(Published by the Office of Research of the House of Representatives)

January 27, 2012

The House of Representatives approved and sent to the Senate H.4627, a joint resolution addressing the actions taken by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to allow DREDGING IN THE SAVANNAH RIVER that would make a portion of the waterway suitable for navigation by large ocean going container or commerce vessels so that a new maritime port facility may be constructed in Georgia. Through the joint resolution the General Assembly, exercising its exclusive authority to suspend laws granted under Section 7, Article I of the South Carolina Constitution, suspends the authority of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control for all decisions subsequent to 2007 related to all matters pertaining to the navigability, depth, dredging, wastewater and sludge disposal, and related collateral issues concerning the South Carolina portion of the Savannah River, in particular the approval by DHEC of the application of the United States Army Corps of Engineers for a Construction in Navigable Waters Permit for the dredging of the South Carolina portion of the Savannah River, because the authority of the Savannah River Maritime Commission superseded DHEC’s responsibilities for such approval, as established by Act 56 of 2007, and DHEC’s approval could present imminent and irreversible public health and environmental concerns for the South Carolina portion of the Savannah River.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4636, a bill establishing the BLUE ALERT PROGRAM within the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) as a means of rapidly disseminating information to assist in apprehending a suspect who allegedly kills, seriously injures, or abducts a law enforcement officer. The program is designed to make use of the Amber Alert infrastructure established for the rapid recovery of missing and abducted children, including messages to motorists posted on South Carolina Department of Transportation electronic traffic signs and releases to broadcast media, to distribute information that can help locate a fleeing suspect who poses a serious public safety threat.

The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3864 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation modernizes the state’s FRESHWATER FISH AND GAME laws, with an emphasis on making the provisions more consistent and user-friendly. These provisions have not undergone a comprehensive update in over thirty years.

The House amended Senate amendments to H.3124, the OMNIBUS SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE BILL, and returned the legislation to the Senate. This legislation authorizes the issuance of several new special license plates: ‘Distinguished Service Medal’ Special License Plate; ‘Second Amendment’ Special License Plate; ‘Historic’ automobile special motor vehicle license plate for use on a private passenger motor vehicle or a motorcycle that is at least 25 years old; ‘Distinguished Service Cross’ Special License Plate; ‘Department of the Navy’ Special License Plate; ‘Parents and Spouses of Active Duty Overseas Veterans’ Special License Plates; ‘State Flag’ Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Highway Patrol-Retired’ Special License Plates; ‘Eagle Scouts of America’ Special License Plates; ‘I Support Libraries’ Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Educator’ Special License Plates; ‘Beach Music’ Special License Plates; Citadel Alumni Association ‘Big Red’ Special License Plates; ‘Largemouth Bass’ Special License Plates; High School Special License Plates; ‘South Carolina Wildlife Federation’ Special License Plates; ‘Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’ special license plates; Gadsden Flag Special License Plates; ‘Active Duty Members of the United States Armed Forces’ Special License Plates; ‘Combat Related Disabled Veteran’ special license plates; and, ‘2010 11 Baseball National Champions’ special license plate. In addition to creating these plates, the legislation adjusts special license plate fees and revises other provisions relating to special license plates.

The House amended, approved, and sent to the Senate H.4475, a bill to provide that TRAIL RIDING IS INCLUDED UNDER EQUINE LIABILITY IMMUNITY PROVISIONS which afford an equine activity sponsor or an equine professional immunity from certain legal liable for an injury to or the death of a participant resulting from an inherent risk of equine activities, such as steeplechases, rodeos, polo matches, hunter and jumper horse shows, and equestrian competitions.

The House approved and sent to the Senate H.4434, a bill that changes the name of the Pendleton District Agricultural Museum to the “BART GARRISON AGRICULTURAL MUSEUM OF SOUTH CAROLINA”.