The State Capitol Report

Submitted By Rep. Robert Q. Williams, SC House District #62

The House of Representatives approved and sent the Senate H.3114, the ”SOUTH CAROLINA PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT” which establishes a prohibition on the performance of abortions beginning at twenty weeks following fertilization. The bill includes legislative findings regarding substantial medical evidence indicating that an unborn child has developed sufficiently to be capable of experiencing pain by twenty weeks after fertilization and the state’s interest in protecting the lives of unborn children beginning at the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain. This legislation provides that, except in the case of a medical emergency, no abortion must be performed, induced, or attempted unless a physician has first made a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the unborn child or relied upon such a determination made by another physician.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3125 legislation, enhancing provisions for COMBATTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING. The legislation includes within the jurisdiction of the state grand jury human trafficking offenses that involve more than one county.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3194, a bill ENHANCING CAMPAIGN FINANCE DISCLOSURE REQUIREMENTS. The legislation expands the definition of a candidate who is subject to the requirements of the Ethics, Government Accountability, and Campaign Reform Act so that it also includes someone who maintains an open bank account containing campaign contributions.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3189, a bill establishing REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURES AND ELECTIONEERING COMMUNICATIONS that are made to influence the outcome of an election or ballot measure question. The legislation requires reports to be made to the State Ethics Commission by those individuals and groups, not already subject to the campaign finance requirements imposed upon committees, who make an independent expenditure in excess of five hundred dollars during a year or who engage in electioneering communications.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3195, a bill revising campaign finance provisions for candidates and elected officeholders that relate to the USE OF CAMPAIGN FUNDS. The legislation prohibits campaign funds from being used to pay penalties, fees, or fines imposed by the State Ethics Commission or other supervisory body or by a court in a criminal matter. The legislation provides clarification on what qualifies as reasonable and necessary expenses that may be paid for with campaign funds.

The House approved and sent the Senate H. 3199, a bill relating to RETIRING CAMPAIGN DEBT. This legislation requires that funds raised under Ethics Act provisions that allow a candidate to accept contributions in order to retire campaign debt must be used for the sole purpose of retiring campaign debt.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3006, a bill providing for a FIVE YEAR DURATION FOR STATE AGENCY REGULATIONS. The legislation provides that every new regulation promulgated under the Administrative Procedures Act expires five years from the date on which it becomes effective. The legislation eliminates current requirements for agencies to review their regulations every five years.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3202, the “SOUTH CAROLINA WHISTLEBLOWER AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PROTECTION ACT”. The legislation adds the Inspector General to the list of appropriate authorities who can receive a public employee’s report of alleged government wrongdoing.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3168, the “SOUTH CAROLINA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT LAW ENFORCEMENT ACT”. The legislation establishes procedures for the use of out of state law enforcement officers who are deployed to this state during declared emergencies or disasters under the provisions of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact that South Carolina has entered into with its fellow states.

The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3179, a bill relating to the REGULATION AND OVERSIGHT OF CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS. The legislation revises the composition of the South Carolina Board of Accountancy by expanding its membership from nine to eleven, providing for each congressional district to be represented by one certified public accountant board member, and by requiring that one of the two at-large members selected from the general public be a licensed attorney. The legislation revises certified public accountant licensure requirements by providing authorization for applicants to undergo state and federal criminal records checks and by requiring continuing education or additional experience, as applicable, for applicants who delay submitting an application for a substantial period of time after passing the certified public accounting examination or obtaining accounting experience.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3519, a bill to provide for the RATIFICATION OF THE AMENDMENT TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION AUTHORIZING CHARITABLE RAFFLES CONDUCTED BY NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS that was approved by the state’s voters at the last general election.

The House approved and sent the Senate H.3247, a joint resolution to provide for the CONTINUATION OF THE STUDY COMMITTEE ON THE EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL OFFENSES until December 31, 2015.

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.

Author: Duane Childers

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