House business continues into spring
by Rep. Cezar McKnight | April 4, 2017 11:45 am
Last Updated: April 4, 2017 at 1:26 pm
The House of Representatives concurred in Senate amendments to H.3358, legislation that provides a framework for issuing and renewing state driver’s licenses and identification cards to bring South Carolina into compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act of 2005, and enrolled the bill for ratification.
South Carolina’s compliance deadline of Jan. 31, 2017, was extended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security upon the request of former Gov. Haley until June 6, 2017, and the enactment of compliance legislation should allow the state to operate under extended regulatory relief through Sept. 30, 2020, the final implementation date for the federal REAL ID Act.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3548, the South Carolina Unborn Child Protection From Dismemberment Abortion Act. The legislation prohibits the performance of a dismemberment abortion, which involves the use of surgical instruments to kill the unborn child by cutting up the body for piecemeal extraction, unless the procedure is necessary to save the life of the mother or to prevent the mother from suffering serious, irreversible physical harm.
Physicians or others who knowingly perform, or attempt to perform, prohibited dismemberment abortions are guilty of a felony punishable with a fine of ten thousand dollars and/or imprisonment for two years. The legislation specifies that a woman upon whom a dismemberment abortion is performed may not be prosecuted for a violation, for a conspiracy to commit a violation, or for a related offense.
The legislation makes provisions for a legal cause of action that may be brought against those who perform a prohibited dismemberment abortion to obtain such relief as actual damages, punitive damages and legal costs.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3343, the South Carolina Education School Facilities Act. The legislation makes provisions for state financial assistance to school districts, through such means as the issuance of state general obligation bonds and the awarding of grants, that must be used for permanent school instructional facilities, health and safety upgrades, technology access inside the school, and fixed building assets including the costs for construction, improvement, enlargement, or renovation of school facilities.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3041, a bill enhancing criminal background check requirements for real estate licensure. The legislation expands criminal background check requirements for Real Estate Commission licensure, by requiring fingerprint-based screening and by requiring these background checks not only for initial licensures but also for licensure renewals under a six-year cycle that requires screening with every third renewal.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3038, a bill making provisions for the licensure and regulation of locksmiths. The legislation creates the Board of Locksmiths and provides for its composition, function, and duties. The legislation requires applicants for licensure to satisfy certain criteria, complete testing requirements, and submit to state and national criminal background records checks.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3886, a bill enacting the South Carolina Homeowners Association Act to establish new provisions governing the operation of homeowners associations. In order to be enforceable, a declaration or other governing document of a homeowners association must be recorded in the local clerk of court’s or register of deeds office so that these documents are accessible to the public as matters of public record. The legislation establishes a new requirement for disclosing to potential owners whether a property is subject to the governance of a homeowners association and how copies of HOA governing documents may be obtained.
A homeowners’ association is required to provide at least 48 hours’ notice to homeowners before a meeting to take action to increase an annual budget. The legislation clarifies that the magistrates court has concurrent jurisdiction to adjudicate certain monetary disputes between homeowners associations and homeowners.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3789, the South Carolina Youth Challenge Academy and South Carolina Jobs Challenge Program Expungement Act. The legislation affords eligible youthful offenders who successfully complete military and job training programs the opportunity of having nonviolent criminal offenses expunged from their records.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3125, the Safe Children’s Act, which codifies a comprehensive set of best practices for Department of Social Services protocol and interventions in cases of suspected child abuse or neglect.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3817, a bill that provides for more expansive law enforcement controlled substance take-back programs by allowing pharmacies and certain others to register as collection centers for unused prescription drugs as a means of preventing substance abuse by keeping opioids and other dangerous prescription drugs out of the wrong hands.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4048, a bill requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to issue, pursuant to its Medicaid Home and Community‑based waiver, personal emergency response systems devices to Medicaid recipients that include, in addition to emergency response services, unlimited 24 hour, seven‑day a week live phone contact with experienced registered nurses for triage services.
The House approved and sent the Senate to H.3428, a bill revising provisions governing Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders to allow a parent or legal guardian to request a do not resuscitate order for emergency services for a child under 18 years old who has a terminal condition. Provisions are also including for revoking such a DNR order.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3450, legislation enacting the Electrology Practice Act to provide for the licensure and regulation of electrologists and electrology instructors through an Electrology Licensure Committee established under the Board of Medical Examiners. The legislation is offered as a means of ensuring minimum standards of competency for those who practice or offer instruction in electrology, which involves the permanent removal of hair from the skin through the application of an electric current.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3417, 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.3867, a bill revising an affordable housing property tax exemption to exempt all property devoted to housing low income residents if the property is owned by an instrumentality of a nonprofit housing corporation.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3428, a bill requiring the Director of the Division of Veterans’ Affairs to receive and respond to veterans’ complaints regarding county veterans’ affairs officers. The director shall forward the complaint along with his recommendation for discipline, including the possible removal of the county veterans’ affairs officer in question, to the appropriate legislative delegation for its consideration and final determination.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3898, a bill revising the information that may disclosed about adoptees, biological parents, and biological siblings so that the provisions also apply to biological grandparents.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3440, a bill enacting House Legislative Oversight Committee recommendations for updating qualifications for the visually impaired members of the South Carolina Commission for the Blind.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3804, a bill revising fifth-wheel towing restrictions to allow recreational vehicles to tow golf carts and certain other vehicles on the state’s roads. The legislation provides authorization for pick-up trucks, with features commonly referred to as ‘fifth wheels,’ to be limited to towing one trailing vehicle. Their maximum combined overall length is set at 75 feet.
If you would like any additional information on these bills, or any other legislation under consideration by the General Assembly, feel free to visit our website at www.scstatehouse.gov. If you have a comment or opinion concerning the matters discussed in this report, or if I may be of assistance to you at any time, please feel free to call your legislative office in Columbia at (804) 212-6926; in Kingstree at (843) 374-4529; or write P.O. Box 688, Lake City, SC 29560. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the House of Representatives.