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These new South Carolina laws go into effect today

Some of the laws were passed in 2021 but were scheduled to go into effect this year.
Credit: Christopher Boswell - stock.adob

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A handful of laws from two legislative sessions - both 2021 and 2022 - are expected to go into effect on Friday, July 1 - and their impacts are wide-ranging.

Among the most talked-about law changes in South Carolina actually comes out of the previous legislative session and is in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on college players profiting off their own name, image, and likeness (NIL). 

Legislative Act 35 amends the Uniform Athlete Agents Act which pertains to the registration of athlete agents with the state. The new law will allow for "the compensation of intercollegiate athletes for these of their name, image, or likeness." However, it also puts in place many requirements and limits on agents regarding things like compensation and also includes mention of a public directory of all registered athlete agents in good standing.

Another big change stemming from a 2021 legislative session handles the state's ability to intercede and provide assistance to school districts that are under a "declaration of emergency" through the Education Accountability Act. 

One of the more significant parts of the previous year's legislation is the ability of the state to dissolve the board of a district under a declaration of emergency. After that, a new board of trustees would be assembled with the governor appointing one member, a local legislative delegation designating a second, and the South Carolina Department of Education superintendent appointing three with the input of the legislative delegation.

A new scholarship has also been born out of the legislature for 2022. Act 204 amends state law to establish the South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship, also called SCWINS. According to the act, this new scholarship will cover the cost of tuition, fees, or expenses for required course-related materials up to $5,000 a year excluding what's already been covered by other federal and state scholarships and grants.

Another bill signed into law in 2021 will additionally require all identification cards provided by public schools and both public and private establishments of higher learning to include contact information for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline and other important resources.

A 2022 law going into effect on Friday will also eliminate an exemption that previously existed for some physicians. The change makes it so that doctors who certify 12 or fewer deaths a year are still required to file electronic death certificates with the Bureau of Vital Statistics which is itself part of the Department of Health and Environmental Control. That information is then passed along to the state elections commission and then the county board of voter registration to have the name of the deceased removed from the voter roll.

Yet another 2022 law will amend the state law and require the Department of Natural Resources to hire a waterfowl program manager within the Wildlife and Fisheries Division and also provide a description of that person's duties and qualifications. The same act also amends the law to allow the establishment of the waterfowl advisory committee and for the increase of fees tied to migratory waterfowl permits.

Another act concerning the DNR which was signed into law in 2021 amends a section of the law and authorizes the agency to send certain documents electronically for a certificate of title and allows the collection of an electronic transmission fee. It also allows the use of an electronic lien system for businesses and lenders in the sale of watercraft and outboard motors. The law additionally allows liens to be retained or discharged electronically.

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