March 18, 2016

The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4554, the “SOUTH CAROLINA ANTI MONEY LAUNDERING ACT” which establishes new provisions for the regulation and oversight of money transmission services. The legislation is offered as a means of rectifying South Carolina’s current status as the only U.S. state with no regulatory authority over money transfers of smaller amounts which has made the state a center for money laundering activities that facilitate organized criminal enterprises and terrorist activities. The legislation establishes new requirements for the licensure and regulation of money transmission and currency exchange services with the South Carolina Attorney General. Record keeping requirements are imposed on licensees and the Attorney General’s Office is afforded authority to review records and conduct investigations. Penalties are established for violations including felony criminal penalties for falsifying records and engaging in illicit money transfers involving larger dollar amounts. The jurisdiction of the state grand jury is expanded to include violations relating to the South Carolina Anti Money Laundering Act.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4521, the “TUCKER HIPPS TRANSPARENCY ACT”, legislation named in memory of the Clemson University student who died during a fraternity activity on September 22, 2014. The legislation requires the state’s public institutions of higher education to maintain a report detailing student misconduct investigations related to fraternity and sorority organizations formally affiliated with the institution. These reports are specifically required to include a violation of a Student Code of Conduct for offenses involving alcohol, drugs, sexual assault, harm to others, threats, endangerment, and hazing. The report must be readily available to the public upon request and posted on the institutions’ websites. Institutions must also furnish a printed notice of the nature and availability of this report and the website address where it can be found to attendees at student orientation. Each public institution of higher learning shall compile an initial report and make it available to the public and online before the beginning of the 2016 2017 academic year. This initial report must include the required information beginning with data after December 31, 2010. Institutions are subject to requirements for updating reports in a timely manner.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4688, the “TIMOTHY WAYNE GIBSON ACT”, legislation named in memory of the South Carolina Department of Transportation highway maintenance worker who died in the line of duty while responding to the catastrophic floods of October 2015. The legislation provides that it is unlawful to remove or reposition a temporary road closure sign or device. The legislation specifies that it is not a violation for a property owner or someone else entitled to access the premises to move a temporary traffic control device or temporary road closure sign and then immediately replace that sign or device in order to enter or exit the property.

The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3325, the “CLEMENTA C. PINCKNEY UNIFORM PARTITION OF HEIRS’ PROPERTY ACT”, and enrolled the bill for ratification. Addressing an abiding concern of the late South Carolina Senator, the legislation is named in memory of Pinckney, who, while serving in his capacity as Senior Pastor of Charleston’s historic Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, was shot to death along with eight members of his congregation as they gathered for an evening Bible study on June 17, 2015. The legislation establishes a protocol for partitioning real estate when a court determines that the land meets the criteria established for heirs’ property as a means of preserving property rights in situations where land has been passed down through generations without written wills or properly probated wills so that the property is owned in common by multiple heirs. This statutory protocol includes requirements for notifying those who own a percentage of the land as one of many heirs as well as provisions for conducting sales or making such other arrangements as dividing up the heirs’ property among the cotenants by forming physically distinct and separately titled parcels.

The House adopted the conference committee report on H.3545, a bill making revisions to ARSON OFFENSES, and enrolled the legislation for ratification. The legislation revises various statutes that provide for the degrees of arson, making corrections to these and other provisions that were put in place through the adoption of the 2010 Omnibus Crime Act.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3848, the “SOUTH CAROLINA FOUNDING PRINCIPLES ACT”. The legislation requires the State Board of Education and Education Oversight Committee to incorporate instruction on the founding principles that shaped the United States into the required study of the United States Constitution and the South Carolina Social Studies Standards upon the next cyclical review. This required instruction must at least include the Federalist Papers, the structure of government and the role of the separation of powers and the freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution. A biennial report on implementation must be submitted to the Senate Education Committee and the House Education and Public Works Committee. The State Department of Education must make professional development opportunities on this required instruction available to teachers by physical or electronic means.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4150, a bill designating the seventeenth day of September of each year as “UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION DAY” in recognition of the signing of the United States Constitution which took place on September 17, 1787.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4718, a bill creating a SOUTH CAROLINA RETIRED EDUCATOR CERTIFICATE that may be held by a retiree who previously held a South Carolina renewable, professional educator certificate. An initial retired educator certificate is valid for thirty years. A certificate may be renewed and is valid for ten years. Renewal of a retired educator certificate does not require completion of professional learning or renewal credit. An educator who works under the retired certificate must work under a letter of agreement. Holders of such certificates are not exempt from professional development that is required by the local school district.

The House amended Senate amendments to H.3265 and returned the bill to the Senate. The legislation includes within Comprehensive Health Education Programs new REQUIREMENTS FOR PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO RECEIVE CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR) TRAINING. At least one time during the entire four years of grades nine through twelve, each student must, under the new requirements, receive instruction in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) that includes training in such matters as hands only CPR and awareness in the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4562, a bill designating the month of April of every year as “MOVE OVER AWARENESS MONTH” in South Carolina when the Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety shall conduct programs that emphasize the importance of motor vehicle drivers moving over into an adjacent lane whenever possible when approaching or passing through a highway work zone, an emergency scene, or any other traffic incident. The Department of Motor Vehicles is directed to print in future Driver’s Manuals, and include as soon as practical in online editions, information referencing the state’s “Move Over Law” requirements regarding motorists on an interstate highway approaching an emergency scene. The legislation also provides that a state governmental entity that maintains a wrecker or tow truck rotation must allow a driver of those service vehicles to take traffic incident management training free of charge.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3706, the “EMERGENCY ANAPHYLAXIS TREATMENT ACT” which allows authorized institutions, organizations, and businesses, such as colleges and universities, daycare facilities, places of worship, restaurants, places of employment, recreation camps, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, and sports arenas, to keep supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors, also known as EpiPens, in stock to administer this potentially life-saving medication to those who are experiencing severe allergic reactions. The legislation establishes a protocol that allows physicians and certain other healthcare professionals to prescribe stock supplies of epinephrine auto-injectors for these authorized places that may be administered by designated individuals who have completed required training on the proper use of these epinephrine auto-injectors and how to recognize the symptoms of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. The legislation affords certain immunity from legal liability regarding the use of epinephrine auto-injectors in good faith.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3999, a bill REVISING PROVISIONS FOR THOSE WHO MAY MAKE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS FOR PATIENTS WHO ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE CONSENT. The legislation revises the prioritized list of those who are authorized to make health care decisions for patients who are unable to provide consent to include as a lowest, tenth, priority a close friend of the patient who is an adult and reasonably is believed by the health care professional to have a close personal relationship with the patient. The legislation also revises the list to give higher priority to adult children over parents, give higher priority to adult siblings over grandparents and adult grandchildren, and specify that a majority of relatives makes the decision when there are multiple relatives of equal priority. Documentation of efforts to locate a decision maker on the prioritized list must be recorded in the patient’s medical record.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4877, a bill providing for TWO ADDITIONAL AT-LARGE FAMILY COURT JUDGES who must be elected without regard to their county or circuit of residence.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.4339, a bill ENHANCING PROVISIONS TO COMBAT INSURANCE FRAUD. The jurisdiction of the state grand jury is expanded to include largescale insurance fraud crimes including violations of the South Carolina Omnibus Insurance Fraud and Reporting Immunity Act. The legislation includes provisions that allow those who operate motor vehicles in the commission of insurance fraud to have their driving privileges suspended for one year. Motor vehicles, equipment, and other property used to commit insurance fraud is subject to forfeiture.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3130, a bill authorizing HOME DETENTION FOR CERTAIN NONVIOLENT DRUG OFFENSES so long as individuals are monitored by a GPS tracking device and bear the cost of the monitoring program. This home detention option does not apply to trafficking methamphetamine or to a drug trafficking offense that carries a maximum sentence of up to ten years.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4878, a bill establishing CONFIDENTIALITY PROVISIONS FOR COMMUNICATIONS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT PEER SUPPORT TEAMS, made up of such personnel as chaplains, mental health professionals, and public safety peers, which provide emotional and moral support to public safety employees and their immediate family members following critical incidents.

The House approved S.850 and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation establishes REQUIREMENTS FOR PRINCIPLE-BASED RESERVES FOR LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES to bring South Carolina’s insurance laws into greater conformity with recommendations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The House concurred in Senate amendments to H.3576, relating to the STATUS OF A NONPROFIT YOUTH SPORTS ORGANIZATION COACH, and enrolled the bill for ratification. The legislation establishes conditions under which a written agreement between a nonprofit youth sports organization and a coach constitutes conclusive evidence that an independent contractor relationship, rather than an employment relationship, exists between the nonprofit youth sports organization and the coach for purposes of workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance coverage, and federal and state income tax withholdings requirements.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4138, a bill relating to the DISPLAY OF HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING MECHANICAL CONTRACTOR CREDENTIALS. The legislation establishes requirements for those holding licenses in the mechanical contractor subclassification of air conditioning, heating, or packaged equipment to display their mechanical contractor licenses in a conspicuous manner at their principal places of business and to display their mechanical contractor license numbers on their commercial vehicles and on their invoice and proposal forms.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4931, a bill making revisions to the REGULATION OF PROFESSIONAL BONDSMEN, SURETY BONDSMEN, AND RUNNERS. The legislation revises provisions relating to education and continuing education requirements for professional bondsmen, surety bondsmen, and runners, so as to increase the number of hours of education required for licensure and for continuing education. The legislation revises provisions relating to visiting and examining professional bondsmen by the Department of Insurance, so as to subject sureties to these visits and examinations. The legislation requires newly-licensed bondsmen to maintain a properly zoned office in this state that is accessible to the general public and department during normal business hours, and requires the bondsman to provide certain contact information. Currently licensed bondsmen are grandfathered in so that they are not subject to these office requirements.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4817, a bill MAKING REVISIONS RELATING TO OVERSIGHT BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE. Requirements are included to subject someone applying for or renewing a resident insurance producer license to criminal background screenings. The legislation requires an individual who applies for a bondsman or runner license to provide his business, email, mailing, and residential street address to the department. The legislation requires an applicant to provide an email address to the department when applying for insurance producer’s licenses, insurance adjuster’s licenses, public insurance adjuster’s licenses, or motor vehicle physical damage appraiser’s licenses. The legislation eliminates affidavit requirements within the requirements for a nonresident to be licensed as an insurance broker. The legislation revises provisions relating to warning stamps on policies of eligible surplus lines insurance, so as to no longer require a broker to write or stamp a warning on the face of an application for eligible surplus lines insurance.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4874, a bill that provides for various STATUTORY UPDATES AND REVISIONS RECOMMENDED BY THE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE as a result of its study of the Comptroller General’s Office. The legislation includes a transfer of certain statutory accounting responsibilities from the Comptroller General’s Office to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4875, a bill that provides for various STATUTORY UPDATES AND REVISIONS RECOMMENDED BY THE HOUSE LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE as a result of its study of the Comptroller General’s Office.

The House refused to grant free conference powers on H.3114, the ”SOUTH CAROLINA PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT” which establishes a prohibition on the performance of abortions beginning at twenty weeks following fertilization.