In the September 2004 issue, Acupuncture Today reported that South Carolina, along with Illinois, had recently passed legislation (H 3891) that modified the state's existing acupuncture law.Since the publication of that article, we have received several calls from practitioners in South Carolina who have commented that, while the General Assembly did pass the bill in June, it is still awaiting the signature of Gov. Mark Sanford before it can go into effect.
At present, H 3891 has been sent to Gov. Sanford for his review. Under South Carolina law, the governor normally has five days to take action on a bill upon its presentation. The governor can either a) sign the bill into law; b) allow the bill to become law without signing it; or c) veto it and return it to the General Assembly.
If the governor chooses not to sign the bill without returning it to the General Assembly within the five-day period, it would have the same force and effect as if it had been signed. However, the General Assembly adjourned immediately after passing H 3891, and will not reconvene until January 2005. As such, the governor will have until Jan. 13, 2005 to take action on the bill.
Acupuncture Today will continue to track the progress of H 3891, and will report on its status as more information becomes available. We also apologize for any confusion this may have caused AT's readers.