Legislative Agenda, 2021-2022
Bills we're advancing in 2022, with state and local partners and coalitions:
- Hands Free, S.248 (Sen. Young & Sen. Hembree):
- A bill that requires motorists not hold a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, in most cases. This bill was first proposed by another name (DUI-E) in 2017, and after 4 years in the state house and senate, it has a good following and is positioned well for 2021. It now has broad support and familiarity among most lawmakers. A similar bill resides in the House.
- Tax credits for Trail Easements, H.3120 (Rep. Hyde); S.774 (Talley):
- A bill that gives property owners a state tax credit if they agree to a trail easement. Easements are voluntary and necessary to patch together a trail corridor. Trails contribute to safer active transportation, economic development for communities and regions, and the eco-tourism that provides a small economic engine for some small communities. The impetus of this bill came from trail building efforts by Partners for Active Living in Spartanburg; the bill was refined by Upstate Forever; and it is supported by trail advocates statewide.
- 3 Feet to Pass, S.245 (Sen. Young)
- A bill that defines the distance that is safe between motorists and bicyclists on the open road – as 3 feet. This bill was first proposed in 2020, the 2nd of a 2 year session, until the pandemic ended the session prematurely. It gained steam relatively quickly, given it simply adds definition to existing law, which PCC worked to pass in 2008 (Safe Passing law) alongside many partners, including the law firm Bike Law.
Bills we're following in 2022:
- Criminal Justice Reform, H.3050 (Rep. Moss):
- Establishes additional responsibilities to the Law Enforcement Training Council to develop curriculum and minimum standards. Additionally establishes a Compliance Division under the Council, which will inspect the relevant policies and procedures for every law enforcement agency in this State to ensure compliance with minimum standards.
- School Bus Stops, H.3100 (Rep. Bennett):
- Revises the penalties for unlawfully passing a stopped school bus, causing great bodily injury or death to a pedestrian while unlawfully passing a stopped school bus, allocates fines to purchase extended school bus stop arms and other bus equipment, etc.
- Altering Motor Vehicle, H.4574 (Rep. Wooten); S.908 (Rankin & Grooms):
- A bill that makes it unlawful to elevate or lower a motor vehicle beyond a standard that is safe.
- Center Line Passing, H.4573 (Rep. Willis):
- A bill that prescribes the safe passing or movement across the center line, around a slow moving vehicle, including but not limited to people traveling on foot, bike, tractor, golf cart, etc.
- County Greenspace Sales Tax Act, S.152 (Senator Davis)
- Creates the county green space sales tax option by ballot referendum for counties with no more than 2 sales tax fees, for preservation procurements, including 1) the acquisition of fee simple titles, 2) conservation easements, 3) development rights, 4) rights of first refusal, 5) options , 6) leases with options to purchase, and 7) any other interests in real property.
- South Carolina Conservation Enhancement Act, S.1039 (Senator Campsen)
- Creates a Natural Resources Enhancement Fund dedicated for the purpose of capital improvements on parks, forests, wildlife management areas, and heritage preserves (that are owned, leased, or managed for public use by an agency of SC, to increase or enhance access to public lands, including the creation or maintenance of trails. Capital improvements means activities that serve to create, improve, or restore access to public lands and waters, facilities, natural resources including fish and wildlife populations, or recreational opportunities.
- Performance Measures for Complete Streets, H.3051 (Rep. Pendarvis):
- This bill was dropped after SCDOT enacted their own internal policy.
- This bill required the SCDOT determine feasibility for Complete Streets accommodations, based on certain quantifiable performance measures. Those measures included, but weren’t limited to: the presence in regional ped/bike plans; alignment with the health equity measures included in local pedestrian plans; safety and crash data; proximity to schools, hospitals, colleges and universities, government offices, parks, recreational facilities, and other pedestrian destinations; proximity to transit stops; existence of worn footpaths; areas identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as socially vulnerable; locations identified in a Safe Routes to School Travel Plan or a department safety audit; proximity to grocery stores or convenience stores; and existence of established federal, state, or local bicycle routes or trails.
Brief history of PCC legislative agenda:
- In 2020, we achieve passage of the Electric Bike law in South Carolina, Act 114, through H.3174.
- In 2019 and 2020, we advanced and supported a large slate of bills (H.3656 – Complete Streets; S.723 – Hands Free; H.3172 – Pedestrian Control Signals; H.3173 – Vulnerable Road User bill; S.906 – Bicycles & Motor Vehicles, Safe Distance [3 ft] between). See our 2020 Safe Streets Lobby Day blogpost.
- In 2017 and 2018, we advanced H.3615, an evolution from the previous year’s H.3909, known as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety bill. Both bills succeeded through significant negotiations and agreements with both the Judiciary and Transportation committees in both chambers, but did not achieve a final vote.
- In 2014, we successfully fought back against a bad “bike liability bill” and another regarding bikes on sidewalks (a very context sensitive issue, which remains a local ordinance responsibility).
- From 2005-2008, we achieved passage of the Bicycle Safety law, Act 317, through H.3006.
- From 2003-2004, we advanced and achieved the SC Safe Routes to School law, Act 307, through H.4740.