Legislation Introduced by the Committee on Children
2023 - 2024 Legislative Session
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.