Greg Duckworth | SC Statehouse Report – May 23, 2016
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23 May SC Statehouse Report – May 23, 2016

To read the article by Bob Juback on, please click here!

SC Statehouse Report – May 23, 2016COLUMBIA, SC (WBTW) – Certainly no surprise, but the South Carolina House and Senate last week overrode Governor Haley’s veto of $40 million in aid to farmers hurt by last October’s floods.

The House was the first to override and did so Tuesday (5/17) by a vote of 112-2.

Neither of the two “no” votes were from local representatives.

The governor said she vetoed the bill, in part, because farmers have other ways to get the money… and small businesses were not included.

After the House override, Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Hartsville) said, in part, “Governor Haley’s factually inaccurate justification for vetoing the farm aid bill is inconsistent with South Carolina values.”

The Senate then on Wednesday overrode the veto by a vote of 39-3.

None of those “no” votes came from local senators.

That means the bill will become law.

To read the bill, click here.

That bill was the Governor’s first veto this year and she lost.

This bill was the second and she lost this one, too.

Both the Senate and House passed the bill they call the “Eye Care Consumer Protection Law” by establishing certain requirements to dispense eye glasses and/contact lenses.

Among other things, the bill prohibits anyone from getting those items without a valid prescription from a provider, based on findings from an eye examination.

Among the bill’s sponsors are Senators Luke Rankin (R-Myrtle Beach), Thomas McElveen (D-Sumter) and Dr. Ray Cleary (R-Murrells Inlet).

Governor Haley vetoed bill saying, in part, because she says it “uses health practice mandates to stifle competition for the benefit of a single industry (eye care professionals), effectively banning eye care kiosks statewide.”

Legislators disagreed.

The Senate overrode the veto, 39-3, on Wednesday (5/18).

The next day, the House overrode the veto, 98-1.

Several other bills are now on their way to Governor Haley.

That includes one that, with some exceptions, limits the number of foster children who get full-time care in a foster home to five.

Those exceptions are:

(1) to keep a sibling group together;

(2) to keep a child in the child’s home community;

(3) to return a child to a home in which the child was previously placed;

(4) to comply with an order of the court; or

(5) if it is in the best interest of the children as determined by the court.

The House agreed with a Senate amendment, so the bill now goes to the Governor’s desk.

To read the bill, click here.

Also heading to the Governor, a bill that would make any health care provider who provides free health care services immune from liability.

The Senate passed the bill on Tuesday (5/17) and it had aleady passed in the House.

Among the sponsors are are Representatives Richie Yow (R-Chesterfield), Robert Ridgeway (D-Manning), Murrell Smith (R-Sumter), Stephen Goldfinch (R-Murrells Inlet) and Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach).

Both chambers have passed a bill that would slightly change “Daniel’s Law.”

That law currently allows an adult, with some exceptions, to leave an unharmed infant at an open “safe haven,” which includes a health care facility, law enforcement center, fire house or a place of worship, with no questions asked and with no risk of a criminal penalty.

The new bill changes the age of an infant in this case from 30 to 60 days old.

The bill also now requires “safe havens” to post a notice prepared by the Department of Social Services on its premises that is prominently displayed for view by the public, stating that the facility, agency, or other location is a safe haven at which a person may leave an infant.

Among the sponsors are representatives Heather Crawford (R-Socastee) and Pat Henegan (D-Bennettsville).

The bill has passed both chambers.

It the House agrees with a Senate amendment, it goes to Governor Haley.

One bill the Governor will not get this year calls for all locksmiths in the state to, among other things, be licensed and be required signed work order forms when they open residences or vehicles. It would also prohibit locksmiths from having convictions for sexual offenses or certain other crimes.

The bill is authored by four Horry County Representatives, Russell Fry (R-Surfside Beach), Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach), Jeff Johnson (R-Conway) and Greg Duckworth (R-North Myrtle Beach).

They introduced the bill not long after North Myrtle Beach locksmith Panteleimon Spirakis was arrested in March.

Spirakis was among four people who, Horry County police say, raped four-year-old children.

Spirakis was also in trouble several years ago on child sex charges.

In April, he gave up his business license but the four aforementioned lawmakers evidently wanted to try to prevent other cases like Spirakis’ from happening.

However, the bill not become law this year.

It’s also almost certainly too late for this to become law but a Senate committee Thursday (5/19) approved a bill to strengthen the law against those who illegally pass a stopped school bus.

Right now, to cite a violator, the law requires either law enforcement to witness the infraction or a camera on the bus must clearly identify the driver.

This new law would allow the state to cite the registered owner of the vehicle that passed the bus.

The full Senate will now debate the bill.

The State Department of Education says, on average, 2,000 drivers illegally pass a stopped school bus every day in the state.

The comes to one illegal pass for every ten routes run per day.

That comes to approximately 360,000 violations per school year.

However, under the current law, only about 30 people are ticketed per year, which means more than 99.99% of violators get away with it.

The South Carolina House adopted a resolution to name the portion of Pine Street in Florence between South Church Street and South Jeffords Street “Ed Robinson Way,” after the long-time Florence City Councilman who passed away on March 23.

The sponsors are Representatives Robert Williams (D-Darlington) and the Rev. Terry Alexander (D-Florence).

The resolution is now in a Senate committee.

U.S. Rep. (R-SC 1st District) and former Governor (2003-2011) Mark Sanford turns 56 years old this Saturday (5/28).