Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
The House assembled at 10:00 a.m.
Deliberations were opened with prayer by Rev. Charles E. Seastrunk, Jr. as follows:
Our thought for today is from Proverbs 4:2: "I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching."
Let us pray. Lord God, You have so graciously provided this State with strong leaders. Continue to provide strength, courage and wisdom to maintain what You have begun before us. Put into the hearts and minds of these leaders to remember they work for the people of this great State. Make their mission successful. Bless our Nation, President, State, Governor and leaders. Keep our defenders of freedom in Your loving and safe care. We ask in the name of our Lord. 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.
Rep. VAUGHN moved that when the House adjourns, it adjourn in memory of Jesse E. Allen, Jr., brother of Representative Karl Allen, which was agreed to.
Rep. HARRISON, from the Committee on Judiciary, submitted a favorable report on:
H. 4421 (Word version) -- Reps. Chellis, Young, Bailey, Harrell, Harrison and Miller: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 61-6-2010, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF TEMPORARY ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE PERMITS UPON A FAVORABLE REFERENDUM VOTE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT TEMPORARY PERMITS FOR THE SALE OF BEER AND WINE FOR OFF-PREMISES CONSUMPTION AUTHORIZED TO BE ISSUED IN A COUNTY OR MUNICIPALITY PURSUANT TO THE REFERENDUM PROVIDED FOR AT THAT TIME MAY CONTINUE TO BE ISSUED OR REISSUED WITHOUT THE REQUIREMENT OF A FURTHER REFERENDUM.
Ordered for consideration tomorrow.
Rep. HARRISON, from the Committee on Judiciary, submitted a favorable report with amendments on:
S. 137 (Word version) -- Senators Hayes and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-420 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE FAMILY COURT, TO PROVIDE THAT THE FAMILY COURT MAY ORDER THAT CUSTODY OF A MINOR CHILD BE AWARDED TO THE CHILD'S DE FACTO CUSTODIAN UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; AND TO ADD SECTION 20-7-1540, TO DEFINE "DE FACTO CUSTODIAN" AND TO SPECIFY THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH CUSTODY OF A MINOR CHILD MAY BE AWARDED TO A DE FACTO CUSTODIAN.
Ordered for consideration tomorrow.
The following Bills were introduced, read the first time, and referred to appropriate committees:
H. 4739 (Word version) -- Rep. Toole: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 12-6-3367 SO AS TO ALLOW A SMALL BUSINESS AN ALTERNATE METHOD FOR CLAIMING THE TARGETED JOBS TAX CREDIT.
Referred to Committee on Ways and Means
H. 4740 (Word version) -- Reps. Ceips, E. H. Pitts, Harrison and Talley: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ENACTING THE FLOYD D. SPENCE VETERANS AND OVERSEAS ELECTORS VOTING RIGHTS ACT OF 2006, BY ADDING SECTION 7-15-465 SO AS TO ALLOW CERTAIN QUALIFIED ELECTORS LIVING OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES TO REGISTER TO VOTE, APPLY FOR A BALLOT, AND VOTE BY ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION AND PROVIDE THAT THE ELECTION COMMISSION MAY SEND AND RECEIVE VOTER REGISTRATION FORMS AND ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATIONS AND ACCEPT BALLOTS FROM ELIGIBLE ELECTORS VIA ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION; BY ADDING ARTICLES 9 AND 11 TO CHAPTER 15 OF TITLE 7 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE USE OF STATE AND FEDERAL WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOTS TO BE USED IN GENERAL, SPECIAL, PRIMARY, AND RUN-OFF ELECTIONS FOR LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL ELECTIONS, PROVIDE FOR THE ELECTRONIC TRANSMITTAL OF THE BALLOTS, PROVIDE THAT THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS DETERMINING THE FORMAT OF THE STATE WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT, PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE FOR FILLING OUT A WRITE-IN ABSENTEE BALLOT, PROVIDE CERTAIN PEOPLE WHO MAY ADMINISTER OATHS, AND PROVIDE FOR REPORTING OF THE NUMBER OF THESE BALLOTS SENT OUT AND RECEIVED; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 7-15-460 RELATING TO THE ELECTRONIC TRANSMISSION OF CERTAIN APPLICATIONS AND BALLOTS IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY.
Referred to Committee on Judiciary
The roll call of the House of Representatives was taken resulting as follows:
Agnew Allen Altman Anderson Anthony Bailey Bales Ballentine Bannister Barfield Battle Bingham Brady Branham Breeland G. Brown J. Brown R. Brown Cato Ceips Chalk Chellis Clark Clyburn Coates Coleman Cooper Dantzler Davenport Delleney Duncan Edge Frye Funderburk Govan Hagood Haley Hamilton Hardwick Harrell Harrison Harvin Herbkersman J. Hines Hinson Hiott Hodges Hosey Huggins Jefferson Jennings Kennedy Kirsh Leach Limehouse Littlejohn Loftis Mahaffey Martin McCraw McGee McLeod Merrill Miller Mitchell Norman Ott Owens Parks Perry Phillips Pinson E. H. Pitts M. A. Pitts Rhoad Rice Rivers Rutherford Sandifer Scarborough Scott Simrill Sinclair Skelton D. C. Smith F. N. Smith G. R. Smith J. R. Smith W. D. Smith Stewart Talley Taylor Thompson Toole Tripp Umphlett Vaughn Walker Whipper White Witherspoon Young
I came in after the roll call and was present for the Session on Wednesday, March 1.
James Lucas Jackie Hayes William Bowers Bill Cotty Bessie Moody-Lawrence G. Murrell Smith David Weeks David Mack Ronald Townsend Thad Viers Eldridge Emory James Neal Alan D. Clemmons Gloria Haskins James E. Smith Denny Neilson Joseph Neal Ted Vick Gilda Cobb-Hunter
Rep. VIERS signed a statement with the Clerk that he came in after the roll call of the House and was present for the Session on Tuesday, February 14.
Announcement was made that Dr. William M. Simpson, Jr. is the Doctor of the Day for the General Assembly.
In accordance with House Rule 5.2 below:
"5.2 Every bill before presentation shall have its title endorsed; every report, its title at length; every petition, memorial, or other paper, its prayer or substance; and, in every instance, the name of the member presenting any paper shall be endorsed and the papers shall be presented by the member to the Speaker at the desk.
After a bill or resolution has been presented and given first reading, no further names of co-sponsors may be added. A member may add his name to a bill or resolution or a co-sponsor of a bill or resolution may remove his name at any time prior to the bill or resolution receiving passage on second reading. The member or co-sponsor shall notify the Clerk of the House in writing of his desire to have his name added or removed from the bill or resolution. The Clerk of the House shall print the member's or co-sponsor's written notification in the House Journal. The removal or addition of a name does not apply to a bill or resolution sponsored by a committee."
Bill Number: H. 4502 (Word version)
Bill Number: H. 4503 (Word version)
Bill Number: H. 4681 (Word version)
Bill Number: H. 4737 (Word version)
03/01/06 E. H. PITTS
Bill Number: H. 4737 (Word version)
Bill Number: H. 4595 (Word version)
The following Bill was taken up:
H. 4415 (Word version) -- Rep. Davenport: A BILL TO PROVIDE THAT SPARTANBURG COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT TWO IS DIRECTED TO TRANSFER A NINE ACRE TRACT OF LAND IN SPARTANBURG COUNTY TO THE BOILING SPRINGS FIRE DISTRICT AND TO PROVIDE THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE TRANSFER.
Rep. DAVENPORT moved to table the Bill.
Rep. DAVENPORT demanded the yeas and nays which were taken, resulting as follows:
Those who voted in the affirmative are:
Anthony Davenport Littlejohn Mahaffey Mitchell Phillips W. D. Smith Talley Walker
Those who voted in the negative are:
So, the Bill was tabled.
The following Bill was taken up, read the second time, and ordered to a third reading:
H. 4738 (Word version) -- Rep. Coleman: A BILL TO AMEND ACT 1079 OF 1958, RELATING TO THE HISTORICAL COMMISSION FOR FAIRFIELD COUNTY, SO AS TO INCREASE THE SIZE OF THE COMMISSION FROM FIVE MEMBERS TO SEVEN MEMBERS AND TO REVISE THE METHOD OF THEIR APPOINTMENT.
The following Bill was taken up:
H. 4391 (Word version) -- Reps. Taylor, Bingham, Cato and Duncan: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 38-61-60 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE AN INSURANCE COMPANY TO ADVERTISE A POLICY IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE, BUT ONLY OFFER THE POLICY IN ENGLISH.
Rep. ALTMAN spoke against the Bill.
Rep. CATO spoke in favor of the Bill.
Rep. ALTMAN moved to recommit the Bill to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.
Rep. CATO moved to table the motion.
Rep. CATO demanded the yeas and nays which were taken, resulting as follows:
Those who voted in the affirmative are:
Allen Anderson Bales Ballentine Bannister Battle Bingham Brady Branham Breeland J. Brown R. Brown Cato Ceips Chalk Chellis Dantzler Emory Hagood Haley Hamilton Hardwick Harrison Harvin Hayes J. Hines Hodges Jefferson Jennings Kennedy Leach Limehouse Lucas Mack McLeod Miller Moody-Lawrence Norman Parks Perry Pinson E. H. Pitts Rice Rutherford Scarborough Skelton D. C. Smith F. N. Smith G. R. Smith J. R. Smith Stewart Thompson Viers Weeks Whipper Young
Those who voted in the negative are:
Agnew Altman Anthony Barfield Clark Coates Coleman Cooper Cotty Davenport Delleney Duncan Edge Frye Funderburk Govan Harrell Herbkersman Hinson Hiott Hosey Huggins Kirsh Littlejohn Loftis Mahaffey Martin McGee Merrill Owens Phillips M. A. Pitts Rhoad Rivers Sandifer Scott Simrill Sinclair G. M. Smith Talley Toole Townsend Umphlett Vaughn Walker White Witherspoon
So, the motion to recommit the Bill was tabled.
The Bill was read the third time and ordered sent to the Senate.
The following Bills were taken up, read the third time, and ordered sent to the Senate:
H. 4289 (Word version) -- Reps. McGee, Altman, Battle and Coates: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-7-150, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SLANDER AND LIBEL, SO AS TO DELETE THE MALICIOUS INTENT STANDARD AND PROVIDE FOR AN ACTUAL MALICE STANDARD REQUIRING KNOWLEDGE THAT A STATEMENT IS FALSE OR MADE WITH RECKLESS DISREGARD FOR WHETHER THE STATEMENT IS FALSE.
H. 4410 (Word version) -- Reps. Cotty and Brady: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 8-13-1510, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE PENALTY FOR LATE FILING OF OR FAILURE TO FILE A REPORT OR STATEMENT REQUIRED BY THE ETHICS ACT, SO AS TO CAP THE FINE AT FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
The following Bill was read the third time, passed and, having received three readings in both Houses, it was ordered that the title be changed to that of an Act, and that it be enrolled for ratification:
S. 1136 (Word version) -- Senators Knotts, Cromer, Setzler and Courson: A BILL TO AMEND ACT 378 OF 2004, THE LEXINGTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT PROPERTY RELIEF ACT, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE REVENUES ALLOTTED TO A SCHOOL DISTRICT BE USED TO PROVIDE A NONREFUNDABLE CREDIT AGAINST THE SCHOOL PROPERTY TAX LIABILITY ON PROPERTY TAXABLE IN THE DISTRICT AND THAT THE LIABILITY BE DETERMINED BY USING THE APPRAISED VALUE OF THE TAXABLE PROPERTY BEFORE THE HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION IN SECTION 12-37-250.
Rep. G. M. SMITH moved to adjourn debate upon the following Bill until Tuesday, March 7, which was adopted:
H. 4671 (Word version) -- Reps. G. M. Smith, Delleney and Harrison: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 1-23-600, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO HEARINGS AND PROCEEDINGS THAT AN ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE SHALL PRESIDE OVER, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT EXCLUDES CERTAIN MOTOR VEHICLE RELATED HEARINGS AND PROCEEDINGS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE CLERK OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT MUST FILE A CERTIFIED COPY OF A FINAL ORDER WITH A CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO PROVIDE THIS ORDER HAS THE SAME EFFECT AS A JUDGMENT OF THE COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 1-23-660, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS, SO AS TO GIVE THE CHIEF JUDGE OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT THE AUTHORITY TO PROMULGATE RULES GOVERNING THE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURES BEFORE THE DIVISION WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY THE SUPREME COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-10, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS OF TERMS CONTAINED IN THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES, SO AS TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS FOR CERTAIN TERMS THAT RELATE TO THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-370, RELATING TO THE REVIEW OF THE CANCELLATION, SUSPENSION, OR REVOCATION OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT ALLOWS THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES TO CONDUCT THE REVIEW AND PROVIDE THAT THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS SHALL CONDUCT THESE PROCEEDINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-410, RELATING TO THE JUDICIAL REVIEW OF A DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES ORDER THAT CANCELS, SUSPENDS, OR REVOKES A DRIVER'S LICENSE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISIONS THAT RELATE TO THE REVIEW OF A DECISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE REVIEW OF A DECISION ISSUED BY A HEARING OFFICER OF THE DECISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-1030, RELATING TO THE REVOCATION OF THE DRIVER'S LICENSE OF A HABITUAL OFFENDER, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A REVOCATION PROCEEDING MUST BE CONDUCTED BEFORE THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 56-1-1090, RELATING TO THE ISSUANCE OF A LICENSE TO A HABITUAL OFFENDER, SO AS TO DELETE THE TERMS "DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES" AND "MAGISTRATE" AND SUBSTITUTE THEM FOR THE TERMS "HEARING OFFICER" AND "ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE", AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PETITION TO OBTAIN A DRIVER'S LICENSE PURSUANT TO THIS PROVISION MUST BE FILED WITH THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS; TO AMEND SECTION 56-5-2951, RELATING TO THE SUSPENSION OF A PERSON'S DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR HIS REFUSAL TO SUBMIT TO TESTING FOR CERTAIN LEVELS OF ALCOHOL CONCENTRATION, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS THAT ARE CONDUCTED PURSUANT TO THIS PROVISION MUST BE CONDUCTED BY A HEARING OFFICER OF THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS AND REVIEWED BY THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE ARRESTING LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR DATA MASTER OPERATOR IS A PARTY OF RECORD IN ALL HEARINGS CONDUCTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 56-9-363, RELATING TO AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING TO CHALLENGE THE SUSPENSION OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE HEARING MUST BE CONDUCTED BEFORE THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS WITH APPEALS FILED WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT; TO AMEND SECTION 56-15-350, RELATING TO THE DENIAL, SUSPENSION, OR REVOCATION OF A DRIVER'S LICENSE BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A LICENSEE MAY HAVE THIS DECISION REVIEWED BY THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 56-5-2952, RELATING TO THE FILING FEE FOR AN ADMINISTRATIVE HEARING; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 56-9-320, RELATING TO JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ORDERS OR ACTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES.
The following Bill was taken up, read the third time, and ordered sent to the Senate:
H. 3573 (Word version) -- Reps. Clark, Haley, Ballentine, Moody-Lawrence, Anthony, R. Brown, Clyburn, Frye, Hosey, Huggins, Mack, Mahaffey, J. H. Neal, J. M. Neal, Rice, D. C. Smith, J. R. Smith, Townsend, Vaughn, Walker, Vick, Duncan and Altman: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 2 TO CHAPTER 63 OF TITLE 59 SO AS TO ENACT THE "SAFE SCHOOLS ACT" TO PREVENT SCHOOL HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, OR BULLYING, TO INSTRUCT LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO ADOPT A POLICY PROHIBITING HARASSMENT, INTIMIDATION, OR BULLYING THAT INCLUDES CERTAIN THINGS, TO DEVELOP A TRAINING PROCESS, AND TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS.
The motion period was dispensed with on motion of Rep. VAUGHN.
Rep. HARRISON moved to adjourn debate upon the following Joint Resolution until Tuesday, March 7, which was adopted:
H. 4502 (Word version) -- Reps. Edge, Harrison, Harrell, Merrill, Young, Bingham, Bailey, Loftis, Perry, Haskins, Witherspoon, Cato, Vaughn, Altman, Sandifer, G. R. Smith, Walker, Jefferson, Ott, Mack, Vick, Clemmons, Bales, Clark, Simrill, Viers and Duncan: A JOINT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO ARTICLE I, SECTIONS 13 AND 17, AND ARTICLE XIV, SECTION 5 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, TO CONSOLIDATE IN ARTICLE I, SECTION 13 PROVISIONS FOR THE EXERCISE OF THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN BY PUBLIC BODIES OF THIS STATE BY AMENDING ARTICLE I, SECTION 17, RELATING TO TREASON AND THE EXERCISE OF THE POWERS OF EMINENT DOMAIN BY OR WITHIN SUMTER AND CHEROKEE COUNTIES, BY DELETING THE SECOND AND THIRD UNDESIGNATED PARAGRAPHS RELATING TO THE EXERCISE OF THE POWERS OF EMINENT DOMAIN BY OR WITHIN SUMTER AND CHEROKEE COUNTIES, AND BY AMENDING ARTICLE XIV TO DELETE SECTION 5 OF THAT ARTICLE, RELATING TO THE EXERCISE OF THE POWER OF EMINENT DOMAIN BY OR WITHIN SPARTANBURG, YORK, FLORENCE, GREENVILLE, CHARLESTON, RICHLAND, AND LAURENS COUNTIES; TO PROVIDE FURTHER THAT PRIVATE PROPERTY MUST NOT BE TAKEN IF AT THE TIME OF THE CONDEMNATION THE PUBLIC BODY CONDEMNING THE PROPERTY INTENDS TO CONVEY ANY INTEREST IN THE REAL PROPERTY TO ANOTHER PRIVATE PARTY WITH SPECIFIED EXCEPTIONS, AND TO PROVIDE FOR JUST COMPENSATION FOR THE OWNER OF REAL PROPERTY IF A LAND USE LAW REDUCES ITS FAIR MARKET VALUE.
Rep. HARRISON moved to adjourn debate upon the following Bill until Tuesday, March 7, which was adopted:
H. 4503 (Word version) -- Reps. Edge, Harrison, Harrell, Merrill, Bingham, Young, Loftis, Perry, Haskins, Witherspoon, Bailey, Cato, Vaughn, Altman, Sandifer, G. R. Smith, Walker, Jefferson, Mack, Vick, Hardwick, Clemmons, Bales, Neilson, Mahaffey, Clark, Simrill, Viers and Duncan: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO REFORM CERTAIN EMINENT DOMAIN PROCEDURES BY ADDING SECTION 4-9-32 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR PROCEDURES REQUIRED OF A COUNTY BEFORE IT MAY EXERCISE EMINENT DOMAIN; BY ADDING SECTIONS 28-2-65 AND 28-2-67 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE OWNER OF CONDEMNED PROPERTY HAS THE RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL TO REDEEM HIS PROPERTY IF THE CONDEMNING ENTITY DOES NOT USE THE PROPERTY FOR THE INTENDED PUBLIC USE OR IT CONTEMPLATES A SALE TO ANOTHER PARTY; BY ADDING SECTION 28-3-25 SO AS TO REQUIRE WRITTEN APPROVAL BEFORE CERTAIN PUBLIC BODIES MAY EXERCISE EMINENT DOMAIN; BY ADDING CHAPTER 4 TO TITLE 28 SO AS TO ENACT THE "JUST COMPENSATION FOR LAND USE RESTRICTIONS ACT" PROVIDING A PROCESS FOR CALCULATING AND OBTAINING JUST COMPENSATION WHEN A LAND USE REGULATION AFFECTS A LAND'S VALUE; BY ADDING SECTION 31-7-26 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE TAX INCREMENT FINANCING ACT (TIF) FOR COUNTIES DOES NOT APPLY TO AGRICULTURAL REAL PROPERTY; TO AMEND SECTION 4-9-30, RELATING TO A COUNTY'S AUTHORITY TO EXERCISE EMINENT DOMAIN, SO AS TO LIMIT THE EXERCISE OF EMINENT DOMAIN FOR SLUM CLEARANCE AND REDEVELOPMENT OF A BLIGHTED AREA BY A COUNTY; TO AMEND SECTION 5-7-50, RELATING TO A MUNICIPALITY'S AUTHORITY TO EXERCISE EMINENT DOMAIN, SO AS TO LIMIT THE EXERCISE OF EMINENT DOMAIN FOR SLUM CLEARANCE AND REDEVELOPMENT OF A BLIGHTED AREA AND TO PROVIDE REQUIRED PROCEDURES BEFORE THE EXERCISE; TO AMEND SECTION 28-2-30, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS FOR PURPOSES OF EXERCISING EMINENT DOMAIN, SO AS TO DEFINE "BLIGHTED", "JUST COMPENSATION", AND "PUBLIC USE"; TO AMEND SECTIONS 28-3-20 AND 28-3-30, BOTH RELATING TO STATE AUTHORITIES WITH EMINENT DOMAIN POWER, SO AS TO SPECIFY PUBLIC ENTITIES OTHER THAN COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES INCLUDING CERTAIN INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER LEARNING, THE STATE PORTS AUTHORITY, AND THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION; TO AMEND SECTION 31-7-30, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO TIF FOR COUNTIES, SO AS TO DEFINE "AGRICULTURAL REAL PROPERTY" AND "BLIGHTED"; BY ADDING SECTION 6-33-25, RELATING TO TIF FOR MUNICIPALITIES, SO AS TO EXCLUDE AGRICULTURAL PROPERTY FROM ITS PROVISIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 6-33-30, RELATING TO TIF FOR MUNICIPALITIES, SO AS TO DEFINE "AGRICULTURAL REAL PROPERTY" AND "BLIGHTED"; BY ADDING SECTION 31-6-25, RELATING TO TIF FOR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, SO AS TO EXCLUDE AGRICULTURAL PROPERTY FROM ITS PROVISIONS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 31-6-30, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO TIF FOR REDEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, SO AS TO REDEFINE "AGRICULTURAL REAL PROPERTY" AND "BLIGHTED" AREAS.
Rep. CATO moved to adjourn debate upon the following Bill until Thursday, March 2, which was adopted:
H. 4595 (Word version) -- Reps. Cato, Walker, Jennings, Battle, Cobb-Hunter, Sandifer, Haley, Kennedy, Bales, Ballentine, Branham, Emory, Hayes, J. Hines, Littlejohn, Mahaffey, Miller, Neilson, Rivers, Sinclair, Umphlett and Vick: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 40-59-35 SO AS TO PROHIBIT A PERSON FROM ENGAGING IN THE BUSINESS OF RESIDENTIAL HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING CONTRACTING UNLESS LICENSED AS A RESIDENTIAL SPECIALTY CONTRACTOR; TO PROHIBIT PROVIDING A POTENTIAL BUYER A PROPOSAL FOR SALE OR INSTALLATION OF RESIDENTIAL HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING, OTHER THAN A WRITTEN ESTIMATE, BEFORE THE SPECIFICATIONS FOR THE SYSTEM HAVE BEEN REVIEWED AND APPROVED BY A LICENSED EMPLOYEE OF THE RETAIL SELLER, OR THE RETAIL SELLER; TO FURTHER SPECIFY CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SALE AND INSTALLATION OF A HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM; AND TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION TO PROMULGATE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING A CIVIL PENALTY FOR VIOLATIONS.
Rep. VAUGHN moved to adjourn debate upon the following Bill until Tuesday, March 7, which was adopted:
H. 4356 (Word version) -- Reps. Mack and Cobb-Hunter: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 7-13-110, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO POLL MANAGERS AND ASSISTANTS, SO AS TO ALLOW A SIXTEEN-YEAR-OLD PERSON TO BE IN CHARGE OF A POLLING PLACE WHILE UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF AN ADULT POLL MANAGER, AND TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT ONE SIXTEEN- OR SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD PERSON MAY BE APPOINTED TO A PRECINCT FOR EVERY TWO REGULAR POLL MANAGERS.
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., February 28, 2006
The COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE, to whom was referred: (Doc No. H:\council\bbm\9297HTC06.doc)
S. 1026 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Leventis, Setzler, Rankin, McGill, Short, Martin, Sheheen, Alexander, Anderson, Bryant, Campsen, Cleary, Courson, Cromer, Drummond, Elliott, Fair, Ford, Gregory, Grooms, Hawkins, Hayes, Hutto, Jackson, Knotts, Land, Lourie, Malloy, Matthews, McConnell, Mescher, Moore, O'Dell, Patterson, Peeler, Pinckney, Reese, Richardson, Ritchie, Ryberg, Scott, J. V. Smith, Thomas, Verdin and Williams: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROPRIATE FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE STATE TO THE STATE'S GENERAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT FISCAL YEAR 2004-2005 SURPLUS REVENUES IN THE AMOUNT OF $104,934,400 FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREVENTING AN ACCUMULATED GENERALLY ACCEPTED ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES (GAAP) GENERAL FUND DEFICIT
Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:
That the same do pass with the following amendments:
Amend the joint resolution, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:
/ SECTION 1. (A) There is appropriated from fiscal year 2004-2005 state general fund surplus revenues to the state's General Deposit Account an amount equal to $104,934,400 for the purpose of preventing an accumulated Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) deficit in the general fund of the State in the amount of the funds appropriated. The Comptroller General shall adjust the state's accounts as appropriate to reflect this appropriation.
(B) There is appropriated from fiscal year 2004-2005 state general fund surplus revenues to the State Department of Education an amount equal to $13,094,604 for school bus operations, to include the purchase of bus parts and fuel for the school bus fleet. Funds appropriated pursuant to this subsection not expended before July 1, 2006, must be carried forward into the succeeding fiscal year and used for the same purposes.
SECTION 2. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor. /
Amend title to read:
/ TO APPROPRIATE FROM THE GENERAL FUND OF THE STATE TO THE STATE'S GENERAL DEPOSIT ACCOUNT FISCAL YEAR 2004-2005 SURPLUS REVENUES IN THE AMOUNT OF $104,934,400 FOR THE PURPOSE OF PREVENTING AN ACCUMULATED GENERALLY ACCEPTED ACCOUNTING PRINCIPLES (GAAP) GENERAL FUND DEFICIT AND TO APPROPRIATE FROM THE SAME SOURCE $13,094,604 TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION FOR PARTS AND FUEL FOR THE SCHOOL BUS FLEET. /
Hugh K. Leatherman Daniel T. Cooper J. Yancey McGill Herb Kirsh Lawrence K. Grooms Shirley R. Hinson On Part of the Senate. On Part of the House.
Rep. COOPER explained the Conference Report.
The Conference Report was adopted and a message was ordered sent to the Senate accordingly.
Rep. COOPER moved that the House recede until 11:45 a.m., which was agreed to.
At 11:45 a.m. the House resumed, the SPEAKER in 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 House read the following Concurrent Resolution:
H. 4441 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrell, Harrison, Agnew, Allen, Altman, Anderson, Anthony, Bailey, Bales, Ballentine, Bannister, Barfield, Battle, Bingham, Bowers, Brady, Branham, Breeland, G. Brown, J. Brown, R. Brown, Cato, Ceips, Chalk, Chellis, Clark, Clemmons, Clyburn, Coates, Cobb-Hunter, Coleman, Cooper, Cotty, Dantzler, Davenport, Delleney, Duncan, Edge, Emory, Frye, Funderburk, Govan, Hagood, Haley, Hamilton, Hardwick, Haskins, Hayes, Herbkersman, J. Hines, M. Hines, Hinson, Hiott, Hodges, Hosey, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Jennings, Kennedy, Kirsh, Leach, Limehouse, Littlejohn, Loftis, Lucas, Mack, Mahaffey, Martin, McCraw, McGee, McLeod, Merrill, Miller, Mitchell, Moody-Lawrence, J. H. Neal, J. M. Neal, Neilson, Norman, Ott, Owens, Parks, Perry, Phillips, Pinson, E. H. Pitts, M. A. Pitts, Rhoad, Rice, Rivers, Rutherford, Sandifer, Scarborough, Scott, Simrill, Sinclair, Skelton, D. C. Smith, F. N. Smith, G. M. Smith, G. R. Smith, J. E. Smith, J. R. Smith, W. D. Smith, Stewart, Talley, Taylor, Thompson, Toole, Townsend, Tripp, Umphlett, Vaughn, Vick, Viers, Walker, Weeks, Whipper, White, Whitmire, Witherspoon and Young: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO INVITE THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT, THE HONORABLE JEAN HOEFER TOAL, TO ADDRESS THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN JOINT SESSION ON THE STATE OF THE JUDICIARY AT 12:00 NOON ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 2006.
Chief Justice Toal and her distinguished party were escorted to the rostrum by Senators Malloy, Setzler, Leatherman, Hayes, Sheheen and Hawkins and Representatives COTTY, FUNDERBURK, ALTMAN, MCGEE and F. N. SMITH.
Lieutenant Governor Bauer, President Pro Tempore McConnell, SPEAKER HARRELL, Speaker Pro Tempore SMITH, Members of the Joint Assembly, my brothers and sisters of the South Carolina Judiciary, ladies and gentlemen:
This fall, our court family's heart was broken by the tragic death - while on duty - of Circuit Judge Marc Westbrook and his law clerk Randall Davis. Marc was a seminary student who became a lawyer. He loved his Lord, his family, the law, Lexington County and the Gamecocks.
He was the youngest person ever to chair Lexington County Council. He then served in this House for six years, as a Family Court Judge for nine years and as a Circuit Court Judge for 11 years.
He was my right hand man in promoting court technology, alternate dispute resolution, judicial training and drug courts. He served many assignments as an Acting Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court. Marc was at the top of his game. His future might have included a seat on the Supreme Court or a return to elective politics. At the time of his death, he was active in numerous community and music ministry endeavors and was enrolled in classes at the Lutheran Seminary.
When the judicial history of South Carolina is recorded, the name of Marc H. Westbrook will be writ large as one of South Carolina's greatest judges. Marc's life was, simply put, a life well and decently lived.
He is survived by his college sweetheart and life partner, Linda, his sons Thad and Richard, and his beloved granddaughter, Abby. It is fitting that the Lexington County Courthouse will be renamed the Westbrook Judicial Center in his honor.
Judicial Independence in America Highlighted by the Process of Federal Judicial Selection
The retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, in the midst of the confirmation process for Justice O'Connor's replacement, gave Americans a rare opportunity to glimpse into the very soul of the institutions of American justice.
Twice in recent months, in an ornate hearing room in Washington, D.C. - the space occupied by the United States Senate Judiciary Committee - the lights, the cameras, and the sharply focused questions presented a drama to be observed by the nation and a grueling experience to be endured by our 17th Chief Justice, John Roberts and by Associate Justice Samuel Alito.
The hearings captured the attention of a nation that has been battered by natural disasters and the violence inflicted by insurgents and terrorists.
Citizens kept vigil at the committee hearing room, civics classrooms engaged in debate inspired by the proceedings, commuters scanned radio dials, and office workers watched the uniquely American process on the Internet.
Indeed some questions posed to the nominees proved the speculation: Judge Roberts and Judge Alito would be asked to answer questions that have not in the past, and should not now, be answered. But something else was occurring in the hearing room.
The cameras captured a broader picture of the American judiciary - exploring the appropriate role of the judiciary in a constitutional democracy, the balance of power among the three branches of government, the role of precedent in the creation of common law, judicial codes of conduct, the role of courts in protecting the liberties announced in the Bill of Rights, and judicial temperament.
The senate hearing room was a national classroom. In some sense, all of us were in that Senate hearing room. The fundamental questions posed by senators, the truly appropriate questions, are answered every day in courtrooms across this country.
And the level of attention to the hearings indicated that America's citizens continue to believe the courts are the preferred forum for settling their disputes.
South Carolinians were enormously proud of the leadership role of our senior Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who observed, "most people get it. They do not want to take their case to a judge who is perceived as liberal or conservative." Senator Graham urged that Americans want someone who is right and fair. Here is how Senator Graham described the ideal American court in an address to the American Bar Association just before the Roberts confirmation hearings began:
"(It) doesn't matter who you are, how much money you make, whether you're popular or not, it is a place where you can have your day and politics would never give you your day. It's a place where the unpopular can be heard, whether they be shut out in the political process. It's a place where the weak can take on the strong. And whatever political differences we have ... need to be parked at the courthouse door."
The selection of Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito demonstrated that our federal judicial selection system works to produce the best of the best.
The political stability of our democracy is a beacon of light to the world.
Now what is our governmental mission here at home?
The executive, legislative and judicial branches must have the kind of cooperative relationship that enables us to provide for the safety and security of our citizens.
The health of each of our branches depends on public acceptance of our authority and public confidence that we are exercising our authority fairly.
Judicial selection continues to be an important way of building public trust and confidence in a just system.
In each of my "State of the Judiciary" addresses, I have discussed our system of judicial selection. Every national meeting I attend deepens my conviction that South Carolina's basic system of legislative selection is a vast improvement over the selection methods in most states, which are money driven and influence tainted.
We have had judicial independence in South Carolina, the hallmark of the stability of the rule of law, because of our method of judicial selection by the General Assembly. But no system is perfect, and ours has the flaw that although it reflects, fairly closely, the diversity percentages within South Carolina's licensed lawyers, it does not represent the diversity of South Carolina's population.
The chart I am now showing illustrates what I'm saying. South Carolina's population is 51% women and 30% African American. Our lawyer population is 27% women and 5% African American. Judges are 17% women and 6% African American.
This is a problem of educating more minority lawyers, as well as an issue about the method of judicial screening and selection. I know each of you will work to ensure that our judicial officers reflect the face of South Carolina.
Circuit Realignment: New Judges
It has been 11 years since the South Carolina General Assembly created any new judicial positions at the trial level.
I urge this General Assembly to pass legislation now in each body which would create 3 new Circuit Judge and 3 new Family Court Judge positions. The costs are shown on my chart. I would suggest the positions be created now, to take effect next year with elections, and installation at the beginning of the following fiscal year.
South Carolina has, per capita, the highest caseload on the trial bench of any state system in the country--more than double the national average.
That said, I proudly report that streamlining with increased use of technology and reengineering our business process has kept case backlog fairly stable, but I fear for the future as civil filings for the last three years have increased by almost 20 percent.
The loser in our overworked system is the quality of the hearings given to our litigants. Family Court is an assembly line. Temporary hearings are generally conducted on paper filings without live testimony. We simply do not have the docket space. Child support, abuse and neglect cases take up an enormous part of our docket. General Sessions and the criminal dockets in Circuit Court continue to rise. South Carolina ranks among the highest in the nation in per capita violent crime and criminal domestic violence.
I won't hammer you on this issue. I am extremely grateful for the consideration the Judicial branch has received from this General Assembly.
Our current base in state appropriations is $10 million less than it was five years ago when I became your chief. We have added fees and federal funds to attempt to make up the difference. The support of former Senator Fritz Hollings and Senator Lindsey Graham has been crucial in keeping our court system viable.
State Salary Study
As the business manager of one of the three branches of government, I am acutely aware that the State has not conducted a comprehensive salary study since I was in the General Assembly 19 years ago.
Sound business practices and the move to restructuring necessitate a comprehensive study of compensation in all three branches, including constitutional officers, however restructured.
I will work with the leadership of each branch to establish, funded without state appropriations, to conduct such a study and make recommendations to all three branches.
Family Court Reform
This fall, Senator Jim Ritchie chaired a Senate Judiciary Committee task force charged with making the first comprehensive study of the Family Court since its creation in the late 1970s. Hearings were conducted in Columbia and throughout the State. Litigants, lawyers, social services agencies, advocacy groups, judges and citizens were heard for many months.
The committee has come forward with a variety of recommendations which are being considered in the Senate now. I want to focus on two proposals which I believe have great potential.
When the South Carolina Statewide Family Court was created in 1977, it was a model for the nation - a court specialized in divorce, alimony, equitable division of marital property, child custody and visitation and adjudication of criminal offenses committed by juveniles. Today, Family Court is so inundated with cases that judges have on average 20 minutes per case to make decisions which have permanent impact on a child, on a parent, on a family. The child support enforcement cases alone take up a day of every five available for court hearings.
The vast majority of child support cases involve actions brought by DSS. The support ordered goes to DSS to offset its TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) payments to custodial parents on public assistance. Federal funding requirements mandate that DSS bring these collection actions or lose federal dollars.
Our Family Court system is drowning in these cases and in DSS abuse and neglect cases. Some of the biggest complaints about Family Court come from individuals involved in divorce, child custody and visitation and alimony cases who cannot get an adequate or timely hearing.
I proposed, and the Ritchie Commission recommended, creation of a pilot program to use volunteer lawyers as hearing officers. These volunteer lawyers would work, pro bono, for free. They would be assigned the more routine matters - such as DSS child support enforcement cases.
I would like to be authorized to experiment with this idea for two years. If it works, you can consider a more permanent solution.
Many matters in Family Court are not only not resolved by the adversary court process, they are made worse. Mediation is a way of trying, on the front end, with a trained dispute resolution specialist mediator, to resolve some or all of these issues. Mediation is particularly useful in child custody and visitation matters. All parties would be required to go through mediation. If they could not come to agreement, the case would go back on the trial roster. Some funding would be needed, but I believe the returns in time saved and in human anguish alleviated would be enormous.
Sentencing in the United States is a national disgrace. In his address to the American Bar Association two years ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy issued the call for sentencing reform. Former Speaker David Wilkins advocated sentencing reform for our State throughout his career. The prison population in our country has increased six fold from 1970-2000. This is a huge drain on state and local resources.
In the mid 1990s, our sister State of North Carolina took a long, hard look at its sentencing structure. It looked at truth in sentencing. Sometimes with good time credit, parole eligibility and the like, only the prisoners themselves understand what a sentence really means. North Carolina took four years to revamp their system. The result: violent prisoners are sentenced and serving longer time. Non-violent are serving shorter time. Total prison population and total state and local costs in North Carolina are decreasing.
I will be asking you and the executive branch to join in a policy summit to examine this issue.
The cornerstone of my management plan for our court system has been to utilize high-speed internet based connectivity to improve court operations and enhance public access. The basic building block was to develop web sites for each county's clerk of court and get all judges from magistrate through the Supreme Court on reliable high-speed internet access.
This goal has being achieved. The system is now used for court docket management, distribution of forms and law research access. But efforts now go far beyond the courts.
Our statewide technology initiatives for this year are:
1) To establish high-speed connectivity for every county court system. We are focusing on developing countywide area networks in the most rural counties in South Carolina; and
2) To streamline and standardize court processes such as expungement and pre-trial intervention; and
3) To continue to deploy our case management system.
Results to date:
The Statewide Court Case Management System is complete in Greenville, Pickens, Richland and York. We are in the process of installing in Beaufort, Jasper and Sumter. We will move this summer to Charleston and Horry. We could be 45 percent complete by the end of this year and totally deployed by 2008. This project has been funded almost entirely by federal money and is recognized as a national model.
Our court case management also involves modernizing the way the 16 circuit solicitors - our state prosecutors - function. Our solicitors control the docket in this State and I support the continuation of this system, but the day of managing dockets by roll call must go by the way of the buggy whip. Both defendants out on bond and jailed defendants awaiting trial, must have set time frames for disposition of their case. Public safety, victim accountability, and reducing the county costs of jailing defendants awaiting trial demand it.
The solicitors of South Carolina are each completely committed to the differentiated case management system, and I have obtained federal grants which we used to design and deploy an automated case management system for solicitors at no cost to their counties other than maintenance. This system is completed in Greenville, Pickens, York and Union.
We are now in the process of installing the solicitors system in Charleston, Berkeley, Anderson, and Oconee. We will move next to Lexington, Edgefield, McCormick and Saluda and then to Greenwood, Laurens, Newberry and Abbeville. We also hope to complete installation of this system by 2008.
The tragedies of the Atlanta courthouse murders and Hurricane Katrina have resulted in a national focus on security in our courtrooms and disaster recovery.
My response has been to work with SLED Chief Robert Stewart in assembling a State Courthouse Security Task Force. We have surveyed security in every location in South Carolina where court is held from magistrates and city court to the county courthouse. We are now developing a series of standard operating procedures for counties to use as a guideline in developing a local court security plan.
Costs are being identified to provide minimum security needs in the courtrooms of South Carolina.
I'd like to highlight South Carolina courts and lawyers who make a national impact.
Our beloved State has an amazing impact nationally in the legal arena.
This past July, for the first time since the 1960s, South Carolina hosted the national annual meeting of the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators in Charleston. Rosalyn Frierson and I, as the top court officials of our State, told the South Carolina story - of how a small, rural State with scarce resources is leading the nation in developing an internet based platform for managing court business. We showcased the proficiency of clerks, magistrates, judges, law enforcement and others from the smallest to the largest venues in our State. We changed a lot of assumptions about our courts and our people.
Our former Speaker, David Wilkins, a proud South Carolina lawyer, is representing the United States in the most important post of Ambassador to Canada. Reggie Lloyd who made South Carolina history 2 years ago as the youngest Circuit Court Judge ever, is making history again as the first ever African American U.S. Attorney for South Carolina. Kaye Hearn, Chief of our Court of Appeals, is the National President of the Council of Chief Judges of Courts of Appeal. Attorney I. S. Leevy Johnson is President of the American Bar Endowment. Attorney Pamela Roberts chairs the ABA Commission on Women in the profession. Attorney Ken Suggs is President of the American Trial Lawyers Association. Attorney David Dukes is President of the Defense Research Institute for Defense Trial Lawyers.
Quite an outstanding record of American legal leadership from our State.
So let me quickly recap the proposals I've made to you today:
Funding - For this year, I entreat you not to make any cuts in the modest Judicial Department requests now pending before the House Ways and Means subcommittee and the Senate Finance Committee. Even if all our requests are granted, the third branch of government will receive less than 1 percent of state revenues. For long term, I hope we can find a more stable way of funding our court system.
New Judges - I urgently request that you pass the bill creating 3 new Circuit Judges and 3 new Family Court Judges, and that you screen and elect them by the close of the next legislative session.
Family Court Reform - Our Family Court dockets are in crisis. I urge you to allow me to use experienced lawyers as pro bono volunteer special hearing officers, to relieve the backlog. I also ask you to approve and fund mandatory mediation in Family Court.
State Salary Study - I request you to join with me in creating a Judicial, Legislative, and Executive salary study.
Sentencing - I will ask you to participate in a broad policy summit on sentencing in South Carolina so that we can begin the conversation on this issue.
Courtroom Security - When Chief Stewart and I complete our courtroom security inventory, we will be asking for your help in providing safe courtrooms in South Carolina and sensible plans for emergency preparedness and disaster recovery for our courts.
The Judicial Selection System for South Carolina will continue to be strengthened and improved, but you can rest assured that your votes for judges have created a judiciary whose integrity and work ethic are nationally acclaimed.
By any yardstick, my brothers and sisters who wear the robe and all who work for the courts of South Carolina are the finest in America.
May I present the South Carolina Supreme Court: Justice Jim Moore, Justice E. C. Burnett, Justice Costa Pleicones. We rejoice that Justice Waller will return to us next week after successful completion of major knee surgery.
May I present the South Carolina Court of Appeals: Chief Judge Kaye Hearn, Judge Bert Goolsby, Judge Sam Stillwell, Judge Tommy Huff, Judge Ralph Anderson, Judge Don Beatty, Judge John Kittredge, Judge Paul Short, Judge Bruce Williams, and Senior Judge Jasper Cureton.
Will all judges and court staff present please stand and receive the Joint Assembly's recognition?
I always close by reminding myself and you of the bright South Carolina future we all work so hard to promote.
Here's my family's future: my grandson Patrick and his Big Mama are plotting an Olympic bobsled run.
Thank you for your generous attention and God bless the great State of South Carolina.
Upon conclusion of her address, Chief Justice Toal and her 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 12:41 p.m. the House resumed, the SPEAKER in the Chair.
Rep. HAMILTON moved that the House do now adjourn, which was agreed to.
At 12:42 p.m. the House, in accordance with the motion of Rep. VAUGHN, adjourned in memory of Jesse E. Allen, Jr., brother of Representative Karl Allen, to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
This web page was last updated on Wednesday, June 24, 2009 at 9:41 A.M.