The Weekly Rewind: Week of February 8th

rewind-t3951k

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
February 12, 2016

The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3041, a joint resolution for a PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION THAT THE STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR, upon the advice and consent of the Senate, rather than elected by the state’s voters. Under the proposed state constitutional amendment, the Superintendent of Education would be removed from the list of Constitutional Officers who are elected statewide, beginning upon the expiration of the term of the Superintendent of Education serving in office on January 10, 2019, and the State Superintendent of Education would instead be appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve at the Governor’s pleasure. The General Assembly would provide by law for the duties, compensation, and qualifications for office, and the procedures by which the appointment is made. Should the legislation be approved by the General Assembly, the proposed amendment to South Carolina’s Constitution would be placed before the voters as a ballot question at the next general election.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4666, a bill that makes provisions for local DOMESTIC VIOLENCE FATALITY REVIEW COMMITTEES by requiring each Circuit Solicitor to establish an interagency circuit wide review committee to assist local agencies in identifying and reviewing domestic violence deaths, including homicides and suicides, and facilitating communication among the various agencies involved in domestic violence cases. These local domestic fatality review committees are also charged with reporting to the state’s Domestic Violence Advisory Committee and others regarding recommended improvements to domestic violence response and prevention initiatives.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3653, a bill providing authorization for local governments to enter into a LAW ENFORCEMENT MULTIJURISDICTIONAL TASK FORCE arrangement in order to share officers and other law enforcement resources. The legislation makes provisions for a multijurisdictional task force to be governed by a written contract that must be approved by the appropriate governing bodies of each concerned county, incorporated municipality, or other political subdivision.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4457, a bill DOUBLING THE MAXIMUM DOLLAR AMOUNT OF THE CIVIL JURISDICTION OF MAGISTRATES COURT by providing for magistrates to have civil jurisdiction in matters that do not exceed $15,000, rather than the current maximum limit of $7,500.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4639, a bill relating to INTERSTATE RECIPROCITY AGREEMENTS FOR POSTSECONDARY DISTANCE EDUCATION. The legislation provides that the Commission on Higher Education may enter into interstate reciprocity agreements, such as the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement, governing the operation of postsecondary distance education programs offered by accredited degree granting institutions of higher learning in South Carolina. Since colleges and universities that offer online education programs must obtain authorization in every state where a pupil resides, the legislation is offered as a means of making this authorization process less complex and expensive by allowing the institutions of higher learning in South Carolina to make use of a single distance education protocol that applies in all the states that have entered into a reciprocity agreement.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3420, a bill relating to the ISSUANCE OF HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMAS TO VETERANS. The legislation expands provisions crafted for the issuance of high school diplomas to World War II veterans by adding veterans of the eras encompassing the Korean War and the Vietnam War to those who must be issued a high school diploma upon presentation to the South Carolina Department of Education of documentation of school enrollment and honorable discharge from the military.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4515, a bill relating to IN-STATE HIGHER EDUCATION TUITION RATES FOR VETERANS AND THEIR DEPENDENTS. Through the passage of Act 11 of 2015, the General Assembly revised eligibility criteria for in-state higher education tuition rates for veterans and their dependents to ensure that South Carolinians can continue to take advantage of federal G.I. Bill provisions. H.4515 makes further revisions to provide that the three year post discharge enrollment time limit put in place by last year’s legislation does not apply to spouses or children dependents of veterans who are entitled to receive federal educational assistance transferred from veterans so that these individuals may take full advantage of the transferred benefits.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3166, a bill making revisions to conditions that disqualify someone from receiving unemployment compensation, including an additional DISQUALIFICATION FROM UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR THOSE WHO FAIL SCREENINGS FOR ILLEGAL DRUGS REQUIRED BY PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYERS as a condition of employment or who refuse to comply with such pre-employment drug tests.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4679, a bill to provide for the TOTAL DEREGULATION OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY and complete the telecommunications deregulation initiatives that the General Assembly has approved over the course of many years as a means of enhancing the state’s competitive advantage in the industry. The legislation provides for full implementation by extending deregulation provisions to the final segment of the telecommunications industry that was excluded from previous deregulation initiatives when basic service telephone lines were kept under the regulatory authority of the Public Service Commission.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4857, a bill establishing LANDFILL REQUIREMENTS FOR COAL ASH FROM ELECTRICAL POWER PLANTS. The legislation provides that coal combustion residuals that result from an electrical utility, an electric cooperative, a governmental entity, a corporation, or an individual producing electricity for sale or distribution by burning coal must be placed in a Class 3 solid waste management landfill, unless the coal combustion residuals are: (1) located contiguous with the electric generating unit; (2) intended to be beneficially reused; (3) placed into beneficial reuse; or (4) placed in an appropriate landfill owned or operated by the entity that produced the electricity that resulted in the coal combustion residuals. The legislation establishes a five-year sunset date for these requirements, unless they are reenacted or otherwise extended by the General Assembly.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4447, a bill providing authorization for MOBILE BARBERSHOPS that can be transported from one location to another and offer temporary portable barber operations in such settings as a client’s home or a nursing home. The legislation makes provisions for mobile barbershop permitting and regulation by the State Barber Board and subjects mobile barbershops to all state and local laws, regulations, and ordinances pertaining to the practice of barbering.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4141, a bill enacting the “LIMITED LINES TRAVEL INSURANCE ACT” to provide authority for travel retailers to offer and disseminate, under a limited lines travel insurance producer business entity license, travel insurance coverage for personal risks incident to planned travel such as: interruption or cancellation of trip or event; loss of baggage or personal effects; damages to accommodations or rental vehicles; and sickness, accident, disability, or death occurring during travel.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4090, a bill a revising requirements governing the operation of PAWNBROKERS. Offered as a comprehensive update of the provisions regulating pawnbrokers, the legislation includes among its revisions an increase in the maximum amount of a loan that a pawnbroker is allowed to make from $2,000 to $15,000.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4507, a bill REVISING THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS HALL OF FAME ADVISORY COMMITTEE by adding the President of the South Carolina Fraternal Order of Police, or his designee. The legislation also allows the President of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association to select a designee to serve on the advisory committee.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3685, a bill making provisions for the ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF TRAFFIC TICKETS to bring South Carolina into compliance with federal electronic ticketing provisions.

The House approved and sent the Senate to H.3657, a bill revising provisions for the COMMENCEMENT OF SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE TERMS to allow for greater flexibility regarding when a local school board member’s term begins than the current statutory requirement which provides that the term of office of every elected trustee of a school district must commence one week following the certification of his election.

The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.4633, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The joint resolution provides for an EXTENSION OF THE DEADLINE BY WHICH AN INDEPENDENT SCHOOL MUST APPLY TO BECOME AN ELIGIBLE INSTITUTION FOR PURPOSES OF THE EDUCATIONAL TAX CREDIT FOR EXCEPTIONAL NEEDS CHILDREN until May 1, 2016.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4532, a bill revising the boundaries of the MURRELL’S INLET GARDEN CITY FIRE DISTRICT.

The House rejected H.4862, a bill making REVISIONS TO SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES ISSUED TO RETIRED MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.