The State Capitol Report
By Rep. Robert Q. Williams, SC House District #62
The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3663, a joint resolution establishing an INTERIM GOVERNING AUTHORITY FOR SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY in order to address the school’s financial crisis and academic accreditation issues and ensure the continuing viability of the institution. The legislation removes the members of S.C. State’s Board of Trustees and transfers oversight and control of the institution to an Interim Board of Trustees composed of the designees of the five members of the State Fiscal Accountability Authority: the Governor, Treasurer, Comptroller General, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. The Interim Board is authorized to remove the university’s current president and employ an interim president on an at-will basis. The Interim Board serves until no later than July 1, 2018, by which time the General Assembly must elect a new, restructured South Carolina State Board of Trustees whose members are to serve staggered terms in order to maintain consistency and preserve institutional knowledge.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3204, the “CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION ACT”. The legislation provides that, beginning with the 2015-2016 school year, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) may offer the cervical cancer vaccination series for adolescent students including those enrolling in the seventh grade in any school, public, private, or home schooling program, in this state. The legislation includes parental consent requirements for vaccination and provides that no student is required to have the cervical cancer vaccination series, the human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) series, before enrolling in or attending school. The department may develop and provide informational brochures concerning adolescent vaccinations, including the cervical cancer vaccination series, that schools and home schooling programs may distribute to the parents or guardians of all students in the sixth grade. DHEC’s informational brochure must state the benefits and side effects of the cervical cancer vaccination series and that the vaccination series is optional. The brochure shall encourage the student’s parent or guardian to go to the child’s own health care provider for vaccination.
The House did not concur in Senate amendments to S.196, legislation enhancing provisions for COMBATTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING. A conference committee was appointed to address the legislative bodies’ differences on the legislation.
The House appointed a conference committee to address its differences with the Senate on H.3118, legislation relating to the HUNTING AND TAKING OF WILD TURKEY, including conservation measures that may be needed to address observed declines in the state’s wild turkey population.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3701, the General Appropriation Bill, and H.3702, the joint resolution making appropriations from the Capital Reserve Fund, which together comprise the proposed FISCAL YEAR 2015-2016 STATE GOVERNMENT BUDGET.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3142, legislation establishing SAFETY REQUIREMENTS FOR MOPEDS. The legislation establishes requirements for moped operators and passengers to wear reflective vests and for a moped to be equipped with a rear red tail light that flashes continually while the moped is in motion.
The legislation provides that it is unlawful for a person to operate a moped on the public roads in this state that have a speed limit of greater than fifty five miles per hour. A moped, while traveling along a multi lane highway, must be operated in the farthest right lane except when making a left turn.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3849, a bill establishing CONFIDENTIALITY FOR TEACHER EVALUATION RECORDS as a means of promoting candid feedback for continuous improvement of teaching and learning. The legislation provides that records relating to educator evaluation that include personally identifiable information are exempt from public disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Act provisions.
The House approved and sent the Senate Joint Resolution H.3847, which provides that an applicant for LICENSURE AS A SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGIST ASSISTANT who earned a bachelor’s degree in speech language pathology from a nationally accredited institution of higher education is exempt from the recently enacted requirement of having a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education.
The House committed H.3343, a bill disallowing certain METHODS OF EUTHANASIA IN ANIMAL SHELTERS, to the Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environmental Affairs Committee.
If you have a comment or opinion concerning the matters discussed in this report, or if I may be of assistance to you at any time, please feel free to call your legislative office in Columbia (803-734-3142), or my home (843- 395-9408). Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the House of Representatives.