House Week in Review

Feb 20-22, 2018

The House of Representatives took up three bills that draw upon the work of the special House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee that was appointed by the Speaker of the House to examine the growing misuse of prescription painkillers and recommend legislative actions to counter the epidemic of ruinous addiction and fatal overdoses.

All of the bills voted on this week were House-originated bills that will now go to the Senate for approval. I voted in the affirmative on all of them.

The House took the following actions:

Approved H.4492, a bill that provides new dosage limitations on prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances including opioid painkillers. The legislation revises the thirty-one day supply limitation imposed upon prescriptions for controlled substances classified in Schedule II to provide that this supply must not exceed one hundred twenty tablets or capsules or four hundred eighty milliliters of an opiate containing liquid.

Amended and approved H.3819, establishing new requirements that must be met before prescribing opiod analgesics to minors. The legislation provides that, before the first prescription for an opioid analgesic may be issued to someone under eighteen years of age who is not emancipated, the prescriber must satisfy a specific set of requirements

Amended and approved H.3820, a bill requiring opiod abuse education in public secondary schools. This bill requires, as a part of the public school Comprehensive Health Education Program, certain instruction in prescription opioid abuse prevention in grades nine through twelve beginning with the 2017 2018 school year.

Amended and approved H.4810, a joint resolution creating a temporary School Metal Detector Study Committee to examine whether it is in the public interest to require the installation and use of metal detectors at public schools in the state.

Amended and approved H.4705, enhancing requirements for mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse and neglect.

Amended and approved H.3329, a bill providing enhancements to human trafficking penalties. This bill draws upon the work of the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children. The legislation includes revised criminal definitions, more stringent penalties that apply when a victim is under the age of eighteen, and provisions for human trafficking specialized service providers and Human Trafficking Acute Crisis Care and Resource Centers.

Amended and approved H.4434, a bill making provisions for comprehensive dyslexia screening and intervention in public schools.

Amended and approved H.4078, the “Military Priority Registration Act”. The legislation makes provisions for the state’s public institutions of higher learning to give enrollment priority to military related students, including active duty members of the uniformed services, reservists, members of the South Carolina National Guard, and honorably discharged veterans.

Approved H.4977. This legislation implements in statute changes authorized with the adoption of the amendment to the South Carolina Constitution which provides for the joint election of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor beginning with the general election of 2018.

Approved H.4116, a bill that revises the state’s Medical Practice Act to provide that physicians cannot be required to obtain National Certification as a condition of licensure, reimbursement, employment or admitting privileges at a hospital. This prohibition applies to “Maintenance of Certification” or “MOC” continuing education programs that measure core competencies in the practice of medicine and surgery and are approved by a nationally recognized accrediting organization.

Approved H.4529, a bill that revises practice acts to provide authorization for nurses and physician assistants to utilize telemedicine..

Approved H.4672, a bill reinstating vision screening requirements for Driver’s License renewals (which was apparently left off the original bill that conformed SC to the Real ID Act). The legislation provides that, after October 1, 2019, individuals will once again be required to satisfy vision screening requirements in order to renew a driver’s license by either passing a vision test administered at the Department of Motor Vehicles or providing a certificate of vision examination form executed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

Approved H.4676, a bill to provide that those included on the list of responsible adults who can sign applications for the issuance of a Beginner’s Permit, a conditional Driver’s License, and a special Restricted Driver’s License can fulfill various requirements for accompanying young drivers which currently require the presence of a parent or legal guardian. The legislation also provides that someone on the list of responsible adults is authorized to sign the consent form at the Department of Motor Vehicles to register the applicant with the federal Selective Service System upon attaining eighteen years of age.

Approved H.4682, a bill revising options for satisfying the “Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act”. The legislation eliminates the options of filing a bond and filing of a certificate of deposit of money or securities as methods of establishing proof of financial responsibility. Drivers have been obtaining automobile insurance that satisfies “Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Act” requirements and have not been using the other methods for establishing proof of financial responsibility.

Amended and approved, H.3337, a bill revising filing and recording fees charged by the Registrar of Deeds and Clerks of Court to make provisions for charging certain flat fees.

Approved H.4704, a bill that codifies current procedures for the issuance by the Department of Health and Environmental Control of general permits available for the tideland-critical areas of the Coastal Zone.

Amended and approved H.3139, a bill revising provisions allowing the issuance of biennial permits and licenses for the sale and consumption of beer, wine and liquor at Sports Entertainment Complexes to include a soccer complex.

Approved H.4475, a bill enacting a recommendation from the House Legislative Oversight Committee that eliminates obsolete statutory references to divisions of the Department of Public Safety and provides for DPS to maintain a list of its divisions on the department’s website.

In other action, the House gave third reading approval to H.4377, a bill providing reforms for the Public Service Commission, and sent the legislation to the Senate.

Also, the House and Senate adopted a conference committee report on H.3649 and the bill was enrolled for ratification. The legislation makes revisions to allow for greater conformity between the Architecture and Engineering Practice Acts and eliminates ambiguity concerning the issuance of local government permits for buildings and structures.

This week, I was privileged to welcome the Calhoun Falls and Dixie High School FFAs. These groups perform a great service in our schools! Thank you to Ms. McCannon of CFC and Mr. Murdock of Dixie for taking the time to bring them to the State House!

About Craig Gagnon for S.C. House 11 (Abbeville and Anderson Counties)

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