House and Senate members met in regular session this week. Senators spent another week debating the education savings account legislation as well as the judicial election process, while House members spent time in subcommittee and committee meetings.
Gov. Henry McMaster delivered his State of the State address on Wednesday evening in the House chambers.
Fentanyl legislation advances
The House Judiciary Criminal Laws subcommittee met again to hear testimony on H3503, the bill that creates an offense for trafficking fentanyl. The subcommittee gave this bill a favorable report as amended. The amendment strikes homicide by fentanyl language, removes mandatory minimum sentences and alters sentencing guidelines for first and second offenses.
Later in the day, the full House Judiciary Committee gave this bill a favorable report as amended by the subcommittee. The full committee amended the first- and second-offense sentencing language further and passed it out favorably.
Next, the bill goes to the full House of Representatives for debate. The Municipal Association included increased penalties for fentanyl trafficking in its 2023 – 2024 Advocacy Initiatives.
For questions about fentanyl legislation, contact Erica Wright (email@example.com) at 803.354.4793.
Stay in Touch
The Municipal Association legislative team is on Twitter. Follow Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC), Joannie Nickel (@JoannieMuniSC) and Erica Wright (@EricaMuniSC) for updates from the State House. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC.
From the Dome to your Home podcast
The Municipal Association is launching another podcast, dedicated only to legislative information. The From the Dome to Your Home podcast will offer more guests, more insight and more legislative information all year round. Enjoy both City Quick Connect for municipal information and project highlights and From the Dome to Your Home for everything legislative.
Senate Judiciary subcommittee
S367 – Requires an appearance bond to convert to a personal recognizance bond after 18 months for a municipal court offense – the subcommittee met and heard testimony but did not take action on the bill.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires an appearance bond to automatically convert to a personal recognizance bond after 18 months for a municipal court offense.
S368 – Changes the procedure for issuing bonds for subsequent violent offenses – the subcommittee met and heard testimony but did not take action on the bill.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires the court to consider whether a person is currently out on bond for a prior offense when setting bond.
House Judiciary Committee
H3209 – Extends certain governmental approvals affecting economic development in the state – favorable report as amended. The committee amendment restricts the bill to development approvals that are current and valid from January 1, 2018 to January 1, 2023.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Extends certain governmental approvals and permits affecting economic development in the state.
House Judiciary Criminal Laws subcommittee
H3532 – Creates sentencing enhancements for persons who commit certain additional crimes while on pretrial release on bond – adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Creates sentencing enhancements for persons who commit certain additional crimes while on pretrial release on bond. This bill also prohibits pretrial release on bond for a person charged with certain crimes.
House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Agriculture subcommittee
H3432 – Enacts the SC Right to Grow Act – adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Establishes the rights and obligations of municipalities in governing a farm, farm operation or agricultural composting operation.
House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee
H3614 – Enacts the Ratepayer Protection Act – favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Prohibits a public utility from taking an adverse employment action against an employee who reported wrongdoing by the public utility to the SC Office of Regulatory Staff.