The Senate this week approved third reading of H. 3726, a bill that aims to make the state’s pension system more financially sound. The House version of the bill was moved forward after the Senate adopted all amendments from a companion bill, S. 394. The goal of the legislation is to make the retirement system financially solvent and make sure the benefits promised to state employees are provided.
Also, S. 105, which was put on special order on Tuesday, received third reading this week. The bill pertains to hearings and proceedings of the Administrative Law Court in dealing with a provision known as the automatic stay.
The Senate also confirmed Emily Farr as the new director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and W. Hartley Powell as the new director of the Department of Revenue.
Bills approved by the Senate this week include:
H. 3726 - This bill aims to improve the financial health of the state’s retirement system. Provisions include reducing the unfunded amortization schedule from 30 years to 20 years and changing the assumed annual rate of return on investments from 7.5 percent to 7.25 percent.
S. 105 - Senator Luke Rankin, Stephen Goldfinch and Danny Verdin: Pertains to contested cases initiated in the Administrative Law Court and the ability to lift an automatic stay in dealing with state permitting decisions.
S. 79 - Senator Darrell Jackson: Designates July as “Fibroid Tumor Awareness Month” and raises awareness of the impact uterine fibroid tumors have on women's health.
S. 213 - Senators Harvey Peeler, Thomas Alexander and John Scott: Creates the College and University Trustee Screening Commission to consider the qualifications of candidates for trustees to state-supported colleges and universities.
S. 315 - Senator Ronnie Cromer: Authorizes the Hurricane, Earthquake, and Fire Advisory Committee to address mitigation of property losses due to flood.
S. 340 - Senator Vincent Sheheen: Establishes terms of office and duties for South Carolina’s Poet Laureate and provides that the South Carolina Arts Commission give the governor recommendations for qualified candidates.
S. 366 - Senator Ronnie Cromer: Amends the Mortgage Lending Act, the Mortgage Broker Act and related laws because of federal law changes with the aim of reducing regulatory burdens on the mortgage broker industry while maintaining consumer protections.
S. 78 - Senators Thomas Alexander, Stephen Goldfinch and Kent Williams: Allows members of the State Guard who are state employees to receive military leave without any loss of pay, seniority or efficiency rating when attending State Guard encampments or schools for training.
S. 402 - Senator Shane Massey: Allows residents receiving benefits from a state retirement system to obtain a three year combination or fishing license at no cost.
S. 443 - Senators Chip Campsen, Tom Young, Thomas McElveen, Kent Williams and Tom Corbin: Restructures the existing provisions that regulate night hunting.
S. 279 - Senator Thomas Alexander: Requires registration for an entity acting as an appraisal management company, specifies registration and renewal requirements, provides exemptions from registration, provides for the conduct of appraisal management companies, and remedies for violations.
S. 351 - Senator Thomas Alexander: Allows for an income tax credit for each clinical rotation served by a physician, advanced practice nurse or physician assistant as a preceptor for certain medical school programs.
S. 411 - Senator Vincent Sheheen: Increases the total number of members and number of members appointed from Kershaw County to the Central Carolina Technical College Commission.
S. 200 - Senators Larry Grooms, Kevin Bryant, Paul Campbell and Thomas Alexander: Amends the conditions that void an outdoor advertising sign permit for nonconforming signs. The bill also specifies that a permit for a nonconforming sign is void if the sign is removed or dismantled.
S. 321 - Senator Danny Verdin: Establishes procedures that regulate the relationship between manufacturers, distributors and dealers of recreational vehicles such as campers and park trailers.
S. 344 - Senator Tom Corbin: Provides that an application for a driver’s license or permit must allow an applicant who has been medically diagnosed with autism to voluntarily disclose that he or she is autistic.
S. 456 - Senators Larry Grooms and Katrina Shealy: Provides that a person who holds a motorcycle beginner’s permit who has failed the motorcycle driver's license test three or more times must successfully complete a South Carolina technical college motorcycle safety course, or its equivalent, in lieu of passing the motorcycle driver's license test, in order to obtain a motorcycle license.
S. 465 - Senator Chip Campsen: Outlines requirements for shellfish mariculture permittees, which are involved in the controlled cultivation of shellfish, to grow and harvest oysters out of season. S. 254 - Senator Ronnie Cromer: Requires insurers based in South Carolina to complete an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment, a tool used for decision-making and strategic analysis, and provides instructions for filing an assessment summary report with the Department of Insurance.
The following bills were read the second time:
H. 3488 - Makes provisions for electronic documents dealing with insurance, including authorization for insurers to deliver, store and present evidence of insurance coverage by electronic means.
S. 179 - Senators Brad Hutto and Greg Hembree: Provides for limited immunity from prosecution for specified drug and alcohol-related offenses committed by someone who seeks medical assistance for another person who is experiencing a drug or alcohol-related overdose, or by someone who himself is experiencing a drug or alcohol-related overdose and seeks medical assistance.
Look ahead to next week and beyond:
Debate on H. 3516, which deals with the state’s infrastructure system, is expected to take place in committee and on the floor during the next few weeks. A Senate Finance Subcommittee began discussing the proposal this past week, which calls for increasing the state’s motor fuel user fee to address infrastructure needs in the state. The Senate Finance Committee is expected to begin budget deliberations in the next few weeks following House floor debate on the general appropriations bill.
Compiled by South Carolina Senate Pro Tempore Communications Director Michael Ulmer.