2015 LEGISLATIVE REPORT
I want to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy and healthy Holiday Season.
(Kimberlyn, Marlon, and Marleigh)
It has been an honor to serve as your State Senator and represent District 42 in the South Carolina State Senate for the last two years. As your Senator, I have worked hard to ensure that the decisions made in Columbia are in the best interests of every citizen living in the Palmetto State. This year, I spearheaded the passage of bills that directly improve the health, education, and economic well-being of the residents of Senate District 42 and all South Carolinians.
Listed below is a summary of a few of the legislative items that I, working along with my colleagues, have been able to get passed during my second year in the Senate.
- Passage of the Body Worn Camera Bill: On June 10, 2015, S.47, a bill for which I served as one of the primary sponsors, was passed into law. This bill requires certain South Carolina police officers to be equipped with body cameras. It also gives law enforcement agencies nine months to create policies governing the use of body cameras, which would then be reviewed by the state Law Enforcement Training Council. In fact, several agencies across the state have already started equipping their officers with body cameras, including Columbia, Mount Pleasant, Charleston, and North Charleston.http://www.abccolumbia.com/video/body-camera-bill-advanced-through-senate-subcomittee/
The passage of this bill was a significant achievement. Although the circumstances leading up to its passage were heartbreaking — the vote came weeks after the release of a video recorded by a bystander showing a North Charleston police officer shooting and killing unarmed Walter Scott, Jr. in the back as he ran away — the bill is a chance for there to be greater transparency between officers and the citizens with whom they come in contact.
(Sen. Kimpson gives overview of S.47 for WACHFOX 57, Good Day Columbia)
- Passage of the Renal Medullary Carcinoma & Sickle Cell Awareness Act: On June 8, 2015, S.341, a bill I sponsored, was passed into law. Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects red blood cells and causes organ damage, anemia, and lifelong episodes of pain. Seventy-thousand Americans are currently diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. When Ms. Cora Connor, a District 42 resident, stepped into my office and shared with me her brother’s struggle with the disease, I took immediate action in sponsoring S.341 as to ensure that each time a baby is born with sickle cell disease or trait in the state of South Carolina, parents will receive educational materials on the disease, including, renal medullary carcinoma. Awareness of the trait is extremely important for family planning. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess121_2015-2016/bills/341.htm.
(Sen. Kimpson appears with the Cora Connor Family)
- Juvenile Record Expungement Act: On June 1, 2015, the Legislature approved S.133, a bill that allows for a person who turns 17 years old to request to have a nonviolent offense they committed as a minor permanently erased from their record, thus, eliminating financial barriers to the expungement process. I joined the primary sponsor of this bill, Sen. Tom Davis of Beaufort, because I believe it is important for adults who committed crimes as minors to have the ability to have a second chance. There is a stigma attached to people with criminal records and we want these individuals to have the opportunity to lead a productive life and become productive citizens. We must end the school to prison pipeline.
- Passage of the Confederate Flag Removal Bill: On June 17, an evil act was committed against fourteen innocent individuals during a Bible Study at the historic Emanuel African Episcopal Church. Despite our pain and revulsion at this horrific act, our state responded with thoughtful introspection and self-examination. On July 9, 2015, S.897, a bill that I co-sponsored, was signed into law removing the Confederate flag from the state house grounds.
- E-commerce Sales Tax Bill: Last January, I sponsored S.170, which passed in the spring by a vote of 37-4. The bill now resides in the House Ways and Means Committee, and I’m optimistic of a hearing on this legislation from Chairman Brian White. The bill is simple at its core, and is, at the end of the day, about “fairness” for our state’s local “brick-and-mortar” retailers and the “mom and pops” across “Main Street” South Carolina. Similar in nature to legislation passed in at least 14 other states (including North Carolina and Georgia) it simply requires that “remote sellers” aka “internet” or “e-commerce” retailers located outside of South Carolina collect and remit sales tax from their South Carolina customers in the same manner that South Carolina-based mom and pops already are required to do. We must ensure that our local retailers are not put at a competitive disadvantage with online national retailers that do not collect South Carolina sales taxes. http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20151128/PC1002/151129367.
- NCAA Student Athlete Stipend & Trust Fund Bill: Last year, I filed S.171, a bill that would provide compensation to student athletes. This bill is currently pending in the Senate Education Committee. It calls for state schools with athletic revenues of at least $50 million – in other words, Clemson and USC – to pay a weekly stipend of about $150 to student-athletes in good academic standing, and to set up a trust fund to pay athletes who graduate and take a financial literacy course. Both Clemson and USC are taking in enormous revenues, and it’s about time that some of these revenues are shared with the players. There’s something fundamentally unfair about a university being allowed to profit from someone’s name and likeness, and that person not being able to receive monetary consideration.
KIMPSON 2016 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
As I turn my attention to next year, on December 2, 2015, I pre-filed the following legislation:
RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $15 PER HOUR: S.938, of which I am primary sponsor, is a BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 41-1-120 TO PROVIDE A BASE STATE MINIMUM WAGE AND A SCHEDULE TO GRADUALLY IMPLEMENT AN ADJUSTED MINIMUM WAGE, TO PROVIDE A METHOD FOR CALCULATING FUTURE MANDATORY ADJUSTMENTS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE NOTIFICATION OF THESE ADJUSTMENTS TO EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES BY THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR AN EMPLOYER TO FAIL TO PAY THE STATE MINIMUM WAGE OR TO RETALIATE AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE FOR CERTAIN ACTIONS REGARDING ENFORCEMENT OF THE STATE MINIMUM WAGE LAW, TO PROVIDE REMEDIES FOR VIOLATIONS, TO PROVIDE A FIVE-YEAR STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT ACTIONS BROUGHT PURSUANT TO THIS ACT MAY BE BROUGHT AS A CLASS ACTION UNDER STATE LAW.
BAN ON ASSAULT WEAPONS BILL: S.939, OF WHICH I AM PRIMARY SPONSOR, IS A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 3 CHAPTER 23, TITLE 16 OF 1976 CODE, RELATING TO OFFENSES INVOLVING WEAPONS, TO ADD THE TERM “ASSAULT WEAPON”; TO MAKE IT UNLAWFUL TO TRANSPORT, STORE, KEEP, POSSESS, HAVE IN POSSESSION, PERMIT ANOTHER TO STORE, KEEP, POSSESS, OR HAVE IN POSSESSION, SELL, RENT, GIVE AWAY, OR PARTICIPATE IN ANY MANNER, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, IN THE SALE, RENTING, GIVING AWAY, OR OTHERWISE DISPOSING OF AN ASSAULT WEAPON; AND TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS TO THIS PROHIBITION; TO AMEND ARTICLE 5, CHAPTER 31, TITLE 23 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO USE AND POSSESSION OF MACHINE GUNS, SAWED-OFF SHOTGUNS AND RIFLES, TO ADD THE TERM “ASSAULT WEAPON” AND TO INCLUDE THIS FIREARM IN THE EXCEPTIONS OF THE ARTICLE.
LOST AND/OR STOLEN GUN REPORTING BILL: S.940, OF WHICH I AM PRIMARY SPONSOR, IS BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 23, TITLE 16 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO OFFENSES INVOLVING WEAPONS; BY ADDING SECTION 16-23-54 TO PROVIDE THAT A HANDGUN OWNER OR DEALER MUST IMMEDIATELY REPORT THE LOSS OR THEFT OF A HANDGUN TO A LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY; AND TO AMEND SECTION 16-23-50, TO PROVIDE FOR A PENALTY FOR VIOLATION OF SECTION 16-23-54.
BACKGROUND CHECK PLUS BILL: S.941, OF WHICH I AM PRIMARY SPONSOR, IS A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 31, TITLE 23 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO FIREARMS, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL TO SELL, EXCHANGE, OR TRANSFER A FIREARM TO A PERSON BEFORE COMPLETION OF A BACKGROUND CHECK THROUGH THE NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM; TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS.
WEAPON PURCHASE PERMIT BILL: S.942, OF WHICH I AM PRIMARY SPONSOR, IS A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 31, TITLE 23 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO FIREARMS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE REQUIREMENT OF WEAPON PURCHASE PERMIT TO PURCHASE A WEAPON IN THIS STATE, TO PROVIDE THE CONTENTS OF PERMIT APPLICATIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE PERMIT APPLICATION PROCESS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION MUST MAINTAIN A DATABASE OF ALL PERMIT HOLDERS AND THE CURRENT STATUS OF EACH PERMIT, TO PROVIDE FOR THE REVOCATION OF PERMITS, TO PROVIDE THAT PERMITS ARE VALID FOR THREE YEARS; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERMIT HOLDER IMMEDIATELY MUST REPORT THE LOSS OR THEFT OF A WEAPON PURCHASE PERMIT TO SLED; TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS; AND TO AMEND ARTICLE 4, CHAPTER 31, TITLE 23 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO CONCEALED WEAPONS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION MUST ISSUE A CONCEALABLE WEAPON PERMIT, SUBJECT TO SECTION 23-21-215(B), TO A RESIDENT WHO HOLDS A VALID WEAPON PURCHASE PERMIT AND WHO SUBMITS THE WEAPON PURCHASE PERMIT AND THE OTHER INFORMATION REQUIRED IN SECTION 23-21-215(A)(1)-(4) TOGETHER WITH AN APPLICATION FEE OF TEN DOLLARS; AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENTS TO THE REMAINDER OF ARTICLE 4.
GUN REGISTRATION BILL: S.943, OF WHICH I AM PRIMARY SPONSOR, IS A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 31, TITLE 23 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO FIREARMS, TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO OWNS A FIREARM SHALL REGISTER THE FIREARM WITH THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION; TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION SHALL MAINTAIN A LIST OF FIREARM SERIAL NUMBERS; TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION MUST PUBLISH A REPORT; TO PROVIDE FOR PENALTIES; AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS. http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess121_2015-2016/bills/943.htm.
It is my honor to serve as your voice in the State Senate. I would like to thank you for your continued support. As I prepare for my third year, I welcome your feedback on issues that are a priority. Please sign-up for my legislative newsletter, published monthly during session, by clicking on www.marlonkimpson.com.
I wish all of you a safe and happy Holiday Season, and a bright New Year!
Senator Marlon Kimpson