Weekly Rewind: Week of February 28th


(Published by the Office of Research of the House of Representatives)

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
March 2, 2012

The House of Representatives and the Senate overrode the Governor’s veto on H.4627 to allow the legislation to become law. This joint resolution addresses the actions taken by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to allow DREDGING IN THE SAVANNAH RIVER that would make a portion of the waterway suitable for navigation by large ocean going container or commerce vessels so that a new maritime port facility may be constructed in Georgia. Through the joint resolution the General Assembly, exercising its exclusive authority to suspend laws granted under Section 7, Article I of the South Carolina Constitution, suspends the authority of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for all decisions subsequent to 2007 related to all matters pertaining to the navigability, depth, dredging, wastewater and sludge disposal, and related collateral issues concerning the South Carolina portion of the Savannah River, in particular the approval by DHEC of the application of the United States Army Corps of Engineers for a Construction in Navigable Waters Permit for the dredging of the South Carolina portion of the Savannah River, because the authority of the Savannah River Maritime Commission superseded DHEC’s responsibilities for such approval, as established by Act 56 of 2007, and DHEC’s approval could present imminent and irreversible public health and environmental concerns for the South Carolina portion of the Savannah River.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4093, a bill designating the HONOR AND REMEMBER FLAG as the Official State Emblem of Service and Sacrifice by those in the United States Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line of duty.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3558. This legislation requires institutions of higher education which receive state funding, either directly or indirectly, including state scholarships or grants, to ALLOW STUDENTS TO COMPLETE ASSIGNMENTS OR TAKE MAKE-UP EXAMINATIONS WHEN AN ABSENCE IS CAUSED BY ATTENDING OR PARTICIPATING IN MILITARY SERVICE, DUTY, TRAINING, OR DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4906, a joint resolution EXTENDING THE DEADLINE FOR THE VETERANS’ ISSUES STUDY COMMITTEE to submit its written report from January 31, 2012, to January 31, 2013.

The House amended, approved and sent to the Senate H.4473, legislation which places a PROHIBITION ON CONVICTED CHILD MOLESTERS OBTAINING CHILD CUSTODY. The legislation provides that, in making decisions regarding custody of a minor child, the court must consider and may not grant child custody to a parent, guardian, or another person who was found guilty of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the first degree. The legislation also prohibits a child from being placed in foster care with, or adopted by, individuals found guilty of this offense.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.3918. This comprehensive legislation updates and modernizes statutes pertaining to the DIVISION OF AERONAUTICS. Notably, the legislation codifies the proviso transferring the division from the Department of Commerce to the Budget and Control Board; updates definitions and rules relating to the division to conform them to Federal Aviation Administration provisions; and restructures the Aeronautics Commission to reflect the new seventh congressional district.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4678, a bill revising METHODS OF ENTERING A SATISFACTION OF MORTGAGE IN THE PUBLIC RECORDS. The legislation provides that the mortgagee of record, the owner or holder of the debt instrument secured by the mortgage, the trustee or beneficiary of a deed of trust, or the legal representative or attorney-in-fact of any of those parties may execute a mortgage satisfaction or deed of trust release. The legislation provides a procedure and form for use in this execution.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4689, which provides HEALTH AND SANITARY REQUIREMENTS FOR HOME BASED FOOD PRODUCTION OPERATIONS, in which individuals, operating out of their dwellings, prepares, process, package, store and distribute non-potentially hazardous foods, such as candy and noncreme filled baked goods, for sale directly to a person. A home based food production operation is not allowed to engage in wholesale activities and is only allowed to sell food items directly to a person for his or her own use and not for resale. The legislation establishes requirements that a home based food production operation must follow to maintain a clean and sanitary facility and provides that operators must take all reasonable steps to protect food items from contamination, such as keeping pets off the premises, prohibiting the involvement of those infected with communicable diseases, maintaining direct supervision over the operation, and prohibiting all domestic activities in the kitchen during the operation. All food items packaged at the operation for sale must be properly labeled, complying with all federal laws and regulations, including Fair Packaging Requirements and Food Allergen Labeling. The label must include the name and address of home based food operation; the name of the product being sold; the ingredients used to make the product in descending order of predominance by weight; and the conspicuous statement printed in all capital letters, “NOT FOR RESALE – PROCESSED AND PREPARED BY A HOME BASED FOOD PRODUCTION OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO SOUTH CAROLINA’S FOOD SAFETY REGULATIONS”. The legislation establishes authority for investigating complaints from consumers about alleged violations. A home based food production operation may apply for an exemption from inspection and label review by the Department of Agriculture if annual sales are less than fifteen thousand dollars. The exemption does not limit the Department’s authority to investigate a complaint or food borne illness outbreak.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4205, a bill authorizing the CONVERSION TO A PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICT for the Kershaw County and Lee County Regional Water Company so that it can take advantage of a more favorable tax status and financing terms than are now available under its present organization as a nonprofit corporation.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4797, a bill including the city of Tega Cay in the statutory list of MUNICIPALITIES IN WHICH THERE ARE NO BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF PUBLIC WORKS.