Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
The House assembled at 10:00 A.M.
Deliberations were opened with prayer by the Chaplain of the House of Representatives, the Rev. Dr. Alton C. Clark as follows:
Almighty God, Giver of every good and perfect gift, bestow upon us courage to stand for worthwhile goals lest we fall for anything. When the burdens are heavy, give us strength to carry them; when the pressures are great, grant us inner peace; when the days are long and the duties troublesome, give us the ability to think clearly and act wisely. Give us the ability to bear the wounds of criticism, the hurt of misunderstanding, and the pain of misjudged motives.
And to You, good Lord, we give our praise and thanksgiving. Amen.
After corrections to the Journal of the proceedings of yesterday, the SPEAKER ordered it confirmed.
TO THE HONORABLE CARROLL A. CAMPBELL, JR., GOVERNOR OF SOUTH CAROLINA, AND MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY:
Joint Resolution No. 1289 of 1970 created the committee to act as a continuing liaison group to study the programs and problems of tourism in the State, recognizing the importance of tourism to the total economy of the State and recognizing the necessity of making tourism more productive and more profitable. This Resolution provided for the appointment of a nine-member committee to consist of three members of the Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, three members of the House of Representatives appointed by the Speaker of the House, and three members appointed by the Governor. The Resolution further provided that the members then serving on the Committee to Promote the Tourist Industry would be the initial members of the Committee on Tourism.
A permanent committee was created by Act 160 of 1977. The committee was empowered to act as a continuing liaison group to study the programs and problems of tourism in the State. Act 517 of 1980 amended the law by adding to the powers and duties of the committee the responsibility for coordinating the efforts of the State Development Board and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture in the development of international agriculture and agro business markets.
Basically, the primary function of the Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade is to promote the tourism and trade industry in South Carolina. Presently South Carolina's second largest industry, the tourism industry provides a tremendous economic impact to the State. A significant function of this committee is to oversee and approve grant applications submitted through the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism's Funds-Sharing Program. The law provides that this committee and the PRT Commission establish guidelines for the administration of this tourism matching-grants program for local public agencies and non-profit organizations involved with tourism promotion activities.
The Joint Committee on Tourism and Trade held a meeting on Wednesday, January 27, 1993 at 1:30 p.m. in 501 Blatt Building. Chairman McAbee explained the committee's oversight activities with regard to the accommodations tax. He noted that the committee has experienced some problems regarding collections by the Tax Commission. Mr. Otis Rawl of the Tax Commission explained changes that have been made to deal with these problems.
Senate Bill 279, which would allow municipalities to impose an additional sales tax not exceeding two percent on accommodations tax transients and to provide that the revenue from this additional tax must be remitted to the municipality and must be used for "tourism-related expenditures," was discussed.
The upcoming Governor's Conference on Tourism and Travel was discussed. Chairman McAbee explained the committee's role at the conference.
A meeting of the Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade was held on February 11, l993 at the Landmark Resort Hotel in conjunction with the Governor's Conference on Tourism and Travel. Election of officers was the first agenda item. Senator Washington was elected First Vice-Chairman and Senator Elliott was elected Secretary.
Three bills dealing with the tourism industry were discussed.
The mini bottle verses big bottle issue was discussed. It was pointed out that the original mini bottle law was put in as a constitutional amendment. Therefore, it would take a public referendum to make a change.
The Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade held a meeting on Tuesday, May 4, l993. A Senate Finance Committee amendment was discussed. Chairman McAbee explained that the amendment puts all of the admissions tax into the general fund to be used for other sources. He further explained that this could do away with the PRT Funds-Sharing Grants program. After some discussion, it was agreed that PRT would notify the appropriate contacts to gain support for the House version or request the tax remain the same.
Possible misuse of local accommodations tax funds is the next item on the agenda. Chairman McAbee said some of the accommodations tax money was not spent in accordance with the law. It was unanimously agreed to contact each local government on the list and request the appropriate correction.
The Committee held a meeting at the King and Prince Resort in St. Simons, GA at 10:00 a.m. Mr. Fred Brinkman gave a presentation on the accommodations tax. He said the travel and tourism industry needs to find a unified position regarding taxation on lodging and other things. As a result of this need, a committee has been formed comprised of representatives from different state, regional and local organizations, to arrive at an industry position. A survey was taken by this new forum to determine different views and concerns.
Mr. Brinkman informed everyone that a number of local governments are taking the initiative to put their own taxation on lodging. Chairman McAbee has requested a legal opinion as to whether this is constitutional. If it is, there is some concern by the industry about the guidelines for this tax.
Mr. Brinkman said if there is an increase in certain taxes or if there is going to be some local option taxes, the forum feels there should be an effort to stay competitive with other states.
The forum voted to support a 1% increase in the lodging rate on the existing accommodations tax provided certain guidelines are included.
Mr. Brinkman said there was a general consensus by the forum for the "Robin Hood" plan to remain a part of the act with no liberalization of the plan.
Senator Washington questioned the affect of the Attorney General's ruling on the "Robin Hood" plan.
Senator Elliott said if there is a ruling in favor of the local option tax, then a cap should be placed on the amount that could go to the accommodations tax.
Mr. Brinkman said those in favor of the local option do not want to see any "Robin Hood" provisions connected. They want all the money to go back to the local area where it is collected.
Ashby Ward said there is a huge percent of the forum in favor of amending the statewide act to include not only the one cent increase in hotels but also to add a penny to restaurants. He said they will meet again and reach an industry position hopefully within the next forty-five days.
There was some discussion about the controversy between the city and county regarding the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Representative McKay mentioned the loss of potential tourism funds until the matter is resolved. After more discussion about plans for an international airport verses charter type service, the committee agreed to prepare letters or resolutions of support at the appropriate time.
Senator Elliott said the proposed I-73 is important to South Carolina and North Carolina and would enhance our economy. He said he would like the southeast group to contact Washington in support of I-73.
Senator Elliott made the motion to send a resolution of congratulations to Senator Hollings for being named the "#1 Governmental Friend of Tourism." It was unanimously agreed.
Chairman McAbee informed the committee that an LAC report had been requested by Senator Drummond, Senator Verne Smith and others on accommodations taxes. He said the report might recommend that this committee, being a legislative committee, be taken out of the loop to approve funds sharing grants. Chairman McAbee said he sees no potential conflict with the committee staying in the role of establishing guidelines in conjunction with the PRT Commission. The problem is with the committee approving actual funds.
Senator Washington made the motion to write the appropriate letter to Mr. Bill Lawrence asking that the committee be taken out of the loop. It was seconded by Senator Smith and unanimously agreed.
Chairman McAbee said there were several local governments that were experiencing problems with possible misuse of accommodations tax funds. All have been cleared up with the exception of Kiawah Island. He said they spent $27,000 in accommodations tax funds to collect yard debris from the curbs of private homeowners.
A motion was made by Senator Smith to turn the matter over to the Attorney General's office. It was unanimously agreed.
There was some discussion regarding awards to be presented during the conference. A motion was made to send a resolution of congratulations to Thoroughbred Country and Lowcountry Tourism Commission for receiving the 1993 Shining Example Award.
The Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade held a meeting on December 8, l993 at 11:00 in room 521 of the Blatt Building.
Chairman McAbee called the meeting to order and addressed the first item on the agenda, PRT funds sharing guidelines. Marion Edmonds gave a brief explanation. The motion to approve the guidelines was made by Representative McKay and seconded by Senator Washington.
Chairman McAbee went to the second agenda item, the Attorney General's opinion on accommodations tax. He asked Tom Sponsellor, Hospitality Association of South Carolina, to make some comments on the matter.
Mr. Pigg said Hilton Head has already passed a 2% local option tax and the new mayor wants to add another 10% tax. Mr. Pigg is concerned about the precedent this will set throughout South Carolina. He feels the State needs to set up guidelines for local option taxing authority before municipalities go wild and put on any amount of money for any purpose.
Mr. Brinkman said efforts are being made by all interested parties to come up with a consensus.
Questionable expenditures of accommodations tax money was discussed. It was unanimously agreed to send a letter asking each local government to justify those expenditures that are questionable and explain how they fit the language of the act.
Senator Elliott asked the committee to go on record in support of his bill dealing with tax credits in the tourism industry.
Chairman McAbee expressed disappointment over the fact that Bill Lawrence was not appointed by Governor Campbell to head PRT. He said he had received assurances from the governor's office that Mr. Lawrence's position was secure before he agreed to place PRT under direct control of the governor.
H3010 Limiting state spending to an amount not to exceed base revenue estimate
H3180 Permitting Brew Pubs
H3242 Free use of state parks facilities by aged, blind, and disabled to include free admission to parks.
H3306 Special off premise beer/wine permit/no restrictions on days/hours of sales
H3393 Reciprocal free or reduced park fees for nonresidents
H3461 Local ordinance enactment of additional accommodations tax for tourism related purposes
H3463 Scenic Highways Committee, sign removal/compensation/TODS
H3540 Require signs in restaurants designating smoking/non areas
H3626 Concurrent Resolution direct State House Tour Service to allow tours during legislative session for all without respect to age
H3648 African American Heritage Council
H3652 SC Recreational Trail Advisory Board
H3662 Free use State Parks facilities by veterans with 50% disability
H3677 Railroad Preservation & Revitalization Act
H3717 SC Amusement Rides Safety Code
H3753 Tourism Week 1993
S575 Calvin Gilmore Productions recognized as winner of Governors Cup Tourism Award
H3806 Powers of counties & municipalities/alcohol sales
H3818 Creation of special purpose tax district 1% sales tax for property tax relief and certain non-recurring governmental expenses (infrastructure, erosion control, public services)
H3889 Hospitality Cabinets (in-room mini bars)
H3890 Lodging Establishment Act
H3911 Judicial defense of govt. officials and employees
H3919 Special events sales tax return and retail license for certain retailers
H3934 Sales and Use Tax Exemptions/non-profits
H3962 Riverboat Gambling
H3967 Business License Tax Regulate Bingo games
H3968 Repeal discount for timely payment of beer/wine license taxes
H4018 Heritage Trust Program, revising permitted uses of certain preserves
H4045 Require 25% gross proceeds from sales bingo cards/entrance fees go to charity
H4111 Toll roads pay for that road only
S047 State Agency Advertising
S073 Allow for local referendum to create recreation district
S118 Bottle bill
S144 Prohibit direct/indirect use public funds to promote tax increase
S268 Exemptions to Beach Management Act
S278 Allow State Lotteries, use portion of revenue to reduce sales tax on unprepared food
S279 Allow municipalities to impose up to 2% additional accommodations tax to be used locally for tourism related purposes
S309 Age lowered to 62 from 65 for free use of state park facilities
S332 Sunday retail sale of beer/wine with optional permit
S419 Scenic Highways Committee, sign removal/compensation/TODS
S452 Allow for liquor by the drink
S474 Exceptions to activities prohibited by persons employed by or performing activities incidental to the business of selling alcoholic beverages
S494 Rails to Trails
S516 Designate the square dance as the official American Folk Dance of the State
S535 CR requests Highway Dept to provide additional traffic control support to the Grand Strand Area until better access is provided
S574 Tourism Month 1993
S646 CR requests FHA to expand the nation's interstate linkage to include construction of interstate I-73
S69 State Highway Fund to keep interest
S698 Admission Tax from new tourism facilities used for local infrastructure
S731 Alcoholic beverage sales Restaurant Row/Murrells Inlet
S753 Riverboat Gambling
S773 Lodging Establishment Act
S804 Admissions Tax, exempt country club dues
Pursuant to Section 6-4-30 of the 1991 amended Accommodations Tax Act, a South Carolina Accommodations Tax Oversight Committee was created and consists of the nine members of the Joint Legislative Committee on Tourism and Trade and the Chairman of the Cultural Affairs Committee, or the Chairman's designee. The committee must be funded with existing state resources available to the Joint Committee on Tourism and Trade. Local governments covered by this chapter must expend accommodations tax revenues pursuant to this chapter, and the committee shall: (1) serve as a resource to, answer questions of, and assist advisory committees and local governments in the implementation of the accommodations tax; (2) arrange continuing education programs or workshops for local governmental officials and advisory committee members; (3) serve as the oversight authority on questionable expenditures; (4) require that complaints relating to the accommodations tax be submitted in writing; (5) investigate and research facts on submitted complaints; (6) publish an annual report on information submitted by the local governments and regional tourism agencies covered by the act.
/s/Jennings G. McAbee /s/McKinley Washington
/s/Woody McKay /s/Dick Elliott
/s/Morgan Martin /s/Greg Smith
On motion of Rep. McABEE, the Report was ordered printed in the Journal.
The following Bills were taken up, read the third time, and ordered sent to the Senate.
H. 4350 -- Reps. Wilkins, M.O. Alexander, T.C. Alexander, Allison, Askins, J. Bailey, Baxley, Beatty, H. Brown, Carnell, Cato, Chamblee, Clyborne, Cooper, Cromer, Delleney, Elliott, Farr, Felder, Fulmer, Gamble, Gonzales, Graham, Hallman, P. Harris, Harrison, Harvin, Harwell, Haskins, Hines, Hodges, Hutson, Jennings, Keegan, Kinon, Kirsh, Klauber, Koon, Lanford, Law, Littlejohn, Marchbanks, Martin, Mattos, McAbee, McCraw, McKay, McTeer, Meacham, Neilson, Phillips, Quinn, Richardson, Riser, Robinson, Scott, Shissias, Simrill, R. Smith, D. Smith, Snow, Spearman, Stille, Stone, Stuart, Thomas, Trotter, Tucker, Vaughn, Waites, Waldrop, Walker, Whipper, D. Wilder, Wilkes, Witherspoon, Wright, A. Young, R. Young, Huff, Corning, Fair, Kelley, Davenport, Jaskwhich, Inabinett, Sharpe, J. Wilder, Harrell and Breeland: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 44-53-370, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO TRAFFICKING IN COCAINE, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A MANDATORY MINIMUM TERM OF IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE, WORK RELEASE, OR SUPERVISED FURLOUGH; TO AMEND SECTION 44-53-375, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO POSSESSION, SALE, MANUFACTURE, AND DISTRIBUTION OF ICE, CRANK, OR CRACK COCAINE, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR A MANDATORY MINIMUM TERM OF IMPRISONMENT WITHOUT PAROLE, WORK RELEASE, OR SUPERVISED FURLOUGH AND TO DEFINE PRIOR CONVICTIONS FOR PURPOSES OF SENTENCING; AND TO AMEND SECTION 16-1-60, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE LIST OF VIOLENT CRIMES, SO AS TO ADD TRAFFICKING IN CRACK COCAINE.
H. 4604 -- Rep. Boan: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 1-11-730, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ELIGIBILITY TO PARTICIPATE IN STATE HEALTH AND DENTAL INSURANCE PLANS, SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT COVERAGE FOR A RETIREE WITH AT LEAST FIVE YEARS' SERVICE UNDER A STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM IS LIMITED TO SERVICE IN A STATE-COVERED ENTITY AND TO REQUIRE THE LAST FIVE YEARS OF SUCH SERVICE TO HAVE BEEN CONSECUTIVE YEARS IN A FULL-TIME PERMANENT POSITION.
H. 4653 -- Rep. Snow: A BILL TO REPEAL SECTION 50-17-670, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO REGISTRATION NUMBERS ON LICENSED SHRIMP TRAWLERS.
H. 3673 -- Reps. Shissias, Hallman, Gonzales, Stone, Corning, Harrison, Simrill, Riser, Koon, Wells, Walker, Byrd, Meacham, Phillips, Littlejohn, Allison and Cato: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-1015, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE COUNSEL FOR AN OBLIGEE IN A CIVIL ENFORCEMENT ACTION OF A SOUTH CAROLINA CHILD SUPPORT ORDER, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROSECUTING ATTORNEY SHALL REPRESENT THE STATE RATHER THAN THE OBLIGEE IN THESE MATTERS.
H. 3674 -- Reps. Shissias, R. Smith, Hallman, Gonzales, R. Young, Simrill, Corning, Harrison, Thomas, Gamble, Riser, Wright, Koon, Neilson, Wells, Cobb-Hunter, Harrell, Stuart, Neal, Hines, J. Wilder, Waldrop, Harrelson, Walker, Allison, McElveen, Meacham, Stone, Littlejohn, Davenport, Cato and Moody-Lawrence: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-1318, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS USED IN INCOME-WITHHOLDING TO ENFORCE SUPPORT ORDERS, SO AS TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF "SUPPORT ORDER" AND TO CORRECT A CROSS-REFERENCE.
H. 3675 -- Reps. Shissias, R. Smith, R. Young, Neilson, Gonzales, Littlejohn, Simrill, Harwell, Corning, Harrison, Mattos, Gamble, Elliott, Riser, Hallman, Cobb-Hunter, Wright, Koon, Wells, J. Wilder, Houck, Harrell, Harrelson, Hines, Neal, Meacham, Byrd, Walker, Allison, Waldrop, Stone, J. Brown, Stuart, Rudnick, McElveen, Davenport and Moody-Lawrence: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-420, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE JURISDICTION OF FAMILY COURT, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT CHILD SUPPORT MUST BE ORDERED WHEN A CHILD IS PAST AGE EIGHTEEN BUT BEFORE AGE NINETEEN WHEN THE CHILD IS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND MAKING PROGRESS TOWARD COMPLETING HIGH SCHOOL AND TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS.
H. 3792 -- Rep. Shissias: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 43-5-220, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO OBTAINING SUPPORT PAYMENTS FROM ABSENT PARENTS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO PURSUE STATE AND FEDERAL TAX REFUND OFFSETS FOR DELINQUENT CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS EVEN IF PERIODIC PAYMENTS ON THE DELINQUENCY ARE BEING MADE OR EVEN IF THE DELINQUENT AMOUNT HAS BEEN PLACED IN ABEYANCE.
H. 3805 -- Rep. Shissias: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 43-5-590, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES CONCERNING THE STATE CHILD SUPPORT PLAN, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A CLERK OF COURT SHALL RECOGNIZE AN ASSIGNMENT OF THE RIGHTS TO CHILD SUPPORT UPON NOTICE OF THE ASSIGNMENT AND WITHOUT THE REQUIREMENT OF AN ORDER.
At 10:30 A.M. the House in accordance with the ruling of the SPEAKER adjourned to meet at 12:00 Noon, Tuesday, February 8.
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