From Senator Kent Williams
The General Assembly had significant accomplishments in 2017, namely tackling funding for our roadways. The beginning of 2018 marks the second year of a two-year legislative session for legislators where we will continue to contemplate what issues are the most important to the welfare and future of our state. Many issues will be brought to the forefront at the start of this session. However, I would like to share with a few bills of interest that made progress last year but did not pass the General Assembly.
The first bill, S83, is on the Senate Calendar. The bill would redefine “involuntary manslaughter” as the death of a person caused by the criminal negligence of another, or the reckless disregard of the safety of others, which may include supplying a controlled or illegal substance if such substance caused the death of the user.
The second bill, S245, is also currently on the Senate Calendar. S245 deals with Synthetic drug trafficking. The current drug trafficking law allows newly scheduled drugs to be automatically included in the unlawful possession and unlawful distribution laws. These are mostly synthetic drugs developed to get around the drug laws. Because of the statute’s wording, these new drugs, placed in Schedules I and II by the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), are not included in the unlawful trafficking in drugs prohibition. This bill would clarify that a person convicted of possessing 4 grams or more of any narcotic drug listed in Schedule I or II by DHEC would be guilty of Unlawful Trafficking of a Controlled Substance.
The final bill, S115, is currently in the House. This bill deals with mandatory alcohol server training. All persons serving alcohol at businesses licensed to sell alcohol for on-premises consumption after 5 p.m. must obtain alcohol server training and a certificate issued by the Department of Revenue (DOR) within 60 days of employment. DOR, working with the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS) and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), would approve the training programs, as submitted by different providers. The bill would specify the categories that must be included in any alcohol server training.
For the first three years after approval by the Governor, the state, through DAODAS, would provide alcohol server training at minimal costs, on a quarterly basis, in no less than 7 locations around the state. After that, the fees that providers could charge for training would be limited to $50, which is the current fee for the required merchant alcohol education training, and the cost of an alcohol server certificate would be limited to $15. Alcohol server certificates would be effective for 5 years.
It is an honor to serve you in Columbia, and I am grateful for your continued support. As with all matters concerning state government, I want to hear your opinions and suggestions concerning these issues. Please contact me in my Columbia office located at 608 Gressette Office Building. You can reach me, or a member of my staff in Columbia at (803) 212-6000 or by fax at (803) 212-6011. My district office is located at 2523 East Highway 76, Marion, SC 29571, the phone number is (843) 423-8237 and the fax number is (843) 431-6049. You may also email me at [email protected]
As always, I also want to supply you with my business phone number so that you will able to reach me easily at any time. My business phone is (843) 423-3904. Please use this information to write, call or email me with your suggestions and concerns regarding issues before the Senate and in our community.