February 3, 2022

The House, with an amendment, adopted and ordered sent to the Senate H. 3100 relating to unlawfully passing a stopped school bus. All school buses must be equipped with extended school bus stop arms. The State Superintendent of Education has the discretion to overrule the decision of a local school district regarding the placement of a student school bus stop. The exercise of this discretion is limited to school bus stops that the Superintendent determines to be dangerous. Also, the month of August of each year is declared ‘School Bus Safety Month’ in South Carolina.

Having been recalled from the Education Committee the previous week, the House adopted and sent to the Senate H. 4576, a bill that declares the third Tuesday in February of each year as “Historically Black Colleges and Universities Day.”

The House amended, gave third reading and sent to the Senate H. 4177, a bill that establishes a waterfowl advisory committee. Due to a decline in the state’s waterfowl due to destructive storms and financial management issues, the waterfowl advisory committee is created to help direct the manager of the waterfowl program within the Department of Natural Resources. This committee would to assist in the management of waterfowl habitats, assist in the development, protection, and propagation of waterfowl, assisting in prioritizing the expenditures of monies.

Also, the bill increases the cost of migratory waterfowl permits (duck stamps) from five to fifteen dollars for five years. The additional revenue from duck stamps will be used to repair the state’s impoundments that have not been addressed over the years. It is noted that none of these funds will be used for operating the program. The committee shall make a report of its findings, activities, and long term plans to the General Assembly by December thirty-first of each year.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H. 4831, a joint resolution that directs the Department of Commerce to conduct an Offshore Wind Energy Supply Chain Industries Economic Development Study to evaluate the state’s business advantages, economic climate, workforce readiness, and any other relevant state assets to create a roadmap for South Carolina to effectively compete in attracting offshore wind energy supply chain industries to the state. The Department of Commerce is directed to coordinate with the Office of Regulatory Staff, Clemson University, or other pertinent state agencies, and must submit the reports, roadmap, and any legislative recommendations to the Speaker of the House, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Chairman of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee, the President of the Senate, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman of the Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee one year from the date of funding by the General Assembly.

The House gave third reading and sent to the Senate H. 3889, a bill restricting the use of airboats during duck season. This bill reflects current law; however, it changes use of airboat restriction during waterfowl season to duck season.

The House approved and sent the Senate H. 4832, a bill providing for numerous insurance law revisions, clarifications, and updates, including provisions for aligning state law with recommendations of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and authorizing South Carolina’s withdrawal from the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact.

The House gave third reading and returned to the Senate with amendments, S. 203 relating to the removal of school district trustees and filling vacancies. School district trustees who wilfully commit or engage in an act of malfeasance, misfeasance, chronic unexcused absenteeism, conflicts of interest, criminal misconduct in office, or persistent neglect of duty in office, or are adjudicated medically incompetent or medically incapacitated, are subject to removal by the Governor upon any of the foregoing causes being made to appear to the satisfaction of the Governor. Before removing any such officer, the Governor shall inform him in writing of the specific charges brought against him and give him an opportunity on reasonable notice to be heard.