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Legislation Introduced by the Committee on Children

2023 - 2024 Legislative Session

Expansion of Paid Parental Leave

  • Increases parental leave from 6 weeks to12 weeks in the event of a birth or adoption of a child for state employees.

  • Expands benefit to all full time state employees. 

Safe Harbor for Minor Victims

Establishes legal precedent that minors under the age of 18 who were engaged in criminal sexual acts or sex trafficking are presumed to be doing so under coercion or a reasonable fear of a threat and therefore have an affirmative defense from criminal and civil liability from nonviolent offenses they committed under duress or coercion.

Intimate Partner Violence

Revises the definition of household member in the Domestic Violence Code to:

  • include former and current dating relationship.

  • allow a parent, guardian, custodian, legal counsel, or other appropriate adult may petition the court for an order of protection on behalf of a household minor.

Sex Buyer Penalties

  • Increases the penalties for solicitation of commercial sex.

  • Establishes an affirmative defense for victims of human trafficking.

Juvenile Sex Offender Registry

  • Ensures that no child under 14 is places on the sex offender registry.

  • Allows information of an adjudicated delinquent juvenile to be made available to the public if they were deemed to commit criminal sexual conduct in the first or second degree.

  • Includes “childcare facilities” for who may receive juvenile registry information.

Status Offenders

  • Eliminates the exception for children to be tried as an adult when charged with a status offense.

  • Decreases the length of time that a child may be held for violation of a court order regarding a status offense.

  • Requires the child and his family seek counseling when the status offense is of incorrigibility.

Juvenile Life Without Parole

  • Bans the sentence of life without parole for any individual who is under the age of eighteen at the time of committing an offense.

  • Provides maximum sentences for individuals who committed an offense as a minor.

  • Prohibits the use of restraints, isolation, and room confinement for juvenile offenders.

Dept. of Children's Advocacy to JCLCC

Adds the Department of Children’s Advocacy as an ex-officio member of the Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children.

Tax Free Baby Food & Formula

Exempts baby formula and baby food from sales tax.

Guardianship Timelines for Minors

Allows a parent or caregiver of a disabled child to apply for guardianship 180 days prior to the child's 18th birthday. ​​

Homeless Youth Definitions

Adds definitions of unaccompanied homeless youth, homeless child or youth, and youth at risk of homelessness to the Children’s Code.

Crisis Stabilization Units for Youth

  • Allows crisis stabilization units to serve children as young as age five. 

  • Includes all short-term residential stabilization and intensive crisis services in the definition of “crisis stabilization unit facilities.” 

Kinship Guardianship Assistance

  • Establishes guardianship assistance payments for relatives and fictive kin after a court appoints them as a child’s legal guardian.

  • Defines legal guardianship and makes other conforming amendments. 

Tax Free & Tax Holiday for Feminine Hygiene Products and Diapers

  • Provides a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products, diapers, and toilet paper.

  • H. 3110 adds feminine hygiene products to the sales tax exemption holiday.

Department of Revenue Tobacco Reporting

Requires a tobacco retailer to submit information to the Department of Revenue about whether it sells certain products used for smoking. 

DACA Licensure

Allows people who are lawfully present in this state and are not precluded from establishing residency under federal immigration law (DACA recipients) to establish residency and be eligible for occupational or professional licensure.

Tobacco Retail Licensure

  • Establishes and requires a tobacco retail license for sellers of all tobacco products, with stricter penalties for selling to minors.

  • Requires the South Carolina Department of Revenue to conduct at least two minimum age sales compliance checks annually of tobacco retail establishments.

Legislation Endorsed by the Committee on Children

2023 -2024 Legislative Session

DSS Response Timelines

  • Creates a tiered response system for DSS to investigate reports of child abuse or neglect.

Parental Leave for Teachers

  • Grants eligible school district employees paid parental leave for the birth of a child, placement of a foster child, or adoption of a child.

Tax Exemption for Feminine Hygiene Products

  • Provides a sales tax exemption for feminine hygiene products.

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