Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
The House assembled at 11:45 A.M.
Deliberations were opened with prayer by the Chaplain of the House of Representatives, the Rev. Dr. Alton C. Clark as follows:
O God, our Creator and Ruler, Who has given us the gift of life, lead and direct us as we go about the work that lies ahead. Make of us workmen that need not to be ashamed. In our response to the needs that are before us, make us wise, understanding and strong. In our dealings with each other, invest us with the courteous and kindly spirit. In our dealings with ourselves, keep us honest. Show us in every moment that in You we live and move and have our very being.
Give us the confidence of the Psalmist when he wrote: "even from everlasting to everlasting You are God" (Psalm 9:2b). Amen.
Pursuant to Rule 6.3, the House of Representatives was led in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America by the SPEAKER.
After corrections to the Journal of the proceedings of yesterday, the SPEAKER ordered it confirmed.
The roll call of the House of Representatives was taken resulting as follows.
Alexander, M.O. Alexander, T.C. Altman Bailey, G. Bailey, J. Bailey, K. Baker Baxley Beatty Bennett Boan Brown, G. Brown, H. Bruce Burch Burriss Carnell Cato Chamblee Clyborne Cole Cooper Cork Corning Cromer Elliott, L. Fair Farr Felder Foster Fulmer Gentry Glover Gonzales Gregory Hallman Harris, J. Harris, P. Harwell Haskins Hayes Hendricks Hodges Holt Houck Huff Johnson, J.C. Johnson, J.W. Keegan Keesley Kempe Keyserling Kinon Kirsh Klapman Lanford Littlejohn Marchbanks Martin, D. Martin, L. Mattos McAbee McCain McCraw McGinnis McKay McTeer Meacham Neilson Nettles Phillips Rama Rhoad Rogers Ross Rudnick Sharpe Sheheen Shirley Short Smith Stoddard Sturkie Townsend Tucker Vaughn Waites Waldrop Wells Whipper White Wilder Wilkes Wilkins Williams, D. Williams, J. Wofford Wright Young, A. Young, R.
I came in after the roll call and was present for the Session on Wednesday, March 27.
Joe E. Brown Ken Corbett John L. Scott D. Elliott Mike Jaskwhich Rick Quinn Larry Koon John J. Snow, Jr.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
The SPEAKER granted Rep. MANLY a leave of absence for today and tomorrow.
Rep. CARNELL moved that when the House adjourns it adjourn in memory of Reverend Delbert B. Jarrett, Pastor of Ware Shoals Pentecostal Holiness Church, which was agreed to.
The House stood at ease subject to the call of the Chair.
At 12:00 Noon the Senate appeared in the Hall of the House.
The President of the Senate called the Joint Assembly to order and announced that it had convened under the terms of a Concurrent Resolution adopted by both Houses.
The Reading Clerk of the Senate read the following Concurrent Resolution:
H. 3616 -- Invitations and Memorial Resolutions Committee: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION INVITING THE HONORABLE ROBERT S. TURNER OF GEORGIA, NATIONAL COMMANDER OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, TO ADDRESS THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN JOINT SESSION AT 12:00 NOON ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 1991.
The Honorable Robert S. Turner, National Commander of the American Legion and distinguished party were escorted to the rostrum by Governor Carroll A. Campbell and Senators Mullinax, Hinson, Patterson, Drummond and Macaulay and Reps. KINON, HARWELL, MATTOS and WILDER:
Lt. Governor Theodore introduced Governor Campbell as follows:
"It gives me a great deal of pleasure for purposes of introduction of our speaker and other dignitaries with us here today to present to you the Governor of the great state of South Carolina, Governor Carroll A. Campbell, Jr."
Governor Campbell introduced the National Commander of the American Legion as follows:
"Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, members of the South Carolina General Assembly...It is my pleasure to introduce to you the National Commander of the American Legion, Robert S. Turner. Bob Turner is accompanied today by Rubie Paul of Omaha, Nebraska, who is the National Auxiliary President, Mollie Spearman, of Saluda, who is the Department President, Norris Kenyon, who is the Department Commander and Roy Stone, who is the past National Commander. Commander Turner's service on behalf of veterans across the country is extremely well known. As a counselor for the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, he is reminded daily of the sacrifices made by those who were willing to make the supreme sacrifice for our way of life. As the Chairman of the National Bicentennial Committee for the United States Constitution, he worked tirelessly to promote an understanding of one of the most important documents in world history. In addition to serving as mayor of Sanoya, Georgia, he has received national recognition for his sense of civic responsibility as President Carter honored him with the Vietnam Veteran Outstanding Service to the Community Award. While his service to America's veterans is commendable, Bob Turner's service to America's young people is the thing that is priceless. For the last 20 years, he has served on the staff of the Department of Georgia's Boys State, the last six years as director. It is his dedication to developing young leadership that I find most worthy of recognition. Ladies and gentlemen of the South Carolina General Assembly, I am honored to present only the third Vietnam era veteran to serve as a National Commander of the American Legion, Robert S. Turner."
The National Commander addressed the Joint Assembly as follows:
"Thank you Governor Campbell, I appreciate that introduction...Lt. Governor Theodore, Speaker of the House, Bob Sheheen, distinguished members of the South Carolina Legislature and ladies and gentlemen...I am certainly honored and grateful for the invitation to talk with you today. I am well aware of how busy you are conducting the business of the great state of South Carolina. So, it is indeed an honor for us to be here and we thank you for allowing us. Less than 48 hours ago, I returned from a trip from Mexico, where I visited with the American Legion contingent there. I mentioned that because of the fact of when one goes outside the United States for even a short period of time, it is absolutely striking to see the American flag, the red, white and blue banners and the yellow ribbons everywhere, on streets, on the stores, on our front porches. And we feel this huge wave of pride and patriotism that is sweeping our country. Pride in our nation and certainly in the men and women of the armed forces, who served so well in Operation Desert Storm and the Persian Gulf. We are also extremely proud of our leaders, President Bush, Secretary Chaney, Generals Powell and Schwarzkopf, and all those who acted strongly and decisively to stop an aggressive dictator to restore the freedom to a defenseless country and once again, to show the world that America stands for what is right. All of us are so gravely thankful that the hostilities were brought to such a swift conclusion and with relatively few casualties. Over 200 Americans died in Operation Desert Storm with about half of that number in combat, included were brave young women as well as men. I am told, that at least five of those who lost their lives were either from South Carolina, had family here or were stationed here. No one, especially those who fought in them, wants war or the tragic loss of life that war brings. I would be remiss if I failed to recognize a very special group of people who are present in this Chamber this afternoon and who know only too well the pain of loss due to war. They are members of the American Gold Star Mothers, an organization of women whose sons and daughters served and died in the line of duty in the Armed Forces during our nation's conflict and I understand that they are in the gallery. Thank you ladies. These noble women are dedicated to perpetuating the memory of those who died while still burying the pain of their personal loss. But, they are also dedicated to patriotism and respect for our country and keeping alive the spirit that promoted world service. They are dedicated to assisting veterans of all wars and their dependents and they give thousands of hours of volunteer work to hospitalized veterans and organizations which aide veterans much like the American Legion. We, in the American Legion, are grateful to the Gold Star Mothers and we are proud to be associated with them. South Carolina sent many members of the armed forces to the Persian Gulf, as did the rest of the country. And now, we are anxious to welcome the troops home and to let them know how grateful we are to the job that they did. Already, you have held one of the earlier welcome home ceremonies, ten days ago, down in Sumter, South Carolina, and I understand that President Bush was there to join in that celebration. All of the units that have already come home or are due back soon did a great job. The 363rd Tactical Fighter Wing, the F-16 Black Panthers from Shaw Air Force Base, the Fighting Falcons who fly the A-10's in the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing from Myrtle Beach, the C-141's out of Charleston, the ships and sailors that are based in Charleston, the soldiers from Fort Jackson, the marines from Parris Island, they all did a superb job and I know that you join with us and the rest of the country in sharing with them their pride and accomplishments. I had an opportunity in October of last year to visit with the troops in Saudi Arabia as an official American Legion visit sanctioned by the White House and President Bush. As I reported to President Bush when I got back, I found that all the service members were extremely well trained and the morale was quite high and they are confident and ready and anxious to get on the job that they were sent there to do and they certainly did the job and I know that you agree with that. Those fine young men and women that we have an opportunity to talk to while we were there had one thing on their mind, actually two, because the mail call was one of the most important things on their mind, and their families back home. And when I told them about the American Legion's Family Support Network and how it was looking out for the loved ones back at home, helping them with household jobs that they did not know how to do and telling them with whom they needed to call for assistance to a slow allotment check or just lending a little neighborly moral support, they were truly happy to know that there was someone back home watching out for their families and that there were people back home who cared about them. You know, that recall to active duty and deployment overseas or to another base away from home, means separation and that can bring on problems that could be awfully difficult to cope with and who knows better than veterans about that. We made it possible for any military family in need to simply dial our nationwide toll free number and that number is still in effect, 1-800-786-0901 and within 48 hours after dialing that number, a representative of the American Legion or our Auxiliary has been able to be in touch with the family and lend a helping hand. That is the family support network that I referred to, that telephone number. It was started on October 11 of last year and since then, we have received nearly 25,000 calls. I commend the Department of South Carolina and more especially, the Department Adjutant, B. L. Black, and all the legioners for the great job that they have done with that family support network. One aspect of that support which deserves special notice is a special amateur radio hook-up to transmit messages and greetings between the troops in Saudi Arabia and their families back at home. This military affiliated radio station or MARS hook-up was initiated by South Carolina Legion Department Commander, Norris Kenyon, to operate out of his post, the James F. Daniel American Legion Post 3 in Greenville, in cooperation with the South Carolina State Guard and the Military Militia Department. By the way, you all know that there will be troops there in the Persian Gulf for sometime to come and so there will still be a need for the family support network. We intend to keep it going for as long as it is needed. Meanwhile, we will continue to welcome home the troops. Almost every city and community has plans to hold some sort of welcome home parade or event. And I encourage American Legion Posts in every town and in every state to be in the forefront of those celebrations. As you may know, the President has called for a nationwide welcome home celebration to be held in Washington, D. C. on July 4. At the same time, there will be 5 other regional celebrations taking place across the country. Our national staff has been involved with the planning of this event and you will here more about the Legion's involvement as those plans develop. As the troops come home, we will also be welcoming America's newest generation of Americans and as wartime veterans, they will soon be eligible to belong to the American Legion. With over 3 million members, the world's largest and fastest growing veterans organization, as most of you know, that is the only requirement for membership in the American Legion, that one served honorably on active duty during a wartime period. This new generation of veterans will join the 27 million veterans still living who served their country in previous conflicts. Some of them will join the South Carolina veterans population which now numbers over 354,000 and they all will deserve the same benefits and care that their governments promised them when they raised their right hands and swore to defend their country, defend it and fight for it in war, if need be. Remember, my friends, the cost of war does not end when the fighting stops. I am pleased to acknowledge that South Carolina stands among the leaders in legislation and facilities for the benefit of veterans. You have one of the finest state veteran service office programs anywhere in the country. There is a VSO in every one of the 46 counties. Your state director of Veterans Affairs, Bill Samms, runs a splendid operation. I want to congratulate Bill and also congratulate the members of the South Carolina Legislature for making this possible. In particular, you have had the foresight to anticipate one of the major problems facing this nation as far as veterans care goes. The problem of the aging veteran. By the year 2000, about 9 million veterans in this country will be 65 years of age or older and 124,000 of them will be living here in South Carolina and 52,000 of them will be over the age of 75. This trend, incidentally, will be nationwide, but, will impact mostly in the sunbelt states. Your foresight has resulted in the construction in your new 220 bed veterans nursing home near Anderson which just opened on the first of this month and it is my understanding that it already had 30 occupants. It is named for Governor Campbell's brother, Mike, who was killed during the Vietnam conflict. Of course, there is Stone Pavilion in Columbia, the 150 bed state-federal nursing home named in honor of one of the finest of all legioners throughout this country, my good friend and your very own, E. Roy Stone of Greenville. In South Carolina and you, who represent the veterans and all of its citizens can be proud of the good work that you have done for the veterans. On the federal level, the Department of Veterans Affairs operates a 120 bed nursing home as well as the two V.A. medical centers here in South Carolina. The new influx of veterans as well as the growing population of aging veterans is going to have a big impact on the V.A. medical system. As a matter of fact, it already has. South Carolina's V.A. facilities cannot afford any further cutbacks in staff or equipment for veterans healthcare or closings at your V.A. hospitals and outpatient facilities and neither can any other state in the nation. That's why the American Legion has and will always be in the forefront of the battle for adequate funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Allow me to pose this question to you, what if South Carolina did not have to two V.A. hospitals and the clinics and the nursing homes? Then where would the 354,000 veterans in South Carolina go to get that healthcare and who would pay for it. In one recent year, 1988, a total of 350 million federal dollars came into South Carolina for veterans healthcare, facilities, compensation and pension payments. Those are federal tax dollars, a portion of which South Carolinians pay, but look at the payback on those tax dollars on terms of money put into the state's economy due to the veterans benefits. It is a smart investment and I know that you can appreciate the economic contributions that the American Legion has in the State of South Carolina. 4.5 million dollars is spent yearly on paper that is bought from Bowater Paper, Co. for the printing of our national magazine. All of the envelopes that is used by the national organization are purchased from West Virginia Paper Co. of South Carolina. While I am on the subject of economics and investments, I would like to touch on how the American Legion invests the time, talents and treasures of its members in their own communities. The American Legion, for those of you who are non-members, is more than just a veterans organization. For almost 73 years, it has devoted itself to service to the community, state and nation. And certainly to the children and youth of America. Working together with the American Legion Auxiliary and the sons of the American Legion, there are 4.1 million good people actively involved in volunteer work and they donate millions of hours of service to the community projects and to programs like scouting, to Boys State, Girls State, to the National Oratorical Contest and to American Legion Baseball. Financial assistance to those programs and to charitable causes totals millions of dollars each year. The latest example of legion service is the family support network that I just mentioned to you. Let me mention another example. Just one year ago, when my predecessor as National Commander, Miles Epling, spoke to you, the economy and the community life of South Carolina was still reeling from the blow of Hurricane Hugo. Commander Epling told you of the establishment of the American Legion National Emergency Fund. Its purpose was to provide an emergency system of financial assistance to our legion comrades and their families and to legion posts which suffered damage from national disasters like Hugo. The idea was to take care of our own, so that we could continue to take care of others through our regular community service programs. One American Legion Post, the St. Stephens Post, was almost completely destroyed by Hurricane Hugo. With the help of this national emergency fund and hard working legioners, the post home has been completely rebuilt and its programs of service to veterans and the community are continuing. Those programs are just two examples of the American Legion's devotion to mutual helpfulness. Earlier, I spoke about the great surge in patriotism that is enveloping the country. The real awakening of the American spirit and pride in our nation and in its institutions, the evidence is abundantly clear, is the universal display on every lamp post and home and office and school and factory across the land. Do you think now that anyone except a very misguided few, would dare burn an American flag, especially in front of the brave and splendid young heroes who are coming home from Operation Desert Storm. Twice the Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that is it permissible to burn or otherwise desecrate the American flag as a form of political expression under the right of freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment. The Congress of the United States voted down a proposal to amend the United States Constitution to protect the American flag from such desecration. It is time, the right time, right now, to tell Congress that, we the people, the people that they represent disagree with their decision. An overwhelmingly majority of Americans do not believe that flag burning is free speech and we want the flag protected by that Constitutional Amendment. I can assure you that the American Legion continues the effort and we will not give up that effort until that amendment becomes a reality. You distinguished legislators in South Carolina have again led the way by your approval earlier this month of a Joint Resolution memorializing the United States Congress to enact an amendment proposal so that the State, the people themselves can be allowed to ratify as the Constitution itself prescribes. I thank you and I congratulate you for being among the first of the 38 states necessary to send such memorializing resolutions telling Congress to do the right thing. The best way that I can think of to welcome home our troops and to show them how proud we are is to win the fight to protect the flag that they fought for. Let's show them that it is no longer unpopular to be patriotic and let's demonstrate that our willingness to support them and all veterans is not stifled by some guilt from an unpopular war two decades ago. It is as if a great burden has been removed from our conscious. The spirit and patriotism were always there. Thanks to all of those young men and women of Desert Storm who stood tall for their country, we can hold our heads up high once again. We can sing 'The Star Spangled Banner' and 'God Bless America' and it is once again is okay to get a lump in our throats. Once again, we can fly our American flag and be proud. We are indeed proud to be Americans. Thank you all so very much for allowing us to share this with you."
Upon the conclusion of his address, the National Commander and his escort party retired from the Chamber.
The purposes of the Joint Assembly having been accomplished, the PRESIDENT announced that under the terms of the Concurrent Resolution the Joint Assembly would recede from business.
The Senate accordingly retired to its Chamber.
At 12:38 P.M. the House resumed, the SPEAKER in the Chair.
Rep. BOAN moved that the House recede until 2:00 P.M.
Rep. HUFF moved that House do now adjourn, which was adopted by a division vote of 59 to 21.
At 12:40 P.M. the House in accordance with the motion of Rep. CARNELL adjourned in memory of Reverend Delbert B. Jarrett, Pastor of Ware Shoals Pentecostal Holiness Church, to meet at 10:00 A.M. tomorrow.
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