LEGISLATIVE UPDATE : January 28-February 1, 2019
On The Floor:
REDUCING TEACHER WORKLOAD — Teachers want to teach, but burdensome paperwork and required reporting gets in the way of dedicating time to children in the classroom. The Senate passed S.168 to direct the State Department of Education to develop recommendations for reducing and streamlining the amount of paperwork and reporting required of teachers, schools, and school districts. The Department must also include information on district, and state levels, the entity requiring the data, method of reporting and frequency of the report. The Department shall report its recommendations to the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee no later than August 1, 2019. This is am important step forward in getting back to basics.
CARRYING OUT JUSTICE — The people of South Carolina have made their support for the death penalty of persons convicted of a capital crime clear. South Carolina’s ability to carry out justice in the law has been limited by the inability to receive the lethal injection drugs needed to carry out a sentence. The Senate this week passed S.176 which will change the default execution method to electrocution and only allows an election of lethal injection if the drugs are available or firing squad. Those on the state’s death row currently have the ability to select either lethal injection or electrocution. That selection will still exist under the proposed bill, but allows the Department another mechanism to carry out a court ordered sentence if the lethal injection drugs are not available. If the Department of Corrections is unable to carry out the sentence, the Director shall determine and certify by affidavit to the Supreme Court whether the method is available.
PROTECTION FOR VICTIMS OF TRAFFICKING — Human trafficking should not and will not be tolerated. The Senate this week passed S.194 to redefine terms relating to prostitution, increase penalties for solicitation of prostitution, keeping a brothel and inducing another to participation in prostitution, and establishes an affirmative defense of victims of human trafficking. The bill now heads to the House for further consideration.
EMERGENCY PRESCRIPTION REFILLS — Senate Bill 16 extends the amount of a prescription refill from a ten (10) day period to a fourteen (14) day supply. In the event that a pharmacist is unable to dispense an emergency refill for the time period due to the medication’s packaging, the pharmacist is permitted to dispense up to a thirty-day (30) quantity. As amended, the dispensing pharmacist must notify the prescriber of the refill, and the amount, no later than ten (10) days after the supply is filled. An emergency supply is only allowable once in a twelve-month period.
STATE HOUSE PROTECTION — Every day, visitors from South Carolina and all across the nation, visit our historic State House. Prior a complex reconstruction, the south steps of the State House faced Senate Street. Senate Bill 108 re-defines the coordinates containing the capitol grounds to add Pendleton Street as a defining boundary. The updated coordinates accurately encompass the entire capitol complex: Gervais, Assembly, Pendleton and Sumter Streets. Important in this provision, is the specification of safety measures for the Burea of Protective Services, Senate sergeant at arms and House sergeant at arms in providing protections to the State House, the complex, members of the General Assembly and visitors who visit the complex. The State House visitors office offers guided tours of the historic State House year round. For more information on visiting the State House, please call 803-734-2430.