Weekly Rewind: Week of February 18th


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

HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 21, 2014

The House of Representatives returned S.405 to the Senate with amendments. This legislation provides that the COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE SUPREME COURT, SHALL HANDLE COMPLAINTS AGAINST ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT JUDGES for possible violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct in the same manner as complaints against other judges. Currently, complaints against Administrative Law Court judges are handled by the State Ethics Commission. The legislation also establishes a FIVE-YEAR DURATION FOR STATE AGENCY REGULATIONS by providing that every regulation promulgated by a state agency expires five years from the date on which it becomes effective. When a regulation’s expiration date is reached, an agency that intends to have a regulation in place on the subject matter must promulgate a new regulation for submission to the legislative approval process.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3231 , legislation PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MOTORCYCLES in public transportation policies. This legislation provides that in formulating transportation policy, promulgating regulations, allocating funds, and planning, designing, constructing, equipping, operating and maintaining transportation facilities, no action of the South Carolina Transportation Commission, or the South Carolina Department of Transportation shall have the effect of discriminating against motorcycles, motorcycle operators, or motorcycle passengers. The legislation further provides that no regulation or action of the commission, or department shall have the effect of enacting a prohibition or imposing a requirement that applies only to motorcycles or motorcyclists, and the principal purpose of which is to restrict or inhibit access for motorcycles and motorcyclists to any highway, bridge, tunnel, or other transportation facility. Local governments are required to make reasonable accommodations for motorcycle parking in their parking garages and other transportation facilities. In carrying forward this requirement, among other options, these local government facilities, at their discretion, may comply by sectioning portions of the area where the size configuration of the space does not meet code requirements for full-size vehicles.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4482 , a bill DESIGNATING THE COLUMBIAN MAMMOTH AS THE OFFICIAL STATE FOSSIL of South Carolina.

The House adopted and sent the Senate H.4505, a concurrent resolution providing for the members of the South Carolina General Assembly to join the South Carolina and Georgia Joint Water Caucus in encouraging the appropriate state agencies of both states, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, as part of their current study, to explore, develop, and implement a flexible adaptive WATER MANAGEMENT PROGRAM FOR THE SAVANNAH RIVER BASIN that utilizes real time data and applies lessons learned during recent droughts to define the most practical and conservative reservoir storage rules based on actual conditions and real time data to ensure continuous optimization of water quality and quantity management of the water resources shared by South Carolina and Georgia throughout the Savannah River Basin.

The House adopted H.4669, a House Resolution proclaiming Wednesday, March 16, 2014, as “LIBERTY DAY” in South Carolina in celebration of the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution, which together enumerate our unalienable rights and liberties.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3833, a bill providing AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING WINE TASTINGS AND BEER TASTINGS IN LARGE RETAIL SETTINGS . This legislation allows the holders of a retail wine permit for off-premises consumption whose retail space is at least 10,000 square feet and whose primary product is not beer, wine, or distilled spirits to obtain an annual wine tastings permit for each separate place of business in order to conduct, in accordance with Department of Revenue rulings or regulations, up to twelve wine tastings at the retail location in a calendar quarter, and it provides restrictions. The legislation also allows the holder of a retail permit authorizing the sale of beer for off-premises consumption whose retail space is at least 10,000 square feet and whose primary product is not beer, wine, or distilled spirits to obtain an annual beer tastings permit for each separate place of business in order to conduct, in accordance with Department of Revenue rulings or regulations, up to twelve beer tastings in a calendar quarter, and it provides restrictions. These tastings may not be held in conjunction with one another; also a tasting may not be held in conjunction with a tasting in a retail alcoholic liquor store that is adjacent to and licensed in the same name of the retail permit authorizing the sale of beer. A sampling must not be offered for more than four hours, and a retailer may not offer more than one sampling per day. The tasting must be held in a designated, stationary tasting area of the retail store with a distinctive barrier clearly in place, indicating the tasting area. No one under twenty-one may be allowed in the tasting area. There are restrictions on sample sizes and the number of samples, and no person may be served more than one sample of each product. In addition to other applicable fines and penalties, a retailer who violates these provisions must be assessed a fine of five hundred dollars for the first violation and five hundred dollars for the second violation in a twelve month period. Subsequent violations in a twelve month period are punishable by the loss of the retail off premises consumption permit for thirty days. The revenue from these fines must be directed to the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) for supplementing funds required for regulation and enforcement of the tastings.

The House rejected S.151, a bill establishing the INTRASTATE VISION WAIVER PROGRAM that would allow certain visually impaired individuals to obtain a waiver from the sight requirements associated with a commercial driver’s license.