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SENATE 

The Senate spent the final three days of the legislative session debating the remaining House bills on the calendar as well as bills returned from the House. Members worked late into the night on Tuesday on the new roads bond bill (S. 1258) that includes reform language regarding the Department of Transportation (DOT) and will provide over $2.2 billion to improve interstates, roads, and bridges across the State without implementing new taxes or fees. The Senate amended the bill to allow the Governor to appoint DOT Commissioners with Senate approval. Candidates would be screened by county legislative delegations as well as the Joint Transportation Review Committee. The amendment passed the Senate and the bill was returned to the House for concurrence. 

Other bills returned from the House that were addressed by the Senate this week include: 

S. 267 – relates to the date of adjournment: Amended and Returned to the House; 

S. 626 – establishes tax credits for renewable energy: Amended and Returned to the House 

S. 777 – involves payment of benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs: Amended and Returned to the House; 

S. 778 – enacts the “Uniform Power of Attorney Act:” Amended and Returned to the House; 

S. 868 – provides procedures for the exercise of eminent domain powers regarding pipelines: Senate Concurs with House Amendments; 

S. 973 – extends the date that certain revenue must be sent to the SC Forestry Commission: Senate Concurred with the House Amendments; 

S. 1065 – relates the establishment of the “Petroleum Pipeline Study Committee:” Senate Concurs with House Amendments; 

S. 1122 – establishes an income tax credit for alternative fuel property: Senate Concurs with House Amendments; 

H. 3186 – involves the contents of statements of economic interests provided to the State Ethics Commission: Senate Non-concurs with House amendments; and 

H. 5140 – provides for a start date for public schools: Senate Non-concurs with House Amendments 

In addition to bills returned from the House, the Senate gave third reading to numerous bills, including H. 5193 by Representative Chip Huggins (R-Lexington). This legislation will require the Board of Medical Examiners and the Board of Pharmacy to issue a joint written protocol to authorize pharmacists to dispense a drug to reverse the effect of an opioid related drug overdose. Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) amended the bill to include language that will require DHEC to evaluate the effectiveness of reducing opioid related deaths through marijuana. The amendment also requires DHEC to provide the General Assembly a report on the findings by January 1, 2017. 

Other bills passed by the Senate this week include: 

H. 3147 – relates to deductions from South Carolina taxable income of individuals for the purposes of the “South Carolina Income Tax Act,” so as to allow the deduction of retirement benefits attributable to active duty service in the armed forces of the United States; 

H. 3440 – requires mopeds to be registered and that owners and operators must possess a valid driver’s license and must obtain liability insurance; 

H. 3682 – enacts the “Bad Faith Assertion of Patent Infringement Act,” by making bad faith assertions of patent infringements an unlawful practice; 

H. 3799 – provides that South Carolina shall recognize concealed weapons permits issued by Georgia and North Carolina under certain circumstances; 

H. 3909 – strengthens responsibilities relating to motorists for yielding to pedestrians in a roadway crosswalk and also establishes new penalties for a driver who causes serious physical injury or death by failing to exercise due care to avoid colliding with pedestrians and bicycles; 

H. 3952 – legalizes emergency or involuntary commitments for persons likely to become gravely disabled in not immediately hospitalized and also allows EMTs or paramedics to take these individuals into custody for transport; 

H. 3999 – revises the prioritized list of those who are authorized to make health care decisions for patients who are unable to provide consent; 

H. 4090 – provides a comprehensive update to the provisions regulating to pawnbrokers; 

H. 4124 – allows the Department of Mental Health to employ law enforcement officers as necessary to maintain the security of State mental health facilities; 

H. 4145 – enacts the “South Carolina Workforce Development Act;” 

H. 4262 – increases training requirements relating to family childcare home operators and employees; 

H. 4327 – allows for the expansion of service areas for outpatient hospice programs; 

H. 4387 – prohibits law enforcement agencies from requiring officers to meet a quota for the number of citations issued; 

H. 4391 – revises the “Uniform Anatomical Gift Act,” so as to allow for the donation of brain tissue to be used only for research or education; 

H. 4416 – establishes impact fee exemptions for schools and volunteer fire departments 

H. 4521 – enacts the “Tucker Hipps Transparency Act,” that requires the State’s public institutions of higher education to maintain a report detailing student misconduct investigations related to fraternity and sorority organizations that are formally affiliated with the institution;

H. 4542 – establishes definitions and procedures by which a patient with an advanced terminal illness, upon a doctor’s recommendation, may receive certain promising experimental treatments from a manufacturer; 

H. 4580 – exempts medical foster homes for veterans from licensure that provide care for up to three veterans per home as approved by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; 

H. 4763 – creates the “Internet Crimes Against Children Fund,” to investigate, prosecute, and prevent internet crimes against children, along with the necessary training, staffing, and equipment; 

H. 4773 – enacts “Margy’s Law,” so as to define the term “Do Not Resuscitate Bracelet” as well as providing for the availability of “Do Not Resuscitate Bracelets; 

H. 4877 – adds two At-Large Family Court Judges; 

H. 4878 – establishes confidentiality provisions for communications with law enforcement peer-support teams; 

H. 4944 – changes existing law to require municipal general elections even if only one person has filed for a municipal office; 

H. 5020 – declares the third Saturday of May of each year as “South Carolina Day of Service;” 

H. 5021 – enacts the “Adult Students with Disabilities Educational Rights Consent Act;” 

H. 5034 – requires the Department of Revenue to establish an informational charitable bingo webpage on its website; 

H. 5040 – updates various provisions relating to the application and enforcement of the consumer protection code; 

H. 5078 – makes revisions in various local sales and use tax provisions; 

H. 5118 – provides that certain municipalities and counties may adopt ordinances that allow golf carts to be operated at night; 

H. 5119 – clarifies the circumstances authorizing the Governor to call the State Guard into duty; 

H. 5193 – provides for pharmacists to dispense an opioid antidote pursuant to a joint written protocol issued by the Medical Board and Pharmacy Board; 

H. 5245 – authorizes a manufacturer, brewer, importer, or retailer to offer consumers coupons and rebates for the purchase of beer; 

H. 5279 – requires that the Charleston County School Board must obtain certification of property tax revenue expected for the budget from the county auditor before the Board may give the budget second reading; 

H. 5364 – establishes a joint resolution to approve regulations of the Department of Employment and Workforce relating to unemployment trust fund solvency; and 

H. 5367 – adds the "Northern Greenville" area of Greenville County to Renewable Water Resources’ (REWA) service area. 

The Senate adjourned at 5:00pm on Thursday pursuant to the Sine Die resolution and will reconvene at noon on Thursday, June, 16th. 

HOUSE 

The House of Representatives also entered the final week of the legislative session with a number of bills remaining on their calendar. The House began the week by concurring with the Senate amendment on S. 1258, and the bill was enrolled for ratification. The House also gave third reading to several bills of interest throughout the week including S. 1015 by Senator High Leatherman (R-Florence). This legislation provides penalties for knowingly and intentionally installing counterfeit or nonfunctional airbags or airbag components in automobiles. The House also gave third reading to S. 139, by Senator Ray Cleary (R-Georgetown), which will freeze the building restriction line (“baseline”) along the coast and will prevent the line from being moved seaward after December 31, 2017. Both bills were enrolled for ratification and are awaiting the Governor’s signature. Another bill of interest addressed by the House was S. 1122 by Senator Luke Rankin (R-Horry). The House added a strike and insert amendment to include language that provides an income tax credit for alternative fuel property, formerly contained in S. 1075. The bill received third reading and the Senate concurred with the House amendment. 

Bills passed by the House this week include: 

S. 21 – allows certain persons who wear bioptic telescopic lenses for vision assistance to obtain a driver’s license; 

S. 139 – freezes the building restriction line along the coast from being moved seaward after December 31, 2017; 

S. 227 – revises provisions relating to the remission of redevelopment fees to a redevelopment authority; 

S. 233 – provides that public prayer means a prayer or invocation and establishes protocols; 

S. 427 – establishes economic development incentives that apply to agricultural packaging operations; 

S. 484 – provides that all school food service meals and competitive foods provided in kindergarten through twelfth grade during the academic school year must meet or may exceed the nutritional requirements established by the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service; 

S. 626 – exempts 80% of the fair market value of a renewable energy resource for a period of ten years provided the property is operational by December 31, 2020, and also fully exempts a distributed renewable energy generation property for residential use (* bill failed to receive House concurrence with Senate amendments and died); 

S. 667 – clarifies the exact boundary line between South Carolina and North Carolina; 

S. 777 – provides additional and alternative requirements for matters involving payment of benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs; 

S. 778 – enacts the “Uniform Power of Attorney Act;” 

S. 868 – establishes procedures for the exercise of eminent domain powers and prohibits non-utility pipelines from using eminent domain power; 

S. 908 – enacts the “South Carolina Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act” so as to establish a framework by which internet users have the power to plan for the management and disposition of digital assets upon death or incapacitation; 

S. 913 – includes law enforcement vehicle mounted video and audio recordings in the list of specific categories of information that is to be made available to the public under a Freedom of Information Act request; 

S. 932 – extends the application deadline for the special primary residence property tax rate for military members; 

S. 980 – requires all drugs dispensed to an animal’s owner must be prescribed by a veterinarian and be labeled in accordance with State and Federal law; 

S. 1015 – provides penalties involving counterfeit or nonfunctional airbags; 

S. 1028 – creates the “Veterans and Warriors to Agriculture Program and Fund;” 

S. 1030 – makes it unlawful for a recreational fisherman to take more than 25 American Eel a day; 

S. 1036 – authorizes the State Board of Dentistry to issue “Restricted Dental Auxiliary Instructors’ Licenses” to dentists who meet certain requirements; 

S. 1037 – relates to exemptions regarding team physicians of athletic teams visiting South Carolina; 

S. 1064 – requires an insurer writing a workers’ compensation policy shall file certain information on which it relies; 

S. 1065 – establishes the “Petroleum Pipeline Study Committee” to study matters related to the presence of petroleum pipelines in South Carolina and to provide a report to the General Assembly by January 31, 2017; 

S. 1122 – provides an income tax credit for alternative fuel property; 

S. 1182 – establishes the duties of coroners and medical examiners; and 

S. 1262 – relates to the powers and duties of charter schools. 

The House adjourned Sine Die on Thursday and will reconvene Wednesday, June 15th at noon.

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