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

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
(Statewide Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 1:00 P.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the PRESIDENT Pro Tempore.

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

The prophet Jeremiah writes:

"Their tongue is a deadly arrow; it speaks deceit through the mouth. They all speak friendly words to their neighbors, but inwardly are planning to lay an ambush."     (Jeremiah 9:8)

Join me now in prayer, friends:

Thank goodness the way of vindictiveness and vituperation is not really the way of this Senate, dear Lord. The circumstances highlighted by Jeremiah the prophet are not typically to be found here in this Chamber. And even though at times emotions might run a bit high, nonetheless, civility, collegiality, and, above all, genuine concern for the common good are paramount here. We thank You, O God, for that reality. Continue to guide these leaders. Grant them opportunities to disagree sometimes without ever being disagreeable. Allow the final results ultimately to speak for themselves, while You bind us all together in common purpose, focusing energies and talents on the common good. We pray this in Your loving name, Lord.
Amen.

RECESS

At 1:05 P.M., on motion of Senator LEVENTIS, the Senate receded from business pending the presence of a quorum.

At 1:20 P.M., a quorum being present, the Senate resumed.

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

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR

The following appointment was transmitted by the Honorable Mark C. Sanford:

Local Appointment

Initial Appointment, Allendale County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2006, and to expire April 30, 2010

John Alonzo Chaney, P. O. Box 1173, Fairfax, S.C. 29827 VICE Carl McKenzie Love

Doctor of the Day

Senator DRUMMOND introduced Dr. Lincoln M. McGinnis of Greenwood, S.C., Doctor of the Day.

RECALLED

H. 3207 (Word version) -- Rep. Hosey: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO REQUEST THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NAME THE BRIDGE THAT CROSSES GAUL CREEK ALONG SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 3 IN ALLENDALE COUNTY "CLEMENT O. MCINTOSH, SR. BRIDGE" AND ERECT APPROPRIATE MARKERS OR SIGNS AT THIS BRIDGE THAT CONTAIN THE WORDS "CLEMENT O. MCINTOSH, SR. BRIDGE".

Senator GROOMS asked unanimous consent to make a motion to recall the Resolution from the Committee on Transportation.

There was no objection.

The Resolution was recalled from the Committee on Transportation and ordered placed on the Calendar for consideration tomorrow.

RECALLED

H. 3844 (Word version) -- Reps. Vick, Neilson, Lucas and Jennings: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO REQUEST THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NAME THE BRIDGE THAT CROSSES THOMPSON CREEK ALONG DON HILL ROAD (S-13-59) IN CHESTERFIELD COUNTY "BOATWRIGHT BRIDGE" AND ERECT APPROPRIATE MARKERS OR SIGNS AT THIS BRIDGE THAT CONTAIN THE WORDS "BOATWRIGHT BRIDGE".

Senator SHEHEEN asked unanimous consent to make a motion to recall the Resolution from the Committee on Transportation.

There was no objection.

The Resolution was recalled from the Committee on Transportation and ordered placed on the Calendar for consideration tomorrow.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

The following were introduced:

S. 760 (Word version) -- Senator Setzler: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND MR. HORACE E. HARMON, JR. FOR THIRTY-THREE YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE AS DIRECTOR OF THE LEXINGTON COUNTY MUSEUM UPON HIS RETIREMENT AND TO WISH HIM MANY YEARS OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.
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The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

S. 761 (Word version) -- Senator Sheheen: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 49-21-55 SO AS TO REQUIRE THE SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL TO REVIEW STREAM FLOW DATA REPORTED BY THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AT A RIVER BASIN WHERE WATER FLOWS INTO THE STATE FROM A NEIGHBORING STATE AND WATER QUALITY DATA GENERATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, A NEIGHBORING STATE, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL, TO PROVIDE A QUARTERLY REPORT OF THESE RECORDS TO VARIOUS GOVERNMENT ENTITIES AND REPORT A SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN THE WATER QUALITY OR FLOW OF A RIVER BASIN TO VARIOUS GOVERNMENT ENTITIES PROMPTLY, TO REQUIRE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PURSUE ACTION NEEDED TO CAUSE A NEIGHBORING STATE TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OR FLOW OF WATER FLOWING FROM THAT STATE INTO THIS STATE'S RIVER BASINS AND TO REQUIRE THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO PURSUE THE RECOVERY OF RELATED DAMAGES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 49-21-10, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS IN CONNECTION WITH THE INTERBASIN TRANSFER OF WATER, SO AS TO DEFINE A "SIGNIFICANT DECLINE IN WATER QUALITY AND FLOW".
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.

S. 762 (Word version) -- Senator Verdin: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 38-53-270, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO A PROFESSIONAL BONDSMAN'S MAINTENANCE OF SECURITY DEPOSITS WITH THE CLERK OF COURT, TO CHANGE THE AMOUNT A PROFESSIONAL BONDSMAN SHALL MAINTAIN AS A DEPOSIT WITH A CLERK OF COURT, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PROFESSIONAL BONDSMAN PRESENTLY LICENSED IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE INCREASED MINIMUM DEPOSITS.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance.

S. 763 (Word version) -- Senator McConnell: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-50, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO SERVICE CREDIT IN THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL SERVICE THAT MAY BE ESTABLISHED AND THE PAYMENT REQUIRED THEREFOR.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Finance.

S. 764 (Word version) -- Senator Campsen: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 22-3-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE CIVIL JURISDICTION OF THE MAGISTRATES COURT, SO AS TO INCREASE THE CIVIL JURISDICTION FROM SEVEN THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS TO TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 765 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman and McConnell: A BILL TO PROVIDE THAT THE REMAINS OF THE CSS PEE DEE, A CONFEDERATE NAVAL VESSEL WHICH SANK IN THE GREAT PEE DEE RIVER, AS WELL AS ALL OTHER ARTIFACTS LYING IN THE GREAT PEE DEE RIVER IN THE AREA BELOW THE ORDINARY HIGH WATER MARK BETWEEN FLORENCE AND MARION COUNTY, IN A ZONE TWO MILES ABOVE AND TWO MILES BELOW THE UNITED STATES HIGHWAY 76 BRIDGE, IS THE PROPERTY OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL TO COLLECT ANY ARTIFACTS FROM THE AREA.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 766 (Word version) -- Senators Elliott, Fair and Knotts: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-110, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE SHORT TITLE OF ARTICLE 3, CHAPTER 7, TITLE 44, TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-120, RELATING TO THE PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE, TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-130, RELATING TO DEFINITIONS IN THIS ARTICLE, TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-140, RELATING TO DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL TO ADMINISTER THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM AND HEALTH FACILITY LICENSURE, TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-150, RELATING TO DUTIES OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND TO AMEND SECTION 44-7-170, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO FACILITIES TO WHICH THIS ARTICLE APPLIES, ALL SO AS TO DELETE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM, THEREBY ABOLISHING THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 44-7-160, 44-7-180, 44-7-185, 44-7-190, 44-7-200, 44-7-210, 44-7-220, 44-7-230, AND 44-7-240 ALL RELATING TO THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM AND POWERS AND PROCEDURES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL RELATIVE TO THE CERTIFICATE OF NEED PROGRAM.
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Senator ELLIOTT spoke on the Bill.

Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Medical Affairs.

S. 767 (Word version) -- Senator Knotts: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE AND HONOR RONALD M. (RON) JOYE OF LEXINGTON COUNTY FOR HIS OUTSTANDING THIRTY-THREE YEAR CAREER IN STATE GOVERNMENT AND FOR HIS DISTINGUISHED SERVICE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION UPON HIS RETIREMENT.
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S. 768 (Word version) -- Senator Cromer: A SENATE RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING COACH PATSY E. RHODES ON THE OCCASION OF HER RETIREMENT AND THANKING HER FOR HER YEARS OF COMMITMENT AND DEDICATION TO ATHLETIC AND ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE IN THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
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S. 769 (Word version) -- Senator Martin: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING DANNY R. SHARPE UPON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES OF PICKENS COUNTY AND THANKING HIM FOR HIS MANY YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE FIELD OF MENTAL HEALTH IN THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
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The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

S. 770 (Word version) -- Senator Leventis: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 7-7-501, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF VOTING PRECINCTS IN SUMTER COUNTY, SO AS TO RENAME AND REVISE CERTAIN VOTING PRECINCTS OF SUMTER COUNTY AND REDESIGNATE A MAP NUMBER FOR THE MAP ON WHICH LINES OF THESE PRECINCTS ARE DELINEATED AND MAINTAINED BY THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND STATISTICS OF THE STATE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD, AND TO CORRECT ARCHAIC LANGUAGE.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 771 (Word version) -- Senator Hutto: A BILL TO CREATE THE ALLENDALE COUNTY AERONAUTICS AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE APPOINTMENT OF MEMBERS, THEIR TERMS, POWERS, DUTIES, AND RESPONSIBILITIES.
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Read the first time and ordered placed on the Local and Uncontested Calendar.

H. 4020 (Word version) -- Rep. Barfield: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 59-136-140, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY, SO AS TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE BOARD ONLY MEET IN CONWAY, AND TO ADD SECTION 59-136-160 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT ALL PROPERTY, REAL AND PERSONAL, AND RIGHTS OF EVERY DESCRIPTION VESTED IN THE UNIVERSITY SHALL BE VESTED IN "COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY".

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

H. 4062 (Word version) -- Reps. Crawford, Lowe, Alexander, Branham and Williams: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION APPLAUDING THE WEST FLORENCE HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS TEAM ON ITS 22-2 RECORD FOR 2007, CAPPED BY CAPTURING THE AAAA STATE TENNIS TITLE WITH A WIN OVER THE DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS OF LEXINGTON HIGH SCHOOL.

The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered returned to the House.

H. 4063 (Word version) -- Reps. Jennings, 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, 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, White, Whitmire, Williams, Witherspoon and Young: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO COMMEND MAYOR BENJY ROGERS OF BENNETTSVILLE FOR HIS LIFETIME OF DEDICATED PUBLIC SERVICE, CONGRATULATE HIM UPON HIS RETIREMENT AS MAYOR OF BENNETTSVILLE AFTER TWO SUCCESSFUL TERMS, AND WISH HIM CONTINUED SUCCESS AS HE ACCEPTS THE CHALLENGE OF SERVING AS MARLBORO COUNTY AUDITOR.

The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered returned to the House.

H. 4076 (Word version) -- Reps. Cotty, 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, 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, White, Whitmire, Williams, Witherspoon and Young: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR DR. JEAN M. NORMAN, OF COLUMBIA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT COUNCIL, FOR HER TIRELESS EFFORTS ON BEHALF OF OUR STATE'S SCHOOL CHILDREN, DURING A VERY DISTINGUISHED CAREER, UPON HER RETIREMENT FROM THIS POSITION.

The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered returned to the House.

H. 4078 (Word version) -- Reps. Knight, Chellis, Harrell and Young: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND THE DORCHESTER ACADEMY VARSITY FOOTBALL TEAM, OF ST. GEORGE, FOR ITS OUTSTANDING SEASON AND FOR CAPTURING THE SOUTH CAROLINA INDEPENDENT SCHOOL ASSOCIATION CLASS A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE, AND TO HONOR THE TEAM'S EXCEPTIONAL PLAYERS, COACHES, AND STAFF.

The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered returned to the House.

H. 4079 (Word version) -- Reps. Funderburk, Cotty and Lucas: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO COMMEND MRS. ANN MARIE TAYLOR, SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER AT PINE TREE HILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN KERSHAW COUNTY, FOR HER COMMITMENT TO PROVIDING QUALITY EDUCATION FOR THE CHILDREN OF SOUTH CAROLINA, AND TO CONGRATULATE HER UPON BEING NAMED THE 2007 SOUTH CAROLINA TEACHER OF THE YEAR.

The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered returned to the House.

H. 4098 (Word version) -- Rep. Kirsh: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO CONGRATULATE WILLIAM DURHAM HOPPER OF YORK COUNTY ON THE OCCASION OF HIS SIXTY-FIFTH BIRTHDAY AND TO WISH HIM MUCH HAPPINESS AND FULFILLMENT IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.

The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered returned to the House.

REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 310 (Word version) -- Senators Hayes, Setzler and Gregory: 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 THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES OR SALES PRICE OF DURABLE MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND RELATED MEDICAL SUPPLIES ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE OR MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT AND WHICH ARE SOLD BY WRITTEN PRESCRIPTION OR CERTIFICATE OF MEDICAL NECESSITY.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

S. 377 (Word version) -- Senators Ritchie, McConnell, Leventis, Martin, Hayes, Gregory, Richardson, Malloy, Sheheen, Campsen, Cleary, Setzler and Alexander: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 52, TITLE 48 OF THE 1976 CODE BY ENACTING THE "ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENT ACT OF 2007" TO PROVIDE THAT A RESIDENT TAXPAYER WHO CONSTRUCTS A COMMERCIAL BUILDING THAT MEETS THE STANDARDS SET FORTH BY THE U.S. GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL SHALL RECEIVE A TAX CREDIT, TO PROVIDE THAT A TAXPAYER WHO APPLIES FOR THE TAX CREDIT MAY PARTICIPATE IN AN EXPEDITED PERMIT PROCESS UPON THE POSTING OF AN ENVIRONMENTAL PERFORMANCE BOND, TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SHALL ADMINISTER THE ARTICLE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT ANNUALLY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL HONOR NOT MORE THAN FIVE TAXPAYERS WHO PROMOTE EFFECTIVE ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable report on:

S. 524 (Word version) -- Senator Leatherman: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 6-1-760 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO REVENUE BONDS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROCEEDS OF ACCOMMODATIONS FEES, HOSPITALITY FEES, AND STATE ACCOMMODATIONS FEES MAY BE PLEDGED AS SECURITY.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator RYBERG from the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry polled out S. 668 favorable:

S. 668 (Word version) -- Senator Alexander: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 40-11-360, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM THE APPLICATION OF CHAPTER 11, TITLE 40 (CONTRACTORS LICENSING ACT), SO AS TO EXEMPT A PROJECT IF IT IS A METAL FARM BUILDING LESS THAN FIVE THOUSAND SQUARE FEET USED ONLY FOR LIVESTOCK OR STORAGE.

Poll of the Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee
Polled 15; Ayes 15; Nays 0; Not Voting 0

AYES

Ryberg                    Drummond                  Setzler
Leventis                  McConnell                 Moore
O'Dell                    Reese                     Ford
Alexander                 Leatherman                Verdin
Grooms                    Malloy                    Bryant
Peeler

Total--15

NAYS

Total--0

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3045 (Word version) -- Reps. Cooper, Cobb-Hunter, Umphlett, Mahaffey, Sandifer, G.R. Smith, Hamilton, Davenport, Mitchell, Miller, Battle, Thompson, J.R. Smith, J.H. Neal, M.A. Pitts, Cotty, Ballentine, Haley, Ceips, Funderburk, Brady, White, Kirsh, Jefferson, Vick, McLeod, Harrell, Littlejohn, Lucas, Branham, Delleney, Bowen, Gambrell, Gullick and Sellers: A BILL TO ENACT THE "VOLUNTEER STRATEGIC ASSISTANCE AND FIRE EQUIPMENT ACT OF 2007 (V-SAFE)" BY ADDING CHAPTER 51 TO TITLE 23, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS ANNUALLY FOR GRANTS THAT MUST BE AWARDED TO CERTAIN VOLUNTEER AND COMBINATION FIRE DEPARTMENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROTECTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND REGIONAL RESPONSE AREAS FROM INCIDENTS OF FIRE, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, TERRORISM, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE SAFETY OF VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE GRANTS MUST BE ADMINISTERED BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE FIREFIGHTERS' ASSOCIATION IN CONJUNCTION WITH A PEER REVIEW PANEL.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable report on:

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.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3495 (Word version) -- Rep. Kirsh: A BILL TO AMEND SECTIONS 8-11-160 AND 8-11-165, BOTH AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE AGENCY HEAD SALARY COMMISSION, SO AS TO INCLUDE TECHNICAL COLLEGE PRESIDENTS AS OFFICIALS TO WHICH THESE PROVISIONS APPLY.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3567 (Word version) -- Reps. Rice, Gullick, Cotty and Agnew: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-21-620, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO TAXATION ON CIGARETTES, SO AS TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF TAX ON EACH CIGARETTE FROM THREE AND ONE-HALF MILLS TO TWO CENTS; TO ADD SECTION 44-6-157 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE REVENUE GENERATED FROM THE TAXATION ON CIGARETTES MUST BE USED TO EXPAND MEDICAID COVERAGE TO CHILDREN EIGHTEEN YEARS OF AGE AND YOUNGER WHOSE FAMILY INCOME DOES NOT EXCEED TWO HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL; AND TO CREATE THE HEALTH CARE TRUST FUND TO PROVIDE MEDICAID BENEFITS TO INDIVIDUALS WHOSE FAMILY INCOME DOES NOT EXCEED ONE HUNDRED PERCENT OF THE FEDERAL POVERTY LEVEL AND WHO ARE UNINSURED AND TO PROVIDE THAT REVENUE IN EXCESS OF THE CHILDREN'S MEDICAID COVERAGE FROM THE CIGARETTE TAX MUST BE CREDITED TO THE HEALTH CARE TRUST FUND; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-910, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SALES TAXES GENERALLY, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT AS OF JULY 1, 2009, THE THREE PERCENT SALES TAX IS ELIMINATED ON UNPREPARED FOOD WHICH LAWFULLY MAY BE PURCHASED WITH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD COUPONS, TO PROVIDE FOR CERTAIN GENERAL FUND TRANSFERS TO THE EDUCATION IMPROVEMENT ACT FUND FOR EACH FISCAL YEAR TO OFFSET EIA REVENUES LOST AS A RESULT OF THE LOSS OF SALES TAX ON THE SALE OF UNPREPARED FOOD, AND TO REDUCE THE SALES TAX ON UNPREPARED FOOD TO TWO PERCENT AS OF JULY 1, 2007, AND ONE PERCENT AS OF JULY 1, 2008.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3659 (Word version) -- Reps. Kirsh, Simrill, Owens, Scott and McLeod: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-33-245, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE EXCISE TAX ON ALCOHOLIC LIQUORS FOR ON-PREMISES CONSUMPTION, SO AS TO REQUIRE THAT A STATE AGENCY OR LOCAL ENTITY THAT DOES NOT RECEIVE THE SAME AMOUNT OF REVENUE FROM THE EXCISE TAX AS IT DID FROM THE MINIBOTTLE TAX IN FISCAL YEAR 2004-2005, IT IS TO RECEIVE THE DIFFERENCE FROM THE GENERAL FUND WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER THE CLOSE OF EACH QUARTER IN A CALENDAR YEAR.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator LEATHERMAN from the Committee on Finance submitted a favorable report on:

H. 3783 (Word version) -- Reps. Limehouse, Crawford and Bales: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-33-210, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO BIENNIAL LICENSE TAXES GRANTED PURSUANT TO THE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL ACT, SO AS TO REDUCE THE BIENNIAL FEE FOR THE MANUFACTURER'S LICENSE FROM FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator KNOTTS from the Committee on Invitations polled out H. 3955 favorable:

H. 3955 (Word version) -- Reps. Bedingfield, G.R. Smith, Cato, Bannister, Scarborough, Shoopman, M.A. Pitts, Duncan, Sandifer, Cooper, Merrill, Crawford, Jennings, Mulvaney, J.M. Neal, Miller, G.M. Smith and Loftis: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO HONOR AND RECOGNIZE THE HARLEY OWNERS GROUP OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND TO PROCLAIM SEPTEMBER 22, 2007, H.O.G. DAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA.

Poll of the Invitations Committee
Polled 11; Ayes 11; Nays 0; Not Voting 0

AYES

Knotts                    Alexander                 Patterson
McGill                    Reese                     O'Dell
Elliott                   Ford                      Grooms
Verdin                    Campsen

Total--11

NAYS

Total--0

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

S. 139--CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPOINTED

S. 139 (Word version) -- Senators Knotts and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-37-224, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO MOTOR HOMES WHICH QUALIFY AS A PRIMARY OR SECONDARY RESIDENCE FOR PURPOSES OF AD VALOREM PROPERTY TAX, SO AS TO INCLUDE TRAILERS USED FOR CAMPING AND RECREATIONAL TRAVEL PULLED BY A MOTOR VEHICLE.

Whereupon, Senators COURSON, MATTHEWS and HAYES were appointed to the Committee of Conference on the part of the Senate and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

HOUSE CONCURRENCES

S. 749 (Word version) -- Senator Setzler: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO HONOR CENTURY 21 BOB CAPES REALTORS FOR UNPARALLELED EXCELLENCE IN THE REAL ESTATE FIELD AND TO CONGRATULATE OWNERS JIMMY DERRICK AND MIKE TAYLOR ON THEIR COMPANY'S WIN OF THE PRESTIGIOUS ART BARTLETT 2100 CUP AWARD.

Returned with concurrence.

S. 753 (Word version) -- Senator Malloy: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND SHERMAN A. JAMES, PH.D., THE DUKE UNIVERSITY "SUSAN B. KING PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC POLICY STUDIES", FOR HIS OUTSTANDING WORK IN THE AREAS OF EPIDEMIOLOGY, POVERTY AND PUBLIC POLICY, AND RACIAL AND ETHNIC HEALTH DISPARITIES, AND TO WELCOME HIM BACK TO SOUTH CAROLINA AS HE PRESENTS THE KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT THE SOUTH CAROLINA AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE COMMISSION'S "PRESERVING OUR PLACES IN HISTORY IN THE PEE DEE".

Returned with concurrence.

S. 758 (Word version) -- Senators Sheheen and Lourie: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO COMMEND MRS. ANN MARIE TAYLOR, SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER AT PINE TREE HILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN KERSHAW COUNTY, FOR HER COMMITMENT TO PROVIDING QUALITY EDUCATION FOR THE CHILDREN OF SOUTH CAROLINA, AND TO CONGRATULATE HER UPON BEING NAMED THE 2007 SOUTH CAROLINA TEACHER OF THE YEAR.

Returned with concurrence.

S. 759 (Word version) -- Senator Hawkins: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING THE HONORABLE JUSTICE E.C. BURNETT, III UPON THE OCCASION OF HIS RETIREMENT FROM THE SOUTH CAROLINA SUPREME COURT, THANKING HIM FOR HIS DEDICATION TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH CAROLINA AND THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE, AND WISHING HIM WELL IN THE FUTURE.

Returned with concurrence.

S. 760 (Word version) -- Senator Setzler: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND COMMEND MR. HORACE E. HARMON, JR., FOR THIRTY-THREE YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE AS DIRECTOR OF THE LEXINGTON COUNTY MUSEUM UPON HIS RETIREMENT, AND TO WISH HIM MANY YEARS OF HEALTH AND HAPPINESS IN ALL HIS FUTURE ENDEAVORS.

Returned with concurrence.

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

HOUSE BILL RETURNED

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

H. 3833 (Word version) -- Reps. Moss, Littlejohn and Phillips: A BILL TO REVISE THE DATE FOR ELECTIONS FOR THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF CHEROKEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT 1, THE FILING PERIOD, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS ARE DETERMINED.

By prior motion of Senator PEELER

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

S. 756 (Word version) -- Senator Bryant: A BILL TO PROVIDE THAT, IN ANDERSON COUNTY, ANY REFERENDUM HELD BY A LOCAL TAXING AUTHORITY TO SEEK APPROVAL FOR AN INCREASE IN MILLAGE RATES, TO ISSUE BONDS, OR FOR ANY OTHER REVENUE RAISING MEASURE MUST BE HELD AT THE TIME AS THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION WHEN MEMBERS OF THE TAXING AUTHORITY ARE ELECTED, EXCEPT THAT THE REFERENDUM MUST BE HELD AT THE NEXT CITY ELECTION WHEN CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS ARE ELECTED IF THE TAXING AUTHORITY SEEKING THE REVENUE RAISING MEASURE IS THE ANDERSON CITY COUNCIL.

S. 756--Ordered to a Third Reading

On motion of Senator BRYANT, with unanimous consent, S. 756 was ordered to receive a third reading on Thursday, May 17, 2007.

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.

RETURNED TO THE HOUSE

H. 3161 (Word version) -- Reps. Walker, Mahaffey, Herbkersman, Cotty, Hagood, Scarborough and Stavrinakis: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 59-67-105 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE MAXIMUM SCHOOL BUS RIDE TIME OF EACH STUDENT AND ROUTING EFFICIENCY FOR EACH SCHOOL BUS; BY ADDING SECTION 59-67-108 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR REQUIRED SCHOOL BUS DRIVER CERTIFICATION TRAINING; BY ADDING SECTION 59-67-415 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT PARENTS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAFETY, CONDUCT, AND TIMELY ARRIVAL OF THEIR CHILDREN TO, FROM, AND AT THE SCHOOL BUS STOP; TO AMEND SECTION 59-67-100, RELATING TO SCHOOL BUS SEATING SPACE AND STUDENTS ASSIGNED TO A SCHOOL BUS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE NUMBER OF STUDENTS ASSIGNED TO A SCHOOL BUS MUST NOT BE GREATER THAN THE MANUFACTURER CERTIFIED SEATING CAPACITY AND PROVIDE THAT ALL PASSENGERS TRANSPORTED MUST HAVE ADEQUATE SEATING AREA TO COMPLY WITH CERTAIN STANDARDS; TO AMEND SECTION 59-67-270, RELATING TO INSPECTION OF BUSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT SCHOOL BUSES MUST BE INSPECTED AT LEAST ONCE ANNUALLY; AND TO AMEND SECTION 59-67-420, RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION TO BE PROVIDED TO STUDENTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE SHALL BEAR THE COST OF TRANSPORTING STUDENTS WHEN THE TRANSPORTATION IS AUTHORIZED BY STATE LAW OR REGULATION, PROVIDE THAT THE STATE MAY ASSUME THE RESPONSIBILITY OF TRANSPORTING STUDENTS WHO LIVE WITHIN A CERTAIN DISTANCE OF THE SCHOOL WHEN HAZARDOUS TRAFFIC CONDITIONS ARE INVOLVED, PROVIDE THAT THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SHALL ESTABLISH HAZARDOUS TRAFFIC CRITERIA, PROVIDE FOR HAZARDOUS TRAFFIC FUNDS, PROVIDE THAT THE STATE SHALL PROVIDE TRANSPORTATION TO AND FROM THE RESIDENCE OF EACH UNESCORTED STUDENT PURSUANT TO CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES AND DEFINE UNESCORTED STUDENT.

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

Motion Under Rule 26B

Senator HAYES asked unanimous consent to make a motion to take up further amendments pursuant to the provisions of Rule 26B.

There was no objection.

Senators CLEARY, HAYES and KNOTTS proposed the following amendment (3161R005.REC), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, page 2, by striking SECTION 2 in its entirety and inserting:

/     SECTION   2.   Article 1, Chapter 67, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 59-67-108.   (A)(1)   Only a person who has been certified by the State Board of Education may drive a school bus, as defined in Section 59-67-10, when transporting preprimary, primary, or secondary students to or from school.

(2)   When transporting public school students, a driver operating a bus owned by the State, a local school agency, or by a private contractor that is in compliance with Section 56-5-2770 and the National School Bus chrome yellow requirements in Section 59-67-30 must possess a School Bus Driver's Certificate-A, as established by the State Board of Education. A driver awarded a school bus driver's certificate pursuant to Section 59-67-470 shall be issued the School Bus Driver's Certificate-A.

(3)   When transporting public school students, a driver operating a bus owned by a local school agency or by a private contractor that is not in compliance with either Section 56-5-2770 or the National School Bus chrome yellow requirements in Section 59-67-30 must possess a School Bus Driver's Certificate-B, as established by the State Board of Education. Upon application to the State Board of Education, a driver who possesses a commercial driver's license must be awarded a School Bus Driver's Certificate-B. A driver who possesses a School Bus Driver's Certificate-B may not use traffic control devices permitted in Section 56-5-2770.

(B)   Any person transporting ten or more preprimary, primary, or secondary students to or from school, school-related activities, or childcare in a vehicle with enabled traffic control devices must receive training as to the proper operation of these traffic control devices. The State Department of Education shall establish an appropriate level of driver certification."   /

Amend the bill further, as and if amended, page 3, by striking SECTION 6 in its entirety and inserting:

/     SECTION   6.   Section 59-67-420 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 59-67-420.   (A)   The State, acting through the State Board of Education, assumes no obligation to transport any child student to or from school who lives within one and one-half miles of the school he attends, nor to provide transportation services extending within a one-half three-tenths of a mile radius walking distance of the residence of any child student, nor to furnish transportation for any child student who attends a grade in a school outside the pupil's district school attendance zone in which the student resides when the same grade is taught in an appropriate school that is located within the school district in which the pupil lives student resides. The State shall bear the cost of transporting pupils students to regularly organized instructional classes in the district or school attendance area for which state-required school credit is given must be borne by the State. The cost of transportation for new programs conducted by the school districts must be borne by the school district until such time as the program is approved by the State Board of Education and adequate funding for the cost of transportation for the programs is arranged. The State is not responsible for any additional transportation that is not authorized by state law or regulation.

(B)   The State may assume the obligation of transporting students living within one and one-half miles of their schools and within a one-half three-tenths of a mile radius walking distance of their residences when it is for the health and safety of the children students where hazardous traffic conditions are involved, provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. In these cases, the local school district may shall apply in writing to the State Department of Education for the department State to assume the financial responsibility for this transportation, for the health and safety of the children involved provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. If funds are not appropriated by the General Assembly, then neither the State nor a local school district is required to assume this obligation. In its application, local school districts shall assign priority to its requests for transportation on the basis of children's ages, with the youngest children subject to hazardous conditions receiving the highest priorities. After examining the request, the state department shall render a decision on each application based on the location of the schools in relation to students' homes, the traffic patterns on adjacent roads, the existence of sidewalks, children's ages, and other factors considered pertinent. The state department shall not approve local district applications that have not assigned priority on the basis of children's ages, with the youngest children receiving highest priority. Highway and railroad traffic hazardous criteria must be established by the school district governing body and must address the safety of the walk zone as it relates to the location of the school to the student's residence, the traffic patterns, speeds and volume on roadways and railroads, the existence of sidewalks or other walk paths, the student's age, available crossing control systems and personnel, and other factors considered pertinent. The districts shall weigh the need for state hazardous transportation funds by giving priority to students who are least familiar with traffic movement and the complexity of the traffic hazards. The Department of Education shall equitably allocate appropriated funds to the district for hazardous transportation services, provided funds are appropriated by the General Assembly for this purpose. The department shall receive each district's applications for transportation within a hazardous area and apply these against the district's allocation until available funds are exhausted. When available state funds are exhausted, the remaining costs are the responsibility of the respective district, if the local school district has elected to assume this obligation. If funds are not appropriated by the General Assembly, then neither the State nor a local school district shall be required to assume this obligation.

(C)   Regardless of the provisions of the first paragraph of this section Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A), the State shall transport and bear the cost of transporting five-year old three and four-year-old children students attending public school kindergarten programs to their residences at the conclusion of a morning kindergarten child development session and from their residences to an afternoon kindergarten child development session.

(D)   The State shall provide school transportation service as closely and safely as practicable, to the residence of each unescorted student who is eligible to receive state-funded school transportation service and who is enrolled in a full-day four-year-old child development program or kindergarten through the second grade, provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. The State shall provide school transportation service within two-tenths of a mile of each unescorted student's residence who is eligible to receive state-funded school transportation service and who is enrolled in third through fifth grade provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. The special provisions of unescorted students in child development through fifth grade are limited to service documented in the annual route plan. If funds are not appropriated by the General Assembly, then neither the State nor a local school district is required to assume this obligation. Any unescorted stop made pursuant to this subsection is deemed in compliance with any applicable regulation as determined by the State Department of Education.

(E)   An unescorted student is defined as a student who has no adult or responsible older person available to accompany him to or from the school bus stop for the purpose of providing protection and guidance. Parents or guardians may be considered unavailable for escort if they make application to, meet the unescorted criteria established by, and are granted approval by the school district governing body. The extent and level of service for students will be established and implemented by each individual school district to assure that the most efficient, safe, and timely service possible is provided. To insure equitable distribution of available funds, the State Department of Education must approve the school district criteria associated with the distribution of funds as provided in this subsection. The criteria may consider parents and guardians who are nonambulatory, who are caretakers for a person requiring their undivided attention, or for other similar circumstances.

(F)   The State shall provide to the local school district the number of school buses required to accommodate all students identified as eligible for transport with state funds under the provisions of Section 59-67-420."     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HAYES explained the amendment.

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

The following Bill was read the third time and ordered sent to the House of Representatives:

S. 218 (Word version) -- Senator Courson: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 5, CHAPTER 9, TITLE 25 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT, TO NAME THE COMPACT THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT INSTEAD OF THE SOUTHERN REGIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSISTANCE COMPACT; TO AMEND ARTICLE 4, CHAPTER 1, TITLE 25, RELATING TO THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION, TO PROVIDE THAT THE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTING AN INCIDENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE GOVERNOR SHALL DEVELOP AND COORDINATE AN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM THAT INCLUDES CERTAIN PROVISIONS AND PROCEDURES.

SENT TO THE HOUSE

S. 214 (Word version) -- Senators Hawkins and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 59-67-420 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE EXTENT OF SCHOOL-RELATED TRANSPORTATION TO BE PROVIDED TO STUDENTS BY THE STATE, TO REDUCE THE AREA FOR WHICH THE STATE ASSUMES NO OBLIGATION TO TRANSPORT ANY CHILD TO OR FROM SCHOOL FROM WITHIN ONE AND ONE-HALF MILES OF THE SCHOOL HE ATTENDS TO ONE-HALF OF A MILE.

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

Motion Under Rule 26B

Senator HAYES asked unanimous consent to make a motion to take up further amendments pursuant to the provisions of Rule 26B.

There was no objection.

Senators CLEARY, HAYES and KNOTTS proposed the following amendment (214R003.REC), which was adopted:

Amend the committee report, as and if amended, page 2, by striking SECTION 2 in its entirety and inserting:

/   SECTION   2.   Article 1, Chapter 67, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 59-67-108.   (A)(1)   Only a person who has been certified by the State Board of Education may drive a school bus, as defined in Section 59-67-10, when transporting preprimary, primary, or secondary students to or from school.

(2)   When transporting public school students, a driver operating a bus owned by the State, a local school agency, or by a private contractor that is in compliance with Section 56-5-2770 and the National School Bus chrome yellow requirements in Section 59-67-30 must possess a School Bus Driver's Certificate-A, as established by the State Board of Education. A driver awarded a school bus driver's certificate pursuant to Section 59-67-470 shall be issued the School Bus Driver's Certificate-A.

(3)   When transporting public school students, a driver operating a bus owned by a local school agency or by a private contractor that is not in compliance with either Section 56-5-2770 or the National School Bus chrome yellow requirements in Section 59-67-30 must possess a School Bus Driver's Certificate-B, as established by the State Board of Education. Upon application to the State Board of Education, a driver who possesses a commercial driver's license must be awarded a School Bus Driver's Certificate-B. A driver who possesses a School Bus Driver's Certificate-B may not use traffic control devices permitted in Section 56-5-2770.

(B)   Any person transporting ten or more preprimary, primary, or secondary students to or from school, school-related activities, or childcare in a vehicle with enabled traffic control devices must receive training as to the proper operation of these traffic control devices. The State Department of Education shall establish an appropriate level of driver certification."   /

Amend the bill further, as and if amended, page 3, by striking SECTION 6 in its entirety and inserting:

/     SECTION   6.   Section 59-67-420 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 59-67-420.   (A)   The State, acting through the State Board of Education, assumes no obligation to transport any child student to or from school who lives within one and one-half miles of the school he attends, nor to provide transportation services extending within a one-half three-tenths of a mile radius walking distance of the residence of any child student, nor to furnish transportation for any child student who attends a grade in a school outside the pupil's district school attendance zone in which the student resides when the same grade is taught in an appropriate school that is located within the school district in which the pupil lives student resides. The State shall bear the cost of transporting pupils students to regularly organized instructional classes in the district or school attendance area for which state-required school credit is given must be borne by the State. The cost of transportation for new programs conducted by the school districts must be borne by the school district until such time as the program is approved by the State Board of Education and adequate funding for the cost of transportation for the programs is arranged. The State is not responsible for any additional transportation that is not authorized by state law or regulation.

(B)   The State may assume the obligation of transporting students living within one and one-half miles of their schools and within a one-half three-tenths of a mile radius walking distance of their residences when it is for the health and safety of the children students where hazardous traffic conditions are involved, provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. In these cases, the local school district may shall apply in writing to the State Department of Education for the department State to assume the financial responsibility for this transportation, for the health and safety of the children involved provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. If funds are not appropriated by the General Assembly, then neither the State nor a local school district is required to assume this obligation. In its application, local school districts shall assign priority to its requests for transportation on the basis of children's ages, with the youngest children subject to hazardous conditions receiving the highest priorities. After examining the request, the state department shall render a decision on each application based on the location of the schools in relation to students' homes, the traffic patterns on adjacent roads, the existence of sidewalks, children's ages, and other factors considered pertinent. The state department shall not approve local district applications that have not assigned priority on the basis of children's ages, with the youngest children receiving highest priority. Highway and railroad traffic hazardous criteria must be established by the school district governing body and must address the safety of the walk zone as it relates to the location of the school to the student's residence, the traffic patterns, speeds and volume on roadways and railroads, the existence of sidewalks or other walk paths, the student's age, available crossing control systems and personnel, and other factors considered pertinent. The districts shall weigh the need for state hazardous transportation funds by giving priority to students who are least familiar with traffic movement and the complexity of the traffic hazards. The Department of Education shall equitably allocate appropriated funds to the district for hazardous transportation services, provided funds are appropriated by the General Assembly for this purpose. The department shall receive each district's applications for transportation within a hazardous area and apply these against the district's allocation until available funds are exhausted. When available state funds are exhausted, the remaining costs are the responsibility of the respective district, if the local school district has elected to assume this obligation. If funds are not appropriated by the General Assembly, then neither the State nor a local school district shall be required to assume this obligation.

(C)   Regardless of the provisions of the first paragraph of this section Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A), the State shall transport and bear the cost of transporting five-year old three and four-year-old children students attending public school kindergarten programs to their residences at the conclusion of a morning kindergarten child development session and from their residences to an afternoon kindergarten child development session.

(D)   The State shall provide school transportation service as closely and safely as practicable, to the residence of each unescorted student who is eligible to receive state-funded school transportation service and who is enrolled in a full-day four-year-old child development program or kindergarten through the second grade, provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. The State shall provide school transportation service within two-tenths of a mile of each unescorted student's residence who is eligible to receive state-funded school transportation service and who is enrolled in third through fifth grade provided funds are appropriated annually by the General Assembly for this purpose. The special provisions of unescorted students in child development through fifth grade are limited to service documented in the annual route plan. If funds are not appropriated by the General Assembly, then neither the State nor a local school district is required to assume this obligation. Any unescorted stop made pursuant to this subsection is deemed in compliance with any applicable regulation as determined by the State Department of Education.

(E)   An unescorted student is defined as a student who has no adult or responsible older person available to accompany him to or from the school bus stop for the purpose of providing protection and guidance. Parents or guardians may be considered unavailable for escort if they make application to, meet the unescorted criteria established by, and are granted approval by the school district governing body. The extent and level of service for students will be established and implemented by each individual school district to assure that the most efficient, safe, and timely service possible is provided. To insure equitable distribution of available funds, the State Department of Education must approve the school district criteria associated with the distribution of funds as provided in this subsection. The criteria may consider parents and guardians who are nonambulatory, who are caretakers for a person requiring their undivided attention, or for other similar circumstances.

(F)   The State shall provide to the local school district the number of school buses required to accommodate all students identified as eligible for transport with state funds under the provisions of Section 59-67-420."     /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator HAYES explained the amendment.

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

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., May 15, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it concurs in the amendments proposed by the Senate to:

H. 3987 (Word version) -- Rep. Phillips: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO FIX WEDNESDAY, MAY 23, 2007, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE ELECTION OF A SUCCESSOR TO A CERTAIN SEAT OF THE SUPREME COURT AND COURT OF APPEALS AND SUCCESSORS TO CERTAIN SEATS OF CIRCUIT COURTS, AS THE DATE FOR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE TO MEET IN JOINT SESSION IN THE HALL OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE PURPOSE OF ELECTING MEMBERS OF THE BOARDS OF TRUSTEES OF THE CITADEL, COASTAL CAROLINA UNIVERSITY, SOUTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY, AND WIL LOU GRAY OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL TO SUCCEED THOSE MEMBERS WHOSE TERMS EXPIRE IN 2007, OR WHOSE POSITIONS OTHERWISE MUST BE FILLED; AND TO ESTABLISH A PROCEDURE REGARDING NOMINATIONS AND NOMINATING AND SECONDING SPEECHES FOR THE CANDIDATES FOR THESE OFFICES DURING THE JOINT SESSION.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

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

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

HAVING DISPENSED WITH THE MOTION PERIOD, THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO A CONSIDERATION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS RETURNED FROM THE HOUSE.

CONCURRENCE

S. 174 (Word version) -- Senator Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND ACT 452 OF 2000, RELATING TO PAYMENT FOR THE ATTENDANCE OF MEETINGS BY THE HORRY COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE HORRY COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE MUST BE PAID AN ADDITIONAL SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH MEETING AT WHICH HE IS IN ATTENDANCE.

The House returned the Bill with amendments.

On motion of Senator ELLIOTT, the Senate concurred in the House amendments and a message was sent to the House accordingly. Ordered that the title be changed to that of an Act and the Act enrolled for Ratification.

HOUSE AMENDMENTS AMENDED
RETURNED TO THE HOUSE WITH AMENDMENTS

S. 355 (Word version) -- Senators Grooms, Richardson, Verdin, Campsen and Vaughn: A BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE RESTRUCTURING OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION. (ABBREVIATED TITLE)

The House returned the Bill with amendments.

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Bill, the question being the adoption of Amendment No. 1 (355R058.GFM) proposed by Senators McCONNELL, GROOMS and CAMPSEN and previously printed in the Journal of Tuesday, May 1, 2007.

Senator LAND argued contra to the adoption of the amendment.

RECESS

With Senator LAND retaining the floor, at 2:06 P.M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, with unanimous consent, the Senate receded from business until 2:30 P.M.

At 2:30 P.M., the Senate resumed.

RECESS

With Senator LAND retaining the floor, at 2:30 P.M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, with unanimous consent, the Senate receded from business until 3:00 P.M.

At 3:00 P.M., the Senate resumed.

ACTING PRESIDENT PRESIDES

At 3:03 P.M., Senator MARTIN assumed the Chair.

Privilege of the Chamber and Floor

On motion of Senator COURSON, with unanimous consent, representatives from the Home Builders Association of Greater Columbia were granted the Privilege of the Chamber and Floor of the Senate.

RECESS

With Senator LAND retaining the floor, at 3:03 P.M., on motion of Senator RITCHIE, with unanimous consent, the Senate receded from business until 3:30 P.M.

At 3:30 P.M., the Senate resumed.

RECESS

With Senator LAND retaining the floor, at 3:03 P.M., on motion of Senator RITCHIE, with unanimous consent, the Senate receded from business until 3:30 P.M.

At 3:30 P.M., the Senate resumed.

PRESIDENT Pro Tempore PRESIDES

At 3:31 P.M., Senator McCONNELL assumed the Chair.

RECESS

At 3:32 P.M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, the Senate receded from business subject to the Call of the Chair.

At 5:03 P.M., the Senate resumed.

PRESIDENT Pro Tempore PRESIDES

At 5:03 P.M., Senator McCONNELL assumed the Chair.

Senator LAND argued contra to the adoption of the amendment.

With Senator LAND retaining the floor on Amendment No. 1, Senator MARTIN asked unanimous consent to take up for immediate consideration Amendment No. 7.

There was no objection.

Amendment No. 7

Senators McCONNELL, GROOMS, LAND, KNOTTS, ALEXANDER, ANDERSON, BRYANT, CAMPSEN, CLEARY, COURSON, CROMER, DRUMMOND, ELLIOTT, FAIR, FORD, GREGORY, HAWKINS, HAYES, HUTTO, JACKSON, LEATHERMAN, LEVENTIS, LOURIE, MALLOY, MARTIN, MATTHEWS, McGILL, MOORE, O'DELL, PATTERSON, PEELER, PINCKNEY, RANKIN, REESE, RITCHIE, RYBERG, SCOTT, SETZLER, SHEHEEN, SHORT, THOMAS, VAUGHN, VERDIN and WILLIAMS proposed the following Amendment No. 7 (355R071.GFM), which was adopted:

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

/   SECTION   1.   Section 1-30-105 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 1-30-105.   (A)   Effective on July 1, 1993, the following agencies, boards, and commissions, including all of the allied, advisory, affiliated, or related entities as well as the employees, funds, property, and all contractual rights and obligations associated with any such agency, except for those subdivisions specifically included under another department, are hereby transferred to and incorporated in and shall be administered as part of the Department of Transportation to be initially divided into divisions for Mass Transit, Construction and Maintenance, Engineering and Planning, Finance and Administration; provided, however, that the State Highway Commission as constituted on June 30, 1993, under the provisions of Title 56, shall be the governing authority for the department until February 15, 1994, or as soon as its successors are elected or appointed and qualified, whichever is later:

Department of Highways and Public Transportation, except the Motor Vehicle Division, which was established as the Department of Motor Vehicles by Section 56-1-5, and the State Highway Patrol, formerly provided for at Section 56-1-10, et seq.

(B)   The Commission of the Department of Transportation constituted, on the effective date of this subsection, shall continue to serve until the requirements of Section 57-1-380 are met, at which time the commission is abolished and the Department of Transportation Board, as established in Chapter 1 of Title 57, is the governing authority for the department."

SECTION   2.   Section 1-3-240(C)(1) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(C)(1)     Persons appointed to the following offices of the State may be removed by the Governor for malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetency, absenteeism, conflicts of interest, misconduct, persistent neglect of duty in office, or incapacity:

(a)   Workers' Compensation Commission;

(b)   Reserved Department of Transportation Board;

(c)   Ethics Commission;

(d)   Election Commission;

(e)   Professional and Occupational Licensing Boards;

(f)   Juvenile Parole Board;

(g)   Probation, Parole and Pardon Board;

(h)   Director of the Department of Public Safety;

(i)     Board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, excepting the chairman;

(j)     Chief of State Law Enforcement Division;

(k)   South Carolina Lottery Commission;

(l)     Executive Director of the Office of Regulatory Staff; and

(m)   Directors of the South Carolina Public Service Authority appointed pursuant to Section 58-31-20. A director of the South Carolina Public Service Authority also may be removed for his breach of any duty arising under Sections 58-31-55 or 58-31-56. The Governor must not request a director of the South Carolina Public Service Authority to resign unless cause for removal, as established by this subsection, exists. Removal of a director of the South Carolina Public Service Authority, except as is provided by this section or by Section 58-31-20(A), must be considered to be an irreparable injury for which no adequate remedy at law exists."

SECTION   3.   Chapter 1 of Title 57 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"CHAPTER 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

ARTICLE 1

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Section 57-1-10.   For the purposes of this title, the following words, phrases, and terms are defined as follows:

(1)   'Commission' 'Board' means the administrative and governing body of the Department of Transportation.

(2)   'Department' means the Department of Transportation (DOT).

(3)   'Director' 'Executive Director' means the chief administrative officer of the Department of Transportation.

(4)   'Chief Highway Engineer' means the person selected by the board as provided in Section 57-1-410(B).

Section 57-1-20.   The Department of Transportation is established as an administrative agency of state government which is comprised of a Division of Mass Transit; a Division of Construction Engineering and Planning; and a Division of Finance and Administration. Each division of the Department of Transportation shall have such functions and powers as provided for by law.

Section 57-1-30.   (A)   The department shall have as its functions and purposes the systematic planning, construction, maintenance, and operation of the state highway system and the development of a statewide mass transit system that is consistent with the needs and desires of the public.

(B)   The department shall coordinate all state and federal programs relating to highways among all departments, agencies, and other bodies politic and legally constituted agencies of this State and the performance of such other duties and matters as may be delegated to it pursuant to law. The goal of the department is to provide adequate, safe, and efficient transportation services for the movement of people and goods.

Section 57-1-35.   The members of the board and employees of the department are subject to the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 8, the State Ethics Act, and the provisions of Chapter 78 of Title 15, the South Carolina Tort Claims Act.

Section 57-1-40.   (A)   It is unlawful for a member of the commission board or an engineer, agent, or other employee, acting for or in behalf of the department or commission board, to accept or agree to accept, receive or agree to receive, or ask or solicit, either directly or indirectly, with the intent to have his decision or action on any question, matter, cause, or proceeding which at the time may be pending or which by law may be brought before him in his official capacity or in his place of trust or profit influenced, any:

(1)   money;

(2)   contract, promise, undertaking, obligation, gratuity, or security for the payment of money or for the delivery or conveyance of anything of value;

(3)   political appointment or influence, present, or reward;

(4)   employment; or

(5)   other thing of value.

A person violating the provisions of subsection (A) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than five years and is disqualified forever from holding any office of trust or profit under the Constitution or laws of this State.

(B)   It is unlawful for a person to give or offer to give, promise, or cause or procure to be promised, offered, or given, either directly or indirectly, to a member of the commission board or an engineer, agent, or other employee acting for or on behalf of the commission board or department with the intent to have his decision or action on any question, matter, cause, or proceeding which at the time may be pending or which by law may be brought before him in his official capacity or in his place of trust or profit influenced, any:

(1)   money;

(2)   contract, promise, undertaking, obligation, gratuity, or security for the payment of money or for the delivery or conveyance of anything of value;

(3)   political appointment or influence, present, or reward;

(4)   employment; or

(5)   other thing of value.

A person violating the provisions of subsection (B) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned not more than five years and is disqualified forever from holding any office of trust or profit under the Constitution or laws of this State.

Section 57-1-50.   The assent of the State is hereby given to the terms and provisions of any act providing for federal aid to the states for the construction of highways and other related transportation projects. The good faith of the State is hereby pledged to provide sufficient funds to meet the requirements of said federal act, so as to acquire the benefits thereof.

Section 57-1-60.   (A)   The Governor, in addition to other duties and responsibilities conferred upon him by the Constitution and laws of this State, is charged with the responsibility for the administration of the state's highway safety programs and is further charged with the duty of contracting and doing all other things necessary on behalf of this State and, in so doing, to work with federal and state agencies, agencies private and public, interested organizations, and with individuals to effectuate that purpose. The Governor shall be the official of this State having the ultimate responsibility for dealing with the federal government with respect to highway safety transportation programs and activities. To that end the Governor shall coordinate the activities of any and all departments and agencies of this State and its subdivisions.

(B)(1)   The Department of Transportation Board, in conjunction with the Chief Highway Engineer, must develop a methodology for determining how to design the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) that includes, but is not limited to, the schedule of priorities for all construction projects with a projected cost of over ten million dollars, bridge replacement, major intersection improvements, widenings, interchanges, transportation earmarks, construction and scheduled repair of weigh stations, rest areas, and welcome centers and funds allocated to complete those projects. The Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) shall not include routine operation and maintenance as defined in this section.

(2)   In developing the methodology, the department must include, but is not limited to, consideration of the following criteria:

(a)   financial viability, including a life cycle analysis of estimated maintenance and repair costs over the expected life of the project;

(b)   public safety;

(c)   potential for economic development;

(d)   traffic volume;

(e)   truck traffic;

(f)   the pavement quality index;

(g)   alternative transportation solutions;

(h)   consistency with local land use plans;

(i)     environmental impact; and

(j)     federal requirements for designing and setting priorities for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).

(3)   The department shall conduct one or more public hearings to receive input prior to adopting a methodology. Any public hearing must include the opportunity for the public to address board members and staff or a hearing officer in a format so that comments are heard by the general public attending the hearing. A recording of the public hearing and documents received as public comment must be available to the public as provided in Chapter 4 of Title 30, the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.

(4)   The methodology must be submitted to the Joint Transportation Review Committee for review and comment as provided in Section 57-1-730(9).

(5)(a)   Following review of the methodology by the Joint Transportation Review Committee, the department must promulgate the methodology as a regulation under the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 23 of Title 1, the State Administrative Procedures Act. The methodology is effective only after the regulation is approved by the General Assembly as provided in Section 1-23-120, Section 1-23-125, and Section 1-23-126. The methodology must not be promulgated as an emergency regulation under the provisions of Section 1-23-130. The approved methodology must be used in designing the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) until the board determines that the methodology must be revised. If the methodology is revised by the board, the methodology must be approved as provided in this subsection prior to becoming effective and used to design the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). After the methodology is approved by regulation, the board, in conjunction with the Chief Highway Engineer, must design the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) in compliance with the approved methodology. The Chief Highway Engineer must certify that the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) meets all federal and state standards before it may be implemented. The board must develop a schedule for designing of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) that meets federal and state requirements and the needs of the public.

(b)   The department shall conduct one or more public hearings to receive input prior to developing the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). If required by federal regulations, the department must conduct a public hearing in each county affected to allow the department to share information regarding the project with the local community and to allow the local community to address its concerns with department board members and staff. Any public hearing must include the opportunity for the public to address board members and staff or a hearing officer in a format so that comments are heard by the general public attending the hearing. A recording of the public hearing and documents received as public comment must be available to the public as provided in Chapter 4 of Title 30, the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.

(C)(1)   The Executive Director is charged with evaluating and approving the routine operation and maintenance requests or emergency repairs that are needed for existing roads and bridges that are not included in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan.

(2)   Any request made under this subsection for resurfacing, installation of new signals, curb cuts, bike lanes, or construction projects under ten million dollars must be reviewed by the Chief Highway Engineer who must certify in writing to the Executive Director that the request is needed based upon objective and quantifiable factors before work may proceed.

(3)(a)   For purposes of this section 'routine operation and maintenance' includes, but is not limited to, signage of routes, pavement marking, replacement and installation of guard rails, repair and installation of signals, 'chip seal' of existing roads, enhancement projects such as streetscaping, adopt an interchange, bike lanes, curb cuts, installation of overhead message boards and cameras, research projects funded with federal aid, and pavement management system mapping.

(b)   For purposes of this section 'emergency repairs' means, but is not limited to, unforeseen deterioration of roads, bridges or equipment due to accidents, natural disasters or other causes that could not have been expected or that pose an immediate danger to the public.

Section 57-1-65.   (A)   At each board meeting the Executive Director must provide a detailed written report of all:

(1)   requests that he has received since the last board meeting for routine operation and maintenance or emergency repairs, his decision concerning those requests, and a status report on all approved requests; and

(2)   pending projects certified by the Chief Highway Engineer and the status of those projects, if there has been any material change in the status since the last board meeting.

(B)   The board must review the report and make findings as to whether the requests approved by the Executive Director meet the needs of the public based upon objective and quantifiable factors.

(C)   The board may question the Executive Director concerning the approval or denial of any request and the process the Executive Director employed to reach his decision. The board may also request additional information concerning any request and further investigate any request, approval, or denial of a project by the Executive Director. The Executive Director must fully cooperate with any request made of him or his office by the board regarding any further investigation undertaken by the board.

(D)   The text of the Executive Director's written report and the findings made by the board must be included in the board meeting minutes. A list of all projects certified since the last meeting of the board by the Chief Highway Engineer, together with an explanation of the objective and quantifiable factors used to justify his certification, must also be included in the board meeting minutes.

Section 57-1-70.   It is the sense of the General Assembly that the Department of Transportation should comply with Section 105(f) of the Federal Aid Highway Act. The department is directed to effectuate and assure the compliance through contract documents and regulations as may be necessary and such input from the Governor's Office (Office of Small and Minority Business Assistance) in the promulgation of the regulations.

ARTICLE 3

COMMISSION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Section 57-1-310.   The congressional districts of this State are constituted and created Department of Transportation districts of the State, designated by numbers corresponding to the numbers of the respective congressional districts. The Commission of the Department of Transportation shall be composed of one member from each transportation district elected by the delegations of the congressional district and one member appointed by the Governor, upon the advice and consent of the Senate, from the State at large. Such elections or appointment, as the case may be, shall take into account race and gender so as to represent, to the greatest extent possible, all segments of the population of the State; however, consideration of these factors in making an appointment or in an election in no way creates a cause of action or basis for an employee grievance for a person appointed or elected or for a person who fails to be appointed or elected.

(A)   On and after the effective date of this section, the Department of Transportation's administrative and governing authority is a board composed of seven members, one member elected from each congressional district of the State and one member appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, from the state at large.

(B)   (1)   Candidates for election to the board must be screened by the Joint Transportation Review Committee, as provided in Article 7 of this chapter, and determined to meet the qualifications contained in subsection (C) of this section before being nominated by the review committee and eligible for election by the appropriate legislative delegation.

(2)   The Senate Transportation Committee must determine whether the at large appointee meets the qualifications of subsection (C) and report its findings to the Senate. Unless the Senate Transportation Committee finds a gubernatorial appointee qualified, the appointee must not be confirmed by the Senate.

(C)   The qualifications that each board member must possess, include, but are not limited to:

(1)   reside in South Carolina and, in the case of a member representing a congressional district, reside in the congressional district he represents; and

(2)   have a background of substantial duration and expertise in at least one of the following:

(a)   transportation issues;

(b)   finance;

(c)   accounting;

(d)   engineering; or

(e)   law.

(D)   The review committee may find a candidate qualified even if does not have a background of substantial duration and expertise as provided by item (C)(2), if the review committee finds that the candidate possesses other outstanding qualifications or expertise that would greatly contribute to the board's overall performance of its duties and obligations.

(E)   No member of the General Assembly or member of his immediate family shall be elected or appointed to the board while the member is serving in the General Assembly; nor shall a member of the General Assembly or a member of his immediate family be elected or appointed to the board for a period of four years after the member either:

(1)   ceases to be a member of the General Assembly; or

(2)   fails to file for election to the General Assembly in accordance with Section 7-11-15.

(F)   A person that served on the Department of Transportation Commission may be elected to serve on the board if he is otherwise qualified.

Section 57-1-320.   (A) A county that is divided among two or more Department of Transportation congressional districts, for purposes of electing a commission member, is deemed to be considered in the district which contains the largest number of residents from that county.

(B) No county within a Department of Transportation district shall have a resident commission member for more than one consecutive term successive terms and in no event shall any two persons from the same county serve as a commission member simultaneously except as provided hereinafter.

Section 57-1-325.   (A) Legislators residing in representing a portion of a the congressional district shall meet, as required by subsection (C), upon written call of a majority of the members of the delegation of each district at a time and place to be designated in the call for the purpose of electing a commissioner board member to represent the district. A majority present, either in person or by written proxy, of the delegation from a given congressional district constitute a quorum for the purpose of electing a district commissioner board member. The delegation must use a weighted voting formula in the election. No person may be elected commissioner who fails to receive a majority of the weighted vote of the members of the delegation may be elected to serve on the board.

(B)   The delegation must be organized by the election of a chairman and a secretary, and the delegations of each congressional district shall adopt such rules as they consider proper to govern the election. Any absentee may vote by written proxy. When the election is completed, the chairman and the secretary of the delegation shall immediately transmit the name of the person elected to the Secretary of State who shall issue to the person, after he has taken the usual oath of office, a certificate of election as commissioner a board member. The Governor shall thereupon issue a commission to the person, and pending the issuance of the commission the certificate of election is sufficient warrant to the person to perform all of the duties and functions of his office as commissioner a board member. Each commissioner elected board member shall serve until his successor is elected and qualified.

(C)   An election held to choose a district board member must be held no earlier than one week and no later than three weeks after the Joint Transportation Review Committee files its report of the qualifications of the candidates with the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives.

Section 57-1-330.   (A) Beginning February 15, 1994, commissioners must be elected by the legislative delegation of each congressional district. For the purposes of electing a commission member, a legislator shall vote only in the congressional district in which he resides. All commission elected board members must serve for a term of office of four years, except as provided in subsection (B), which expires on February fifteenth of the appropriate year as provided in this section. Commissioners shall continue to serve until their successors are elected and qualify, provided that a commissioner may only serve in a hold-over capacity for a period not to exceed six months. Any vacancy occurring in the office of commissioner an elected board member must shall be filled by election in the manner provided in this article chapter for the unexpired term only. No person is eligible to serve as a commission an elected board member who is not a resident of that the congressional district he represents at the time of his appointment, . except that the The at-large commission board member may be appointed from any county in the State regardless of whether unless another commissioner board member is serving from that county. Failure by a commission an elected board member to maintain residency in the district for which he is elected shall result in the forfeiture of his office. The at-large commission member, upon confirmation, shall serve as chairman of the commission.

(B) The terms of the initial Board members of the commission initially elected appointed from congressional districts are as follows: shall complete the term office for which the commissioner representing the corresponding congressional district was elected. Thereafter, board members shall serve a term of four years.

(1) commission members appointed to represent odd-numbered congressional districts--two years; and

(2) commission members appointed to represent even-numbered congressional districts--four years.

(C)   The at-large commissioner shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor for a term of four years.

(D)   All board members may be removed from office as provided in Section 1-3-240(C)(1).

Section 57-1-340.   Each commission board member, within thirty days after his election or appointment, and before entering upon the discharge of the duties of his office, shall take, subscribe, and file with the Secretary of State the oath of office prescribed by the Constitution of the State.

Section 57-1-350.   (A) The commission board may adopt an official seal for use on official documents of the department.

(B) The commission board shall elect a chairman and adopt its own rules and procedures and may select such additional officers to serve such terms as the commission board may designate.

(C) Commissioners Board members must be reimbursed for official expenses as provided by law for members of state boards and commissions as established in the annual general appropriation act.

(D)   All board members are eligible to vote on all official business that comes before the board.

Section 57-1-360.   The board shall hire appropriate legal and administrative staff as the board feels necessary to carry out the functions required of the board. Any employees hired pursuant to this section shall serve at the pleasure of the board.

Section 57-1-370.   The board has authority to award all federal enhancement grants. Annually, the board must submit a report to the Joint Transportation Review Committee describing the number of federal enhancement grants that were awarded and the recipients of the federal enhancement grants.

Section 57-1-380.     (A)   The Joint Transportation Review Committee, established pursuant to Article 7 of this chapter, must meet within ninety days of the effective date of this section to begin screening and determining if candidates are qualified to serve as initial board members.

(B)   Commissioners legally holding office on the Department of Transportation Commission on the effective date of this act to serve as initial board members may file a notice of intention to seek election to the board.

(C)   Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1-3-210, the initial at large board member appointed by the Governor shall serve in an interim capacity pending confirmation by the Senate. If the appointment is made while the Senate is not is session, then the Governor must report the appointment of the initial at large board member to the Senate and must forward a formal appointment during the 2008 regular session. An interim appointment made pursuant to this section must be transmitted to the Senate pursuant to Section 1-3-215. If the Senate does not advise and consent to the interim appointment of the initial at large board member by sine die of the 2008 session, the office is vacant and the interim appointment must not serve in hold over status, notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary. A subsequent interim appointment of a different person to a vacancy created by a failure of the Senate to grant confirmation to the original interim appointment expires on the second Tuesday in January following the date of such subsequent interim appointment and the office shall be vacant.

(D)   No later than thirty days after the final initial board member is elected or appointed, as the case may be, the board must meet and organize. Following the initial board meeting, the board chairman must immediately file with the Secretary of State certification the board has met and organized.

(E)   The Department of Transportation Commission is abolished effective on the date that the certification required by subsection (C) is filed with the Secretary of State and the powers, duties, and functions of the commission are devolved upon the board.

ARTICLE 5

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CHIEF HIGHWAY ENGINEER OFFICE OF INTERNAL AUDIT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

AND OTHER EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Section 57-1-410.   (A)   The commission Governor shall employ a director appoint with the advice and consent of the Senate an Executive Director who shall serve at the pleasure of the commission Governor. A person appointed to this position shall be a citizen of possess practical and successful business and executive ability and who has a knowledge be knowledgeable in the field of transportation. The director Executive Director shall receive such compensation as may be established under the provisions of Section 8-11-160 and for which funds have been authorized in the general appropriation act.

(B)   The board shall appoint with the advice and consent of the Senate, a Chief Highway Engineer who shall serve for a term of two years and who may be removed by the board only for malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetency, absenteeism, conflicts of interest, misconduct, persistent neglect of duty in office, or incapacity. A person appointed to this position shall have, at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree in civil engineering and any other experience the board may require. The Chief Highway Engineer, in conjunction with the board, must develop the methodology for determining how to design the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) and design the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) as provided in this chapter. In addition, the Chief Highway Engineer shall have any other duties, powers, functions, and responsibilities authorized by the board or provided by law. The Chief Highway Engineer shall have such staff and support as may be authorized and funded by the board and receive such compensation as may be established under the provisions of Section 8-11-160 and for which funds have been authorized in the general appropriation act.

(C)(1)   There is created an Office of Internal Audit that must establish, implement, and maintain the exclusive internal audit function of all departmental activities. The board shall appoint a Chief Internal Auditor to manage and operate the Office of Internal Audit. The Chief Internal Auditor shall serve for a term of two years and who may be removed by the board only for malfeasance, misfeasance, incompetency, absenteeism, conflicts of interest, misconduct, persistent neglect of duty in office, or incapacity. The Chief Internal Auditor must be a Certified Public Accountant and possess any other experience the board may require. The audits performed by the office must comply with recognized governmental auditing standards. The department must timely produce all books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records considered necessary in connection with an internal audit. The department must, at its own expense, provide appropriate office space within its headquarters building and facility service, including janitorial, utility and telephone services, computer and technology services, and related supplies, to the Office of Internal Audit.

(2)   The board is vested with the exclusive management and control of the Office of Internal Audit. All final audit reports must be submitted to the board before being made public.

Section 57-1-430.   (A)   The director Executive Director is charged with the affirmative duty to must carry out the policies of the commission, and to administer the day-to-day affairs of the department, to direct the implementation of the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) and the statewide mass transit plan, and to ensure the timely completion of all projects certified by the Chief Highway Engineer, and routine operation and maintenance requests, and emergency repairs. and may exercise all powers belonging to the commission within the guidelines and policies established by the commission, when the commission is not in session. He must represent the department in its dealings with other state agencies, local governments, special districts, and the federal government. The Executive Director must prepare a budget for the department that must be approved by the board and a copy of which must be submitted to the General Assembly.

(B)   For each division, the director Executive Director may employ such personnel and prescribe their duties, powers, and functions as he considers necessary and as may be authorized by statute and for which funds have been authorized in the annual general appropriation act.

Section 57-1-440.   The director Executive Director shall have the exclusive authority to employ a chief counsel and such staff attorneys and support staff as are necessary to represent the department in legal matters, condemnation procedures, and other such litigation. Any extra legal services that may be required shall be performed by attorneys selected by the director Executive Director. The department is authorized to retain independent adjusters for purposes of investigating and adjusting claims and suits resulting from motor vehicle damage and personal injury damage programs involving department liability exposure and recovery potential. Expenses for the administration and implementation of this section shall be paid for from the state highway fund.

Section 57-1-450.   The director Executive Director shall appoint a deputy director for each division of the department who shall serve at the pleasure of the director Executive Director and shall recommend the salary for each deputy director as allowed by statute or applicable law.

Section 57-1-490.   The department shall be audited by a certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants once each year to be designated by the State Auditor. The designated accountant or firm of accountants shall issue audited financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and such financial statements shall be made available annually by October fifteenth to the General Assembly. The costs and expenses of the audit must be paid by the department out of its funds."

SECTION   4.   Chapter 1, Title 57 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"ARTICLE 7

JOINT TRANSPORTATION REVIEW COMMITTEE

Section 57-1-710.   There is hereby established a committee to be known as the Joint Transportation Review Committee, hereinafter called the review committee, which must exercise the powers and fulfill the duties described in this article.

Section 57-1-720.   (A)   The review committee is composed of ten members as follows:

(1)   one appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee;

(2)   one appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee;

(3)   one appointed by the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee;

(4)   two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate upon the recommendations of the Senate Majority Leader and the Senate Minority Leader;

(5)   one appointed by the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee;

(6)   one appointed by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee;

(7)   one appointed by the Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee; and

(8)   two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives upon the recommendations of the House Majority Leader and the House Minority Leader.

(B)   In making appointments to the review committee, race, gender, and other demographic factors, such as residence in rural or urban areas, must be considered to assure nondiscrimination, inclusion, and representation to the greatest extent possible of all segments of the population of the State. The members of the general public appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives must be representative of all citizens of this State and must not be members of the General Assembly.

(C)   The review committee must meet as soon as practicable after appointment and organize itself by electing one of its members as chairman and such other officers as the review committee may consider necessary. Thereafter, the review committee must meet at least quarterly and at the call of the chairman or by a majority of the members. A quorum consists of five members.

Section 57-1-730.   The review committee has the following powers and duties:

(1)   to screen candidates for election to the board;

(2)   in screening candidates and making its findings, the review committee must seek to find the best qualified people by giving due consideration to:

(a)   ability, area of expertise, dedication, compassion, common sense, and integrity of the candidates; and

(b)   the race and gender of the candidates and other demographic factors, such as residence in rural or urban areas, to assure nondiscrimination to the greatest extent possible of all segments of the population of the State;

(3)   to determine if the candidates are qualified and meet the requirements provided by law to serve as members of the Department of Transportation Board, make findings concerning whether the candidates are qualified, and deliver its findings to the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives;

(4)   to nominate for election all qualified candidates, not to exceed three, for each vacancy on the board;

(5)   to submit to the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and to the Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee, on an annual basis, the review committee's evaluation of the actions of the department, so that the members of the General Assembly may better judge whether these actions serve the best interests of the citizens of South Carolina, both individual and corporate;

(6)   to submit to the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and to the Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee, on an annual basis, the review committee's evaluation of the performance of the board and recommendations for any statutory changes. A proposed draft of the evaluation must be submitted to the board prior to submission to the General Assembly, and the board must be given an opportunity to be heard before the review committee prior to the completion of the evaluation and its submission to the General Assembly;

(7)   to assist the Department in developing an annual workshop of at least six contact hours concerning ethics and the Administrative Procedures Act for the board members and upper management employees of the Department of Transportation; and an annual workshop of at least one contact hour for all other department employees;

(8)   to make reports and recommendations to the General Assembly on matters relating to the powers and duties set forth in this section; and

(9)   to submit a letter to the Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and the Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee indicating the review committee has reviewed the methodology for the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan as provided in Section 57-1-60(B)(4).

Section 57-1-740. (A)   For purposes of this section, a vacancy is created on the board when a term expires, a new congressional district is created, or a board member resigns, dies, or is removed from office as provided in Section 57-1-330(C). Except in the case of the death of a board member, the review committee may provide notice of a vacancy and begin screening prior to the actual date of the vacancy.

(B)   Whenever a board member must be elected to fill a vacancy:

(1)   The review committee must forward a notice of the district board member vacancy to:

(a)   a newspaper of general circulation within the congressional district from which a board member must be elected with a request that it be published at least once a week for four consecutive weeks;

(b)   any person who has informed the committee that he desires to be notified of the vacancy; and

(c)   to each member of the General Assembly representing a portion of the congressional district.

The committee may provide such additional notice that it deems appropriate.

(2)   The review committee may not accept a notice of intention to seek the office from any candidate until the review committee certifies to the Clerk of the Senate and the Clerk of the House of Representatives that the proper notices, required by this section, have been published or provided or until the time for the publication of the notices has expired.

(3)   The cost of the notification process required by this section must be absorbed and paid from the approved accounts of the Senate and the House of Representatives as contained in the annual appropriations act.

(C)   Any person that would like to be a candidate for election to fill a vacancy on the board must file a notice of intention with the review committee no later than five business days after the last date which the published notice appeared in a newspaper of general circulation.

(D)(1)   At the close of the notice of intention filing period, the review committee shall begin to conduct investigations of the candidates, as it considers appropriate, and may utilize the services of any agency of state government to assist in the investigations. Upon request of the review committee for assistance, an agency shall cooperate fully.

(2)(a)   Upon completion of the candidate investigations, the chairman of the review committee shall schedule a public hearing concerning the qualifications of the candidates. Any person who desires to testify at the hearing, including the candidates, must furnish a written statement of his proposed testimony to the chairman of the review committee. These statements shall be furnished no later than forty-eight hours prior to the date and time set for the hearing. The review committee shall determine the persons who shall testify at the hearing. All testimony, including documents furnished to the review committee, shall be submitted under oath and persons knowingly furnishing false information either orally or in writing shall be subject to the penalties provided by law for perjury and false swearing. During the course of the investigation, the review committee may schedule an executive session at which each candidate, and other persons whom the review committee wishes to interview, may be interviewed on matters pertinent to the candidate's qualification for the office to be filled. The review committee shall render its tentative findings as to whether the candidate is qualified to serve on the board as a district member and its reasons for making the findings within a reasonable time after the hearing.

(b)   As soon as possible after the completion of the hearing, a verbatim copy of the testimony, documents submitted at the hearing, and findings of fact shall be transcribed and published in the journals of both houses or otherwise made available in a reasonable number of copies to the members of both houses and a copy must be furnished to each candidate.

(c)   No member of the legislative delegation electing a board member may pledge his vote until the qualifications of all candidates to fill the vacancy have been determined by the review committee and until the review committee has formally released its report as to the qualifications of its nominees to the member of the legislative delegation. The formal release of the report of qualifications shall occur no earlier than forty-eight hours after the names of the nominees have been initially released to members of the General Assembly. For purposes of this section, indirectly seeking a pledge means the candidate, or someone acting on behalf of and at the request of the candidate, requests another person to contact a member of the legislative delegation on behalf of the candidate before nominations for that office are formally made by the review committee. The prohibitions of this section do not extend to an announcement of candidacy by the candidate and statements by the candidate detailing the candidate's qualifications.

(d)   A candidate may withdraw at any stage of the proceedings, and in this event no further inquiry, report on, or consideration of his candidacy shall be made.

(3)   All records, information, and other material that the review committee has obtained or used to make its findings of fact, except materials, records, and information presented under oath at the public hearing, shall be kept strictly confidential. After the review committee has reported its findings of fact, or after a candidate withdraws his name from consideration, all records, information, and material required to be kept confidential must be destroyed.

(4)(a)   The review committee may, in the discharge of its duties, administer oaths and affirmations, take depositions, and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records considered necessary in connection with the investigation of the review committee.

(b)   No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, or other records before the review committee on the ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture. However, no individual shall be prosecuted or subjected to any criminal penalty based upon testimony or evidence submitted or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, except that the individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution and punishment for perjury and false swearing committed during testimony.

(c)   In case of contumacy by any person or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to any person, any circuit court of this State or circuit judge thereof within the jurisdiction of which the person guilty of contumacy or refusal to obey is found, resides, or transacts business, upon application by the review committee, may issue to the person an order requiring him to appear before the review committee to produce evidence, if so ordered, or to give testimony concerning the matter under investigation. Any failure to obey an order of the court may be punished as contempt. Subpoenas shall be issued in the name of the review committee and shall be signed by the review committee chairman. Subpoenas shall be issued to those persons as the review committee may designate.

(5)   The privilege of the floor in either house of the General Assembly may not be granted to any candidate, or any immediate family member of a candidate unless the family member is serving in the General Assembly, during the time the candidate's application is pending before the review committee and during the time the candidate's election is pending.

Section 57-1-750.   (A)   The review committee members are entitled to such mileage, subsistence, and per diem as authorized by law for members of boards, committees, and commissions while in the performance of the duties for which appointed. These expenses shall be paid from the general fund of the State on warrants duly signed by the chairman of the review committee and payable by the authorities from which they are appointed.

(B)   The expenses associated with the review committee's duties to qualify and nominate candidates for the Department of Transportation Board must be paid from the legislative appropriation of the general fund of the State.

Section 57-1-760.   (A)   The review committee must use clerical and professional employees of the General Assembly for its staff, who must be made available to the review committee.

(B)   The review committee may employ or retain other professional staff, upon the determination of the necessity for other staff by the review committee and as may be funded in the legislative appropriation of the annual general appropriations act.

(C)   The costs and expenses of the review committee must be funded in the legislative appropriation of the annual general appropriations act.

Section 57-1-770.   The review committee may conduct a comprehensive study of other states' Department of Transportation Board's structures, responsibilities, qualifications, and compensation. The review committee may prepare and deliver this report along with its recommendations to the General Assembly on or before January 15, 2009."

SECTION   5.   Unless extended by subsequent act of the General Assembly the Governor's authority to appoint the Executive Director of the Department of Transportation pursuant to Section 57-1-410(A) terminates and is devolved upon the Department of Transportation Board effective July 1, 2015. All other provisions regarding the rights, powers, and duties of the Executive Director shall remain in full force and effect.

SECTION   6.   References in the 1976 Code to the "Commission of the Department of Transportation" or references to "commission" that refer to the administrative and governing body of the Department of Transportation, mean the "Department of Transportation Board" or "board", as appropriate; references to "director" that refer to the chief administrative officer of the Department of Transportation, mean the "Executive Director of the Department of Transportation" or "Executive Director," as appropriate; and references to "Department of Transportation Commissioner" mean "member of the Department of Transportation Board" or "board member" as appropriate. The Code Commissioner shall change references in the 1976 Code to conform to this act, and such changes must be included in the next printing of replacement volumes or cumulative supplements.

SECTION   7.   If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION   8.   (A)   The repeal or amendment by this act of any law, whether temporary or permanent, does not affect pending actions, rights, duties, or liabilities founded on it, or alter, discharge, release, or extinguish any penalty, forfeiture, or liability incurred under the repealed or amended law, unless the repealed or amended provision expressly provides it. After the effective date of this act, all laws repealed or amended by this act must be taken and treated as remaining in full force and effect for the purpose of sustaining any pending or vested right, civil action, special proceeding, or appeal existing as of the effective date of this act, and for the enforcement of rights, duties, penalties, forfeitures, and liabilities as they stood under the repealed or amended laws. Any state agency, board, commission, or council to which are transferred the powers, duties, and functions of any state agency, board, commission, or council relating to the pending proceeding must be substituted as a party in interest.

(B)   Any statute enacted and any rule or regulation made in respect to any state agency, board, commission, or council or function transferred to, or consolidated, coordinated, or combined with any other state agency, board, commission, or council or function under the provisions of this act before the effective date of the transfer, consolidation, coordination, or combination, except to the extent repealed, modified, superseded, or made inapplicable by or under the authority of law, shall have the same effect as if the transfer, consolidation, coordination, or combination had not been made. But when any such statute, rule, or regulation has vested functions in the state agency, board, commission, or council from which the transfer is made under the act, the functions, insofar as they are to be exercised after the transfer, must be considered as vested in the state agency, board, commission, or council to which the transfer is made under the act.

SECTION 9. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor./

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator GROOMS explained the amendment.

Senator MARTIN asked unanimous consent to make a motion to withdraw Amendment No. 1 and any remaining amendments, and, further, on Thursday, May 17, 2007, S. 355 would be taken up for immediate consideration to the exclusion of all other matters upon the request of the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader.

There was no objection and the motion was adopted.

Amendment No. 1 was withdrawn.

The Bill was ordered returned to the House of Representatives with amendments.

COMMITTEE AMENDMENT WITHDRAWN

H. 3355 (Word version) -- Reps. Delleney, Mulvaney, Bedingfield, Shoopman, Leach, Gullick, Duncan, Hamilton, Kelly, M.A. Pitts, Rice, Talley, Walker, Haskins, Simrill, Vick, Owens, Viers, Loftis, G.M. Smith, Toole, G.R. Smith, Pinson and Bingham: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 44-41-330, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PREREQUISITES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF AN ABORTION, INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED, CERTIFICATION, WAITING PERIOD, SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR MINORS OR MENTALLY INCOMPETENT PERSONS, RETENTION OF RECORDS, AND UNAVAILABILITY OF RECORDS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE PHYSICIAN WHO IS TO PERFORM THE ABORTION MUST VERIFY THE PROBABLE GESTATIONAL AGE OF THE EMBRYO OR FETUS BY USING AN OBSTETRIC ULTRASOUND, TO PROVIDE THAT THE IMAGES USED TO VERIFY THE PROBABLE GESTATIONAL AGE MUST BE REVIEWED WITH THE WOMAN SEEKING THE ABORTION, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE WOMAN SEEKING THE ABORTION MUST CERTIFY IN WRITING BEFORE THE ABORTION IS PERFORMED THAT SHE HAS REVIEWED THE ULTRASOUND IMAGES.

Senator FAIR 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 adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Medical Affairs.

On motion of Senator FAIR, with unanimous consent, the amendment proposed by the Committee on Medical Affairs was withdrawn.

The Committee on Medical Affairs proposed the following amendment (3355R002.KLB), which was withdrawn:

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

/   SECTION   1.   Section 44-41-330 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 44-41-330.   (A) Except in the case of a medical emergency and in addition to any other consent required by the laws of this State, no abortion may be performed or induced unless the following conditions have been satisfied:

(1)   The woman must be informed by the physician who is to perform the abortion or by an allied health professional working in conjunction with the physician of the procedure to be involved and by the physician who is to perform the abortion of the probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed.

(2)(a)   If the doctor or allied health professional performs an ultrasound on the woman prior to performing the abortion, he must inform the woman that she has the right to view the ultrasound images that the doctor is viewing. At the woman's request, the physician or allied health professional must permit the woman to view the ultrasound images and provide a medical description of the images that she is viewing.

(b)   If the physician or allied health professional is not required to perform an ultrasound on the woman prior to performing an abortion, the physician must inform the woman in person that ultrasound imaging services are available that enable the woman to view the image of her embryo or fetus. At the woman's request, the physician or allied health professional must perform an ultrasound on the woman or provide her with the list of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that perform ultrasounds free of charge as provided in Section 44-41-340(A)(6).

(c)   All ultrasound images viewed by a woman pursuant to this subsection must be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the industry. A medical description of the ultrasound image of an embryo or fetus provided to a woman must include, but is not limited to, the dimensions of the embryo or fetus and the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable.

(23) The woman must be presented by the physician who is to perform the abortion or by an allied health professional working in conjunction with the physician a written form containing the following statement: "You have the right to review printed materials prepared by the State of South Carolina which describe fetal development, list agencies which offer alternatives to abortion, list health care providers, facilities, and clinics that provide ultrasounds free of charge, and describe medical assistance benefits which may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care. You also have the right to view an ultrasound image or images of the embryo or fetus with a medical description of the images provided by a doctor or other health professional." This form must be signed and dated by both the physician who is to perform the procedure and the pregnant woman upon whom the procedure is to be performed.

(34) The woman must certify in writing, before the abortion, that the information described in item (1) of this subsection has been furnished her, and that she has been informed of her right to view ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus as provided in item (2) of this subsection, and that she has been informed of her opportunity to review the information referred to in item (23) of this subsection.

(45) Before performing the abortion, the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion must determine that the written certification prescribed by item (34) of this subsection or the certification required by subsection (D) has been signed. This subsection does not apply in the case where an abortion is performed pursuant to a court order.

(B) Nothing herein limits the information provided by the physician who is to perform the abortion or allied health professional to the person upon whom the abortion procedure is to be performed.

(C) No abortion may be performed sooner than one hour after the woman receives the written materials, is informed of her right to view ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus, and certifies this fact to the physician or the physician's agent.

(D) If the clinic or other facility where the abortion is to be performed or induced mails the printed materials described in Section 44-41-340 to the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced or if the woman obtains the information at the county health department and if the woman verifies in writing, before the abortion, that the printed materials were received by her more than one hour before the abortion is scheduled to be performed or induced, that the information described in item (A)(1) has been provided to her, that she has been informed of her right to view ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus as provided in item (A)(2), and that she has been informed of her opportunity to review the information referred to in item (A)(23), then the waiting period required pursuant to subsection (C) does not apply.

(E) In the event the person upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced is an unemancipated minor, as defined in Section 44-41-10, the information described in Section 44-41-330(A)(1) and (23) must be furnished and offered respectively to a parent of the minor, a legal guardian of the minor, a grandparent of the minor, or any person who has been standing in loco parentis to the minor for a period of not less than sixty days. The parent, legal guardian, grandparent, or person who has been standing in loco parentis, as appropriate, must make the certification required by Section 44-41-330(A)(34). In the event the person upon whom the abortion is to be performed is under adjudication of mental incompetency by a court of competent jurisdiction, the information must be furnished and offered respectively to her spouse or a legal guardian if she is married; if she is not married, from one parent or a legal guardian. The spouse, legal guardian, or parent, as appropriate, must make the certification required by Section 44-41-330(A)(34). This subsection does not apply in the case of an abortion performed pursuant to a court order. The provisions contained in this section related to viewing ultrasound images do not apply to an unemancipated minor or person under adjudication of mental incompetency.

(F) A clinic or other facility must maintain, for three years after the abortion is performed or induced, the woman's written verification that the information was so provided, that she was informed of her right to view ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus, and the printed materials were so offered to her. In the case of an unemancipated minor or mentally incompetent person, the clinic or other facility is required to maintain a copy of the court order or the medical records and written consent for three years after the procedure is performed.

(G) This requirement in this section related to offering the woman the materials described in Section 44-41-30 does not apply if a clinic or other facility where abortions are performed or induced does not have, through no fault of the clinic or facility and if the clinic or facility can demonstrate through written evidence the unavailability of the materials described in Section 44-41-340."

SECTION   2.   Chapter 41, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 44-41-335.   A physician or allied health professional must perform an ultrasound before an abortion may performed or induced when the gestational age of the embryo or fetus is clinically estimated to be equal to or more than fourteen weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period as established by the physician's performance of a bimanual physical examination."

SECTION   3.   Section 44-41-340 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 44-41-340. (A) The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shall cause to be published the following printed materials:

(1) geographically indexed materials designed to inform the woman of public and private agencies and services available to assist a woman through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent, including adoption agencies, which include a comprehensive list of the agencies available, a description of the services they offer, and a description of the manner, including telephone numbers, in which they may be contacted;

(2) materials designed to inform the woman of the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the embryo or fetus at two-week gestational increments from the time when a woman can be known to be pregnant to full term. Any photograph, drawing or other depiction must state in bold letters, which are easily legible, stating the magnification of the photograph, drawing or depiction if it is not the actual size of the embryo or fetus at the age indicated. The materials must be objective, nonjudgmental, and designed to convey only accurate scientific information about the embryo or fetus at the various gestational ages;

(3) materials designed to inform the woman of the principal types of abortion procedures and the major risks associated with each procedure, as well as the major risks associated with carrying a fetus to full-term;

(4) materials designed to inform the woman that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care by providing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of appropriate agencies that provide or have information available on these benefits;

(5) materials designed to inform the woman of the mechanisms available for obtaining child support payments.and;

(6)   a list of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that provide ultrasounds free of charge. The list must be arranged geographically by county and include the name, address, telephone number, and hours of operation of each listed entity.

(B) The materials must be easily comprehendible and must be printed in a typeface large enough to be clearly legible.

(C) The materials required under this section must be available from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control upon request and in appropriate number to any person, facility, or hospital."

SECTION   4.   If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION   5.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. The Department of Health and Environmental Control must compile the list required in Section 44-41-340(A)(6) as added by SECTION 3 of this act within six months of the effective date. The list compiled by the department must be made available as a supplement to all other written materials required by Section 44-41-340(A)(6) already in print and in use as of the effective date of this act. The list must be included in all future written materials as required by this act.         /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Amendment No. 1

Senators THOMAS and BRYANT proposed the following Amendment No. 1 (3355R013.MLF), which was adopted:

/   Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking the bill in its entirety and inserting:

A BILL

TO AMEND SECTION 44-41-330 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO PREREQUISITES FOR THE PERFORMANCE OF AN ABORTION, INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED, CERTIFICATION, WAITING PERIOD, SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR MINORS OR MENTALLY INCOMPETENT PERSONS, RETENTION OF RECORDS, AND UNAVAILABILITY OF RECORDS, TO PROVIDE THAT A PHYSICIAN WHO PERFORMS AND ULTRASOUND PRIOR TO PERFORMING AN ABORTION MUST INFORM THE WOMAN THAT SHE HAS THE RIGHT TO VIEW THE ULTRASOUND IMAGES AND UPON HER REQUEST THE PHYSICIAN MUST SHOW THE IMAGES TO THE WOMAN AND PROVIDE A MEDICAL EXPLANATION OF THE IMAGES, TO PROVIDE THAT A PHYSICIAN NOT REQUIRED TO PERFORM AN ULTRASOUND PRIOR TO PERFORMING AN ABORTION MUST INFORM THE WOMAN THAT ULTRASOUND SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE TO HER AND PROVIDE HER WITH A LIST OF LOCATIONS WHERE AN ULTRASOUND MAY BE PERFORMED FREE OF CHARGE, TO PROVIDE THAT IF THE PHYSICIAN OR ALLIED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL PERFORMS AN ABORTION THE PRINTED MATERIALS MAY NOT BE PRESENTED TO HER SOONER THAN TEN MINUTES BEFORE THE ULTRASOUND IS PERFORMED, TO PROVIDE THAT THE WOMAN MUST CERTIFY IN WRITING BEFORE THE ABORTION IS PERFORMED THAT SHE HAS BEEN INFORMED OF HER RIGHT TO VIEW THE IMAGES, TO PROVIDE THAT UNEMANCIPATED MINORS AND PEOPLE ADJUDICATED TO BE INCOMPETENT ARE EXEMPT FROM THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT, TO AMEND CHAPTER 41, TITLE 44 TO ADD SECTION 44-41-35 TO PROVIDE THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AN ULTRASOUND MUST BE PERFORMED PRIOR TO PERFORMING AN ABORTION, AND TO AMEND SECTION 44-41-340, TO PROVIDE FOR THE INFORMATION THAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN THE LIST OF FACILITIES THAT PROVIDE ULTRASOUNDS FREE OF CHARGE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:

SECTION   1.   Section 44-41-330 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 44-41-330.   (A) Except in the case of a medical emergency and in addition to any other consent required by the laws of this State, no abortion may be performed or induced unless the following conditions have been satisfied:

(1)   The woman must be informed by the physician who is to perform the abortion or by an allied health professional working in conjunction with the physician of the procedure to be involved and by the physician who is to perform the abortion of the probable gestational age of the embryo or fetus at the time the abortion is to be performed.

(2)(a)   If the physician or allied health professional working in conjunction with the physician performs an ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion, the physician or allied health professional must describe the ultrasound procedure to her and inform the woman that she has the right to view the ultrasound images at the time the ultrasound is being performed or at any time upon her request. At the woman's request, the physician or allied health professional must permit the woman to view the ultrasound images and provide a medical description of the images she is viewing.

(b)   If the physician or allied health professional is not required to perform an ultrasound on the woman prior to performing an abortion, the physician or allied health professional must inform the woman in person that ultrasound imaging services are available that enable the woman to view the image of her embryo or fetus and that if she requests an ultrasound, that she has the right to view the ultrasound images at the time the ultrasound is being performed or at any time upon request. The physician or allied health professional must provide her with the list of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that perform ultrasounds free of charge as provided in Section 44-41-340(A)(6).

(c)   All ultrasound images viewed by a woman pursuant to this subsection must be of a quality consistent with standard medical practice in the industry. A medical description of the ultrasound image of an embryo or fetus provided to a woman must include, but is not limited to, the dimensions of the embryo or fetus and the presence of external members and internal organs, if present and viewable.

(3)   If the physician or allied health professional is to perform an ultrasound on a woman seeking an abortion, the printed materials described in Section 44-41-340 and referred to in item (4) of this subsection must be presented to the woman no sooner than ten minutes before an ultrasound is performed on her.

(24) The woman must be presented by the physician who is to perform the abortion or by an allied health professional working in conjunction with the physician a written form containing the following statement: "You have the right to review printed materials prepared by the State of South Carolina which describe fetal development, list agencies which offer alternatives to abortion, list health care providers, facilities, and clinics that provide ultrasounds free of charge, and describe medical assistance benefits which may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care. You have a right to view ultrasound images produced during your ultrasound with a medical explanation of the images. You may view the images during the ultrasound procedure and at any time after the ultrasound has been completed." This form must be signed and dated by both the physician who is to perform the procedure and the pregnant woman upon whom the procedure is to be performed.

(35) The woman must certify in writing, before the abortion, that the information described in item (1) of this subsection has been furnished her, and that she has been informed of her right to view ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus, and that she has been informed of her opportunity to review the information referred to in item (24) of this subsection.

(46) Before performing the abortion, the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion must determine that the written certification prescribed by item (35) of this subsection or the certification required by subsection (D) has been signed. This subsection does not apply in the case where an abortion is performed pursuant to a court order.

(B) Nothing herein limits the information provided by the physician who is to perform the abortion or allied health professional to the person upon whom the abortion procedure is to be performed.

(C) No abortion may be performed sooner than one hour after the woman receives the written materials and certifies this fact to the physician or the physician's agent.

(D) If the clinic or other facility where the abortion is to be performed or induced mails the printed materials described in Section 44-41-340 to the woman upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced or if the woman obtains the information at the county health department and if the woman verifies in writing, before the abortion, that the printed materials were received by her more than one hour before the abortion is scheduled to be performed or induced, that the information described in item (A)(1) has been provided to her, that she has been informed of her right to view ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus as provided in item (A)(2), and that she has been informed of her opportunity to review the information referred to in item (A)(23), then the waiting period required pursuant to subsection (C) does not apply.

(E) In the event the person upon whom the abortion is to be performed or induced is an unemancipated minor a minor, but is not an emancipated minor, as defined in Section 44-41-10, the information described in Section 44-41-330(A)(1) and (24) must be furnished and offered respectively to a parent of the minor, a legal guardian of the minor, a grandparent of the minor, or any person who has been standing in loco parentis to the minor for a period of not less than sixty days. The parent, legal guardian, grandparent, or person who has been standing in loco parentis, as appropriate, must make the certification required by Section 44-41-330(A)(35). In the event the person upon whom the abortion is to be performed is under adjudication of mental incompetency by a court of competent jurisdiction, the information must be furnished and offered respectively to her spouse or a legal guardian if she is married; if she is not married, from one parent or a legal guardian. The spouse, legal guardian, or parent, as appropriate, must make the certification required by Section 44-41-330(A)(35). This subsection does not apply in the case of an abortion performed pursuant to a court order. The provisions contained in this section related to viewing ultrasound images do not apply to an unemancipated minor or person under adjudication of mental incompetency.

(F) A clinic or other facility must maintain, for three years after the abortion is performed or induced, the woman's written verification that the information was so provided, that she was informed of her right to view ultrasound images of the embryo or fetus, and the printed materials were so offered to her. In the case of an unemancipated minor or mentally incompetent person, the clinic or other facility is required to maintain a copy of the court order or the medical records and written consent for three years after the procedure is performed.

(G) This The requirement in this section related to presenting the woman the materials described in Section 44-41-340 does not apply if a clinic or other facility where abortions are performed or induced does not have, through no fault of the clinic or facility and if the clinic or facility can demonstrate through written evidence the unavailability of the materials described in Section 44-41-340."

SECTION   2.   Chapter 41, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 44-41-335.   A physician or allied health professional must perform an ultrasound before an abortion may be performed or induced when the gestational age of the embryo or fetus is clinically estimated to be equal to or more than fourteen weeks from the first day of the last menstrual period as established by the physician's performance of a bimanual physical examination."

SECTION   3.   Section 44-41-340 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 44-41-340. (A) The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control shall cause to be published the following printed materials:

(1) geographically indexed materials designed to inform the woman of public and private agencies and services available to assist a woman through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent, including adoption agencies, which include a comprehensive list of the agencies available, a description of the services they offer, and a description of the manner, including telephone numbers, in which they may be contacted;

(2) materials designed to inform the woman of the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the embryo or fetus at two-week gestational increments from the time when a woman can be known to be pregnant to full term. Any photograph, drawing or other depiction must state in bold letters, which are easily legible, stating the magnification of the photograph, drawing or depiction if it is not the actual size of the embryo or fetus at the age indicated. The materials must be objective, nonjudgmental, and designed to convey only accurate scientific information about the embryo or fetus at the various gestational ages;

(3) materials designed to inform the woman of the principal types of abortion procedures and the major risks associated with each procedure, as well as the major risks associated with carrying a fetus to full-term;

(4) materials designed to inform the woman that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care by providing the names, addresses, and phone numbers of appropriate agencies that provide or have information available on these benefits;

(5) materials designed to inform the woman of the mechanisms available for obtaining child support payments.and;

(6)   a list of health care providers, facilities, and clinics that provide ultrasounds free of charge. The list must be arranged geographically by county and include the name, address, telephone number, and hours of operation of each listed entity.

(B) The materials must be easily comprehendible and must be printed in a typeface large enough to be clearly legible.

(C) The materials required under this section must be available from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control upon request and in appropriate number to any person, facility, or hospital."

SECTION   4.   If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this act is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of this act, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION   5.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. The Department of Health and Environmental Control must compile the list required in Section 44-41-340(A)(6) as added by SECTION 3 of this act within six months of the effective date. The list compiled by the department must be made available as a supplement to all other written materials required by Section 44-41-340(A)(6) already in print and in use as of the effective date of this act. The list must be included in all future written materials as required by this act.         /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator FAIR explained the amendment.

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

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator KNOTTS rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator ELLIOTT rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

LOCAL APPOINTMENTS
Confirmations

Having received a favorable report from the Allendale County Delegation, the following appointment was confirmed in open session:

Initial Appointment, Allendale County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2006, and to expire April 30, 2010

John Alonzo Chaney, P. O. Box 1173, Fairfax, S.C. 29827 VICE Carl McKenzie Love