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May 5 | 2017
The Nexsen Pruet State House Update is published as a service to our attorneys, clients, and friends. It is
intended to be a high level overview of the weekly activity at the South Carolina State House and does not
constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation.
Firm clients who wish to receive individualized legislative updates, bill monitoring, or lobbying services may
discuss options with Bob Coble or Sally Rogers. Bob can be reached at 803-253-8211 or
firstname.lastname@example.org and Sally can be reached at 803-540-2172 or email@example.com.
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON H.3516
The Conference Committee on H.3516, commonly referred to as the “roads bill,” met on Thursday and
Friday to work out a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the legislation. Conferees serving
on the Committee are Senator Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw), Senator Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley), Senator
Ross Tuner (R-Greenville), Representative Gary Simrill (R-York), Representative Brian White (R-Anderson),
and Representative Todd Rutherford (D-Richland).
The Conferees have reached an agreement to increase the State’s current gas tax by 2 cents per year over a 6-
year time period for a total of 12 cents while removing provisions that would allow the gas tax to increase with
inflation in the future. The Committee also agreed to include language from the Senate version of H.3516
aimed at increasing transparency of the DOT through the required publishing of a project priority list and
Another compromise reached by the Conference Committee on Friday involved DOT restructuring. The
Committee agreed to increase the membership of the DOT Commission by adding one additional at-large
appointment, bringing the total number of Commissioners to nine. Seven of the Commissioners would
represent the congressional districts within the State and two Commissioners would be appointed to serve atlarge
by the Governor. All of the Commission members would undergo screening by the Joint Transportation
Review Committee (JTRC) before they are approved and are subject to removal by the Governor at-will. The
two Commissioners serving at-large appointments must also be approved with the advice and consent of the
General Assembly in addition to going through the JTRC screening process.
At the time of publishing, the Conferees have not reached an agreement on other key issues such as fee
increases and tax credits. A full report on the Conference Committee will be published on Monday.
With the final week of the regular portion of the 2017 legislative session approaching, members of the Senate
continued to work through a number of bills remaining on the calendar. The Senate gave a third reading to
S.109, a bill by Senator Thomas McElveen (D-Sumter) dealing with the operation of unmanned aerial vehicles
(drones). This legislation would prohibit a person from operating a drone within a horizontal distance of 1,000
feet or a vertical distance of 400 feet from a State or federal military installation without the written consent
from the commander of the specific military site or his designee. The bill also provides that a person found in
violation of the regulations would be guilty of a misdemeanor. S.109 will now head to the House for debate.
H.3247, a bill by Representative Bill Crosby (R-Charleston) relating to the operation on mopeds, also received a
third reading this week. Among other things, this legislation requires that mopeds operating on a public road or
highway must be registered and licensed with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the same manner as
a passenger vehicle. Operators and riders must also wear a reflective safety vest during night time hours and
must not exceed 35 mph. The bill also expands the definition of a motor vehicle to include mopeds for the
SC Public Policy Update - May 5, 2017 Page 1 of 8
purpose of uninsured or underinsured motorist insurance coverage. An amendment to the bill was adopted that
requires the operator of a moped to have a valid driver’s license and be at least fifteen years of age or older.
H.3247 will now head back to the House.
Another bill that received a third reading in the Senate this week was H.3349 by Representative Shannon
Erickson (R-Beaufort). The bill updates the Nurse Licensure Compact, which consists of 25 member states
including South Carolina. The Compact allows a nurse who is licensed and is in good standing in a compact
state to practice within any of the member states. H.3349 has now been enrolled for ratification.
The Senate also gave a third reading to H.3559 by Rep. Mike Pitts (R-Laurens). This legislation would create a
three-year pilot program for the cultivation of industrial hemp. The Department of Agriculture would allow up
to fifteen permits to be issued annually to South Carolina residents for the purposes of the program with each
permittee being allowed to grow industrial hemp on up to 20 acres of land. The bill also establishes provisions
relating the application for permits, periodic laboratory testing, and authorizes the Department of Agriculture to
charge fees of up to $250 per applicant to administer the program. H.3559 is now enrolled for ratification.
The Senate Judiciary Committee held what was likely its final meeting of the 2017 legislative session to take up
several bills. The Committee gave a favorable report as amended to H.3352 by Representative Weston Newton
(R-Beaufort) relating to the Freedom of Information Act. This legislation creates the Office of FOIA Review
within the Administrative Law Court and revises the fees for fulfilling records requests as well as the manner
for responding to records requests. Additionally, the amount of time a public body has to respond to FOIA
requests is reduced from 15 days to 10 days for any documents that are less than two years old. H.3352 will be
placed on the Senate calendar.
Another bill of interest that the Committee considered was S.217 by former Senator and current Lieutenant
Governor Kevin Bryant (R-Anderson). This legislation, commonly referred to as the “Personhood Act of South
Carolina,” would effectively ban abortions within the State. The bill would give the rights of “personhood” to a
fetus at the moment of conception. Members of the Committee decided to carry over the bill, ending the debate
on the matter until the start of the 2018 legislative session.
Bills passed this week by the Senate include:
S.109 – restricts the use of drones near state or federal military installations;
S.169 – establishes the offense of teen dating violence and provides penalties;
S.648 – exempts the Midlands Technical College Enterprise Campus Authority from surplus property laws in
S.651 – redesignates the map number on which the names of the Berkeley County voting precincts may be
found and maintained by the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office and creates three new precincts;
H.3150 – removes a municipality’s authority to forego conducting general elections when only one person has
filed for an elected office;
H.3247 – requires that a moped that is operated on a public road or highway must be registered and licensed
with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the same manner as a passenger vehicle in addition to various
H.3349 – updates the “Nurse Licensure Compact;”
H.3441 – requires that all payments of workers’ compensation by employers’ representatives must be made by
check or direct deposit.
H.3538 – enacts the “Persons with Disabilities Right to Parent Act” to provide that parental rights could not be
terminated solely on the basis of a parent’s disability;
H.3551 – prohibits certain persons from owning, possessing, importing, purchasing, or selling a large wild cat,
non-native bear, or great ape;
H.3559 – creates the “South Carolina Industrial Hemp Program” which recognizes industrial hemp as an
agricultural crop that is subject to regulation by the Department of Agriculture;
H.3587 – creates the “Seizure Safety in Schools Study Committee” that will examine issues related to epilepsy
and seizure safety awareness in public schools;
H.3879 – enhances burial expenses payable under workers’ compensation laws for accidental death by
increasing the maximum payable amount from $2,500 to $7,500;
H.3861 – revises provisions relating to security officer registration certificates issued by the State Law
Enforcement Division; and
H.4003 – establishes the "South Carolina Produce Safety Act" that allows the Department of Agriculture to
SC Public Policy Update - May 5, 2017 Page 2 of 8
oversee the new safety standards program that applies to certain farm produce;
The Senate is currently scheduled to reconvene at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 8, 2017.
Members of the House of Representatives also spent most of the week on the floor working through bills on the
calendar as the 2017 legislative session begins to wind down. A bill that members debated at length this week
was H.3240 by Representative Alan Clemmons (R-Horry). H.3240 would enact the “National Concealed
Weapons Permit Reciprocity Act,” and would allow any person who possesses a concealed weapons permit
from any state to carry a firearm legally in South Carolina. Members amended the bill on Wednesday to only
grant reciprocity to states that recognize the concealed weapons permits of South Carolinians. H.3240 received
a third reading and will now head to the Senate.
S.9, by Senator Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg), also received a third reading in the House this week. This
legislation would remove an exclusion for injuries related to intoxication or narcotic use that health insurers
have been permitted to include in individual health and accident insurance policies. This would only apply to
policies issued or renewed after December 31, 2017. The bill was amended to insert language relating to the
electronic transmission of health insurance policies. S.9 will now be returned to the Senate for concurrence on
Another bill of interest that received a third reading was S.107 by Senator Chip Campsen (R-Charleston). This
legislation would allow the Governor to appoint a successor to the Lt. Governor in the event that the Lt.
Governor resigns or is removed from office and would go into effect following the 2018 general election. The
bill also specifies campaign contribution limits for statewide and local offices and removes the Office of Aging
from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office and establishes the Department on Aging as an executive cabinet
agency. The House amended the bill to include language relating to the salary range for each constitutional
officer of the State and the justices of the South Carolina Supreme Court. S.107 was returned to the Senate and
is now pending concurrence to the House amendments.
A House Ways and Means subcommittee met Tuesday on S.44 by Senator Greg Gregory (R-Lancaster). This
legislation would provide an eighty percent abatement for valuation of renewable energy property that became
operational after 2012. The bill includes a provision that sunsets the tax exemption on the property after ten
consecutive years of operation and would allow for a tax exemption for solar property owned by the Pinewood
Site Custodial Trust. After several hours of debate, the subcommittee voted to adjourn debate on S.44 which
significantly reduces the chance of the bill passing this session.
The House 3-M Subcommittee II on Occupational, Regulation, and Licensing Boards met Wednesday to take
up H.3622 by Representative Mike Ryhal (R-Horry). This legislation would expand the surgical scope of
practice for certain podiatrists with additional training who are Board-certified or Board-eligible by the
American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. It would also expand the practice of podiatry to include the
surgical, medical, or mechanical treatment of all conditions of the human foot, ankle, and related soft tissue
structures to the level of the distal myotendinous junction. H.3622 received a favorable report.
Bills passed this week by the House include:
S.9 – removes an exclusion for injuries related to intoxication or narcotic use that health insurers have been
permitted to include in individual health and accident insurance policies;
S.107 – allows the Governor to appoint a successor to the Lt. Governor in the event that the Lt. Governor
resigns or is removed from office;
S.173 - authorizes the Law Enforcement Training Council to establish and maintain a “Crisis Intervention
Training Center,” and to govern and supervise training related to crisis intervention;
S.213 – creates the College and University Trustee Screening Commission to consider the qualifications for
candidates for trustees to State supported colleges and universities;
S.254 – enacts the “Own Risk and Solvency Protection Act;”
S.289 – enacts the “South Carolina Crime Victim Services Act” that would reform the services that provide
support to the victims of crime, including the transfer of certain agencies, boards, and commissions to the Office
of the Attorney General, South Carolina Crime Victims Services Division;
SC Public Policy Update - May 5, 2017 Page 3 of 8
S.315 – authorizes the Hurricane, Earthquake, and Fire Advisory Committee to address mitigation of property
loss due to flooding;
S.353 – amends provisions relating to the election of Commissioners of the Bath, Langley, and Clearwater
Water and Sewer Districts in Aiken County;
S.359 – removes references to the Department of Consumer Affairs in the “South Carolina Unfair Trade
Practices Act” relating to motor fuel retailers;
S.422 – approves regulations of DNR relating to seasons and limits on wildlife within Wildlife Management
S.443 – restructures existing provisions relating to night hunting;
S.463 – includes certain forms of disability insurance in the definition for the term “surplus lines insurance;”
S.465 – provides definitions relating to shellfish;
S.485 – approves regulations of the Commission on Higher Education relating to the National Guard College
S.486 –approves regulations of the Commission on Higher Education that would provide free tuition to
residents sixty-years of age or older;
S.570 – changes the registration requirements for the shipment and sale of trees, plants, and shrubs;
S.601 – approves regulations of the State Board of Education that govern the requirements for granting educator
S.602 – approves regulations of the State Board of Education that would clarify conditions in which an educator
may request extensions of an initial teaching certificate as well as other modifications to existing language that
will reflect the requirements of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA);
S.603 – approves regulations of the State Board of Education that govern the requirements for additional areas
of certification for educators in the State;
S.604 – approves regulations of the State Board of Education that would define the qualifications for
administrative and professional personnel for the district and school level;
H.3019 – establishes the necessary requirements for an individual to serve as a corner;
H.3240 – enacts the “National Concealed Weapons Permit Reciprocity Act” that would allow valid out-of-state
weapons permit holders to legally possess their permitted weapon within the State;
H.3883 – adds a new article to the SC Unfair Trade Practices Act dealing with pyramid promotional schemes;
H.4204 – redesignates the map number on which the names of the Greenwood County voting precincts may be
found and maintained by the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office; and
H.4205 – redesignates the map number on which the names of the Marion County voting precincts may be
found and maintained by the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office;
The House will reconvene at noon on Tuesday, May 2, 2017.
Several special election primaries were held on Tuesday, May 2, 2017, across South Carolina to fill vacant
seats in the South Carolina House of Representatives and a vacant seat in the Fifth Congressional District.
The results of the elections are as follows:
SC House District 48 (York County) – Republican Primary
Bruce M. Bryant 54.27%
Tom Nichols 45.73%
Seat formerly held by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-York).
SC House District 70 (Richland & Sumter County) – Democratic Primary
Wendy Brawly 40.62% (Advances to Runoff)
H. Heath Hill 23.92% (Advances to Runoff)
Levola S. Taylor 12.74%
Norman Jackson 9.79%
Jermaine H. Walker 8.50%
George B. Wilson 3.46%
Harry Reese Sr. 0.68%
Patrick Morris 0.30%
Seat formerly held by Rep. Joe Neal (D-Richland).
U.S. House 5th Congressional District – Democratic Primary:
SC Public Policy Update - May 5, 2017 Page 4 of 8
Archie Parnell 71.3% (Advances to General Election)
Alexis Frank 21.5%
Les Murphy 7.3%
U.S. House 5th Congressional District – Republican Primary
Ralph Norman 30.5% (Advances to Runoff)
Tommy Pope 30.2% (Advances to Runoff)
Tom Mullikin 19.5%
Chad Connelly 14.2%
Sheri Few 4.9%
Kris Wampler 0.5%
Ray Craig 0.2%
Seat formerly held by Rep. Mick Mulvaney.
Top News Articles
Clock is ticking fast on South Carolina Legislature with lots of bills hanging
A shorter Statehouse session and lengthy floor debates on a roads fix plan have left many proposed laws
hanging as legislators have just six working days left to get things done this year. Read more.
Moped restrictions close to becoming SC law, other bills stalled for the year
A dispute over whether moped drivers should wear reflective vests at night could complicate S.C. lawmakers’
plans to strengthen state laws that govern the slow-moving scooters. Read more.
Rep. Putnam to run for S.C. secretary of state
Putnam said Tuesday that he plans to formally announce his candidacy next week. The 28-year-old Republican
from Piedmont has served in the state House of Representatives since 2011. Read more.
Personhood bill reaches end of the year in Senate committee
A bill that would effectively ban abortions in South Carolina will not become law this year. Read more.
South Carolina farmers could be growing industrial hemp by the end of the year
A bill allowing the growth of industrial hemp has cleared the Senate and is expected to be accepted by the
House this week, lining South Carolina farmers up to begin planting the crop before the year is out. Read more.
House bill could recognize gun permits from 16 more states
More out-of-state gun owners with concealed weapon permits could legally carry their handgun in South
Carolina under a bill approved Wednesday by the House. Read more.
Upstate leaders stump for gas tax at Statehouse
Civic and business leaders from across the Upstate took to the South Carolina Statehouse this week to advocate
for a gas tax increase to fix the state’s deteriorating roads and push for other pieces of legislation they’d like to
see signed this session or next. Read more.
Tax rebates biggest sticking point in negotiations over South Carolina gas tax
As South Carolina lawmakers seek a compromise on the state's first gas tax increase since 1987, House
members are still casting doubt on the Senate's recent work. Read more.
A 10-cent gas-tax hike or 12? Panel looks for a compromise
A proposal to increase the state’s gas tax is before a committee of state representatives and senators who are
trying to work out a compromise between differing versions of the bill. Read more.
South Carolina Senate passes bill allowing 16-year-olds to get restraining orders tied to dating violence
In a state among the worst in the nation in incidents of domestic violence, Statehouse lawmakers have taken a
step toward teaching young people how to avoid such behavior. Read more.
General Assembly inches toward seating new South Carolina Ethics Commission|
More than a month after it was scheduled to get to work, the new State Ethics Commission still awaits
SC Public Policy Update - May 5, 2017 Page 5 of 8
appointees from the General Assembly. Read more.
Norman, Pope searching for voters in 5th District GOP runoff
After Tuesday’s 5th District vote — a virtual tie — the top two candidates in the Republican race for Congress
will be looking to pick up voters from their former opponents as they race to their May 16 runoff. Read more.
Brawley finishes a strong first, faces Hill in SC House runoff
Wendy Brawley was the clear leader in the Democratic primary, finishing with 40 percent of the vote and
running well ahead of Heath Hill, who ended up in second place with 24 percent of the vote. Read more.
Meetings and Events
Thursday, May 11
5:30 Reception for Governor Henry McMaster
Nexsen Pruet, Charleston
Newly Introduced Legislation
BANKING AND INSURANCE
H. 4270 (Hill) RELATING TO PAWN TICKET CONTENT REQUIREMENTS - Referred to Committee
on Labor, Commerce and Industry.
S. 681 (Judiciary Committee) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE
WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION - Placed on the Calendar without reference.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TAX
H. 4272 (Spires) A BILL TO EXTEND THE ONE PERCENT SALES TAX IMPOSED BY ACT 378 OF
2004, THE LEXINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY TAX RELIEF ACT, FOR AN
ADDITIONAL SEVEN YEARS - Referred to Committee on Ways and Means
S. 679 (Talley) BEGINNING ON JULY 1, 2018, A STATE AGENCY MAY NOT IMPOSE ANY NEW
LICENSING FEE ON BUSINESSES WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION - Referred to the Committee on Finance.
S. 678 (Fanning) RELATING TO THE AUTHORITY OF STUDENT GOVERNMENT PRESIDENTS OF
INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING TO SERVE AS EX OFFICIO TRUSTEES OF THEIR
INSTITUTIONS - Referred to the Committee on Education.
H. 4248 (Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE
REGULATIONS OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, RELATING TO MINIMUM STANDARDS
OF STUDENT CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES TO BE
IMPLEMENTED BY LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS - Placed on calendar without reference.
H. 4249 (Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE
REGULATIONS OF THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, RELATING TO SCHOOL RESOURCE
OFFICERS - Placed on calendar without reference
H. 4250 (Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE
REGULATIONS OF THE COMMISSION ON HIGHER EDUCATION, RELATING TO DETERMINATION
OF RATES OF TUITION AND FEES - Placed on calendar without reference.
H. 4285 (Bernstein) TO CREATE THE SOUTH CAROLINA OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME VOLUNTARY
RECOGNITION PROGRAM - Referred to Committee on Education and Public Works.
H. 4277 (Taylor) TO ESTABLISH CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS PERTAINING TO AERIAL SPRAYING -
Referred to Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs.
S. 689 (Fish, Game and Forestry Committee) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF
THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, RELATING TO TERM AND CONDITIONS FOR THE
PUBLIC'S USE OF STATE LAKES AND PONDS OWNED OR LEASED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF
NATURAL RESOURCES - Placed on the Calendar without reference.
H. 4269 (G. M. Smith) RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF VOTING PRECINCTS IN SUMTER
SC Public Policy Update - May 5, 2017 Page 6 of 8
COUNTY - Placed on calendar without reference.
H. 4271 (J. E. Smith) TO PROVIDE FOR AN INDEPENDENT REAPPORTIONMENT COMMISSION -
Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
S. 680 (Leatherman) RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF VOTING PRECINCTS IN FLORENCE
COUNTY - Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
S. 690 (Rankin) TO AUTHORIZE A TEMPORARY LIQUOR BY THE DRINK LICENSE FOR A
FESTIVAL THAT HAS A MAJOR ECONOMIC IMPACT - Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
S. 691 (Campsen) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO ALLOW THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION TO
EXTEND THE RECEIPT OF BALLOTS CAST PURSUANT TO THE UNIFORM AND OVERSEAS
CITIZENS ABSENTEE VOTING ACT AND TO EXTEND CERTIFICATION OF THESE FEDERAL
SPECIAL ELECTION RESULTS FOR TWO WEEKS FOLLOWING A FEDERAL SPECIAL ELECTION
FOR WHICH THE PRIMARY WAS HELD ON MAY 2, 2017. – Referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
S. 692 (Leatherman) A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE THAT PURSUANT TO SECTION 9,
ARTICLE III, OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS STATE, 1895, WHEN THE RESPECTIVE HOUSES OF
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADJOURN ON THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2017, NOT LATER THAN 5:00 P.M.,
OR ANYTIME EARLIER, EACH HOUSE SHALL STAND ADJOURNED TO MEET IN STATEWIDE
SESSION AT 12:00 NOON ON TUESDAY, MAY 23, 2017, AND CONTINUE IN STATEWIDE SESSION,
IF NECESSARY, UNTIL NOT LATER THAN 5:00 P.M. ON THURSDAY, MAY 25, 2017, FOR THE
CONSIDERATION OF CERTAIN SPECIFIED MATTERS - The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered
sent to the House.
H. 4247 (Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE
REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, RELATING TO TERM AND
CONDITIONS FOR THE PUBLIC'S USE OF STATE LAKES AND PONDS OWNED OR LEASED BY
THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES - Placed on calendar without reference.
H. 4267 (Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee) A JOINT RESOLUTION TO
APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, RELATING
TO DISCOUNT MEDICAL PLAN CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION - Placed on calendar
Please reach out to Bob Coble, Sally Rogers, or John Wienges for any further information.
Our South Carolina Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Team includes Bob Coble, Sally Rogers, Ric
Tapp and John Wienges. Coble, who served as Mayor of the City of Columbia from 1990 until 2010, leads the
group as it advises business leaders and professionals on the inner-workings of the business and political
landscape. Our team has an enduring commitment to economic development and prosperity in the Palmetto
Bob Coble Sally Rogers John Wienges
SC Public Policy Update - May 5, 2017 Page 7 of 8
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