition to community-based services, $1 million in recurring funds for crisis intervention and stabilization, $500,000 in recurring funds for expansion of non-emergency respite care beds, $500,000 in recurring funds for post-acute rehab for traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, and $500,000 in recurring funds for enhanced research through the Greenwood Genetic Center, including blood testing for autism.

The Department of Vocational Rehabilitation is provided $635,287 in recurring funds for School-to-Work Transition Services.

The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services receives $1.75 million in recurring funds for prescription drug abuse medication assisted treatment and $3 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for infrastructure improvements in the substance abuse provider system.

At the Department of Social Services, $5.6 million in recurring funds is devoted to child and adult protective services recruitment and retention. $6.2 million in recurring funds and $1 million in nonrecurring funds is allocated for the development of the child support system. Utilizing $3.4 million in recurring funds, the budget provides for an increase in monthly family foster care and kinship care payment rates. $800,000 in nonrecurring funds is provided for criminal domestic violence initiatives with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

The State Law Enforcement Division is provided $364,000 in recurring funds for law enforcement officer rank change, $3.2 million in recurring funds to complete vehicle rotation, and $10 million in nonrecurring funds for the forensics lab expansion.

The budget legislation provides for a transfer of the Illegal Immigration Unit from the Department of Public Safety to SLED.

The Attorney General’s Office receives $1 million in recurring dollars for retention funding, $200,000 in recurring funds for prosecutors and $81,200 in recurring funds for a forensic examiner in the Internet Crimes Against Children division, and $600,600 in recurring funds for violent crimes and sex crimes prosecutors.

The Commission on Minority Affairs receives $200,000 in recurring funds for a human trafficking hotline.

The budget makes provisions for three additional Circuit Court Judges and support staff in anticipation of increased caseloads due to the provisions of the 2015 Domestic Violence Reform Act that transfer domestic violence matters into circuit court.

The Prosecution Coordination Commission is afforded $2.98 million in recurring funds to allow for additional prosecutors to handle increased domestic violence caseloads, $7.8 million in recurring dollars for caseload equalization funding, and $800,000 in recurring funds for the SC Center for Fathers and Families.

The Commission on Indigent Defense is afforded $6.2 million in recurring dollars for additional public defenders.

The budget legislation provides for the reauthorization of the Sentencing Reform Oversight Committee to examine the need for criminal justice reform initiatives.

The Department of Corrections receives $8 million in recurring dollars for its correctional officer hiring rate adjustment and retention plan to reduce turnover rate at the agency, $2.75 million in recurring funds for the middle phase its mental health remediation plan, and $722,328 in recurring funds for the middle phase its medical remediation plan.

The Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services is provided $1.98 million in recurring funds for officer retention and $6.4 million in recurring funds to offset revenue loss due to sentencing reform.

The Department of Juvenile Justice receives $1 million in recurring funds for its correctional officer hiring rate adjustment and retention plan to reduce turnover rate at the agency and $100,000 in nonrecurring funds for AMI Kids.

The Department of Natural Resources is allocated $326,930 in recurring funds for law enforcement officer step increases and $261,312 in recurring funds for vehicle rotation.

$72 million in nonrecurring funds is allocated to the Adjutant General’s Emergency Management Division as the full state and local match for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds for the 2015 catastrophic flood response. The Adjutant General’s Office receives $5 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for armory revitalization.

The budget legislation accommodates the $40 million appropriation from the 2014 2015 Contingency Reserve Fund for the “South Carolina Farm Aid Fund” that is created to assist farmers who suffered extensive damage in the October 2015 floods through H.4717 which has been passed by the House of Representatives during the current General Assembly and sent to the Senate.

The Department of Agriculture is afforded $1 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for consumer protection equipment and $500,000 in recurring funds to expand “Certified SC” marketing of the state’s produce.

Clemson PSA receives $1 million in recurring funds for its agriculture and natural resources program and $1 million in nonrecurring funds for program facilities, and $750,000 in recurring funds for the animal industry infectious disease program to address such issues as the avian flu.

The Forestry Commission receives $320,000 in recurring funds for additional firefighters, $1 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for firefighting equipment, and $200,000 in recurring funds for implementing a forest inventory system.

Operations at the Department of Motor Vehicles are funded with recurring dollar appropriations since funds derived from fines and fees that the DMV has retained to fund department operations are transferred to the State Highway Fund.

The budget legislation authorizes the withholding of funds in Local Government Fund distributions to counties and municipalities equal in amount to any fines that a political subdivision has collected to enforce local ordinances that conflict with state traffic laws.

The Division of Aeronautics receives $1 million in nonrecurring funds for aviation grants matching funds and $100,000 in nonrecurring funds for airport facilities security system replacement.

$1.5 million in nonrecurring funds is appropriated to the State Ports Authority for Jasper Ocean Terminal permitting.

$40 million in nonrecurring funds is provided to the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism for coastal beach renourishment, which completely covers the state’s cost share for all public beaches.

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism receives $1.2 million in nonrecurring funds for the Sports Development Marketing Program, $3 million in nonrecurring funds for the Medal of Honor Museum, and $4.3 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for facilities revitalization.

A proviso directs the Department of Administration to conduct an analysis of moving the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum from Columbia to the Charleston area.

The Department of Archives and History receives $2.1 million in nonrecurring funds for its architectural heritage preservation initiative.

The State Library is afforded $222,000 in recurring funds for electronic resources and $1 million in recurring funds for aid to county libraries.

The Arts Commission receives $500,000 in nonrecurring funds for the SC Artisans Center.

The Department of Revenue is afforded $1 million in nonrecurring funds for an extension of identity and credit protection services and receives $1 million in nonrecurring funds and $1.9 million from the Capital Reserve Fund for implementing an updated tax processing system.

The State Auditor’s Office is appropriated $325,000 for additional audit capabilities.

The State Ethics Commission receives $150,000 in recurring funds and $10,000 in nonrecurring funds for auditors.

The State Election Commission receives $254,000 in recurring funds for county compliance auditors and supervisors.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging receives $1 million in recurring funds for family caregiver services that allow seniors to remain at home rather than the more expensive alternative of institutional care, and $1.5 million in recurring funds for home and community based services to be used for purchasing home delivered meals, group dining meals, transportation, and home care.