By: Lindsay Jackson, Chief Advocacy Officer, SC REALTORS®
The House and Senate raced against the clock to meet the legislative crossover deadline. The crossover deadline, or the date that legislation must pass its body of origination to be viable for passage in the 2021 session, fell on Thursday, April 08, 2021 this year.
I am happy to report that ALL of our REALTOR® priority legislation met this deadline!
H.3664, Updated Criminal Background Check Update Legislation, received a favorable report from the Senate LCI Committee on Thursday. The bill ensures that the SC Real Estate Commission has access to the most thorough background and history of an applicant by including social security based checks to accompany the current fingerprint based background checks. The legislation is close to the finish line as the remaining steps in the legislation process are three readings on the Senate floor.
The General Assembly passed H.3770, the Emergency Rental Assistance Act, this week. This legislation would authorize the use of $271 million in federal funding for the emergency rental assistance program. The bill provides that SC Housing would administer the program and that funds would be allocated directly to landlords for eligible households. The legislation would also create the South Carolina Emergency Rental Assistance Program Advisory Panel to review and monitor the implementation of the program and funding. The bill is now enrolled for ratification and headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.
The House passed H.3524, regarding the moratorium extension to prohibit private petroleum pipeline companies from exercising eminent domain, by vote of 112-0. The bill would extend the lapsed moratorium from November 2020 to June 2022. The legislation now heads to begin the legislative process on the Senate side and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.
The House passed H.3620, Hate Crimes Legislation, by a vote of 79-29. This legislation would stiffen penalties for crimes targeting others based on their demographic information. SCR stands with the business community and 47 other states in promoting diverse communities and providing a safe environment for all South Carolinians to live and work. The bill now heads to the Senate to continue the legislative process and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee for review.
Other priority legislation that previously met the crossover deadline includes:
S.108, regarding updated LiDAR Flood Mapping. This legislation would require the SC Geological Survey Unit at the Department of Natural Resources to conduct/update topographic mapping using LiDAR technology for data collection. The bill specifies that collection must comply with Federal Emergency Management Agency standards and that the data collected would be provided to DNR’s flood mitigation program. The bill passed the Senate and currently awaits a hearing by the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee.
S.627, regarding tax relief for corporations, partnerships, and LLCs. The legislation would allow deduction of state income on a federal tax return. This bill will help aid in SC’s economic recovery and help small business owners reduce their tax burdens. The bill passed the Senate and currently awaits a hearing by the House Ways and Means Committee.
S.631, the South Carolina Electronic Notary Public Act. This legislation would allow for the electronic notarization of documents to eliminate gaps and provide for a more seamless recording process. The bill passed the Senate and currently awaits a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee.