Bills to watch ahead of this year's crossover deadline

Bills to watch ahead of this year's crossover deadline

Update 4/5/24: Bills that passed or made progress this week are specified below. 

As we near the end of South Carolina’s 2024 legislative session, a critical deadline is on the horizon. Bills that want a chance of becoming law this year must receive initial passage in the House or Senate by April 10, known as the crossover deadline. Following this date, bills that pass require a two-thirds vote in the receiving chamber to be considered.

With this in mind, here are some great proposals that have yet to “crossover” and we think deserve special attention.


A bill to protect and advance medical freedom faces a critical juncture as it awaits consideration on the Senate floor. In the wake of overreaching policies and the assault on liberties seen during (and since) the COVID pandemic, S.975 presents a necessary check on government power and medical tyranny, including in the workplace. It would: 

  • Limit the police power of the state Department of Public Health (formerly a division of DHEC)
  • Put numerous checks on the department’s authority during public health emergencies, including: 
    • Asymptomatic quarantined persons must be confined no longer than five days 
    • Isolated persons must be released when they no longer show symptoms or within 10 days of symptom onset (the current law is once someone no longer poses a risk of transmission) 
    • Recovered individuals must not be separated from family members 
    • Failure to comply with department orders is reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor 
  • Require informed consent for department-provided vaccines during such emergencies
  • Prohibit employers from discriminating against workers who decline a novel vaccine
  • Clarify when a pharmacist may refuse to fill a prescription and prohibit them from denying “right to try” medication 

To make crossover, the bill must receive a second reading vote by Tuesday, April 9.  

Moving ahead, we know that "sunlight is the best disinfectant," and this rings true even for the healthcare practices that impact the lives of everyday South Carolinians. Two transparency efforts, including one nearing passage in the House, would empower patients and give them more information when it comes to medical decisions.

H.4622 states that, when requesting payment from a patient, a healthcare provider must give an itemized bill of all services and medicines provided. The bill must include “plain language description(s)” and the corresponding amounts owed for each item. Adopting this proposal, which awaits a vote on the House floor, is a great way to ensure patients know what they’re being charged for.

Meanwhile, H.3232 would require a Medicaid provider that has been suspended, terminated, or excluded to provide a patient’s medical records at no charge. This bill remains in committee and therefore will be more challenging to pass.


In many states, if you cause someone harm, you pay your share of damages – no more, no less. But not in South Carolina. Here, businesses and individuals can be forced to pay entire legal verdicts despite only being partially at fault for an injury, a concept known as “joint and several” liability.

The good news is that several bills filed in the 2023-24 legislative session would move our state toward a fairer system – and one has a strong chance to clear the April 10 deadline.

S.533 would require juries or judges to consider nonparties in addition to defendants when determining fault in civil cases. By looking at all the relevant actors in a case, including those who are not present in the courtroom, fault percentages should, in theory, be assigned more fairly and not automatically assumed by defendants.

Another change proposed by the bill would strike a law that has the potential to hold alcohol sellers fully liable for legal damages, even if they are just 1% at fault for an incident. However, this reform has been jeopardized following the Senate Judiciary Committee’s decision to advance S.533 in a state that leaves the 1% rule intact – putting businesses at risk of closure following a single lawsuit.

Now on the Senate floor and set for special order, we strongly urge members to reject the committee’s amendment, passing S.533 in its original form and repealing the 1% rule. This reform, coupled with other positive changes in the bill, will foster a more balanced legal climate that is critical for South Carolina’s economic prosperity. 

Note: Despite a successful 21-20 vote to table the Judiciary Committee's amendment, which we reported on X, the Senate did not take up the bill for a second reading vote. 


Adopting policies that streamline regulations, facilitate ease of work, and empower entrepreneurs to thrive is a great approach to making South Carolina a more business-friendly state. Fortunately, the following bills would accomplish just that:

  • S.1132 – Exempts the following professional services from state licensing requirements: Hair braiding, blow-dry styling, and makeup artistry.
  • H.4580 – Allows cosmetologists, estheticians and nail technicians to provide services at a client’s home or at an event venue, which is currently prohibited except in cases of emergency.

S.1132 is in a great position to pass this year since it has cleared the committee process and is awaiting consideration on the Senate floor. Meanwhile, H.4580 remains in the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee and would need some procedural maneuvering to bring up for a vote before the crossover deadline.

Note: S.1132 passed third reading and was sent to the House. South Carolina is one step closer to deregulating hair braiding, blow-dry styling and makeup artistry, a move that would facilitate ease of work and promote entrepreneurship.


After years of struggling to get traction at the Statehouse, South Carolina is closer than ever to passing changes that would improve how it selects judges and increase public trust in our judicial system.

The main vehicle for judicial reform (S.1046) passed the Senate in March, which contains a number of positive changes like revising the membership of the Judicial Merit Selection Commission (JMSC) and requiring the commission to livestream its meetings. In this case, we say “main vehicle” because, to date, S.1046 is the only judicial reform bill to pass either of the legislative chambers.

To avoid putting the future of judicial reform entirely on one bill, it would be wise for the House to pass its bipartisan reform package (H.5170) before the April 10 deadline. That bill puts welcome changes on the table including:

  • Giving the governor five appointments to the JMSC, while increasing its size from 10 to 13 members. Why is this important? Currently, appointments to the JMSC, which is charged with nominating judicial candidates, are controlled by just three lawmakers.
  • Establishing term limits for JMSC members.
  • Preventing individuals from serving on the JMSC that have contributed to the campaign of a nominating authority in the most recent election.
  • Repealing the cap that limits more than three qualified candidates from being nominated per open seat, thereby fostering more competition in judicial races.
  • Language that suggests the JMSC will be required to livestream its meetings.
  • Resolving the legal loophole that lets magistrates serve beyond their intended four-year terms.

We should note, however, that the path to adoption for H.5170 – which remains in subcommittee – won’t be easy. With limited time, and because the House is on break this week and not holding meetings, members will need to recall it from the House Judiciary Committee and bring it to the floor for immediate consideration.

It’s a long shot, but a necessary one if we are to have more than one bill in play on judicial reform.


In the digital age, there is no shortage of ways to make government more transparent and accessible to the public. In the case of South Carolina, at least two legislative proposals on this front deserve more attention.

The first is the excellent “Government Transparency Act” (H.3932). Under the bill, all legislative meetings would need to be livestreamed and have their videos posted online for later viewing, including JMSC hearings. The bill would also expand and codify current earmarking spending rules, making it easier for taxpayers to follow how their money is spent in yearly state budgets.  

Learn more about the proposal, which aligns with SCPC’s transparency recommendations, in this Nerve story.

The second bill, bearing a similar name, is the proposed “Taxpayer Transparency Act” (H.4643). This measure would require each county to develop a searchable budget database. It would also instruct them to livestream their meetings. We support the proposal because it would create a clear standard for local transparency, ensuring that citizens in each of the 46 counties have digital access to budget information and public meetings.  

These bills are still in committee and would need to be recalled to the House floor to meet the crossover deadline.


As you can see, there are several legislative proposals in play that could make South Carolina a better place to live, work and prosper. We encourage state leaders to work quickly so they may have a chance to beat the crossover deadline and become law.

Of course, time is of the essence. This is the second and final year of the 2023-24 legislative term, meaning bills that don’t pass this go-round must be re-introduced in the next session and restart their journeys. Let's seize this opportunity to enact positive changes for our state and its citizens.