LEGISLATIVE UPDATE : February 18-22, 2019
On The Floor:
ADOPTIVE PARENTS RIGHTS TO KNOW — Adoption is a life-changing opportunity for children looking for their forever home, and the adopting parents. Senate Bill 181 adds that medical history of an adoptee’s biological parents shall be disclosed to prospective adoptive parent, if biological parents elect to provide that information. The medical history must be in a form that does not disclose personally identifiable information of the biological parents, and shall be deposited with the family court that enters a final decree of adoption. The medical history may be disclosed to the adoptee upon reaching the age of majority or under certain circumstances prior to reaching age of majority if good cause shown. The bill now heads to the House for consideration
FOSTER CARE FOR FICTIVE KIN — Senate Bill 191 provides that fictive kin are eligible to be foster parents under the kinship foster care program and relatives and fictive kin may foster a child before being licensed as a kinship foster care provider under certain circumstances. A ‘fictive kin’ means an individual who is not related by birth, adoption or marriage to a child but who has an emotionally significant relationship with the child or the child’s family. If a relative or fictive kin with whom a child has been placed is denied licensure, then the relative or fictive kin must relinquish custody of the child to the department. The bill now heads to the House for consideration
SUNLIGHT ON CHILD FATALITIES — A bill, S.211, to authorize the Department of Social Services Director or his designee to prepare and release reports relating to fatalities or near fatalities of children. The disclosure is limited to cause and circumstances regarding the fatality or near fatality; age and gender of the child; previous reports of child abuse or neglect that led to the fatality or near fatality; result of investigations; services provided by the state and actions of the state pertinent to the abuse, neglect, fatality or near fatality. The report may be delayed if the disclosure would threaten the safety or well-being of a child or the child’s family, or when the disclosure would impede a criminal investigation. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.
UNIIFORM UNINCORPORATED NONPROFIT — Senate Bill 260 enacts the Revised Uniform Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Act to define terms, specify applicability, set forth powers of unincorporated nonprofit associations, to specify liability and set forth process by which legal action against an association is adjudicated. The bill now heads to the House for consideration
FILING OF DISTRATINT — The Department of Revenue, under S.323, may submit to a financial institution, information identifying a debtor named on a warrant for distraint that has been issued or filed or whose debt has been submitted to collections. Debt must be at least 180 days old from assessment. These may be submitted quarterly or, with agreement of the financial institution, more frequently, and they must conduct a data match, followed by information concerning the debtor and purpose for collecting outstanding debt. The financial institution must be paid out of collected funds, not exceeding the actual cost. The financial institution is not liable to a person for disclosure of information. The bill now heads to the House for consideration
Senate Judiciary Committee
S.18 — Minors Interlock Device Program: A bill to provide that in lieu of serving the remainder of a suspension or denial of license or permit, relating to persons under the age of twenty-one who drive motor vehicles and have a certain amount of alcohol concentration, a person may enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program and other related items.
S.79 — Child Independence: A bill to provide that child abuse or neglect or harm does not occur if a parent, guardian or other responsible for child’s welfare allows a child of certain age to engage in independent activities including independent means of travel to and from school, engaging in recreational facilities, outdoor play, and remaining at home unattended.
S.386 — Tort Claims Act: A bill to reorganize the Tort Claims Act to raise the limit on judgments from one million dollars to two million dollars, prohibit payment from the fund, require any authorized payments come from state’s catastrophic fund, and other provisions.
Senate Finance Committee
S.318 — Pay for Success Performance Accountability: A bill to provide the South Carolina Pay for Success Performance Accountability Act to establish the trust fund for performance accountability to fund pay-for-success contracts, whereby the state only pays to the extent that desired outcomes, performed by private-sector organizations, are achieved.
S.329 — Geothermal Machinery Tax Credits: A bill to extend the repeal date for purchase of geothermal machinery and equipment from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2022.
S.362 — Solar Energy Tax Credits A bill to provide that a taxpayer is allowed an income tax credit equal to twenty-five percent of the cost of installation of a solar energy property if he constructs, purchases or leases a solar energy property and other related terms.
S.408 — Operation of Cable System: A bill to provide that any receipts from the operation of a cable system, including a cable service or noncable or nonvideo services, are attributable to the State in pro rata proportion of the costs performing the service. If a pass-through business operates a cable system, then the corporation that owns the interest directly or indirectly must be treated as operating a cable system.
S.439 — Port Cargo Tax Credit: A bill increase the maximum amount of tax credits allowed to all qualifying taxpayers from eight million to fifteen million dollars for each calendar years, as it relates to cargo volume, port transportation, transportation of freight, good and materials.
S.298 — Increased Funding to Higher Education: A bill to provide increased funding to public institutions of higher learning in same percentage as General Fund increase to provide additional funding for scholarships, eligibility criteria for funding and establish higher education facilities Repair and Renovation Fund and other funding related items.
Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee
S.474 – Spadefish Catch Limits: A bill to provide that it is unlawful for a person to take or have in possession more than ten spadefish in any one day, not to exceed thirty spadefish in one day on any boat.
S.475 – Tripletail Catch Limits: A bill to provide that it is unlawful for a person to take or have in possession more than three tripletail in any one day, not to exceed nine tripletail in one day on any boat.
Senate Transportation Committee
S.514 — Champion Tigers: A bill to provide the Department of Motor Vehicles shall issue ‘Clemson University 2018 Football National Champions’ special license plates to owners of private passenger motor vehicles.
S.199 — Veteran Designation: A bill relating to the requirements provide to obtain veteran designation of a driver’s license including National Guard Bureau report of separation and record of service and United States Department of Defense honorable discharge certification, and other related terms.
Senate Medical Affairs Committee
S.277 – Speech-Language Pathologists: A bill to make technical corrections to provisions relating to speech-language pathologists to add ‘communication specialist’ to representations of a speech-language pathologist, license much complete 1.6 CEUs during each license period, and additional CEUs during a period. The provisions do not apply to an educator certified by the State Board of Education, including an educator certified as a speech-language therapist who is not licensed as a speech-language pathologist and does not hold a certificate of clinical competence.
Looking Forward to Next Week:
Clemson University 2018 Football National Champions — The General Assembly will meet in Joint Session at noon on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 to congratulate the Clemson University Football Team and Coaches on winning the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship. Coach Dabo Swinney will address the Assembly and be extended the privilege of the floor during the joint session.
State of the Supreme Court — Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court Donald Beatty will address the General Assembly in joint session at noon on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.