By Rep. Jackie Hayes,
333C Blatt Building
SC House District #55 – Darlington, Dillon, Horry & Marlboro Counties
I remembered where I was and what I was doing when across the airwaves came the announcement of a school shooting in Columbine in Colorado, Sandy Hook in Connecticut, Marshall High in Kentucky and also the lasted one in Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. No parent should have to ever have to feel what it is like to know there is an active shooter at your child’s school. Our hearts are broken because of these senseless killings of innocent lives. As legislators, it is our responsibility to address this issue and take common sense action. We cannot afford to sit back and do nothing when precious lives or at stake.
The House of Representatives took up three bills that draw upon the work of the special House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee that was appointed by the Speaker of the House to examine the growing misuse of prescription painkillers and recommend legislative actions to counter the epidemic of ruinous addiction and fatal overdoses. The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4492, a bill that provides new 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.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3819, a bill establishing new REQUIREMENTS THAT MUST BE MET BEFORE PRESCRIBING OPIOID ANALGESICS TO MINORS. The legislation provides that, 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. The legislation includes requirements for the written consent, the name and quantity of the opioid analgesic being prescribed, the number of any authorized refills, and certain other information to be recorded on a “Start Talking!” consent form developed by the State Board of Medical Examiners. Exceptions are provided that apply in such circumstances as medical emergencies.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3820, a bill requiring 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 20172018 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.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4705, a bill 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. The duty to report is not superseded by an internal investigation within an institution, school, facility, or agency.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3329, a bill providing 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. The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4078, the “MILITARY PRIORITY REGISTRATION ACT”. The legislation makes provisions for the state’s public institutions of higher learning to give enrollment priority to militaryrelated students, including activeduty members of the uniformed services, reservists, members of the South Carolina National Guard, and honorably discharged veterans.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4672, a bill REINSTATING VISION SCREENING REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVER’S LICENSE RENEWALS. The legislation provides, after October 1, 2019, 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.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4376, LIQUOR SALES legislation which follows a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling that found limitations placed on the issuance of retail liquor licenses to be unconstitutional. Through this legislation, the General Assembly affirms its police power to regulate the business of retail liquor sales in the interest of the public’s health, safety, and welfare. The legislation specifies that this police power includes regulating the number and localities of retail dealer licenses that a person may be issued in order to prevent monopolies and avoid problems associated with indiscriminate price cutting, excessive advertising of alcoholic products, and concentration of retail liquor stores in close proximity. Under the legislation, an individual continues to be subject to the limitation that no more than three retail dealer licenses may be issued to any one licensee. The legislation includes authority for a licensed wholesaler to deliver new alcoholic liquor in certain size bottles directly to those licensed to sell alcoholic liquors for onpremises consumption, in such places as bars and restaurants, for a limited period following the product’s introduction.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.4858, a bill designating the twentyfirst day of October of each year as “DR. RONALD MCNAIR DAY” so that the anniversary of McNair’s birth in Lake City, South Carolina, may be used to pay tribute to his distinguished career as a NASA astronaut and to memorialize his tragic death as a member of the Challenger crew on the fateful day of January 28, 1986, when the space shuttle exploded shortly after liftoff from the Kennedy Space Center.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4828, legislation providing for SOUTH CAROLINA YOUTH HUNTING DAY to be held on the Saturday before the regular Game Zone season framework for hunting antlered deer only. The daily bag limit on this day is one antlered deer.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4807, legislation providing an extension for WILD TURKEY HUNTING SEASON and bag limit revisions while the Department of Natural Resources conducts its required study of the state’s wild turkey population.
If you would like any additional information on these bills, or any other legislation under consideration by the General Assembly, feel free to visit our website at www.scstatehouse.gov. If you have a comment or opinion concerning the issues discussed in this report, or if I may be of assistance to you at any time, please feel free to call your legislative office in Columbia (803-734-3099); my office (843-841-3679); or email [email protected] Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the House of Representatives.
By Rep. Jackie Hayes,