LEGISLATIVE UPDATE : March 11-15, 2019
On The Floor:
CLOSING THE SALES AND USE GAP — We are living in a tech-based world and a growing tech-based economy. Our brick and mortar shops invest in our state and serve a vital function for goods and services. Our online retailers ought to play by the same rules. Senate Bill 214 clarifies that any person that engages in the business of facilitating a retail sale of tangible personal property — including but not limited to any space, store, catalog, website, television, radio broadcast, or similar place — is responsible for remitting the sales and use tax to the State. The term “marketplace facilitator” is used for these online business and would require each seller to collect and remit the tax and obtain a retail license if the seller maintains a place of business; qualifies to do business; solicits purchases by an agent, independent contractor, or internet website; and meets constitutional standards for economic nexus with South Carolina. The bill now heads to the House for further consideration.
SUPERB ACCOUNT FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY — Senate Bill 525 repeals the 2026 sunset of the environmental impact fee for the Superb Account and Superb Financial Responsibility Fund, Section 44-2-90. The accrued interest will continue to be applied to a respective account. The bill was given a third reading and was sent to the House.
Senate Transportation Committee:
S.509 — Nonfranchise Automobile Dealer License: A bill to provide that an initial nonfranchise automobile dealer license entitles a licensee to carry on and conduct business of a nonfranchise automobile dealer. The license of a nonfranchise automobile dealer expires annually the last day of the month of the year following its issuance. Renewal must not be granted unless the licensee submits satisfactory proof of at least four hours of attendance at DMV-approved continuing education prior to the renewal. The provision does not apply to a franchised automobile dealer or a nonfranchised automobile dealer owned and operated by a franchised automobile dealer, nor does it apply to a nonfranchised automobile dealer whose primary business is salvage motor vehicles.
Senate Family and Veterans’ Services Committee:
S.189 — Child Torture: A bill to provide that it is unlawful to commit torture or allow torture to be committed against a child and further define terms. ‘Torture’ includes, but is not limited to, inflicting or participating in or assisting in inflicting intense physical or emotional pain upon a child repeatedly over a period of time for the purpose of terrorizing the child or for the purpose of satisfying the sadistic, craven, cruel or prurient desires of the perpetrator or another person. A person is guilty of homicide by child abuse if the person causes the death of a child while committing torture or knowingly aids and abets another person to commit torture that results in the death of a child. Homicide by child abuse is a felony and a person who is convicted must be imprisoned for life or must be imprisoned for a term of not less than twenty years.
S.486 — Electronic and Remote Notaries: A bill to allow notaries to notarize documents using an electronic/digital signature for an electronic document. The signor my physically appear in front of the notary. Additionally, remote online notarization will allow the notary and signor to be in two different locations if the signor appears in front using audio-visual technology, may be sent via email or other electronic means and provides additional security, and other items.
S.498 — Children’s Trust Fund: A bill to provide that the South Carolina Children’s Trust Fund shall have access at any reasonable time to electronic information systems, records, reports and materials maintained by the Department of Social Services or the Department of Children’s Advocacy for the purposes of bona fide research on child abuse or neglect, quantitative or qualitative evaluation of prevention programs to reduce child abuse or neglect, or the assessment of service needs and gaps for the prevention of child abuse or neglect. The Trust Fund shall adhere to all information security policies, standards, guidelines and procedures promulgated by the Division of Technology of the Department of Administration with respect to all records, reports and materials.
H.3180 — Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: A bill to conform to federal law and expand protections for members of the Armed Forces and their families. Servicemembers who receive orders for a permanent change of station may cancel service contracts with providers who do not provide the same service in the area where the Servicemember is being re-stationed. The provision applies to telecommunication services, internet services, television services, athletic or gym membership and satellite radio services. Additionally, Servicemembers or their families may file a civil action against companies that violate this section.
H.3438 — Division of Veterans Affairs: A bill to re-establish the Division of Veterans Affairs, currently residing in the Department of Administration, as a cabinet-level agency under direct supervision of the Governor to be known as the Department of Veterans Affairs. The Agency head will be established as “Secretary,” and must be appointed by the governor and confirmed with Advice and Consent of the Senate, provide clarifying and conforming provision for the authorities of the Secretary and no longer required County Veterans Affairs Officers to be veterans or be a member of the SC Association of County Veterans Affairs Officers.
Senate Judiciary Committee:
S.11 — Daylight Saving Time: A bill to provide that if the United States Congress authorizes states to observe daylight saving times year round, it is the intent of the South Carolina General Assembly that daylight saving time be the year-round standard of the entire state and all of its political subdivisions.
S.206 — Nuclear Advisory Council: A bill to rename the Nuclear Advisory Council to the “Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council,” and provide that the Council shall be responsible to the Director of the Department of Administration and report to the Governor.
S.413 — Naval Criminal Investigation Authority: A bill to provide that Naval Criminal Investigative Service Agents are authorized to enforce the state’s criminal laws by federal law enforcement officers.
H.3420 — Youth Access to Tobacco Prevention: bill to prohibit minors from entering retail establishments that primarily sell tobacco produces and/or alternative nicotine products, including use of mail, shipping or delivery that requires a signature over the age of eighteen released to the purchaser unless the Internet employ protections to ensure age verification. A retail establishment must conspicuously post on all entrances to the establishment that a person under eighteen years of age must not enter unless actively supervised and accompanied by an adult, age will be verified prior to purchase. if the United States Congress authorizes states to observe daylight saving times year
For more questions on the above bills or additional legislation being considered by the Senate, please reach out! WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.