News from the House of Representatives
Family Childcare Home Operators
A bill by Representative Shannon Erickson relating to training for family childcare home operators and employees was debated by the House this week. The legislation requires a minimum of ten hours of training approved by the Department of Social Services for operators and employees beginning July 1, 2017. The bill also authorizes the department to deny an application for a statement of registration, an application for a renewal of registration, and work with a family childcare home operator to resolve a concern if the health or safety of any child in the facility is at risk, the facility intends to enroll children beyond the set limits defined in statute or the operator fails to comply with the training requirements. The House adopted the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee amendment then adjourned debate on the matter until next week.
Infant Safe Havens
On Tuesday the House gave second reading to a bill by Representative Heather Crawford relating to locations at which a person may leave an infant under certain circumstances without criminal penalty. A ‘safe haven’ is defined as a hospital or hospital outpatient facility, a law enforcement agency, a fire station, an emergency medical services station, or any staffed house of worship during hours when the facility is staffed. The age of the infant was increased to 180 days old from the 30 days old requirement in current law. The bill received third reading on Wednesday and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Second Amendment Preservation Act
On Wednesday the House gave second reading to a bill by Representative Mike Pitts enacting the “Second Amendment Preservation Act”. The legislation provides that the state shall not enforce certain laws, rules, or regulations that limit the right of a person to own, possess, or use a firearm, ammunitions, or firearm accessories. The state shall also not accept certain federal funds that require firearms to be registered or confiscated, or expend any state funds toward the enforcement of certain federal laws, rules, or regulations that require firearms to be registered or confiscated. The bill received third reading on Thursday and will be sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee for its consideration.
South Carolina Farm Aid Fund
This week the House gave final approval to a bill creating the “South Carolina Farm Aid Fund” to assist farmers after the damage of the October 2015 floods. The bill establishes a $40 million appropriation from the 2014-2015 Contingency Reserve Fund to make financial awards to farmers who have experienced a loss of agricultural commodities of at least forty percent as a result of certain declared natural disasters, excluding drought. The awards must be used for agricultural production expenses and losses due to the declared disaster and are not allowed to be used to purchase new equipment. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee for its consideration.
2016 House Budget Calendar
The House Ways & Means Committee has released the House’s tentative 2016 budget calendar, which is listed below. Please note that the schedule has been updated and the full House deliberations have been pushed back until March 21st.
- March 8-10: Printed Appropriation Bill Distributed to All House Members
- March 15-17: Printed Appropriation Bill Distributed to All House Members
- March 21-24: House Floor Budget Deliberations
Additional House Furloughs
The House of Representatives has announced that they will furlough for three weeks during this session. The remaining weeks are listed below.
- March 29-31
- April 5-7
News from the Senate
Legislation by Representative Don Wells relating to comprehensive health education programs was approved by the Senate this week. The bill provides that each student must receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation at least once during the entire four years of grades nine through twelve and that school districts must implement the provisions of the legislation before the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. The bill received third reading on Thursday and was returned to the House.
On Wednesday the Senate gave second reading to a bill by Senator Karl Allen that establishes a procedure to allow an inmate who the Department of Corrections has determined is not a security risk to attend the funeral service of certain individuals. The bill also allows inmates to visit certain individuals while they are hospitalized. The Senate amended to the bill to specify that the location of the funeral or hospital visit must be in South Carolina. The bill must receive third reading by the Senate before being sent to the House.
Managed Tidal Impoundment Preservation Act
On Tuesday the Senate gave second reading to a bill by Senator Chip Campsen enacting the “Managed Tidal Impoundment Preservation Act”. The legislation relates to the approval of permits to alter critical areas by exempting property that is deemed eligible under a US Army Corp of Engineers’ general permit from permitting requirements in certain circumstances. It also grants enforcement authority to the Coastal Division of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The bill received third reading on Thursday and was sent to the House Agricultural, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs Committee.
South Carolina Telemedicine Act
A bill by Senator Ray Cleary enacting the “South Carolina Telemedicine Act” was approved by the Senate this week. The legislation facilitates the use of telemedicine by establishing recordkeeping requirements and requirements of a physician-patient relationship before a physician may prescribe drugs for a patient. The bill allows the prescription of drugs when the physician-patient relationship is established by telemedicine. The bill now goes to the House for its consideration.
The Senate has announced that they will furlough for one week during this session. The week is listed below.
- March 29-31