Dear Friends and Neighbors:
This is my Legislative Update for the month of February. The House addressed a number of important issues. Here are some of the highlights. By way of a community update, I along with Sen Joel Lourie, Councilman Jim Manning, School Board Member James Manning, District 2 Superintendent Debra Hamm, Arcadia Lakes Mayor Mark Huguley, and Cpt Cole Porter presented a united front against placing a bus station within walking distance of four schools and in a building that is adjacent to residential neighborhoods on Decker Boulevard.
As always, I am interested in hearing your thoughts and concerns on the issues.
Thank you for the honor and privilege of serving you in the South Carolina House of Representatives.
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 7, 2014
The House of Representatives approved and sent the Senate H.4576, a joint resolution AUTHORIZING SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO FORGIVE UP TO FIVE DAYS MISSED THIS SCHOOL YEAR DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. Under the legislation, the governing body of a school district may waive the requirement that schools make up full days missed due to inclement weather for five or fewer full school days that students who attend schools or charter schools in the district missed due to inclement weather during the 2013-2014 school year. When a district waives a make-up day under this legislation, the make-up day also is waived for any student participating in a home schooling program approved by the board of trustees of the district in which the student resides.
The House amended Senate amendments to H.3847 and returned the bill to the Senate. The legislation makes REVISIONS TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA MANUFACTURER RESPONSIBILITY AND CONSUMER CONVENIENCE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY EQUIPMENT COLLECTION AND RECOVERY ACT, that was established in order to keep certain discarded electronics out of the state’s waste landfills where toxic components found in these electronic devices could make their way into the groundwater or pose other environmental harms.
The House approved H.3644, legislation establishing provisions for CLEAN ENERGY INDUSTRY MARKET DEVELOPMENT, and sent the bill to the Senate. The legislation establishes within the Division of State Development of the Department of Commerce a fourteen-member Clean Energy Industry Market Development Advisory Council to assist in the development of clean energy technology, materials, and products manufactured in this state.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4384, a bill establishing new MOPED SAFETY REQUIREMENTS. This legislation requires moped operators and passengers to wear reflective vests. The legislation prohibits the operation of a moped on public roads that have a speed limit of greater than forty-five miles per hour. A moped is, however, allowed to cross an intersection at a public road with a speed limit in excess of forty-five miles per hour.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4603, a joint resolution to provide that the Department of Health and Environmental Control, by emergency order or approval of an order, may authorize SAND SCRAPING AND SANDBAGGING AS PROTECTION FOR GOLF COURSES through 2015.
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 14, 2014
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 21, 2014
The House of Representatives returned S.405 to the Senate with amendments. This legislation provides that the COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT, UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THE SUPREME COURT, SHALL HANDLE COMPLAINTS AGAINST ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT JUDGES for possible violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct in the same manner as complaints against other judges.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3231, legislation PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST MOTORCYCLES in public transportation policies. This legislation provides that in formulating transportation policy, promulgating regulations, allocating funds, and planning, designing, constructing, equipping, operating and maintaining transportation facilities, no action of the South Carolina Transportation Commission, or the South Carolina Department of Transportation shall have the effect of discriminating against motorcycles, motorcycle operators, or motorcycle passengers.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4482, a bill DESIGNATING THE COLUMBIAN MAMMOTH AS THE OFFICIAL STATE FOSSIL of South Carolina.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3833, a bill providing AUTHORITY FOR CONDUCTING WINE TASTINGS AND BEER TASTINGS IN LARGE RETAIL SETTINGS. This legislation allows the holders of a retail wine permit for off-premises consumption whose retail space is at least 10,000 square feet and whose primary product is not beer, wine, or distilled spirits to obtain an annual wine tastings permit for each separate place of business in order to conduct, in accordance with Department of Revenue rulings or regulations, up to twelve wine tastings at the retail location in a calendar quarter, and it provides restrictions.
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 28, 2014
The House of Representatives amended, approved by a vote of 80-30, and sent the Senate H.3925, legislation that addresses the APPLICATION OF THE POLLUTION CONTROL ACT, which regulates the discharge of industrial waste, sewage, and other pollutants through permitting programs at the Department of Health and Environmental Control. H.3925 follows up on previous legislation, Act 198 of 2012, which the General Assembly passed to counter a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling that found there was a private cause of action under South Carolina’s Pollution Control Act which allowed an individual or a group of concerned citizens to bring a lawsuit under the act. H.3925 specifies that it is the intent of the General Assembly that no private right of action exists under the Pollution Control Act. Beginning with the June 6, 2012, effective date of Act 198 of 2012, no claim or cause of action alleging a violation of the Pollution Control Act may be filed in a court or administrative tribunal by any person other than the Department of Health and Environmental Control or an agency, commission, department, or political subdivision of the State, with the exception that an individual may pursue the administrative procedure established by Act 198 of 2012 that allows someone to petition DHEC for a declaratory ruling on an assertion that the Pollution Control Act is being violated. Under this procedure, someone, other than DHEC or an agency, commission, department, or political subdivision of the State, making an assertion about a violation of the Pollution Control Act must first petition DHEC in writing for a declaratory ruling about whether there is a specific, existing regulatory program that applies to a proposed or existing discharge into the environment. The subject of the petition must be notified and DHEC must issue its declaratory ruling within sixty days. The department is authorized to issue emergency orders if it determines that immediate action is necessary to protect the public health or property from an unpermitted discharge. Anyone contesting a department decision on a petition may request a contested case hearing in the Administrative Law Court. H.3925 specifies that any decision of the department with respect to which review could have been, but was not, obtained under these petition provisions is not subject to judicial review in any civil proceeding. H.3925 also revises language in Act 198 of 2012 specifying that the act’s passage is not to affect pending legal actions by limiting its application to pending civil actions, criminal prosecutions, and appeals and eliminating references to vested rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities.
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.