The 121st Session of the General Assembly

The 121st Session of the General Assembly

Budget week in the South Carolina House of Representatives. The budget is now in the Senate awaiting their deliberations on the annual appropriations.

Actions in the House of Representatives

H.4672, REINSTATING VISION SCREENING REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVER’S LICENSE RENEWALS. The legislation provides that 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.
H. 4596, Competency Based Education -schools that are designed to improve progress towards attaining state education goals through a curriculum that allows students to pursue their own inquiries, take ownership of learning, and master competencies along a personalized and flexible pathway. The legislation allows a school district to establish a competency-based school by obtaining a waiver from the State Department of Education that allows the program to be exempt from certain requirements for the purposes of accountability and accreditation. If a school is selected to become a competency-based education school, the students enrolled in the school are considered full-time equivalent students for the purpose of calculating state financial support, average daily membership, and attendance while participating in the competency-based education program. The Department of Education is charged with developing separate evaluation criteria and guidelines for schools implementing competency-based education and conducting a biennial review of such schools. If the biennial review shows that the goals or objectives of the competency-based school are not being met, the exemptions granted for that school may be revoked. The department is also directed to develop a process to ensure that schools and districts are not penalized for the purposes of accreditation and to ensure that students are not penalized when transferring between schools with and without competency-based systems.
H.4488, ALLOWS OFFICIALS WHO ARE DETERMINING CAUSES OF DEATH TO HAVE ACCESS TO PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING INFORMATION. The legislation expands the list of persons to which the Department of Health and Environmental Control’s Bureau of Drug Control may provide prescription monitoring program data so that it also includes a coroner, deputy coroner, medical examiner, or deputy medical examiner who is involved in an official inquiry into the cause and manner of a person’s death.
H.4492, 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
H.3819, REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE MET BEFORE PRESCRIBING OPIOID ANALGESICS TO MINORS. 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 set of requirements that include: assessing whether the minor has suffered from a mental health or substance abuse disorder and if prescription drugs have been taken for treatment; discussing with the minor and their parent or guardian such matters as the risks of addiction and overdose associated with opioid analgesics and the dangers of drug interactions with benzodiazepines, alcohol, or other central nervous system depressants; and, obtaining written consent for the prescription from the minor’s parent, guardian, or other adult authorized to consent to the minor’s medical treatment . Exceptions are provided that apply in such circumstances as medical emergencies.
H.3820, OPIOID 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. This instruction must include an emphasis on the prescription drug epidemic and the connection between opioid abuse and addiction to other drugs, such as heroin.
H.4705, ENHANCING REQUIREMENTS FOR MANDATORY REPORTING OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT. The legislation expands the category of those who are required to report suspected child abuse and neglect by adding firefighters, camp counselors, scout leaders, school or college administrators, coaches, and clerical or non-clerical religious counselors who are licensed counselors or holds themselves out as counselors or regularly counsel others. The legislation specifies that mandatory reporters must make their reports of suspected child abuse and neglect to law enforcement agencies and cannot satisfy their legal duties simply by making reports to their supervisors.
H.3329, ENHANCEMENTS TO HUMAN TRAFFICKING PENALTIES that 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.
H.4676, 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.
Follow your General Assembly and the work that is discussed at WWW.SCSTATEHOUSE.GOV.

An Update on SC Department of Transportatio

Secretary Hall’s presentation of the 2018 State of SCDOT can be found at this link:
Sheila Caldwell, Founder of the Heart 2 Heart Foundation, and a familiar advocate at the South Carolina Statehouse participates in the Statewide Heart Health Screening Campaign. Sheila is very instumental in advocating for heart health awareness and heart disease prevention.
As always, thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia. If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Leave a comment