South Carolina General Assembly
117th Session, 2007-2008
Journal of the Senate

Thursday, April 26, 2007
(Statewide Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 11:00 A.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the PRESIDENT.

A quorum being present, the proceedings were opened with a devotion by the Chaplain as follows:

As the account is recorded in Exodus:

"When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, 'Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him'."
(Exodus 32:1)

Please, bow in prayer with me, friends:

The people of old became anxious and impatient, O God. They wanted good results right away. They were not willing to pay the price, to be certain of the direction that You, dear Lord, wanted them to take. The truth is, we often find ourselves in situations similar to theirs. So all the more, O Lord, do we thank You for enabling this Senate to make it successfully through the past few days of budget debate. Now, as to those many down-to-earth issues that remain, grant these Senators and their staff members an openness to view things with fresh, sharp eyes, so that the results will be a blessing to fellow South Carolinians everywhere. And as always, to You be the glory, dear Lord.
Amen.

The PRESIDENT called for Petitions, Memorials, Presentments of Grand Juries and such like papers.

REGULATION WITHDRAWN

Document No. 2927
Agency: Department of Health and Environmental Control
SUBJECT: The Practice of Selling and Fitting Hearing Aids
Received by Lieutenant Governor January 20, 2005
Referred to Medical Affairs Committee
Legislative Review Expiration May 20, 2005
Revised: June 4, 2005 (Subject to Sine Die Revision)
120 Day Period Tolled
Permanently Withdrawn April 23, 2007

Privilege of the Chamber

On motion of Senator KNOTTS, Chairman of the Committee on Invitations, and Senator FAIR, on behalf of the Committee of Corrections and Penology Committee, the Privilege of the Chamber to that area behind the rail was extended to Bishop Preston Warren Williams II and his wife, Wilma Williams, to honor his service with the Global Council of Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator HUTTO rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator COURSON rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

S. 90 (Word version) -- Senators Campsen, Ryberg, Vaughn, McConnell, Courson, Ritchie and Knotts: A BILL TO ENACT THE TAXPAYER INFLATION PROTECTION ACT BY AMENDING SECTION 12-6-520, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ANNUAL INFLATION ADJUSTMENTS TO STATE INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAX BRACKETS, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION LIMITING THE INFLATION ADJUSTMENT TO ONE-HALF OF THE ACTUAL INFLATION RATE AND THE OVERALL FOUR PERCENT LIMIT ON THE TOTAL INFLATION ADJUSTMENT, AND TO DELETE REDUNDANT LANGUAGE.

On motion of Senator BRYANT, with unanimous consent, the name of Senator BRYANT was added as a co-sponsor of S. 90.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

The following were introduced:

S. 718 (Word version) -- Senator McConnell: A JOINT RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 7, ARTICLE X OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE STATE AND ITS POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS TO HAVE BUDGET PROCESSES DESIGNED TO KEEP REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES IN BALANCE, THE LIMITATION ON STATE APPROPRIATIONS, AND THE LIMITATIONS ON STATE EMPLOYEES, SO AS TO DELETE THE EXISTING STATE SPENDING LIMITATION AND REQUIRE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO REPLACE IT BY A LAW PROVIDING A LIMIT ON STATE SPENDING FOR A FISCAL YEAR THAT EQUALS THE TOTAL OF STATE APPROPRIATIONS IN THE PRIOR YEAR INCREASED BY THE TOTAL PERCENTAGE OF INCREASES IN STATE PERSONAL INCOME AND STATE POPULATION IN THE MOST RECENT YEAR FOR WHICH THIS INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE AND PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ENACTING THIS LIMIT SHALL DEFINE THE APPROPRIATIONS TO WHICH THE LIMIT APPLIES, AND THE METHOD OF AND SOURCES FOR CALCULATING THE LIMIT.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 719 (Word version) -- Fish, Game and Forestry Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, RELATING TO SEASONS, LIMITS, METHODS OF TAKE, AND SPECIAL USE RESTRICTIONS ON WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREAS, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 3120, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.
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Read the first time and ordered placed on the Calendar without reference.

S. 720 (Word version) -- Senator Courson: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING THE WEEK OF APRIL 30th THROUGH MAY 4TH AS NATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL WEEK, AND ACKNOWLEDGING THE IMPORTANCE OF EDUCATING THE CHILDREN OF SOUTH CAROLINA IN A CREATIVE AND NON-TRADITIONAL STYLE.
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On motion of Senator COURSON, with unanimous consent, the Concurrent Resolution was adopted and sent to the House.

S. 721 (Word version) -- Senator Setzler: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE GRATITUDE OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO MR. VINCE RHODES FOR HIS TWENTY-SIX YEARS OF CONTINUOUS SERVICE AS A MEMBER OF THE WIL LOU GRAY OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND TO WISH HIM MUCH SUCCESS AND FULFILLMENT IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
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The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

S. 722 (Word version) -- Senators Knotts, Cromer, O'Dell, Reese, Williams, Vaughn, Bryant, Ryberg, Hutto, Leventis, Malloy, Grooms, Cleary, McConnell, Setzler, Alexander, Drummond, Leatherman, Land, Thomas, McGill, Campsen, Hayes, Ritchie, Fair, Martin and Scott: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-9-320, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO OPPOSING OR RESISTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER SERVING PROCESS AND ASSAULTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER SERVING PROCESS, SO AS TO INCLUDE CRIMINAL AND CIVIL WRITS WITHIN THE PURVIEW OF THE STATUTE, TO APPLY THE PROVISIONS TO OTHER PERSONS AUTHORIZED TO SERVE PROCESS, AND TO CREATE A THREE-TIERED GRADUATED PENALTY SCHEME FOR THE OFFENSE OF INTERFERING OR RESISTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR OTHER AUTHORIZED PERSON SERVING PROCESS AND FOR ASSAULTING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OR OTHER AUTHORIZED PERSON SERVING PROCESS.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 723 (Word version) -- Senators Knotts, Reese, Vaughn, Bryant, Leventis, Cromer, Malloy, Hutto, O'Dell, Campsen, Moore, Scott, McGill, Ritchie, Short, Sheheen, Lourie, McConnell, Setzler, Williams, Hayes, Martin, Anderson, Thomas, Patterson and Matthews: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-60, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO RETIREMENT AND RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES FOR PURPOSES OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO ALLOW A MEMBER ELIGIBLE TO RETIRE WITH THE MAXIMUM RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE EQUAL TO NINETY PERCENT OF THE CURRENT SALARY OF A JUDGE OR SOLICITOR TO RETIRE AND RECEIVE THIS RETIREMENT ALLOWANCE WHILE CONTINUING TO SERVE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYER AND EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS MUST BE PAID AS IF THAT JUDGE OR SOLICITOR WAS AN ACTIVE CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Finance.

H. 3289 (Word version) -- Rep. Vick: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO EXEMPT FROM SALES TAX THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES OR SALES PRICE OF GOLD, SILVER, AND PLATINUM BULLION, LEGAL TENDER COINS, AND CURRENCY AND TO REQUIRE THE RETAILER TO MAINTAIN PROPER DOCUMENTATION AS REQUIRED BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE FOR EACH EXEMPT SALE.

Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Finance.

H. 3817 (Word version) -- Reps. G. M. Smith, Weeks and G. Brown: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-17-680, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE UNLAWFUL PURCHASE OR TRANSPORTATION OF COPPER WIRE OR COPPER PIPE, SO AS TO INCLUDE ALUMINUM AND PRODUCTS CONTAINING A MIXTURE OF COPPER AND ALUMINUM AND TO PROVIDE AN EXCEPTION FOR ALUMINUM CANS.

Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

H. 3953 (Word version) -- Rep. Vick: A BILL TO AMEND ACT 205 OF 1993, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CHESTERFIELD COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO AS TO REVISE THE DATE FOR ELECTIONS FOR TRUSTEES, AND THE FILING PERIOD FOR DECLARATIONS OF CANDIDACY; AND TO AMEND ACT 1010 OF 1968, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE LOCAL EDUCATION ADVISORY COUNCILS IN THE CHESTERFIELD COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, SO AS TO REVISE THE MANNER IN WHICH THE MEMBERSHIP OF CERTAIN ADVISORY COUNCILS IS DETERMINED AND THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS OF EACH ADVISORY COUNCIL.

Read the first time and ordered placed on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.

H. 3984 (Word version) -- Reps. Huggins, Ballentine, Haley, Toole and E. H. Pitts: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO DECLARE APRIL 2007 AS "FAIR HOUSING MONTH" IN SOUTH CAROLINA AND TO RECOGNIZE AND SUPPORT "FAIR HOUSING MONTH" IN OUR STATE.

The Concurrent Resolution was introduced and referred to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry.

REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

Senator GREGORY from the Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 686 (Word version) -- Senator Sheheen: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 13, TITLE 50 OF THE 1976 CODE BY ADDING SECTION 50-13-12, TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL TO SNAG A FISH.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator GREGORY from the Committee on Fish, Game and Forestry submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 691 (Word version) -- Senator Gregory: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 50-11-170, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR BUYING, SELLING, OR DISPLAYING FOR SALE CARCASSES OR PARTS OF WILD RABBITS IN GAME ZONES 2 AND 4, SO AS TO MAKE SUCH CONDUCT UNLAWFUL STATEWIDE AND TO INCREASE THE PENALTY TO A MAXIMUM OF FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS; BY ADDING SECTION 50-11-300 SO AS TO DESIGNATE WHICH SPECIES CONSTITUTE BIG GAME; TO AMEND SECTION 50-11-520, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE STUDY OF GAME ZONES RESTOCKED WITH WILD TURKEYS AND THE AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES TO SET OPEN AND CLOSED SEASONS ON MALE WILD TURKEYS, SO AS TO ALSO ENABLE THE DEPARTMENT TO SET OTHER OPEN AND CLOSED SEASONS; TO AMEND SECTION 50-11-565, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE USE OF CROSS BOWS, SO AS TO STRIKE THE ENTIRE SECTION AND PROVIDE A DEFINITION OF ARCHERY EQUIPMENT AS USED IN THIS TITLE; TO AMEND SECTION 50-13-385, RELATING TO THE MINIMUM SIZE OF LARGEMOUTH BASS FROM LAKES MARION, MOULTRIE, AND WYLIE THAT A PERSON MAY TAKE OR POSSESS, SO AS TO INCLUDE ALL OF LAKE WYLIE INSTEAD OF THE PORTION OF LAKE WYLIE LOCATED IN YORK COUNTY AND IN GAME ZONE 4; TO AMEND SECTION 50-11-708, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE USE OF ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS TO OBSERVE OR HARASS WILDLIFE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A LESSEE MAY USE ARTIFICIAL LIGHTS TO PROTECT HIS PROPERTY; TO AMEND SECTION 50-21-125, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO RESTRICTIONS ON SWIMMING NEAR A PUBLIC BOAT LANDING OR RAMP IN THE VICINITY OF A HYDROELECTRIC GENERATION UTILITY AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A NO WAKE ZONE, SO AS TO ELIMINATE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ISSUE AND POST SIGNS IN THE NO WAKE ZONE INFORMING THE PUBLIC OF THE NO WAKE ZONE; TO AMEND SECTION 50-21-180, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE PROHIBITION OF RIDING SURFBOARDS NEAR FISHING PIERS IN GAME ZONE 7 AND GEORGETOWN COUNTY, SO AS TO MAKE SUCH CONDUCT UNLAWFUL STATEWIDE; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-3-360 RELATING TO ADDITIONAL DEPUTY ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS FOR GAME ZONE 2; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-11-30 RELATING TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE DEPARTMENT TO REGULATE WILD TURKEY HUNTING; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-11-550 RELATING TO THE UNLAWFUL DISCHARGE OF A WEAPON OTHER THAN A SHOTGUN DURING CERTAIN TIMES OF YEAR IN CERTAIN AREAS; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-13-20 RELATING TO LAWFUL METHODS OF CATCHING FISH IN CERTAIN LAKES AND BOYD'S MILL POND IN GAME ZONE 2; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-13-65 RELATING TO AUTHORIZATION OF CLOSED SEASON ON STREAMS IN GAME ZONE 1; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-13-90 RELATING TO CLOSED SEASON ON TROUT; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-13-980 RELATING TO PRESUMPTION FROM POSSESSION OF FISH IN EXCESS OF LEGAL LIMITS; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-13-1010 RELATING TO THE APPLICATION OF PROVISIONS IN ARTICLE 6; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-13-1020 AND CERTAIN DEFINITIONS; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-19-2220 RELATING TO CERTAIN WATERS OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER; TO REPEAL SECTION 50-19-2230 RELATING TO AMENDMENTS AND ADDITIONS TO FISHING REGULATIONS IN CERTAIN WATERS OF THE SAVANNAH RIVER; AND TO REPEAL SECTION 50-19-3010 RELATING TO LAWFUL METHODS FOR CATCHING FISH IN FAIRFOREST CREEK IN UNION AND SPARTANBURG COUNTIES.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator THOMAS from the Committee on Banking and Insurance polled out H. 3256 favorable:

H. 3256 (Word version) -- Rep. Taylor: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 38-57-160, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO ADVERTISING GIFTS GIVEN BY INSURANCE AGENTS TO INSUREDS AND OTHERS, SO AS TO INCREASE FROM FIVE TO TWENTY-FIVE DOLLARS THE VALUE OF MERCHANDISE OR AN ARTICLE WHICH MAY BE GIVEN.

Poll of the Banking and Insurance Committee
Polled 16; Ayes 16; Nays 0; Not Voting 0

AYES

Thomas                    McConnell                 Setzler
Courson                   Matthews                  Patterson
Reese                     Hayes                     Jackson
Martin                    Rankin                    Alexander
Ritchie                   Cromer                    Pinckney
Malloy

Total--16

NAYS

Total--0

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

RATIFICATION OF ACTS

Pursuant to an invitation the Honorable Speaker and House of Representatives appeared in the Senate Chamber on April 26, 2007, at 11:45 A.M. and the following Acts and Joint Resolutions were ratified:

(R25, S. 153 (Word version)) -- Senators McConnell, Leatherman, Campsen, Vaughn, Ryberg, Richardson, Hayes, Knotts, Elliott, Cleary, Alexander and Fair: AN ACT TO RATIFY AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 29, ARTICLE III OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO THE LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT TAXES UPON REAL PROPERTY MUST BE ASSESSED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE METHODS AS PROVIDED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN ARTICLE X OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION; AND TO RATIFY AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 6 OF ARTICLE X, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL ESTABLISH A METHOD OF VALUATION FOR ASSESSMENT OF REAL PROPERTY WITHIN THE STATE AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BY LAW SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE TERMS, CONDITIONS, AND PROCEDURES TO IMPLEMENT THE ABOVE PROVISIONS.
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(R26, S. 155 (Word version)) -- Senators Campsen, McConnell, Leatherman, Gregory, Elliott, Rankin, Vaughn, Ryberg, Courson, Richardson, Hayes, Mescher, Ritchie, Knotts, Cleary, Alexander and Fair: AN ACT TO RATIFY AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 13, ARTICLE I OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO THE TAKING OF PRIVATE PROPERTY, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT PRIVATE PROPERTY MUST NOT BE CONDEMNED BY EMINENT DOMAIN FOR ANY PURPOSE OR BENEFIT INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE PURPOSE OR BENEFIT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, UNLESS THE CONDEMNATION IS FOR PUBLIC USE; EXCEPT THAT IN THE INSTANCE OF THE EXERCISE OF EMINENT DOMAIN FOR THE LIMITED PURPOSE OF REMEDYING BLIGHT, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY MAY PROVIDE FOR THE PRIVATE USE OF CONDEMNED PROPERTY UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS; AND TO RATIFY AMENDMENTS TO SECTION 17, ARTICLE I, AND SECTION 5, ARTICLE XIV, RELATING TO TREASON AND THE EXERCISE OF THE POWERS OF EMINENT DOMAIN BY OR WITHIN SUMTER, CHEROKEE, SPARTANBURG, YORK, FLORENCE, GREENVILLE, CHARLESTON, RICHLAND, AND LAURENS COUNTIES, SO AS TO DELETE THOSE PROVISIONS.
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(R27, S. 156 (Word version)) -- Senators Campsen, McConnell, Leatherman, Vaughn, Courson, Hayes, Richardson, Ritchie, McGill, Knotts, Elliott, Alexander, Verdin and Fair: AN ACT TO RATIFY AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 9, ARTICLE III OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO SESSIONS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT, AFTER THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONVENES ON THE SECOND TUESDAY IN JANUARY OF EACH YEAR, THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES MAY RECEDE FOR A TIME PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED THIRTY CALENDAR DAYS BY A MAJORITY VOTE OF THE RECEDING BODY OR FOR MORE THAN THIRTY DAYS BY A TWO-THIRDS VOTE OF THE RECEDING BODY, TO PROVIDE THAT EACH BODY MAY PROVIDE FOR MEETINGS DURING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION AS IT CONSIDERS APPROPRIATE AND TO AUTHORIZE AN ORGANIZATIONAL SESSION FOLLOWING THE ELECTION OF SENATORS; AND TO RATIFY AN AMENDMENT TO ARTICLE III BY DELETING SECTION 21, WHICH PROVIDES THAT NEITHER HOUSE, DURING THE SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, SHALL WITHOUT THE CONSENT OF THE OTHER ADJOURN FOR MORE THAN THREE DAYS, NOR TO ANY OTHER PLACE THAN THAT IN WHICH IT SHALL BE AT THE TIME SITTING.
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(R28, S. 431 (Word version)) -- Senators McConnell, Moore, Drummond, Setzler, Matthews, Thomas, O'Dell, Gregory, Jackson, Mescher, Rankin, Alexander, Anderson, Grooms, Scott, Williams, Cromer, Vaughn, Ritchie, Verdin, Ford, Cleary, Patterson, Hayes and Knotts: AN ACT TO PROTECT SOUTH CAROLINA RATEPAYERS BY ENHANCING THE CERTAINTY OF INVESTMENTS IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF ELECTRIC UTILITIES SERVING CONSUMERS IN THIS STATE AND THE RECOVERY OF FUEL COSTS; TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 4 TO CHAPTER 33, TITLE 58 SO AS TO ENACT THE "BASE LOAD REVIEW ACT" BY REVISING PROCEDURES FOR APPROVING COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE ADDITION OF BASE LOAD GENERATION PLANTS; TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-870, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO HEARINGS ON PROPOSED RATES FOR ELECTRICAL UTILITIES, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL TIME IN WHICH THE COMMISSION MUST ISSUE AN ORDER UPON ITS FAILURE TO ISSUE AN ORDER; TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-610, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS IN REGARD TO SERVICE RIGHTS OF ELECTIVE SUPPLIERS, SO AS TO ADD A DEFINITION OF "CORRIDOR RIGHTS"; TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-620, RELATING TO SERVICE RIGHTS OF AND RESTRICTIONS ON ELECTRIC SUPPLIERS, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THESE RIGHTS AND RESTRICTIONS AND A REVISION OF CERTAIN TERRITORIAL ASSIGNMENTS; TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-660, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE FURNISHING OF ELECTRIC SERVICE IN AREAS SERVED BY ANOTHER SUPPLIER, SO AS TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION MAY ORDER AN ELECTRIC SUPPLIER TO FURNISH ELECTRIC SERVICE; TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-865, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO FUEL COSTS FOR PRODUCING ELECTRIC POWER AND THE RECOVERY OF THESE COSTS, SO AS TO INCLUDE IN THE DEFINITION OF "FUEL COST" CERTAIN ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS AND EMISSIONS ALLOWANCE COSTS INCURRED IN THE PRODUCTION OF ELECTRIC POWER AND TO ALLOW THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION BY ORDER TO ALLOW ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL COSTS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE DEFINITION; AND TO AMEND SECTION 58-27-1210, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO EXTENSION OF ELECTRIC FACILITIES, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR SPECIFIED CIRCUMSTANCES WHEN AN ELECTRIC SUPPLIER MUST OBTAIN PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION APPROVAL FOR CONSTRUCTION OF ELECTRIC FACILITIES.
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(R29, S. 451 (Word version)) -- Senators Courson, Setzler, Leatherman and Alexander: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 59-119-940, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO CLEMSON UNIVERSITY ATHLETIC FACILITIES REVENUE BONDS, SO AS TO RAISE THE OUTSTANDING DEBT LIMIT FOR THESE BONDS FROM SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS TO TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 9 OF ACT 518 OF 1980, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA ATHLETIC FACILITIES REVENUE BONDS, SO AS TO RAISE THE OUTSTANDING DEBT LIMIT FROM SIXTY MILLION DOLLARS TO TWO HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS.
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(R30, S. 498 (Word version)) -- Senators Mescher, Grooms and Campsen: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 53-3-35 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE TWENTY-SEVENTH DAY OF FEBRUARY OF EACH YEAR IS DESIGNATED AS "GENERAL FRANCIS MARION MEMORIAL DAY" IN HONOR OF THIS SOUTH CAROLINA REVOLUTIONARY WAR HERO.
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(R31, S. 579 (Word version)) -- Senator Alexander: AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE ELECTED POSITION OF SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION OF OCONEE COUNTY IS ABOLISHED AS OF JULY 1, 2009, AND ALL POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE SUPERINTENDENT ARE DEVOLVED UPON THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT OF OCONEE COUNTY AND TO PROVIDE THAT IF A VACANCY OCCURS IN THAT OFFICE BEFORE JULY 1, 2009, THE OFFICE IS ABOLISHED AS OF THE DATE OF THE VACANCY; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 1, 4, AND 8 OF ACT 613 OF 1992, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE ELECTION, POWERS, AND DUTIES OF THE SUPERINTENDENT OF EDUCATION OF OCONEE COUNTY.
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(R32, S. 626 (Word version)) -- Banking and Insurance Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE, RELATING TO RECOGNITION OF PREFERRED MORTALITY TABLES FOR USE IN DETERMINING MINIMUM RESERVE LIABILITIES, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 3115, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.
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(R33, H. 3115 (Word version)) -- Rep. Pinson: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 6-11-325 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE A SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICT WHICH ONLY PROVIDES SEWAGE COLLECTION AND DISPOSAL SERVICES TO UTILIZE ANY METHOD OF FINANCING AUTHORIZED BY LAW FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF SEWER LATERAL COLLECTION LINES.
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(R34, H. 3218 (Word version)) -- Reps. Harrison, G. Brown, Thompson and Mack: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 61-4-10, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF BEERS, ALES, PORTERS, AND WINES THAT ARE CONSIDERED NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, SO AS TO INCREASE THE PERCENT OF ALCOHOL BY WEIGHT IN BEERS, ALES, PORTERS, AND SIMILAR MALT BEVERAGES FOR SPECIFIC SIZED CONTAINERS THAT ARE CONSIDERED NONALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 61-4-1115, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO AGREEMENTS BETWEEN IMPORTERS AND FOREIGN BREWERS OF BEER WHICH ARE BINDING ON SUCCESSOR IMPORTERS, SO AS TO REVISE THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SO THAT THE PROVISIONS ALSO APPLY TO DOMESTIC BRANDS OF BEER AND TO STIPULATE THAT WHEN A PRODUCER OR PRIMARY AMERICAN SOURCE OF SUPPLY TRANSFERS, CONVEYS, OR ASSIGNS A BRAND OF BEER TO ANOTHER PRODUCER OR PRIMARY AMERICAN SOURCE OF SUPPLY, THE ASSIGNMENT OF TERRITORY OF THAT BRAND TO A WHOLESALER, AS REQUIRED BY LAW, IS BINDING ON THE SUCCESSOR PRODUCER OR PRIMARY AMERICAN SOURCE OF SUPPLY.
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(R35, H. 3505 (Word version)) -- Reps. Harrell, W.D. Smith, Cato, Chellis, Cooper, Harrison, Walker, Witherspoon, Merrill, Cotty, Duncan, Hagood, Huggins, Scarborough, Haley, Davenport, Ballentine, Bannister, Battle, Bedingfield, Bingham, Bowen, Brady, Breeland, G. Brown, Ceips, Clemmons, Crawford, Dantzler, Delleney, Gambrell, Gullick, Hamilton, Haskins, Hayes, Hinson, Hiott, Kelly, Kirsh, Knight, Leach, Littlejohn, Lowe, Lucas, Mahaffey, Moss, Mulvaney, Owens, Perry, Pinson, E.H. Pitts, M.A. Pitts, Shoopman, Simrill, Skelton, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stewart, Talley, Taylor, Thompson, Toole, Umphlett, White, Whitmire, Young, Hodges, Viers and Rice: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO DIRECT THE STATE PORTS AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE AND BRING TO ITS EARLIEST CONCLUSION THE CONDEMNATION ACTION IT HAS BEGUN INVOLVING APPROXIMATELY ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED ACRES IN JASPER COUNTY NEEDED TO DEVELOP NEW TERMINAL FACILITIES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF JASPER COUNTY TO UNDERTAKE ANY CONDEMNATION ACTION REGARDING THIS APPROXIMATELY ONE THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED ACRES IN JASPER COUNTY OR ANY OTHER CONDEMNATION ACTION IN REGARD TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF TERMINAL FACILITIES IN JASPER COUNTY IS SUSPENDED FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS FROM THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION; TO DIRECT THE STATE PORTS AUTHORITY TO CONTINUE AND COMPLETE CERTAIN OTHER ACTIONS BEGUN BEFORE THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION IN REGARD TO THESE NEW TERMINAL FACILITIES; TO DIRECT THE STATE PORTS AUTHORITY TO BEGIN SPECIFIC NEW UNDERTAKINGS WITHIN A STIPULATED TIME FRAME UPON FINAL CONCLUSION INCLUDING ALL APPEALS OF THE ABOVE CONDEMNATION ACTION, TO ESTABLISH THE SAVANNAH RIVER MARITIME COMMISSION AND PROVIDE FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP, FUNCTIONS, DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES, AND TO ESTABLISH THE JASPER COUNTY PORT FACILITY INFRASTRUCTURE FUND AND FOR THE USE OF MONIES IN THE FUND.
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(R36, H. 3509 (Word version)) -- Reps. Mitchell, Whipper, Parks, Haley, Hodges, J.H. Neal, Bedingfield, F.N. Smith, Gullick, Pinson, Agnew, Alexander, Allen, Anderson, Anthony, Bales, Ballentine, Bannister, Barfield, Battle, Bingham, Bowen, Brady, Branham, Brantley, Breeland, G. Brown, R. Brown, Cato, Ceips, Chalk, Chellis, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, Coleman, Cooper, Cotty, Crawford, Dantzler, Davenport, Delleney, Duncan, Edge, Funderburk, Gambrell, Govan, Hagood, Hamilton, Hardwick, Harrell, Harrison, Hart, Harvin, Haskins, Hayes, Herbkersman, Hinson, Hiott, Hosey, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Jennings, Kelly, Kennedy, Kirsh, Knight, Leach, Limehouse, Littlejohn, Lowe, Lucas, Mack, Mahaffey, McLeod, Merrill, Miller, Moss, Neilson, Ott, Owens, Perry, Phillips, E.H. Pitts, M.A. Pitts, Rice, Rutherford, Sandifer, Scarborough, Scott, Sellers, Shoopman, Skelton, D.C. Smith, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, J.R. Smith, W.D. Smith, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stewart, Talley, Taylor, Thompson, Toole, Vick, Viers, Walker, Williams, Witherspoon, Young, Bowers, J.M. Neal, Loftis, Simrill, White, Mulvaney, Whitmire, Frye and Weeks: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 22 TO TITLE 31 TO ENACT THE "WILLIAM C. MESCHER LOCAL HOUSING TRUST FUND ENABLING ACT", TO MAKE CERTAIN FINDINGS BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, AND TO ALLOW A LOCAL GOVERNMENT TO CREATE AND OPERATE A "LOCAL HOUSING TRUST FUND" OR A "REGIONAL HOUSING TRUST FUND".
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(R37, H. 3558 (Word version)) -- Reps. Lowe, Williams, Branham and Alexander: AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE TERMS OF OFFICE OF ELECTED MEMBERS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF FLORENCE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT FOUR ARE INCREASED FROM THREE TO FOUR YEARS FOR ALL TRUSTEES ELECTED BEGINNING WITH ELECTIONS HELD ON AND AFTER 2007.
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(R38, H. 3628 (Word version)) -- Education and Public Works Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROVE REGULATIONS OF THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, RELATING TO AT-RISK STUDENTS, DESIGNATED AS REGULATION DOCUMENT NUMBER 3089, PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 1, CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1 OF THE 1976 CODE.
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(R39, H. 3694 (Word version)) -- Reps. White, Agnew, Alexander, Allen, Anderson, Anthony, Bales, Ballentine, Bannister, Barfield, Battle, Bedingfield, Bingham, Bowen, Bowers, Brady, Branham, Brantley, Breeland, G. Brown, R. Brown, Cato, Ceips, Chalk, Chellis, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, Coleman, Cooper, Cotty, Crawford, Dantzler, Davenport, Delleney, Duncan, Edge, Frye, Funderburk, Gambrell, Govan, Gullick, Hagood, Haley, Hamilton, Hardwick, Harrell, Harrison, Hart, Harvin, Haskins, Hayes, Herbkersman, Hinson, Hiott, Hodges, Hosey, Howard, Huggins, Jefferson, Jennings, Kelly, Kennedy, Kirsh, Knight, Leach, Limehouse, Littlejohn, Loftis, Lowe, Lucas, Mack, Mahaffey, McLeod, Merrill, Miller, Mitchell, Moody-Lawrence, Moss, Mulvaney, J.H. Neal, J.M. Neal, Neilson, Ott, Owens, Parks, Perry, Phillips, Pinson, E.H. Pitts, M.A. Pitts, Rice, Rutherford, Sandifer, Scarborough, Scott, Sellers, Shoopman, Simrill, Skelton, D.C. Smith, F.N. Smith, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, J.E. Smith, J.R. Smith, W.D. Smith, Spires, Stavrinakis, Stewart, Talley, Taylor, Thompson, Toole, Umphlett, Vick, Viers, Walker, Weeks, Whipper, Whitmire, Williams, Witherspoon and Young: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO NAME THE NEW SOUTH CAROLINA VETERANS CEMETERY IN ANDERSON COUNTY THE M. J. "DOLLY" COOPER VETERANS CEMETERY.
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THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO A CALL OF THE UNCONTESTED LOCAL AND STATEWIDE CALENDAR.

HOUSE BILL RETURNED

The following House Joint Resolution was read the third time and ordered returned to the House with amendments:

H. 3621 (Word version) -- Ways and Means Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROPRIATE MONIES FROM THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006-2007.

By prior motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent

The following Bills and Joint Resolution were read the third time and ordered sent to the House of Representatives:

S. 499 (Word version) -- Senators Rankin, Elliott, Thomas, McConnell, Cleary, Grooms, Verdin, Campsen, Ford and Knotts: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 90, TITLE 38 SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA COASTAL CAPTIVE INSURANCE ACT OF 2007", TO PROVIDE FOR THE MANNER IN WHICH A SOUTH CAROLINA COASTAL CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANY MAY BE FORMED, LICENSED, AND REGULATED, TO DEFINE AND TO LIMIT THE TYPES OF RISK A SOUTH CAROLINA COASTAL CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANY MAY UNDERWRITE, TO ESTABLISH MINIMUM CAPITALIZATION REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH CAROLINA COASTAL CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANIES, AND TO PERMIT THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE TO SET ADDITIONAL DISCRETIONARY CAPITALIZATION REQUIREMENTS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC, AND TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN REQUIRED DISCLOSURES TO CONSUMERS IN ALL APPLICATIONS FOR INSURANCE AND POLICIES.

Senator THOMAS explained the Bill.

S. 666 (Word version) -- Senators Hayes, Peeler, Gregory and Short: A BILL TO AMEND SECTIONS 59-125-20 AND 59-125-30, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF WINTHROP UNIVERSITY AND THEIR SELECTION, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR TWO ADDITIONAL AT-LARGE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD AND FOR THE MANNER OF THEIR ELECTION AND TERMS OF OFFICE.

S. 702 (Word version) -- Education Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE THAT FOR THE PURPOSE OF TEACHER CONTRACTS NEGOTIATED FOR THE 2007-2008 SCHOOL YEAR, DATES FOR COMPLETING CERTAIN REQUIREMENTS ARE EXTENDED FOR ONE YEAR.

S. 94 (Word version) -- Senators Campsen, Knotts and Fair: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 62-2-204, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO A SURVIVING SPOUSE'S RIGHTS TO AN ELECTIVE SHARE, HOMESTEAD ALLOWANCE, AND EXEMPT PROPERTY, SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE VOLUNTARY WAIVER OF THOSE RIGHTS UPON FAIR AND REASONABLE DISCLOSURE BY THE OTHER SPOUSE.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the third reading of the Bill.

Senators SETZLER and CAMPSEN proposed the following amendment (JUD0094.002), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 1, SECTION 1, by striking lines 26-33 in their entirety and inserting:

/   "Section 62-2-204.   (A)   The right of election rights of a surviving spouse and the rights of the surviving spouse to an elective share, homestead allowance, and exempt property, or any of them, may be waived, wholly or partially, before or after marriage, by a written contract, agreement, or waiver voluntarily signed by the party waiving party after fair and reasonable disclosures to the waiving party of the other party's property and financial obligations disclosure have been given in writing.     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator SETZLER explained the amendment.

There being no further amendments, the Bill was read the third time, passed and ordered sent to the House of Representatives.

The following Bill, having been read the second time, was ordered placed on the Third Reading Calendar:

S. 504 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Gregory, Courson, Bryant, Alexander, Verdin, Elliott, Ritchie and Hayes: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 6-9-40 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE BUILDING CODE ADOPTION PROCEDURE, TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE FOR MODIFYING AN EXISTING CODE IS THE SAME AS ADOPTING A CODE, AND TO PROVIDE THE PROCEDURE FOR AN EMERGENCY BUILDING CODE MODIFICATION.

S. 504--Ordered to a Third Reading

On motion of Senator RYBERG, S. 504 was ordered to receive a third reading on Friday, April 27, 2007.

COMMITTEE AMENDMENT TABLED

S. 20 (Word version) -- Senators Elliott, Mescher, Cleary, Hutto, Lourie, Moore, Sheheen, Reese, Knotts, Leventis, Land, McGill, Rankin, Campsen, Grooms, Hawkins, Short and Scott: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 38-71-280 SO AS TO REQUIRE INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR TREATMENT OF PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS AND TO DEFINE "PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER" AS A NEUROLOGICAL CONDITION, INCLUDING AUTISM AND ASPERGER'S SYNDROME.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Banking and Insurance.

The Committee on Banking and Insurance proposed the following amendment (NBD\11426AC07), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by inserting after the title and before the enacting words:

/Whereas, early intervention is the key to improving the health and well-being of children with autistic disorder, so that they may become active, contributing members of society; and

Whereas, children with autistic disorder can be diagnosed in early childhood and treatment should begin immediately upon diagnosis; and

Whereas, children with autistic disorder can benefit significantly from early, intensive speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy, which help to improve communication skills and functioning in everyday life activities; and

Whereas, children with autistic disorder have a neurological disorder, and many insurance policies provide benefits for treatment of neurological disorders. Now, therefore,/

Amend the bill, further, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:

/SECTION 1. Article 1, Chapter 71, Title 38 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 38-71-280.   (A)   As used in this chapter, 'autistic disorder' means a neurological condition that is marked by severe impairment in social interaction, communication, and imaginative play, with onset during the first three years of life.

(B)   A group accident and health insurance policy, individual health maintenance organization contract, or group health maintenance organization contract must provide coverage for the treatment of autistic disorder. Coverage provided under this section is limited to treatment that is prescribed by the insured's treating physician in accordance with a treatment plan. An insurer may not deny or refuse to issue coverage on, refuse to contract with, or refuse to renew or refuse to reissue or otherwise terminate or restrict coverage on an individual under an insurance policy solely because the individual is diagnosed with autistic disorder.

(C)   An insurer that issues an accident and health insurance policy on an individual basis must offer to provide coverage for the treatment of autistic disorder. Coverage provided under this section is limited to treatment that is prescribed by the insured's treating physician in accordance with a treatment plan. An insurer may not deny or refuse to issue coverage on, refuse to contract with, or refuse to renew or refuse to reissue or otherwise terminate or restrict coverage on an individual under an insurance policy solely because the individual is diagnosed with autistic disorder.

(D)   The coverage required pursuant to subsection (B) or offered pursuant to subsection (C) must not be subject to dollar limits, deductibles, or coinsurance provisions that are less favorable to an insured than the dollar limits, deductibles, or coinsurance provisions that apply to physical illness generally under the accident and health insurance policy or the health maintenance organization contract. Coverage of services may be subject to other general exclusions and limitations of the contract or benefit plan, including, but not limited to, coordination of benefits, participating provider requirements, services provided by family or household member restrictions, eligibility, and appeals processes.

(E)   The treatment plan required pursuant subsections (B) and (C) must include all elements necessary for the insurer or health maintenance organization to appropriately pay claims. These elements include, but are not limited to, a diagnosis, proposed treatment by type, frequency, and duration of treatment, the anticipated outcomes stated as goals, the frequency by which the treatment plan will be updated, and the treating physician's signature. The insurer may only request an updated treatment plan once every six months from the treating physician to review medical necessity, unless the insurer or health maintenance organization and the provider agree that a more frequent review is necessary due to emerging clinical circumstances.

(F)   To be eligible for benefits and coverage under this section, an individual must be diagnosed with autistic disorder before reaching his or her eighth birthday. The benefits and coverage provided pursuant to this section must be provided to any eligible person under sixteen years of age. Coverage for behavioral therapy is subject to a seventy-five thousand dollar maximum benefit per year. The maximum period of coverage for behavioral therapy is three years, unless clinical progress reports demonstrate that the child is in a period of steady skill acquisition. For behavioral therapy to continue beyond three years, the child's physician must submit progress reports every six months demonstrating continuing, clinically-significant progress.

(G)   Nothing in the section applies to accident-only, specified disease, hospital indemnity, Medicare supplement, long-term care, or other limited benefit hospital insurance policies."

SECTION   2.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to all accident and health insurance policies and health maintenance organization contracts issued, renewed, delivered, or entered into on or after this act's effective date or July 1, 2007, whichever occurs later./

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senators LOURIE and CLEARY explained the committee amendment.

Senator LOURIE made the motion to table the committee amendment.

The committee amendment was tabled.

Senators THOMAS, LOURIE, CLEARY, ALEXANDER, ELLIOTT and MALLOY proposed the following amendment (NBD\11623AC07), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:

/SECTION   1.   Article 1, Chapter 71, Title 38 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 38-71-280.   (A)   As used in this section:

(1)   'Autism spectrum disorder' means one of the three following disorders as defined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders of the American Psychiatric Association:

(a)   Autistic Disorder;

(b)   Asperger's Syndrome;

(c)   Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified.

(2)   'Insurer' means an insurance company, a health maintenance organization, and any other entity providing health insurance coverage, as defined in Section 38-71-670(6), which is licensed to engage in the business of insurance in this State and which is subject to state insurance regulation.

(3)   'Health maintenance organization' means an organization as defined in Section 38-33-20(8).

(4)   'Health insurance plan' means a group health insurance policy or group health benefit plan offered by an insurer. It includes the State Health Plan, but does not otherwise include any health insurance plan offered in the individual market as defined in Section 38-71-670(11), any health insurance plan that is individually underwritten, or any health insurance plan provided to a small employer, as defined by Section 38-71-1330(17) of the 1976 Code.

(5)   'State Health Plan' means the employee and retiree insurance program provided for in Article 5, Chapter 11, Title 1.

(B)   A health insurance plan as defined in this section must provide coverage for the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Coverage provided under this section is limited to treatment that is prescribed by the insured's treating medical doctor in accordance with a treatment plan. With regards to a health insurance plan as defined in this section an insurer may not deny or refuse to issue coverage on, refuse to contract with, or refuse to renew or refuse to reissue or otherwise terminate or restrict coverage on an individual solely because the individual is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

(C)   The coverage required pursuant to subsection (B) must not be subject to dollar limits, deductibles, or coinsurance provisions that are less favorable to an insured than the dollar limits, deductibles, or coinsurance provisions that apply to physical illness generally under the health insurance plan, except as otherwise provided for in subsection (E). However, the coverage required pursuant to subsection (B) may be subject to other general exclusions and limitations of the health insurance plan, including, but not limited to, coordination of benefits, participating provider requirements, restrictions on services provided by family or household members, utilization review of health care services including review of medical necessity, case management, and other managed care provisions.

(D)   The treatment plan required pursuant to subsection (B) must include all elements necessary for the health insurance plan to appropriately pay claims. These elements include, but are not limited to, a diagnosis, proposed treatment by type, frequency, and duration of treatment, the anticipated outcomes stated as goals, the frequency by which the treatment plan will be updated, and the treating medical doctor's signature. The health insurance plan may only request an updated treatment plan once every six months from the treating medical doctor to review medical necessity, unless the health insurance plan and the treating medical doctor agree that a more frequent review is necessary due to emerging clinical circumstances.

(E)   To be eligible for benefits and coverage under this section, an individual must be diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder at age eight or younger. The benefits and coverage provided pursuant to this section must be provided to any eligible person under sixteen years of age. Coverage for behavioral therapy is subject to a fifty thousand dollar maximum benefit per year. Beginning one year after the effective date of this act, this maximum benefit shall be adjusted annually on January 1 of each calendar year to reflect any change from the previous year in the current Consumer Price Index, All Urban Consumers, as published by the United States Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics."

SECTION   2.   This act takes effect July 1, 2008, and applies to health insurance plans issued, renewed, delivered, or entered into on or after this act's effective date./

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

There being no further amendments, the Bill was read the second time, passed and ordered to a third reading.

S. 20--Ordered to a Third Reading

On motion of Senator LOURIE, with unanimous consent, S. 20 was ordered to receive a third reading on Friday, April 27, 2007.

S. 484 (Word version) -- Senators Fair and Jackson: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 59-113-50, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF INDEPENDENT INSTITUTION OF HIGHER LEARNING FOR PURPOSES OF PROVIDING TUITION GRANTS, SO AS TO INCLUDE IN THE DEFINITION AN INDEPENDENT BACHELOR'S LEVEL INSTITUTION CHARTERED BEFORE 1962 WHOSE MAJOR CAMPUS AND HEADQUARTERS ARE LOCATED WITHIN SOUTH CAROLINA.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Education.

The Committee on Education proposed the following amendment (484R001.HKL), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 1, by adding an appropriately numbered SECTION to read:

/     SECTION   ___.   Higher education tuition grants pursuant to Section 59-113-50(2) may only be awarded if the general appropriations act separately and specifically funds the Higher Education Tuition Grants Commission with the additional amount necessary to fully fund the grants awarded pursuant to Section 59-113-50(2).       /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator FAIR explained the committee amendment.

There being no further amendments, the Bill was read the second time, passed and ordered to a third reading.

S. 484--Ordered to a Third Reading

On motion of Senator FAIR, with unanimous consent, S. 484 was ordered to receive a third reading on Friday, April 27, 2007.

CARRIED OVER

S. 584 (Word version) -- Senators Campsen, Bryant, Hayes, Williams, Cromer, Elliott, Thomas, Mescher, Verdin, Martin and Ford: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 20-3-240 TO ENACT THE "FAMILY COURT FINANCIAL PRIVACY ACT" SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A FINANCIAL DECLARATION MADE A PART OF THE RECORD IN A MATTER BEFORE THE FAMILY COURT MUST BE SEALED, TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO A FINANCIAL DECLARATION UPON REQUEST ONLY BY THE PARTIES, THE COURT AND PERSONNEL OF THE COURT, AND THE CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT DIVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES, AND TO PROHIBIT OTHER ACCESS EXCEPT UPON ORDER OF THE COURT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN; AND TO AMEND SECTION 30-4-40, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT, SO AS TO EXEMPT FINANCIAL DECLARATIONS IN MATTERS BEFORE THE FAMILY COURT EXCEPT ON ORDER OF THE COURT FOR GOOD CAUSE SHOWN.

Senator MARTIN asked unanimous consent to take the Bill up for immediate consideration.

There was no objection.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the second reading of the Bill.

On motion of Senator SETZLER, with unanimous consent, the Bill was carried over.

THE CALL OF THE UNCONTESTED CALENDAR HAVING BEEN COMPLETED, THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO THE MOTION PERIOD.

S. 656 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Moore, Leventis, McGill, Cleary, Setzler and Land: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-910, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE IMPOSITION OF THE STATE SALES AND USE TAX AND THE SPECIAL THREE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX IMPOSED ON UNPREPARED FOOD, SO AS TO REDUCE THIS SPECIAL RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD FROM THREE PERCENT TO TWO PERCENT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008, TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE PROVISION, AND TO REDUCE THIS TWO PERCENT RATE IN INCREMENTS OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENTAGE POINT IF THE FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH FORECAST OF ANNUAL GENERAL FUND GROWTH FOR THE UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR EQUALS AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT OF THE MOST RECENT ESTIMATE OF GENERAL FUND REVENUE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT EXEMPTION FOR UNPREPARED FOOD WHICH LAWFULLY MAY BE PURCHASED WITH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD COUPONS BEGINNING THE JULY FIRST THAT THE PHASE-DOWN OF THE STATE SALES TAX RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD ATTAINS ZERO.

Senator MARTIN moved under the provisions of Rule 32B to give S. 656 priority status ahead of all other matters on the Contested Calendar.

There was no objection and S. 656 was given priority status at the beginning of the Contested Calendar.

On motion of Senator MARTIN, the Senate agreed to dispense with the Motion Period.

THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO A CALL OF THE CONTESTED STATEWIDE AND LOCAL CALENDAR.

S. 656 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Moore, Leventis, McGill, Cleary, Setzler and Land: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-910, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE IMPOSITION OF THE STATE SALES AND USE TAX AND THE SPECIAL THREE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX IMPOSED ON UNPREPARED FOOD, SO AS TO REDUCE THIS SPECIAL RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD FROM THREE PERCENT TO TWO PERCENT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008, TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE PROVISION, AND TO REDUCE THIS TWO PERCENT RATE IN INCREMENTS OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENTAGE POINT IF THE FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH FORECAST OF ANNUAL GENERAL FUND GROWTH FOR THE UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR EQUALS AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT OF THE MOST RECENT ESTIMATE OF GENERAL FUND REVENUE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT EXEMPTION FOR UNPREPARED FOOD WHICH LAWFULLY MAY BE PURCHASED WITH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD COUPONS BEGINNING THE JULY FIRST THAT THE PHASE-DOWN OF THE STATE SALES TAX RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD ATTAINS ZERO.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Finance.

Amendment No. P-1

Senator LEATHERMAN proposed the following Amendment No. P-1 (656R003.HKL), which was adopted:

Amend the committee report, as and if amended, page [656-1], by striking line 34 and inserting:

/   States Department of Agriculture food coupons is three one   /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator LEATHERMAN explained the amendment.

The Committee on Finance proposed the following amendment (BBM\9976HTC07), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking subsection (D) of Section 12-36-910, as contained in SECTION 1, beginning on page 1, and inserting:

/ "(D)(1)   Notwithstanding the rate of the tax imposed pursuant to subsection (A) of this section or the rate of any other sales tax imposed pursuant to this chapter and the rate of any use tax imposed pursuant to this chapter, effective November 1, 2007, the sales and use tax on the gross proceeds of sales or sales price of unprepared food which lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons is three two percent.

(2)   There is transferred from the general fund of the State to the EIA Fund in fiscal year 2006-2007 the revenue estimated by the Board of Economic Advisors to equal EIA revenue not received as a result of the two percent sales tax differential provided pursuant to this subsection. Beginning with the February 15, 2008, forecast by the Board of Economic Advisors of annual general fund revenue growth for the upcoming fiscal year, and annually thereafter, if the forecast of that growth equals at least five percent of the most recent estimate by the board of general fund revenues for the current fiscal year, the then applicable state sales and use tax rate imposed on unprepared food which lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons is reduced, effective the following July first, by one-half of one percentage point. That reduced rate applies until a subsequent reduction takes effect. If the February fifteenth forecast meets the requirement for a rate reduction, the board promptly shall certify this result in writing to the Department of Revenue. On the July first that the rate attains zero, the provisions of this subsection no longer apply.

(3)   Twenty percent of the sales and use tax revenue attributable to the then applicable special rate imposed pursuant to this subsection, as estimated by the Board of Economic Advisors, must be credited to the EIA Fund. The balance of the revenue must be credited to the general fund of the State and used for the purposes provided for pursuant to Section 59-21-1010(A)." /

Amend further, as and if amended, page 2, by striking SECTION 3 and inserting:

/ SECTION   3.   Except where otherwise stated, this act takes effect July 1, 2007. /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Amendment No. 1

Senator RYBERG proposed the following Amendment No. 1 (656R001.WGR), which was tabled:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting words and inserting:

/   SECTION   1.   Section 12-36-910(D) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 388 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(D)(1)   Notwithstanding the rate of the tax imposed pursuant to subsection (A) of this section or the rate of any other sales tax imposed pursuant to this chapter and the rate of any use tax imposed pursuant to this chapter, there may be no the sales and use tax imposed on the gross proceeds of sales or the sales price of unprepared food which lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons is three percent.

(2)   There is transferred from the general fund of the State to the EIA Fund in fiscal year 2006-2007 the revenue estimated by the Board of Economic Advisors to equal EIA revenue not received as a result of the two percent sales tax differential provided pursuant to this subsection."

SECTION   2.   Section 12-36-2120 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding a new item at the end appropriately numbered to read:

"( )   unprepared food that lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons. However, the exemption allowed by this item applies only to the state sales and use tax imposed pursuant to this chapter."

SECTION   3.   This act takes effect November 1, 2007.   /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator RYBERG explained the amendment.

Point of Order

Senator HUTTO raised a Point of Order that the amendment was out of order inasmuch as it was not germane to the Bill and violative of Rule 24A.

The PRESIDENT overruled the Point of Order.

Senator LEATHERMAN spoke on the amendment.

Senator LAND moved to lay the amendment on the table.

The amendment was laid on the table.

Recorded Vote

Senators McCONNELL, RYBERG, GROOMS and BRYANT desired to be recorded as voting against the motion to table the amendment.

There being no further amendments, the Bill was read the second time, passed and ordered to a third reading.

S. 656--Ordered to a Third Reading

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, S. 656 was ordered to receive a third reading on Friday, April 27, 2007.

On motion of Senators HAWKINS, RITCHIE, REESE and PEELER, with unanimous consent, the Senate stood adjourned out of respect to the memory of Mr. Virgil Wall of Spartanburg , S.C.

At 12:30 P.M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, the Senate adjourned to meet tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. under the provisions of Rule 1 for the purpose of taking up local matters and uncontested matters which have previously received unanimous consent to be taken up.

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