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

Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(Statewide Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 2:00 P.M., the hour to which it stood adjourned, and was called to order by the PRESIDENT.

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

Through the prophet, Malachi, the Lord declares:

"... see if I will not open the window of heaven for you and pour down for you an   overflowing blessing."     (Malachi 3:10b)
Join me as we bow in prayer:

Holy God, we do acknowledge how richly blessed we are in this nation and in South Carolina. The wonder of Your overflowing bounty continues to astound us. Yet, even as we acknowledge Your gifts to us, we take note of the ongoing needs and requirements that remain for so many people and agencies throughout our State. Continue, Lord, to guide everyone under the roof of this State House as they determine how best to resolve budget realities here in the year 2008. Lead them to wise and honorable consensus for the benefit of all. In Your holy name we pray, O Lord.
Amen.

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

Leaves of Absence

At 2:05 P.M., Senator LEATHERMAN requested a leave of absence beginning at 4:00 P .M. today and lasting until Noon on Tuesday.

At 2:06 P.M., Senator O'DELL requested a leave of absence beginning at Noon tomorrow and lasting until Noon on Tuesday.

At 2:07 P.M., Senator RANKIN requested a leave of absence beginning at Noon tomorrow and lasting until Noon on Tuesday.

At 2:08 P.M., Senator SHORT requested a leave of absence beginning at 5:00 P.M. today and lasting until Noon on Tuesday.

At 3:30 P.M., Senator LEVENTIS requested a leave of absence beginning at 5:00 P.M. Thursday and lasting until 10:00 P.M. Thursday night.

At 4:55 P.M., Senator ANDERSON requested a leave of absence beginning at 12:30 P.M. Thursday and lasting until Noon on Tuesday.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

The following were introduced:

S. 1373 (Word version) -- Senator Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION CONGRATULATING FRED STROBLE ON HIS RETIREMENT AND THANKING HIM FOR HIS MANY YEARS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT SERVICE TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
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S. 1374 (Word version) -- Senator Ceips: A SENATE RESOLUTION HONORING THE KICKIN' ASPHALT BICYCLE CLUB OF HILTON HEAD ISLAND.
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S. 1375 (Word version) -- Senator Patterson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS THE PROFOUND SORROW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE UPON THE DEATH OF JAMES DAVID WILLIAMS, SR. OF RICHLAND COUNTY AND TO EXTEND THEIR DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY AND MANY FRIENDS.
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S. 1376 (Word version) -- Senators Hayes, Peeler, Gregory and Short: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 7-7-530, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF VOTING PRECINCTS IN YORK COUNTY, SO AS TO REVISE AND ADD CERTAIN VOTING PRECINCTS OF YORK COUNTY, AND TO 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.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.

S. 1377 (Word version) -- Senator Reese: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 59-111-20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO FREE TUITION FOR CERTAIN VETERANS' CHILDREN, SO AS TO PROVIDE FREE TUITION TO A PERSON ATTENDING A STATE-SUPPORTED COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY, OR TECHNICAL SCHOOL IF HE IS A CHILD OF A VETERAN WHO IS GRADUATED FROM A FOUR-YEAR SOUTH CAROLINA COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY, WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE RESERVE OFFICER TRAINING CORPS PROGRAM AND GRADUATED A COMMISSIONED OFFICER, AND WHO DIED WHILE PERFORMING MILITARY SERVICE.
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Read the first time and referred to the Committee on Education.

S. 1378 (Word version) -- Senator Massey: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO URGE THE CITIZENS OF SOUTH CAROLINA TO PRACTICE SAFE BOATING HABITS, ESPECIALLY THE WEARING OF LIFE JACKETS, AND TO DECLARE MAY 17-23, 2008, AS SAFE BOATING WEEK IN SOUTH CAROLINA.
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The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

S. 1379 (Word version) -- Senator Elliott: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR LANCE CORPORAL JULIE SMITH OF HORRY COUNTY UPON RECEIVING THE GOLD MEDAL AWARD AS THE 2008 SOUTH CAROLINA LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE YEAR FROM THE SOUTH CAROLINA VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS, AND TO EXPRESS DEEP GRATITUDE FOR HER MERITORIOUS SERVICE TO THE CITIZENS OF HER COMMUNITY.
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The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

S. 1380 (Word version) -- Senator Elliott: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR LIEUTENANT GREG SUGGS OF HORRY COUNTY UPON RECEIVING THE GOLD MEDAL AWARD AS THE 2008 SOUTH CAROLINA FIREFIGHTER OF THE YEAR FROM THE SOUTH CAROLINA VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS AND EXPRESS DEEP GRATITUDE FOR HIS MERITORIOUS SERVICE TO THE CITIZENS OF HIS COMMUNITY.
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The Concurrent Resolution was adopted, ordered sent to the House.

S. 1381 (Word version) -- Senator McGill: A SENATE RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING FIRE CHIEF KERRY Q. TANNER FOR HIS MANY YEARS OF OUTSTANDING PUBLIC SERVICE TO THE CITIZENS OF JOHNSONVILLE, THE PEE DEE AREAS, AND THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.
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S. 1382 (Word version) -- Senators Lourie, Alexander, Anderson, Bryant, Campbell, Campsen, Ceips, Cleary, Courson, Cromer, Drummond, Elliott, Fair, Ford, Gregory, Grooms, Hawkins, Hayes, Hutto, Jackson, Knotts, Land, Leatherman, Leventis, Malloy, Martin, Massey, Matthews, McConnell, McGill, O'Dell, Patterson, Peeler, Pinckney, Rankin, Reese, Ritchie, Ryberg, Scott, Setzler, Sheheen, Short, Thomas, Vaughn, Verdin and Williams: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE AND HONOR THE PEOPLE AND STATE OF ISRAEL ON THE CELEBRATION OF THE SIXTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF ISRAEL'S STATEHOOD AND TO EXTEND BEST WISHES AS SOUTH CAROLINA'S MAY 21, 2008, CELEBRATION JOINS IN THE WORLDWIDE RECOGNITION OF THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION.
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H. 5130 (Word version) -- Rep. Delleney: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO REQUEST THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NAME THE INTERCHANGE LOCATED AT EXIT 65 ALONG INTERSTATE HIGHWAY 77 IN CHESTER COUNTY "SENATOR LINDA SHORT INTERCHANGE" AND ERECT APPROPRIATE MARKERS OR SIGNS AT THIS INTERCHANGE THAT CONTAIN THE WORDS "SENATOR LINDA SHORT INTERCHANGE".

On motion of Senator HAYES, with unanimous consent, the Concurrent Resolution was adopted and returned to the House.

REPORTS OF STANDING COMMITTEES

Senator THOMAS from the Committee on Banking and Insurance submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3023 (Word version) -- Rep. Bingham: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 95 TO TITLE 38 SO AS TO ENACT THE INTERSTATE INSURANCE PRODUCT REGULATION COMPACT TO REGULATE CERTAIN DESIGNATED INSURANCE PRODUCTS AND ADVERTISEMENT OF THOSE PRODUCTS UNIFORMLY AMONG THE STATES THAT ARE COMPACT MEMBERS, AND TO AUTHORIZE THIS STATE TO JOIN THE COMPACT.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator RITCHIE from the Committee on Judiciary submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3478 (Word version) -- Reps. Spires, Haley, Huggins, Bedingfield, F.N. Smith, Ballentine, Crawford, Frye, Harvin, Jefferson, Knight, Leach, Littlejohn, Mitchell, J.R. Smith, Stavrinakis, Toole, Whipper and Weeks: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 20-7-1315, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO WAGE WITHHOLDING FOR THE COLLECTION AND ENFORCEMENT OF CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE FAMILY COURT SHALL ORDER WAGE WITHHOLDING UPON FINDING THAT A PERSON, WHO IS NOT REQUIRED TO PAY THROUGH WAGE WITHHOLDING OR THE FAMILY COURT, IS, OR HAS BEEN, IN ARREARS IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THREE OR MORE MONTH'S SUPPORT OBLIGATION.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator KNOTTS from the Committee on Judiciary submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3715 (Word version) -- Reps. Talley, Duncan, Mahaffey, Clemmons, Shoopman, Toole and G.R. Smith: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 16-3-750 SO AS TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS FOR PURPOSES OF THE SECTION AND TO PROVIDE AN ENHANCED PENALTY FOR PERSONS AFFILIATED WITH A SCHOOL IN AN OFFICIAL CAPACITY WHO COMMIT CERTAIN DELINEATED CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONDUCT, EXPLOITATION OF A MINOR, OR KIDNAPPING OFFENSES AGAINST A STUDENT.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3852 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrison and McLeod: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 44-4-130, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DEFINITION OF TERMS USED IN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL'S EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS, SO AS TO REVISE THE DEFINITION OF "QUALIFYING HEALTH CONDITION" AND "TRIAL COURT"; TO AMEND SECTION 44-4-320, RELATING TO POWERS AND DUTIES REGARDING SAFE DISPOSAL OF HUMAN REMAINS, SO AS TO SPECIFY THAT EXISTING PROVISIONS IN THE STATE EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN GOVERN THE DISPOSAL OF REMAINS AND IF THE PLAN IS NOT SUFFICIENT, MEASURES MAY BE ADOPTED RELATING TO, AMONG OTHER THINGS, DEATH CERTIFICATE AND AUTOPSY PROCEDURES; TO AMEND SECTION 44-4-530, RELATING TO ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE OF INDIVIDUALS OR GROUPS AND PENALTIES FOR NONCOMPLIANCE, SO AS TO CHANGE A MISDEMEANOR OFFENSE TO A FELONY OFFENSE FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE DEPARTMENT'S ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE RULES AND ORDERS AND TO PROHIBIT AN EMPLOYER FROM FIRING, DEMOTING, OR DISCRIMINATING AGAINST AN EMPLOYEE COMPLYING WITH AN ISOLATION OR QUARANTINE ORDER; TO AMEND SECTION 44-4-540, RELATING TO ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE PROCEDURES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE ISOLATION AND QUARANTINING OF INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS UNDER OTHER PROVISIONS OF LAW MUST BE CARRIED OUT PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION; AND TO AMEND SECTION 44-4-570, RELATING TO ADDITIONAL EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS AND PROCEDURES REGARDING LICENSING OF HEALTH PERSONNEL, SO AS TO FURTHER SPECIFY THE USE OF IN-STATE AND OUT-OF-STATE VOLUNTEER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS, TO PROVIDE THAT IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY FOR VOLUNTEER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS IN A STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY APPLIES WHETHER OR NOT THE VOLUNTEER RECEIVES FINANCIAL GAIN FOR THE VOLUNTEER SERVICES, AND TO PROVIDE SUCH IMMUNITY TO EMERGENCY ASSISTANT MEDICAL EXAMINERS OR CORONERS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3880 (Word version) -- Reps. W.D. Smith, Hagood, Mitchell and McLeod: A BILL TO AMEND ARTICLE 7, CHAPTER 56, TITLE 44, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE BROWNFIELDS/VOLUNTARY CLEANUP PROGRAM, SO AS TO REVISE THE LIABILITY PROTECTION PROVIDED TO PARTIES WHO ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION OF PROPERTY AND WHO SUBSEQUENTLY BECOME RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROPERTY; TO FURTHER SPECIFY THE SCOPE OF A COVENANT NOT TO SUE PROVIDED TO PARTIES WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION OF PROPERTY; TO SPECIFY THAT PROPERTY ON TO WHICH A RELEASE OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS OCCURRED IS PROPERTY ELIGIBLE FOR PARTICIPATION IN THIS VOLUNTARY CLEANUP PROGRAM; TO FURTHER SPECIFY THE CONTENTS OF A VOLUNTARY CLEANUP CONTRACT AND GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF THE CONTRACT; TO REQUIRE THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL TO REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON THE ACTIVITIES OF THIS PROGRAM; AND TO CONFORM PROVISIONS IN THIS ARTICLE TO THE REVISIONS MADE PURSUANT TO THIS ACT.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable report on:

H. 3906 (Word version) -- Reps. Witherspoon and Moss: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 40-15-125 SO AS TO REQUIRE A DENTAL LABORATORY THAT PERFORMS DENTAL TECHNOLOGICAL WORK OUTSIDE OF THIS STATE TO EMPLOY A PERSON WHO IS REGISTERED BY THE STATE BOARD OF DENTISTRY TO AUTHORIZE SUCH WORK BASED ON THE PRESCRIPTION OF A DENTIST LICENSED IN THIS STATE, TO REQUIRE THE LABORATORY TO PROVIDE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE LOCATION IN WHICH THE WORK WAS PERFORMED, AND TO REQUIRE THE LABORATORY TO PROVIDE A LIST OF THE MATERIALS USED IN THE WORK; AND TO AMEND SECTION 40-15-280, RELATING TO WORK AUTHORIZATIONS FOR DENTAL TECHNOLOGICAL WORK, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE INVOICE FOR A PRESCRIPTION TO INCLUDE THE CERTIFICATE NUMBER OF THE PERSON EMPLOYED BY THE LABORATORY WHICH IS TO PERFORM THE WORK.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 3912 (Word version) -- Reps. White and Bales: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 40-47-30, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE REQUIREMENT TO BE LICENSED TO PRACTICE MEDICINE AND TO SPECIFY WHAT IS NOT TO BE CONSTRUED AS PRACTICING MEDICINE, SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT A PHYSICIAN MAY DELEGATE CERTAIN TASKS TO AN UNLICENSED PERSON IF THE PHYSICIAN IS IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PHYSICIAN IS NOT PROHIBITED FROM PRACTICING IN CONSULTATION WITH A SOUTH CAROLINA PHYSICIAN CONCERNING AN OPINION FOR THE SOUTH CAROLINA PHYSICIAN IN MANAGING THE CASE AND TREATMENT OF A PATIENT IN THIS STATE; TO AMEND SECTION 40-47-32, RELATING TO REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSURE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A PHYSICIAN WHO GRADUATED FROM A SCHOOL OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES OR CANADA AND WHO HAS BEEN LICENSED FOR FIVE YEARS, RATHER THAN TEN YEARS, IN ANOTHER STATE, THE PHYSICIAN IS ONLY REQUIRED TO DOCUMENT ONE YEAR OF POST GRADUATE RESIDENCY TRAINING AND TO REVISE THE TIME WITHIN WHICH CERTAIN SPECIALTY EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS MUST BE UNDERTAKEN IN ORDER TO BE SUBSTITUTED FOR REQUIRED EXAMINATIONS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 40-47-35, RELATING TO LICENSURE AS AN EXPERT MEDICAL WITNESS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT RATHER THAN THE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS LICENSING A PHYSICIAN AS AN EXPERT WITNESS, A PHYSICIAN WHO TESTIFIES IN A PROCEEDING IN THIS STATE IS DEEMED TO HAVE SUBMITTED TO THE JURISDICTION OF THE BOARD AND TO PROVIDE NOTICE AND INVESTIGATION PROCEDURES FOR COMPLAINTS RECEIVED.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable report on:

H. 3957 (Word version) -- Rep. Harvin: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 44-39-20, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE BOARD OF THE DIABETES INITIATIVE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, SO AS TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA AFFILIATE OF THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION BE A MEMBER OF THE BOARD, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHEASTERN DIVISION OF THE AMERICAN DIABETES ASSOCIATION BE A MEMBER OF THE BOARD.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator GREGORY from the Committee on Judiciary submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 4058 (Word version) -- Reps. Sandifer, Leach, Bedingfield, Cato, Chellis, Ott, Owens, Whitmire, Parks, Howard and J.H. Neal: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 7 OF TITLE 32, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PRENEED FUNERAL CONTRACTS, SO AS TO CONFORM THE PROVISIONS TO REFLECT THAT THE PREVIOUS POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE STATE BOARD OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS RELATING TO THOSE CONTRACTS HAS BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS, TO PROVIDE FOR A CONTESTED CASE HEARING BEFORE THE REVOCATION OR SUSPENSION OF A LICENSE FOR VIOLATION OF THE CHAPTER, TO PROVIDE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PENALTIES, AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 40-19-290, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO LICENSED EMBALMERS AND FUNERAL DIRECTORS RECEIVING PAYMENTS FOR PRENEED FUNERAL CONTRACTS, SO AS TO CHANGE "STATE BOARD OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS" TO "SOUTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS".

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator SHEHEEN from the Committee on Judiciary submitted a favorable report on:

H. 4065 (Word version) -- Rep. Harrison: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 62-1-302, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO JURISDICTION OF THE PROBATE COURT, SO AS TO ADD THE WORD "GENERAL" BEFORE "PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES" IN CONNECTION WITH FORMAL PROCEEDINGS FOR THEIR APPOINTMENT.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator MARTIN from the Committee on Judiciary submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 4229 (Word version) -- Rep. McLeod: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 14-25-130 SO AS TO REQUIRE THE PREPARATION OF JURY LISTS FROM THE TAPE OF PERSONS HOLDING A VALID STATE DRIVER'S LICENSE OR IDENTIFICATION CARD TO BE FURNISHED BY THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION TO MUNICIPAL JURY COMMISSIONERS FOR USE IN SELECTING MUNICIPAL JURIES; AND TO AMEND SECTIONS 14-25-125 AND 14-25-155, BOTH RELATING TO THE COMPOSITION OF MUNICIPAL COURT JURY LISTS, BOTH SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE JURY LIST TO BE USED BY THE MUNICIPALITY IS THE LIST PREPARED BY THE JURY COMMISSIONERS FROM THE LATEST OFFICIAL LIST PROVIDED BY THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable report on:

H. 4334 (Word version) -- Reps. J.M. Neal, Harrell, Clyburn, Haskins, Hosey, Cotty, Toole, Mahaffey, Moss, Mulvaney and Knight: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 44-61-80, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO REQUIREMENTS TO BE CERTIFIED AS AN EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN, SO AS TO ALSO REQUIRE AN APPLICANT TO UNDERGO A CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK FOR CERTIFICATION AND FOR RENEWAL OF CERTIFICATION.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable report on:

H. 4529 (Word version) -- Reps. Weeks, Whipper and R. Brown: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 37-25-70, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR ILLEGALLY DISPENSING CONTACT LENSES, SO AS TO PROVIDE RELIEF IN THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT FOR A CONTESTED CASE.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator RITCHIE from the Committee on Judiciary submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 4747 (Word version) -- Rep. Harrison: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING TITLE 63 ENTITLED "SOUTH CAROLINA CHILDREN'S CODE" SO AS TO TRANSFER PROVISIONS FROM CHAPTER 7, TITLE 20 TO TITLE 63, TO INCLUDE THE STATE POLICY ON CHILDREN, FAMILY COURT AND FAMILY COURT JUDGES, LEGAL STATUS OF CHILDREN, CHILD PROTECTION AND PERMANENCY, ADOPTIONS, CHILDREN'S SERVICE AGENCIES, CHILDCARE FACILITIES, CUSTODY AND VISITATION, PATERNITY AND CHILD SUPPORT, AND JUVENILE JUSTICE; TO ADD ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 3, TITLE 20, RELATING TO DIVORCE, SO AS TO TRANSFER THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE 6, CHAPTER 7, TITLE 20, RELATING TO EQUITABLE APPORTIONMENT OF PROPERTY, TO THIS ARTICLE; TO ADD ARTICLE 5 TO CHAPTER 5, TITLE 43, RELATING TO PUBLIC AID TO CHILDREN, SO AS TO TRANSFER THE PROVISIONS OF SUBARTICLE 7, ARTICLE 13, CHAPTER 7, TITLE 20, RELATING TO PUBLIC AID, TO THIS ARTICLE; TO ADD SECTION 44-53-378 SO AS TO TRANSFER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 20-7-105, WHICH CREATES A CRIMINAL OFFENSE FOR EXPOSING A CHILD TO METHAMPHETAMINES, TO THIS SECTION; AND TO REPEAL CHAPTER 7, TITLE 20, RELATING TO THE CHILDREN'S CODE; TO REPEAL SECTION 43-5-585, RELATING TO REPORTING CHILD SUPPORT ARREARAGES TO CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES, WHICH WAS TRANSFERRED TO ARTICLE 21, CHAPTER 17, TITLE 63; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 43-5-595, 43-5-596, AND 43-5-597, RELATING TO CHILD SUPPORT ENFORCEMENT THROUGH FINANCIAL INSTITUTION DATA MATCHES, WHICH WERE TRANSFERRED TO ARTICLE 17, CHAPTER 17, TITLE 63.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator THOMAS from the Committee on Banking and Insurance submitted a favorable report on:

H. 4750 (Word version) -- Reps. Cobb-Hunter and McLeod: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 37-11-100, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES FOR THOSE WHO MANAGE CONTINUING CARE FACILITIES, SO AS TO DELETE OBSOLETE PROVISIONS, PROVIDE GROUNDS FOR WHICH DISCIPLINARY ACTION MAY BE TAKEN, REQUIRE THAT DISCIPLINARY ACTION OCCUR SUBJECT TO THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES ACT, AND REQUIRE A PERSON WHO HAS UNDERTAKEN UNLAWFUL CONDUCT TO REPAY COSTS OF ENFORCEMENT OF THE CHAPTER; BY ADDING SECTION 37-11-125 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY FILE AN ACTION IN CIVIL COURT TO ENFORCE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER; TO AMEND SECTION 37-11-135, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT EXEMPT COMMUNITIES MUST OBTAIN A LETTER OF NONAPPLICABILITY; BY ADDING SECTION 37-11-137 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT FUNDS COLLECTED BY THE DEPARTMENT MUST BE USED TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER; AND TO AMEND SECTION 37-11-140, RELATING TO THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THE CHAPTER, SO AS TO DELETE OBSOLETE PROVISIONS.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator GROOMS from the Committee on Transportation submitted a favorable report on:

H. 4804 (Word version) -- Reps. Duncan, M.A. Pitts, Taylor and Anthony: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO REQUEST THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION NAME THE BRIDGE THAT CROSSES THE ENOREE RIVER ALONG SOUTH CAROLINA HIGHWAY 56 IN LAURENS AND UNION COUNTIES "THE BATTLE OF MUSGROVE'S MILL MEMORIAL BRIDGE" AND ERECT APPROPRIATE MARKERS OR SIGNS AT THIS BRIDGE THAT CONTAIN THE WORDS "THE BATTLE OF MUSGROVE'S MILL MEMORIAL BRIDGE".

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 4899 (Word version) -- Reps. Edge, Ott, Crawford, Whipper, Huggins, Alexander, Anthony, Bales, Barfield, Battle, Bedingfield, Brady, Branham, Cato, Clemmons, Clyburn, Cobb-Hunter, Coleman, Cooper, Cotty, Davenport, Duncan, Erickson, Funderburk, Gambrell, Govan, Gullick, Hardwick, Hayes, Hosey, Jennings, Leach, Limehouse, Mack, Mahaffey, McLeod, Moss, Mulvaney, J.H. Neal, Parks, Perry, Pinson, M.A. Pitts, Rice, Sandifer, Scott, Sellers, Shoopman, Simrill, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, W.D. Smith, Stavrinakis, Talley, Taylor, Thompson, Viers, White, Witherspoon and Mitchell: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO CREATE A COMMITTEE TO EXAMINE THE DELIVERY OF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN SOUTH CAROLINA, AND TO REPORT ITS FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY BY JANUARY 1, 2009.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Senator PEELER from the Committee on Medical Affairs submitted a favorable report on:

H. 5012 (Word version) -- Rep. Chalk: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 40-33-25 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING AND REGULATION MAY REQUIRE STATE AND NATIONAL CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS OF AN APPLICANT FOR LICENSURE TO PRACTICE NURSING AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE DEPARTMENT MAY REQUIRE SUCH CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECKS IN CONNECTION WITH AN INVESTIGATION OR DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDING OF A LICENSEE; AND BY ADDING SECTION 40-33-39 SO AS TO REQUIRE A LICENSED NURSE TO WEAR AN IDENTIFICATION BADGE BEARING THE NURSE'S FIRST OR LAST NAME, OR BOTH, AND TITLE.

Ordered for consideration tomorrow.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., May 13, 2008

Mr. President and Senators:

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

H. 4952 (Word version) -- Rep. M.A. Pitts: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 50-11-96 SO AS TO PROHIBIT THE INTRODUCTION OF A FERTILITY CONTROL AGENT OR CHEMICAL SUBSTANCE INTO WILDLIFE, TO AUTHORIZE EXCEPTIONS INCLUDING THOSE MADE FOR SPECIFIED PURPOSES UPON PERMIT OF THE DEPARTMENT, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS.
and has ordered the Bill enrolled for Ratification.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., May 13, 2008

Mr. President and Senators:

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

H. 4876 (Word version) -- Reps. Cooper and Cotty: A BILL TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO RETIREMENT SYSTEMS, TO COMPLY WITH VARIOUS QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS OF THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE AND TO PROVIDE FOR QUALIFIED EXCESS BENEFIT ARRANGEMENTS.
(Abbreviated title)
and has ordered the Bill enrolled for Ratification.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

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

HOUSE BILLS RETURNED

The following House Bills were read the third time and ordered returned to the House with amendments:

H. 3058 (Word version) -- Reps. W.D. Smith, Haskins, Young, G.R. Smith, Cobb-Hunter, Kirsh, Mahaffey, Sandifer, Brady, Bedingfield, Funderburk, Mitchell, M.A. Pitts, Whipper and R. Brown: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-25-20, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE OFFENSE OF CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, SO AS TO ADD THAT CRIMINAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONVICTIONS IN OTHER STATES ARE TO BE CONSIDERED WHEN DETERMINING A PREVIOUS CONVICTION FOR PURPOSES OF ENHANCING THE PENALTY.

H. 3326 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrison and Cotty: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 23-23-120 SO AS TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE WHEREBY A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY WHICH HAS ASSUMED THE COST OF TRAINING A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER MAY BE REIMBURSED FOR THESE COSTS BY A GOVERNMENTAL ENTITY THAT SUBSEQUENTLY HIRES THE LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER.

H. 4328 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrison, Delleney, Haskins, G.M. Smith, Cotty, McLeod and Hart: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1, OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO STATE AGENCY RULE MAKING AND ADJUDICATION OF CONTESTED CASES, TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES, TO PROVIDE THAT THE ADMINISTRATIVE LAW COURT SHALL HAVE A SEAL, TO PROVIDE FOR ENFORCEMENT OR RELIEF FROM AN AGENCY SUBPOENA, TO PROVIDE THAT THE CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT SERVES AS THE SOLE GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES, TO ALLOW ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES AND SPOUSES TO ACCEPT INVITATIONS TO CERTAIN JUDICIAL-RELATED FUNCTIONS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT CONTESTED CASES WILL BE HEARD AT THE PRINCIPAL OFFICES OR AT ANOTHER SUITABLE LOCATION UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.
(Abbreviated Title)

H. 4363 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrison, G.M. Smith, Delleney, Bales, McLeod, Hart and Weeks: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 23, TITLE 1, OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO STATE AGENCY RULE MAKING AND ADJUDICATION OF CONTESTED CASES, TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES RELATING TO THE DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES; AND TO AMEND TITLE 56, RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES, TO DELETE THE PROVISION THAT PROVIDES THAT A HOLDER OF A RESTRICTED DRIVER'S LICENSE IS ENTITLED TO A HEARING UPON A SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF HIS LICENSE, TO PROVIDE THAT A HOLDER OF THE LICENSE MAY REQUEST A HEARING BEFORE THE OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, TO PROVIDE THAT THE OFFICE OF MOTOR VEHICLE HEARINGS HAS EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION TO CONDUCT A HABITUAL OFFENDER DRIVER'S LICENSE REVOCATION HEARING, AND TO MAKE TECHNICAL CHANGES.
(Abbreviated Title)

H. 4601 (Word version) -- Reps. W.D. Smith, Cobb-Hunter, Talley, Hagood, Scott, Viers, Mitchell, Clemmons and Whipper: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-1180, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO VICTIMS' COMPENSATION AWARDS, SO AS TO ALLOW THE CRIME VICTIM'S ADVISORY BOARD TO AUTHORIZE ADDITIONAL COUNSELING FOR VICTIMS BASED ON DOCUMENTED NEED; TO AMEND SECTION 16-3-1230, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO CRIME VICTIMS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS, SO AS TO ALLOW CLAIM SUBMISSION VIA FACSIMILE OR OTHER ELECTRONIC MEANS; TO AMEND ARTICLE 14, CHAPTER 3 OF TITLE 16, RELATING TO THE VICTIM/WITNESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM, SO AS TO RESTRUCTURE THE PROGRAM SO AS TO EMPOWER THE STATE OFFICE OF VICTIM ASSISTANCE TO PROVIDE CERTAIN SERVICES CURRENTLY PROVIDED BY THE VICTIM COMPENSATION FUND, TO RESTRUCTURE THE VICTIMS' SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED, TO CREATE THE VICTIM SERVICES COORDINATING COUNCIL AND PROVIDE FOR ITS MEMBERSHIP, AND TO CREATE THE OFFICE OF VICTIM SERVICES EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATION WITHIN THE OFFICE OF THE CRIME VICTIMS' OMSBUDSMAN AND ESTABLISH CERTIFICATION AND CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR VICTIM SERVICE PROVIDERS; AND BY ADDING SECTION 16-3-1680 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE CRIME VICTIMS' OMSBUDSMAN TO PROMULGATE NECESSARY REGULATIONS.

H. 4930 (Word version) -- Reps. G.M. Smith, Cato and Bannister: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 16-17-680, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO UNLAWFUL PURCHASE OF COPPER, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE PURCHASER OF CERTAIN METALS FROM A PERSON WHO IS NOT AN AUTHORIZED RETAILER OR WHOLESALER MUST PAY BY CHECK OR MONEY ORDER, OBTAIN THE SELLER'S IDENTIFICATION NUMBER AND LICENSE PLATE, AND MAINTAIN THE RECORD FOR FIVE YEARS; AND BY ADDING SECTION 16-11-523, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL TO WILFULLY AND MALICIOUSLY CUT, MUTILATE, OR DEFACE REAL PROPERTY FOR THE PURPOSE OF OBTAINING CERTAIN METALS, TO PROVIDE PENALTIES, AND TO PROVIDE CIVIL LIABILITY FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE ATTEMPTED THEFT OF CERTAIN METALS.

By prior motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent

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

S. 1370 (Word version) -- Senator Hayes: A BILL TO AMEND ACT 449 OF 1975, RELATING TO THE LEVY OF TAXES FOR YORK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER ONE, ROCK HILL SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER THREE, AND FORT MILL SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER FOUR, SO AS TO DELETE THE LIMITATION ON THE INCREASE OF SCHOOL OPERATING MILLAGE ABOVE FOUR MILLS WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL IN A REFERENDUM; TO AMEND ACT 825 OF 1978, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE LEVY OF TAXES FOR CLOVER SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER TWO, SO AS TO DELETE THE LIMITATION ON THE INCREASE OF SCHOOL OPERATING MILLAGE ABOVE FOUR MILLS WITHOUT VOTER APPROVAL IN A REFERENDUM; TO AMEND ACT 744 OF 1990, RELATING TO AN INCREASE IN THE SCHOOL OPERATING MILLAGE CAP FROM FOUR MILLS TO SIX MILLS FOR THE FOUR YORK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION IN ITS ENTIRETY; AND TO AMEND SECTION 2 OF ACT 799 OF 1988, RELATING TO A VOTER REFERENDUM FOR THE INCREASE OF SCHOOL OPERATING MILLAGE IN CLOVER SCHOOL DISTRICT NUMBER TWO ABOVE FOUR MILLS, SO AS TO DELETE THE PROVISION IN ITS ENTIRETY.

By prior motion of Senator HAYES

S. 1372 (Word version) -- Senator Land: A BILL TO DESIGNATE MAP DOCUMENT NUMBERS FOR MAPS DELINEATING THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN SCHOOL DISTRICTS NO. 1 AND 2 IN CLARENDON COUNTY AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE MAPS DELINEATING THIS BOUNDARY BE FILED AND MAINTAINED IN THE OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND STATISTICS OF THE STATE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD.

By prior motion of Senator LAND

H. 3674 (Word version) -- Reps. Cato, Perry, J.H. Neal, Chellis, Harvin, F.N. Smith, Bedingfield, Simrill, Crawford, Leach, W.D. Smith, Alexander, Bales, Bannister, Dantzler, Edge, Gambrell, Hamilton, Haskins, Kennedy, Lowe, Mitchell, Mulvaney, Ott, Pinson, Sandifer, Scarborough, Shoopman, G.R. Smith, Spires, Stewart, Thompson, Toole, White, Young, Brady, Talley, Clemmons, Owens, Hiott, Skelton and Rice: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 19 TO TITLE 44 SO AS TO ENACT THE "SOUTH CAROLINA HEALTH CARE FINANCIAL RECOVERY AND PROTECTION ACT", TO ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR A HEALTH INSURER TO PAY OR REIMBURSE A PROVIDER FOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES FURNISHED BY THE PROVIDER, INCLUDING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, TIMEFRAMES WITHIN WHICH A CLAIM FOR SERVICES RENDERED, WHICH HAS NOT MATERIAL DEFECT OR IMPROPRIETY, MUST BE PAID BY AN INSURER, CONDITIONS WHICH CONSTITUTE A CONTESTED CLAIM, INTEREST RATES AND OTHER FEES THAT MAY BE RECOVERED FOR CLAIMS NOT PAID OR PROPERLY DISPUTED WITHIN THE TIMEFRAMES PROVIDED, THE APPLICABILITY OF UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES, TIMEFRAMES WITHIN WHICH AN INSURER SEEKING A REFUND OF A PAYMENT MADE FOR HEALTH CARE SERVICES RENDERED MUST REQUEST THE REFUND, AND PROVISIONS LIMITING THE NUMBER OF SERVICES AND SUPPLIES REQUIRING PREAUTHORIZATION BY AN INSURER; AND TO AMEND SECTION 38-71-230, RELATING TO WRITTEN NOTICE WHICH MUST BE PROVIDED BY INSURERS OF CLAIM POLICIES AND PROCEDURES AND THE ADOPTION OF STANDARDIZED CLAIM FORMS, SO AS TO REVISE CERTAIN CLAIM FORM NUMBERS.

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

Senator CROMER proposed the following amendment (NBD\12105AC08), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, Section 38-59-230 page 5, immediately after line 13 by inserting:

/   (D)   A clearinghouse, billing service, or any other vendor that contracts with a provider to deliver health care claims to an insurer on the provider's behalf is prohibited from converting electronic claims received from the provider into paper claims for submission to the insurer. A violation of this subsection constitutes an unfair trade practice under Chapter 5, Title 39, and individual providers and insurers injured by violations of this subsection have an action for damages as set forth in Section 39-5-140./

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator CROMER explained the amendment.

Senator MALLOY proposed the following amendment (3674R001.GM), which was adopted:

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking page 6, line 43 and page 7, lines 1 and 2 and inserting:

/   38-2-10.   /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator MALLOY explained the amendment.

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

AMENDMENT PROPOSED, OBJECTION

H. 4400 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrell, Harrison, Cato, Cooper, Walker, Witherspoon, Merrill, Sandifer, Haley, Young, Erickson, Littlejohn, Simrill, Bowen, Crawford, Barfield, Cotty, Taylor, Spires, Davenport, E.H. Pitts, Frye, Lowe, Shoopman, Hardwick, Bingham, Skelton, Clemmons, Thompson, Bedingfield, Bannister, Mahaffey, Herbkersman, J.R. Smith, Haskins, Huggins, Hutson, Leach, Toole, Viers, Brady, Dantzler, Delleney, Gambrell, Hamilton, Kelly, Rice, Scarborough, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, Talley, Umphlett, Duncan, Owens, Mulvaney, White, Loftis and Edge: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, TO PROVIDE FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM.
(Abbreviated Title)

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

Senator McCONNELL explained the Bill.

Amendment No. 1

Senator McCONNELL proposed the following Amendment No. 1 (JUD4400.004):

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by striking all after the enacting language and inserting therein the following:

/   SECTION   1.   This act may be cited as the "South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act".

SECTION   2.   Section 1-31-40(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(A)     The commission shall:

(1)   provide the minority community consisting of African Americans, Native American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, and others with a single point of contact for statistical and technical assistance in the areas of research and planning for a greater economic future;

(2)   work with minority officials on the state, county, and local levels of government in disseminating statistical data and its impact on their constituencies;

(3)   provide for publication of a statewide statistical abstract on minority affairs;

(4)   provide statistical analyses for members of the General Assembly on the state of minority communities as the State experiences economic growth and changes;

(5)   provide the minority community with assistance and information on Voting Rights Act submissions in the State, as well as other related areas of concern to the minority community;

(6)   determine, approve, and acknowledge by certification state recognition for Native American Indian entities; however, notwithstanding their state certification, the tribes have no power or authority to take any action which would establish, advance, or promote any form of gambling in this State;

(7)   establish advisory committees representative of minority groups, as the commission considers appropriate to advise the commission;

(8)   act as liaison with the business community to provide programs and opportunities to fulfill its duties under this chapter;

(9)   seek federal and other funding on behalf of the State of South Carolina for the express purpose of implementing various programs and services for African Americans, Native American Indians, Hispanics/Latinos, Asians, and other minority groups;

(10)   promulgate regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article including, but not limited to, regulations regarding State Recognition of Native American Indian entities in the State of South Carolina; and

(11)   establish and maintain a twenty-four hour toll free telephone number and electronic website in accordance with Section 8-30-10; and

(11)(12)   perform other duties necessary to implement programs."   SECTION   3.   Title 8 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 14

Unauthorized Aliens and Public Employment

Section 8-14-10.   (A)   As used in this chapter, the term:

(1)   'Contractor' means any person having a contract with a public employer except a political subdivision, where the total value of the contract to be performed in a twelve-month period exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars, or, if the public employer is a political subdivision, where the total value of the contract to be performed in a twelve-month period exceeds fifteen thousand dollars.

(2)   'Director' means the director of the State Budget and Control Board.

(3)   'End product' means movable personal property described in the solicitation and in final form and ready for the use intended including, without limitation, commodities or equipment.

(4)   'Federal work authorization program' means the E-Verify Program maintained and operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security Administration, or any successor program.

(5)   'Public employer' means every department, agency, or instrumentality of the State or a political subdivision of the State.

(6)   'Service contract' means a contract that involves the physical performance of manual labor, if the total cost of such labor exceeds (i) thirty percent of the total cost of all labor, or (ii) five percent of the total contract price. The term does not include:

(a)   a contract with a public employer, other than a political subdivision, with a total value of less than twenty-five thousand dollars, or a contract with a political subdivision with a total value of less than fifteen thousand dollars;

(b)   a contract primarily for the acquisition of an end product; and

(c)   a contract that is predominantly for the performance of professional or consultant services.

(7)   'Subcontractor' means any person having either: (a) a services contract with a contractor; or (b) a contract with a sub-subcontractor.

(8)   'Sub-subcontractor' means any person having a services contract with a subcontractor.

(9)   'Private employer' means any person carrying on any employment and the legal representative of a deceased person or the receiver or trustee of any person, and any person for whom an individual performs a service, of whatever nature, as an employee, as defined in Section 12-8-10.

Section 8-14-20.   (A)   On or after January 1, 2009, every public employer shall register and participate in the federal work authorization program to verify the employment authorization of all new employees.

(B)   A public employer may not enter into a services contract with a contractor for the physical performance of services within this State unless the contractor agrees:

(1)   to register and participate in the federal work authorization program to verify the employment authorization of all new employees; and require agreement from its subcontractors, and through the subcontractors, the sub-subcontractors, to register and participate in the federal verification of the employment authorization of all new employees; or

(2)   to employ only workers who:

(a)   possess a valid South Carolina driver's license or identification card issued by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles;

(b)   are eligible to obtain a South Carolina driver's license or identification card in that they meet the requirements set forth in Section 56-1-40 through 56-1-90; or

(c)   possess a valid driver's license or identification card from another state where the license requirements are at least as strict as those in South Carolina, as determined by the Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, or his designee. The Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, or his designee, shall publish on its website a list of states where the license requirements are at least as strict as those in South Carolina.

(C)   A public employer and contractor must not divide work or duties that would otherwise constitute a single service contract into separate contracts for the purpose of avoiding the requirements of this chapter.

(D)   Subsection (B) applies as follows:

(1)   on and after January 1, 2009, with respect to contractors, subcontractors, or sub-subcontractors of five hundred or more employees;

(2)   on and after July 1, 2009, with respect to contractors, subcontractors, or sub-subcontractors of one hundred or more employees but less than five hundred employees; and

(3)   on and after January 1, 2010, with respect to all other contractors, subcontractors or sub-subcontractors.

(E)   Private employers shall comply with the provisions of Chapter 8, Title 41.

Section 8-14-30.   The provisions of this chapter are enforceable without regard to race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or national origin. Section 11-35-4210 provides the exclusive remedy for violations of this chapter for any contract governed by Title 11, Chapter 35. A pre-award protest process appearing in a procurement ordinance adopted by a political subdivision pursuant to Section 11-35-50 or Section 11-35-70 provides the exclusive remedy for violations of this chapter for any contract governed by that procurement ordinance.

Section 8-14-40.   A public employer complies with this chapter if it obtains a written statement from the contractor certifying that the contractor will comply with the requirements of this chapter and agrees to provide to the public employer any documentation required to establish either: (a) the applicability of this chapter to the contractor, subcontractor, and sub-subcontractor; or (b) the compliance with this chapter by the contractor and any subcontractor or sub-subcontractor. A public employer need not audit or independently verify a contractor's compliance with this chapter.

Section 8-14-50.   A contractor or public employer who in good faith complies with the requirements of this chapter may not be sanctioned or subjected to any civil or administrative action for employing an individual not authorized for employment in the United States.

Section 8-14-60.   A person who knowingly makes or files any false, fictitious, or fraudulent document, statement, or report pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a felony, and, upon conviction, must be fined within the discretion of the court or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

Section 8-14-70.   A local government must not enact any ordinance or policy that limits or prohibits a law enforcement officer, local official, or local government employee from seeking to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

Section 8-14-80.   Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the director shall prescribe all forms and promulgate regulations necessary for the application of this chapter to contracts or agreements and may publish these regulations on the Budget and Control Board's website in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Section 8-14-90. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the director of the Department of Transportation shall prescribe forms, promulgate regulations, and adopt rules necessary for the application of this chapter to a contract or agreement relating to public transportation and shall publish these rules and regulations on the Department of Transportation's website in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws."

SECTION   4.   Article 1, Chapter 3, Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 23-3-80.   (A)   The chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is authorized and directed to negotiate the terms of a memorandum of understanding between the State of South Carolina and the United States Department of Justice or Department of Homeland Security addressing:

(1)   the enforcement of federal immigration laws by state and local law enforcement, specifically through the 287-G program or other applicable federal law or program designed for the purpose of state enforcement of federal immigration laws;

(2)   the detention of unlawful aliens by state and local law enforcement officials and the costs associated with those detentions;

(3)   the removal of detained unlawful aliens by federal authorities or, instead of removal, the deportation of illegal immigrants by state and local law enforcement officials;

(4)   training of state and local law enforcement officials pursuant to the 287-G program or other applicable federal law or program and the costs of such training; and

(5)   further communication and cooperation between federal law enforcement and state and local law enforcement officials in the area of immigration enforcement, pursuant to 8 U.S.C. Section 1357(g).

(B)   The memorandum of understanding negotiated pursuant to subsection (A) must be signed on behalf of the State by the chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Governor or as otherwise required by the appropriate federal agency.

(C)   The chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division shall designate appropriate law enforcement officers to be trained pursuant to the memorandum of understanding provided for in subsections (A) and (B). The training may be funded pursuant to the federal Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2006, or any other source of funding. The provisions of this section become effective upon the securing of this funding.

(D)   The director of the South Carolina Department of Corrections, the sheriff of a county, and the governing body of a municipality that maintains a paid police department may enter into the memorandum of understanding between the State of South Carolina and the United States Department of Justice or Department of Homeland Security as a party, and, subject to the availability of funds provided for in subsection (C) of this section, provide corrections officers and local law enforcement officers for training in accordance with the memorandum of understanding.

(E)   A law enforcement officer certified as trained in accordance with the memorandum of understanding as provided in this section is authorized to enforce federal immigration and customs laws while performing within the scope of his or her authorized duties."

SECTION   5.   Title 8 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 29

Verification of Lawful Presence in the United States

Section 8-29-10.   (A)   Except as provided in subsection (C) of this section or where exempted by federal law, on or after July 1, 2008, every agency or political subdivision of this State shall verify the lawful presence in the United States of any alien eighteen years of age or older who has applied for state or local public benefits, as defined in 8 U.S.C. Section 1621, or for federal public benefits, as defined in 8 U.S.C. Section 1611, that are administered by an agency or a political subdivision of this State.

(B)   The provisions of this article shall be enforced without regard to race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or national origin.

(1)   a purpose for which lawful presence in the United States is not required by law, ordinance, or regulation;

(2)   assistance for health care items and services that are necessary for the treatment of an emergency medical condition, as defined in the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.), of the person involved and are not related to an organ transplant procedure;

(3)   short-term, noncash, in-kind emergency disaster relief;

(4)   public health assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases whether or not such symptoms are caused by a communicable disease;

(5)   programs, services, or assistance including soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter specified by the United States Attorney General, in the United States Attorney General's sole discretion after consultation with appropriate federal agencies and departments, which:

(a)   deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies;

(b)   do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient's income or resources; and

(c)   are necessary for the protection of life or safety;

(6)   prenatal care;

(7)   postsecondary education, whereby the Department of Education shall set forth, or cause to be set forth, policies regarding postsecondary benefits that comply with all federal law including, but not limited to, public benefits as described in 8 U.S.C. Section 1611, 1621, or 1623;

(8)   benefits, programs, services or any other assistance provided to victims of domestic violence, irrespective of their immigration status, under the Violence Against Women Act of 2000, Public Law Number 106-386, or the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, Public Law Number 104-208; or

(9)   benefits and refunds lawfully due from the South Carolina Retirement Systems pursuant to Title 9 of the South Carolina Code of Laws to members of the Retirement Systems and their beneficiaries.

(D)   Verification of lawful presence in the United States by the agency or political subdivision required to make such verification must occur as follows:

(1)   the applicant must execute an affidavit that he is a United States citizen or legal permanent resident eighteen years of age or older; or

(2)   the applicant must execute an affidavit that he or she is a qualified alien or nonimmigrant under the Federal Immigration and Nationality Act, Public Law 82-414, eighteen years of age or older, and lawfully present in the United States.

(E)   For an applicant who has executed an affidavit that he or she is an alien lawfully present in the United States, eligibility for benefits shall be made through the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement (SAVE) program operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security or a successor program designated by the United States Department of Homeland Security. Until the eligibility verification is made, the affidavit shall be presumed to be proof of lawful presence for the purposes of this article.

(F)   A person who knowingly and willfully makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in an affidavit executed pursuant to this section, or who aids or abets a person in knowingly and willfully making a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in an affidavit executed pursuant to this section, or who solicits or conspires to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in an affidavit executed pursuant to this section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. In addition, a person convicted pursuant to this section must disgorge any benefit received or make restitution, or both, to the agency or political subdivision of this State that administered the benefit or entitlement program. It is a separate violation of this section each time a person receives a public benefit based on such a statement or representation. A conviction and fine charged pursuant to this section shall not preempt or preclude additional appropriate civil or criminal charges or penalties. A person who suffers an ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the actions of anyone convicted of a violation of this subsection may bring an action, individually, or in a representative capacity, to recover actual damages. If the court finds that a violation has been established, the court shall award three times the actual damages sustained and may provide such other relief as it considers necessary and proper. Upon a finding by the court of a violation, the court shall award to the person bringing the action under this section reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

(G)   Persons convicted of a violation of this section are jointly and severally liable for a loss suffered by a person or an agency or political subdivision of the State.

(H)   If an affidavit constitutes a false claim of U.S. citizenship under 18 U.S.C. Section 911, a complaint must be filed by the agency or political subdivision with the United States Attorney for the District of South Carolina.

(I)   It is unlawful for an agency or a political subdivision of this State to provide any state, local, or federal benefit, as defined in 8 U.S.C. Section 1621 or 8 U.S.C. Section 1611, in violation of this section.

(J)   All errors and significant delays by SAVE or its successor program must be reported to the United States Department of Homeland Security and to the Secretary of State which will monitor the state's participation in the SAVE program and its verification of application errors and significant delays and report yearly on such errors and significant delays to ensure that the application of SAVE is not wrongfully denying benefits to legal residents of South Carolina.

(K)   An agency or a political subdivision of this State that provides a state, local, or federal benefit, as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1621 or 8 U.S.C. Section 1611, must require a person currently under the age of eighteen who received the benefit to comply with the provisions of this article upon reaching the age of eighteen. If the recipient is unwilling or unable to comply, receipt of all benefits must cease immediately upon the recipient's eighteenth birthday.

(L)   A local government may not enact any ordinance or policy that limits or prohibits a law enforcement officer, local official, or local government employee from seeking to enforce the provisions of this article."

SECTION   6.   Title 8 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 30

Recording and Reporting Immigration Law Violations

Section 8-30-10.   (A)   The executive director of the State Commission for Minority Affairs, or a designee, shall establish and maintain a twenty-four hour toll free telephone number and electronic website to receive, record, collect, and report allegations of violations of federal immigration laws or related provisions of South Carolina law by any non-United States citizen or immigrant, and allegations of violations of any federal immigration laws or related provisions in South Carolina law against any non-United States citizen or immigrant. Such violations shall include, but are not limited to, E-Verify or other federal work authorization program violations, violations of Chapter 83 of Title 40 of this Code relating to immigration assistance services, or any regulations enacted governing the operation of immigration assistance services, false or fraudulent statements made or documents filed in relation to an immigration matter, as defined by Section 40-83-20, violation of human trafficking laws, as defined in Section 16-3-930, landlord tenant law violations, or violations of any law pertaining to the provision or receipt of public assistance benefits or public services.

(B)   The executive director, or a designee, shall establish and maintain a centralized tracking database consisting of all information received through the twenty-four hour toll free telephone number and electronic website, and shall report all alleged violations to the appropriate law enforcement, administrative, executive, or regulatory agency or political subdivision having law enforcement or regulatory control over the subject matter, including, but not limited to the United States Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, consistent with 8 U.S.C. Section 1373.

Section 8-30-20.   The executive director is authorized to hire personnel necessary to carry out the duties prescribed in Section 8-30-10. The General Assembly shall provide for the funds in the annual appropriations act."

SECTION   7.   Chapter 6, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 12-6-1175.   (A)   As used in this section:

(1)   'Unauthorized alien' means an unauthorized alien as defined by 8 U.S.C. Section 1324A(b)(3).

(2)   'Labor services' means the physical performance of services in this State.

(B)   On or after January 1, 2009, no wages or remuneration for labor services to an individual of six hundred dollars or more per annum may be claimed and allowed as a deductible business expense for state income tax purposes by a taxpayer if the individual is an unauthorized alien. The provisions of this subsection shall apply whether or not an Internal Revenue Service Form 1099 is issued in conjunction with the wages or remuneration.

(C)   This section shall not apply to a business domiciled in this State that is exempt from compliance with federal employment verification procedures under federal law.

(D)   This section shall not apply to an individual hired by the taxpayer prior to January 1, 2009.

(E)   This section shall not apply to a taxpayer where the individual being paid is not directly compensated or employed by said taxpayer.

(F)   This section shall not apply to wages or remuneration paid for labor services to any individual whose employment authorization status was verified in accordance with the provisions of Section 41-8-20.

(G)   A taxpayer must not be held liable for failing to comply with the provisions of this section, if, based on a reasonable investigation of the individual, the taxpayer did not know or should not have known that the individual was an unauthorized alien. For purposes of this subsection, a taxpayer shall be deemed to have conducted a reasonable investigation if the individual met the requirements of subsection (F), and the information provided by the individual to the taxpayer was facially correct.

(H)   The director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue is authorized to prescribe forms and promulgate regulations deemed necessary in order to administer and effectuate this section in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

(I)   The director of the Department of Revenue shall send written notice of this section to all South Carolina employers no later than July 1, 2008."

SECTION   8.   Chapter 8, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 12-8-595.   (A)   A withholding agent, as defined in Section 12-8-10, shall withhold state income tax at the rate of seven percent of the amount of compensation paid to an individual, which compensation is reported on Form 1099 and with respect to which the individual has:

(1)   failed to provide a taxpayer identification number or social security number;

(2)   failed to provide a correct taxpayer identification number or social security number; or

(3)   provided an Internal Revenue Service issued taxpayer identification number issued for nonresident aliens.

(B)   A withholding agent who fails to comply with the withholding requirements of this subsection shall be liable for the taxes required to have been withheld unless the withholding agent is exempt from federal withholding with respect to the individual pursuant to a properly filed Internal Revenue Service Form 8233 and has provided a copy of the form to the commissioner.

(C)   A withholding agent does not violate this section if the individual provides a false or incorrect social security number or taxpayer identification number that is facially correct and the withholding agent does not know or should not have known based on a reasonable investigation that the number provided is false or incorrect.

(D)   The director of the South Carolina Department of Revenue shall send written notice of this section to all South Carolina employers no later than July 1, 2008."

SECTION   9.   Article 5, Chapter 9, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 16-9-460.   (A)   It is a felony for a person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that another person has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law to transport, move, or attempt to transport that person within the State or to solicit or conspire to transport or move that person within the State with intent to further that person's unlawful entry into the United States or avoiding apprehension or detection of that person's unlawful immigration status by state or federal authorities.

(B)   It is a felony for a person knowingly or in reckless disregard of the fact that another person has come to, entered, or remained in the United States in violation of law to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection or to solicit or conspire to conceal, harbor, or shelter from detection that person in any place, including a building or means of transportation, with intent to further that person's unlawful entry into the United States or avoiding apprehension or detection of that person's unlawful immigration status by state or federal authorities.

(C)   A person who violates the provisions of subsection (A) or (B) of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be punished by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed five years, or both.

(D)   A person who is convicted of, pleads guilty to, or enters into a plea of nolo contendere to a violation of this section must not be permitted to seek or obtain any professional license offered by the State or any agency or political subdivision of the State.

(E)   Subsections (A) and (B) do not apply to programs, services, or assistance including soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention; churches or other religious institutions that are recognized as a 501(c)(3) organizations by the Internal Revenue Service; and short-term shelters specified by the United States Attorney General, in the United States Attorney General's sole discretion after consultation with appropriate federal agencies and departments, which:

(i)   deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies;

(ii)   do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient's income or resources; and

(iii)   are necessary for the protection of life or safety.

Shelter provided for strictly humanitarian purposes or provided under the Violence Against Women Act is not a violation of this section, so long as the shelter is not provided in furtherance of or in an attempt to conceal a person's illegal presence in the United States.

(F)   Providing health care treatment or services to a natural person who is in the United States unlawfully is not a violation of this section."

SECTION   10.   Chapter 13, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 16-13-525.   (A)   In addition to the penalties provided for in this chapter, a person who is convicted of, pleads guilty to, or enters into a plea of nolo contendere to financial identity fraud or identity fraud involving the false, fictitious, or fraudulent creation or use of documents that enable an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States to live or work in the United States, or to receive benefits administered by an agency or political subdivision of this State, must disgorge any benefit received or make restitution to the agency or political subdivision that administered the benefit or entitlement program, or both. A criminal charge pursuant to this chapter shall not preempt or preclude additional appropriate civil or criminal charges or penalties.

(B)   A person who suffers an ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of a conviction or plea to a violation of financial identity fraud or identity fraud involving a matter described in subsection (A), may bring an action individually, or in a representative capacity, to recover actual damages against any person convicted of the violation. If a court finds that a violation has been established, the court shall award three times the actual damages sustained and may provide such other relief as it considers necessary or proper. Upon the finding by the court of a violation, the court shall award to the person bringing this action pursuant to this section reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

(C)   A person convicted of a violation of this subsection is jointly and severally liable for a loss suffered by a person or an agency or political subdivision of the State.

(D)(1)   It is unlawful for a person to display, cause or permit to be displayed, or have in his possession a false, fictitious, fraudulent, or counterfeit identity document including, but not limited to, a driver's license or social security card for the purpose of offering proof of United States citizenship or classification by the United States as an alien lawfully admitted for temporary or permanent residence under federal immigration law.

(2)   A person who violates the provisions of this section:

(a)   for a first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days; and

(b)   for a second offense or subsequent offenses, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than five years.

(E)   A violation of the provisions of this section is considered a separate criminal offense and does not preclude prosecution for perjury pursuant to Section 16-9-10 in addition to prosecution pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(F)   In enforcing the terms of this section, no state officer shall attempt to make an independent judgment of an alien's immigration status. State officials must verify any alien's status with the federal government in accordance with 8 U.S.C. Section 1373(c)."

SECTION   11.   Chapter 3, Title 23 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Article 13

Verification of Nationality of Prisoners

Section 23-3-1100.   (A)   If a person is charged with a criminal offense and is confined for any period in a jail of the State, county, or municipality, or a jail operated by a regional jail authority, a reasonable effort shall be made to determine whether the confined person is an alien unlawfully present in the United States.

(B)   If the prisoner is an alien, the keeper of the jail or other officer must make a reasonable effort to verify whether the prisoner has been lawfully admitted to the United States or if the prisoner is unlawfully present in the United States. Verification must be made within seventy-two hours through a query to the Law Enforcement Support Center (LESC) of the United States Department of Homeland Security or other office or agency designated for that purpose by the United States Department of Homeland Security. If the prisoner is determined to be an alien unlawfully present in the United States, the keeper of the jail or other officer shall notify the United States Department of Homeland Security.

(C)   Upon notification to the United States Department of Homeland Security pursuant to subsection (B), the keeper of the jail must account for daily expenses incurred for the housing, maintenance, and care of the prisoner who is an alien unlawfully present in the United States and must forward an invoice to the Department of Homeland Security for these expenses.

(D)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny a person bond or from being released from confinement when such person is otherwise eligible for release. However, pursuant to the provisions of Section 17-15-30, a court setting bond shall consider whether the person charged is an alien unlawfully present in the United States.

(E)   The State Law Enforcement Division shall promulgate regulations to comply with the provisions of this section in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

(F)   In enforcing the terms of this section, no state officer shall attempt to make an independent judgment of an alien's immigration status. State officials must verify an alien's status with the federal government in accordance with 8 U.S.C. Section 1373(c)."

SECTION   12.   Chapter 1, Title 41 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 41-1-30.   (A)   There is a civil right of action for wrongful termination against an employer who discharges an employee authorized to work in the United States for the purpose of replacing that employee with a person the employer knows or should reasonably know is an unauthorized alien.

(B)   An aggrieved employee must show all of the following:

(a)   the replacement occurred within sixty days of the date of the employee's termination,

(b)   the replacement worker was an unauthorized alien at the time of the replacement;

(c)   the employer knew or reasonably should have known of the replacement worker's status; and

(d)   the replacement worker filled duties and responsibilities the employee vacated.

(C)   This section does not create an employment contract for either a public or private employer.

(D)   An employee who brings a civil suit pursuant to this section is limited to the following recovery:

(1)   reinstatement to his former position;

(2)   actual damages; and

(3)   lost wages.

(E)   A cause of action does not arise against an employer who submits the necessary identifying information for all employees through the Systematic Alien Verification of Entitlement (SAVE) program, the E-Verify Program or a successor program used for verification of work authorization and operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

(F)   Any cause of action arising pursuant to this section is equitable in nature and must be brought within one year of the date of the alleged violation.

(G)   For any action brought pursuant to this section, the court may award attorney fees to the prevailing party.

(H)   This section takes effect ninety days after the effective date of the act."

SECTION   13.   Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 83

Registration of Immigration Assistance Services

Section 40-83-10.   This act shall be cited as the 'Registration of Immigration Assistance Service Act'.

Section 40-83-20.   As used in this chapter, the term:

(A)   'Compensation' means money, property, services, promise of payment, or anything else of value given in exchange for a service.

(B)   'Director' means the Director of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, or his designee.

(C)   'Employed by' means that a person is on the payroll of the employer and the employer deducts from the employee's paycheck social security and withholding taxes or that a person receives compensation from the employer on a commission basis or as an independent contractor.

(D)   'Immigration assistance service' means information or action provided or offered to customers or prospective customers related to immigration matters, excluding legal advice, recommending a specific course of legal action or providing other assistance that requires legal analysis, legal judgment, or interpretation of the law.

(E)   'Immigration matter' means a proceeding, filing, or action affecting the nonimmigrant, immigrant, or citizenship status of any person that arises under:

(1)   immigration and naturalization law, executive order, or presidential proclamation of the United States or any foreign country; or

(2)   action of the United States Department of Labor, the United States Department of State, the United States Department of Homeland Security, or the United States Department of Justice.

Section 43-83-30.   (A)   A person who provides or offers to provide immigration assistance service shall perform only the following services:

(1)   completing a government agency form, requested by the customer and appropriate to the customer's needs only if the completion of that form does not involve a legal judgment for that particular matter;

(2)   transcribing responses to a government agency form that is related to an immigration matter but not advising a customer as to his or her answers on those forms;

(3)   translating information on forms to a customer and translating the customer's answers to questions posed on those forms;

(4)   securing for the customer supporting documents currently in existence, such as birth and marriage certificates, which may be needed to be submitted with government agency forms;

(5)   translating documents from a foreign language into English;

(6)   notarizing signatures on government agency forms, if the person performing the service is a notary public commissioned in the State of South Carolina and is lawfully present in the United States;

(7)   making referrals, without a fee, to attorneys who could undertake legal representation for a person in an immigration matter;

(8)   preparing or arranging for the preparation of photographs and fingerprints;

(9)   arranging for the performance of medical testing (including X-rays and AIDS tests) and the obtaining of reports of such test results;

(10)   conducting English language and civics courses; and

(11)   performing other services that the director determines by rule may be appropriately performed by such persons in light of the purposes of this chapter.

(B)   The following persons are exempt from this chapter:

(1)   an attorney licensed to practice law in South Carolina or an attorney licensed to practice law in another state or territory of the United States or in a foreign country when acting with the approval of a judge having lawful jurisdiction over the matter;

(2)   a legal intern, clerk, paralegal, or person in a similar position employed by and under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney meeting the requirements in item (1) of this subsection and rendering immigration assistance service in the course of employment; or

(3)   a not-for-profit organization recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals under 8 C.F.R. 292.2(a), to include, but not be limited to, religious, charitable, social service, or similar organizations, and employees of those organizations accredited under 8 C.F.R. 292.2(d).

(C)   This chapter does not regulate any business to the extent that such regulation is prohibited or preempted by federal law.

(D)   A person performing the services described in this chapter shall obtain a business license from the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and as may be required by a local governing authority.

(E)   A person who provides or offers immigration assistance service and is not exempted under this chapter shall post signs at his or her place of business setting forth information in English and in every other language in which the person provides or offers to provide immigration assistance service. Each language shall be on a separate sign. Signs shall be posted in a location where the signs will be visible to customers. Each sign shall be at least twelve inches by seventeen inches and shall contain the following statement:

'I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE.'

(F)   Each person engaged in immigration assistance service who is not an attorney who advertises immigration assistance service in a language other than English, whether by radio, television, signs, pamphlets, newspapers, or other written communication, with the exception of a single desk plaque, must include in the document, advertisement, stationery, letterhead, business card, or other comparable written material the following notice in English and the language in which the written communication appears. This notice shall be of a conspicuous font size, if in writing, and shall state:

'I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY LICENSED TO PRACTICE LAW AND MAY NOT GIVE LEGAL ADVICE OR ACCEPT FEES FOR LEGAL ADVICE.'

If an advertisement is by radio or television, the statement may be modified but must include substantially the same information.

(G)   A person who provides or offers immigration assistance service and who is not exempted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter may not literally translate from English into another language any document, advertisement, stationery, letterhead, business card, or other comparable written material terms or titles including, but not limited to, notary public, notary, licensed attorney, lawyer, or another term that implies the person is an attorney.

(H)   A person engaged in providing immigration services who is not exempted under this chapter may not:

(1)   accept payment in exchange for providing legal advice or any other assistance that requires legal analysis, legal judgment, or interpretation of the law;

(2)   refuse to return documents supplied by, prepared on behalf of, or paid for by the customer upon the request of the customer. These documents must be returned upon request even if there is a fee dispute between the immigration assistant and the customer;

(3)   represent or advertise, in connection with providing assistance in immigration matters, other titles or credentials, including, but not limited to, 'notary public' or 'immigration consultant', that could cause a customer to believe that the person possesses special professional skills or is authorized to provide advice on an immigration matter, provided that a certified notary public may use the term ' notary public' if the use is accompanied by the statement that the person is not an attorney. The term 'notary public' may not be translated into another language;

(4)   provide legal advice, recommend a specific course of legal action, or provide any other assistance that requires legal analysis, legal judgment, or interpretation of the law; or

(5)   make any misrepresentation or false statement, directly or indirectly, to influence, persuade, or induce patronage.

(I)   Violations of this chapter may result in a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars per violation and the revocation of the business license of the immigration assistance service. A fine charged pursuant to this chapter shall not preempt or preclude additional appropriate civil or criminal penalties to include disgorgement and restitution.

(J)   Any person who knowingly and willfully makes a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in any document prepared or executed as part of the provision of immigration assistance services in an immigration matter pursuant to this chapter, or anyone who aids or abets a person in knowingly and willfully making a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in any document prepared or executed as part of the provision of immigration assistance services in an immigration matter pursuant to this chapter, or who solicits or conspires to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in any document prepared or executed as part of the provision of immigration assistance services in an immigration matter pursuant to this chapter shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined in the discretion of the court or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both. In addition, a person convicted of this subsection must disgorge any benefit received or make restitution, or both, to the agency or political subdivision that administered the benefit or entitlement program. It is a separate violation of this subsection each time a person knowingly and willfully makes, aids, or abets in the making of, or solicits or conspires to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in any document prepared or executed pursuant to this subsection. A criminal charge pursuant to this chapter shall not preempt or preclude additional appropriate civil or criminal charges or penalties. A person who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of a conviction or plea to a violation of this subsection may bring an action individually, or in a representative capacity, to recover actual damages from any person convicted of the violation of this subsection. If the court finds that a violation has been established, the court shall award three times the actual damages sustained and may provide such other relief as it considers necessary or proper. Upon the finding by the court of a violation, the court shall award to the person bringing such action under this section reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

(K)   Persons convicted of a violation of this subsection are jointly and severally liable for any loss suffered by any person or any agency or political subdivision of the State.

(L)   The director shall promulgate regulations not inconsistent with this chapter for the implementation, administration, and enforcement of this chapter in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

(M)   This chapter shall not apply to anyone employed by or working for an educational institution who is registered as a designated school official with the SEVIS program, or a successor program, operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security."

SECTION   14.   Section 14-7-1630(A)(8) and (9) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 82 of 2007, is further amended to read:

"(8)   a crime involving obscenity including, but not limited to, a crime as provided in Article 3, Chapter 15, Title 16 or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a crime involving obscenity; and

(9)   a crime involving the knowing and willful making of, aiding and abetting in the making of, or soliciting or conspiring to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in an affidavit regarding an alien's lawful presence in the United States, as defined in Section 43-5-1410, if the number of violations exceeds twenty or if the public benefit received by a person from a violation or combination of violations exceeds twenty thousand dollars;

(10)   a crime involving financial identity fraud or identity fraud involving the false, fictitious, or fraudulent creation or use of documents used in an immigration matter as defined in Section 16-13-525, if the number of violations exceeds twenty, or if the value of the ascertainable loss of money or property suffered by a person or persons from a violation or combination of violations exceeds twenty thousand dollars;

(11)   a crime involving the knowing and willful making of, aiding or abetting in the making of, or soliciting or conspiring to make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation in a document prepared or executed as part of the provision of immigration assistance services in an immigration matter, as defined in Section 40-91-40, if the number of violations exceeds twenty, or if a benefit received by a person from a violation or combination of violations exceeds twenty thousand dollars; and

(12)   a knowing and willful crime involving actual and substantial harm to the water, ambient air, soil or land, or both soil and land. This crime includes a knowing and willful violation of the Pollution Control Act, the Atomic Energy and Radiation Control Act, the State Underground Petroleum Environmental Response Bank Act, the State Safe Drinking Water Act, the Hazardous Waste Management Act, the Infectious Waste Management Act, the Solid Waste Policy and Management Act, the Erosion and Sediment Control Act, the South Carolina Mining Act, and the Coastal Zone Management Act, or a knowing and willful crime arising out of or in connection with environmental laws, or any attempt, aiding, abetting, solicitation, or conspiracy to commit a knowing and willful crime involving the environment if the anticipated actual damages including, but not limited to, the cost of remediation, are two million dollars or more, as certified by an independent environmental engineer who must be contracted by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. If the knowing and willful crime is a violation of federal law, then a conviction or an acquittal pursuant to federal law for the same act is a bar to the impaneling of a state grand jury pursuant to this section."

SECTION   15.   Article 6, Chapter 23, Title 16 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 16-23-530.   (A)   It is unlawful for an alien unlawfully present in the United States to possess, purchase, offer to purchase, sell, lease, rent, barter, exchange, or transport into this State a firearm.

(B)   It is unlawful for an alien unlawfully present in the United States to knowingly sell, offer to sell, deliver, lease, rent, barter, exchange, or transport for sale into this State a firearm to a person knowing that such person is not lawfully present in the United States.

(C)   A person violating the provisions of subsection (A) of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(D)   A person violating the provisions of subsection (B) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than three years, or both."

SECTION   16.   Section 17-15-30 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 106 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"Section 17-15-30.   (A)   In determining conditions of release that will reasonably assure appearance, or if release would constitute an unreasonable danger to the community, the court may, on the basis of available information, consider the nature and circumstances of the offense charged, and the accused's:

(1)   family ties,;

(2)   employment,;

(3)   financial resources,;

(4)   character and mental condition,;

(5)   the length of his residence in the community,;

(6)   his record of convictions,; and

(7)   his record of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at other court proceedings.

(B)   The court shall consider:

(1)   the accused's criminal record, if any. The court shall consider, if available,;

(2)   all incident reports generated as a result of the offense charged, if available; and

(3)   whether the accused is an alien unlawfully present in the United States, and poses a substantial flight risk due to this status."

SECTION   17.   Chapter 101, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 59-101-430.   (A)   An alien unlawfully present in the United States is not eligible to attend a public institution of higher learning in this State, as defined in Section 59-103-5. The trustees of a public institution of higher learning in this State shall develop and institute a process by which lawful presence in the United States is verified. In doing so, institution personnel shall not attempt to independently verify the immigration status of any alien, but shall verify any alien's immigration status with the federal government pursuant to 8 U.S.C. Section 1373(c).

(B)   An alien unlawfully present in the United States is not eligible on the basis of residence for a public higher education benefit including, but not limited to, scholarships, financial aid, grants, or resident tuition."

SECTION   18.   Chapter 1, Title 6 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 6-1-170.   (A)   For purposes of this section, 'political subdivision' includes, but is not limited to, a municipality, county, school district, special purpose district, or public service district.   (B)   A political subdivision of this State may not enact any ordinance or policy that limits or prohibits a law enforcement officer, local official, or local government employee from seeking to enforce a state law with regard to immigration.

(C)   A political subdivision of this State may not enact any ordinance or policy that limits or prohibits a law enforcement officer, local official, or local government employee from communicating to appropriate federal or state officials with regard to the immigration status of any person within this State.

(D)   A city, county, municipality, or other local government or political subdivision may not enact any ordinance, policy, regulation, or other legislation pertaining to the employment, licensing, permitting, or otherwise doing business with a person based upon that person's authorization to work in the United States that exceeds or otherwise conflicts with federal law or that is in conflict with state law. An enactment found to be in conflict with federal or state law is void."

SECTION   19.   Title 41 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 8

Illegal Aliens and Private Employment

Section 41-8-10.   As used in this chapter:

(A)   'Agency' means any agency, department, board, or commission of this state or any political subdivision of this state that issues a license for the purposes of operating a business in this state.

(B)   'Director' means the Director of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation or his designee.

(C)   'License' means an agency permit, certificate, approval, registration, charter, or similar form of authorization that is required by law and that is issued by the state, an agency, or political subdivision for the purpose of operating a business or engaging in a profession in this State, to include a South Carolina employment license.

(D)   'Political subdivision' includes counties, cities, towns, villages, townships, districts, authorities, and other public corporations and entities whether organized and existing under charter or general law.

(E)   'Private employer' means any person carrying on any employment and the legal representative of a deceased person or the receiver or trustee of any person, and any person for whom an individual performs a service, of whatever nature, as an employee, as defined in Section 12-8-10.

Section 41-8-20.   (A)   All private employers in South Carolina on or after July 1, 2009 shall be imputed a South Carolina employment license, which permits a private employer to employ new employees On and after July 1, 2009, a private employer may not employ new employees unless his South Carolina employment license is in effect and is not suspended or revoked. A private employer's employment license shall remain in effect provided the private employer complies with the provisions of this chapter.

(B)   On and after July 1, 2009, all private employers of one hundred or more employees who are required by federal law to complete and maintain federal Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification documents must:

(1)   register and participate in the E-Verify federal work authorization program, or its successor, to verify information of all new employees; or

(2)   employ only workers who:

(a)   possess a valid South Carolina driver's license or identification card issued by the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles;

(b)   are eligible to obtain a South Carolina driver's license or identification card in that they meet the requirements set forth in Sections 56-1-40 through 56-1-90; or

(c)   possess a valid driver's license or identification card from another state where the license requirements are at least as strict as those in South Carolina, as determined by the Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, or his designee. The Executive Director of the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles, or his designee, shall publish and maintain on its website a list of states where the license requirements are at least as strict as those in South Carolina.

(C)   The provisions of subsection (B) apply to all private employers who employ less than one hundred employees and who are required by federal law to complete and maintain federal Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification documents on and after July 1, 2010.

(D)   The Employment Security Commission may provide private employers with technical advice and electronic access to the E-Verify federal work authorization program's website for the sole purpose of registering and participating in the program.

(E)   The director must send written notice of the requirements of this section to all South Carolina employers no later than July 1, 2008, and must publish the information contained in the notice on its website.

Section 41-8-30.   A private employer shall not knowingly or intentionally employ an unauthorized alien.

Section 41-8-40. For purposes of this chapter, a private employer who in good faith verifies the immigration status of a new employee pursuant to subsection (B) of Section 41-8-20 shall be presumed to have complied with the provisions of Section 41-8-20 and Section 41-8-30.

Section 41-8-50.   (A)   Upon receipt of a written and signed complaint against a private employer, if the director finds reasonable grounds exist that a private employer allegedly violated the provisions of Section 41-8-20 or Section 41-8-30, the director must institute an investigation of the alleged violation. The director shall verify the work authorization status of the alleged unauthorized alien with the federal government pursuant to 8 U.S.C. Section 1373(c). A state, county, or local official must not attempt to independently determine if an alien is authorized to work in the United States.

(B)   If, after completing the investigation, the director determines that substantial evidence exists to support a finding that the private employer has committed a violation of Section 41-8-20 or Section 41-8-30, the director shall:

(1)   notify the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement of suspected unauthorized aliens employed by the private employer;

(2)   notify state and local law enforcement agencies responsible for enforcing state immigration laws of the employment of suspected unauthorized aliens by the employer; and

(3)   assess a penalty in accordance with subsection (D) of this section.

(C)   The director must not bring an action for an occurrence involving a violation of Section 41-8-20 or Section 41-8-30 against a private employer of one hundred or more employees prior to July 1, 2009, or against a private employer of less than one hundred employees prior to July 1, 2010. A second occurrence involving a violation of this section must be based only on an unauthorized alien who is employed by the private employer after a first action has been brought for a violation of Section 41-8-20 or Section 41-8-30.

(D)   Upon a finding of an occurrence involving a violation after an investigation pursuant to subsection (A) or after a random audit pursuant to Section 41-8-110(B):

(1)   for an occurrence involving a violation of Section 41-8-20, the private employer must be assessed a civil penalty of not less than one hundred dollars and not more than one thousand dollars for each violation. However, if a private employer maintains copies of all original documents provided by the employee at the time of employment that were used to complete the employee's federal Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification form and relies in good faith upon those documents, then the private employer must not be assessed a civil penalty.

(2)   for a first occurrence involving a violation of Section 41-8-30, a private employer's license is suspended, and must remain suspended for at least ten days but not more than thirty days. During the period of suspension, a private employer may not employ a new employee. After the period of suspension, a private employer's license must be reinstated, permitting the private employer to engage in business and to employ new employees, if the private employer:

(i)     demonstrates that he has terminated the unauthorized alien; and

(ii)   pays a reinstatement fee equal to the cost of investigating and enforcing the matter, provided that the reinstatement fee must not exceed one thousand dollars.

(3)   for a second occurrence involving a violation of Section 41-8-30, a private employer's license is suspended, and must remain suspended for at least thirty days but not more than sixty days. During the period of suspension, a private employer may not employ a new employee. After the period of suspension, a private employer's license must be reinstated, permitting the private employer to engage in business and to employ new employees, if the private employer:

(i)     demonstrates that he has terminated the unauthorized alien; and

(ii)   pays a reinstatement fee equal to the cost of investigating and enforcing the matter, provided that the reinstatement fee must not exceed one thousand dollars.

(4)   for a third and subsequent occurrences involving a violation of Section 41-8-30, a private employer's license is revoked, and the private employer may not employ a new employee. For a third occurrence only, after ninety days, a private employer may petition the director for a provisional license. The director may grant the private employer a provisional license if the private employer:

(i) agrees to be on probation for a period of three years, during which time the private employer must submit quarterly reports to the director demonstrating compliance with the provisions of Sections 41-8-20 and 41-8-30;

(ii)   demonstrates that he has terminated the unauthorized alien; and

(iii)   pays a reinstatement fee equal to the cost of investigating and eforcing the matter, provided that the reinstatement fee must not exceed one thousand dollars.

For all other occurrences where a private employer's license is revoked, the private employer may not seek reinstatement of his license for a period of five years. After five years, the director may grant reinstatement of a private employer's license if the private employer:

(i)   agrees to be on probation for a period of three years, during which time the private employer must submit quarterly reports to the director demonstrating compliance with the provisions of Sections 41-8-20 and 41-8-30;

(ii)   demonstrates that he has terminated the unauthorized alien; and

(iii)   pays a reinstatement fee equal to the cost of investigating and adjudicating the matter, provided that the reinstatement fee must not exceed one thousand dollars.

(5) If a private employer engages in business or employs a new employee during the period that his license is suspended, the private employer's license shall be revoked, and shall not be reinstated for a period of five years, and only upon a determination by the director that the private employer has complied with the provisions of item (4) of this section.

(E)   For purposes of this chapter, it shall be a separate violation each time the private employer fails to verify the immigration status of a new employee as required by Section 41-8-20.

(F)   In assessing a civil penalty or taking any other disciplinary action for a violation of Section 41-8-20 or Section 41-8-30, the director shall base his determination on any evidence or information collected during the investigation or submitted for consideration by the employer, and shall consider the following factors, if relevant:

(1)   the number of employees for whom the private employer has failed to verify their immigration status;

(2)   the prior violations of this chapter by the private employer;

(3)   the size of the private employer's workforce; and

(4)   the duration of the violation.

(G)   Reinstatement fees assessed in accordance with this section shall be used to cover the administrative costs of implementing, investigating, and enforcing the provisions of this chapter .

(H)   The director shall maintain a list of all private employers who have been assessed a civil penalty pursuant to this chapter, or who had their license disciplined, or revoked, and shall publish the list on the agency's website.

Section 41-8-60.   (A)   In each case where a civil penalty assessed by the director pursuant to Section 41-8-50(D)(1) is not paid within sixty days, the director shall bring an action against the assessed employer for collection of the penalty. An action commenced by the director shall be brought in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

(B)   A private employer may seek review of the director's assessment of a civil penalty or disciplinary action pursuant to Section 41-8-50 with the Administrative Law Court, and the action shall be brought in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws.

Section 41-8-70.   In addition to other penalties provided for by law, a person who knowingly makes or files any false, fictitious, or fraudulent document, statement, or report pursuant to this chapter is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined within the discretion of the court or imprisoned for not more than five years, or both.

Section 41-8-80.   A local government must not enact an ordinance or policy that limits or prohibits a law enforcement officer, local official, or local government employee from seeking to enforce the provisions of this chapter.

Section 41-8-90.   The provisions of this chapter are enforceable without regard to race, religion, gender, ethnicity, or national origin.

Section 41-8-100.   Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate a private employer's obligation to comply with federal immigration law, including the proper completing and maintaining of federal Employee Eligibility Verification Forms I-9.

Section 41-8-110.   (A)   The director shall promulgate regulations in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws to establish a procedure for administrative review of any revocation, civil penalty, or other disciplinary action assessed against a private employer or his South Carolina employment license pursuant to this chapter.

(B)   The director shall develop a statewide random auditing program to inspect private employers for compliance with the provisions of this chapter, and shall promulgate regulations in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23 of Title 1 of the South Carolina Code of Laws governing the implementation of the audit program.

Section 41-8-120.   The director, his inspectors, agents, or designees, upon proper presentation of credentials to the owner, manager, or agent of the employer, may enter at reasonable times and have the right to question either publicly or privately any employer, owner, manager, or agent and the employees of the private employer and inspect, investigate, reproduce, or photograph original business records relevant to determining compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

Section 41-8-130.   All amounts collected pursuant to this chapter shall be retained by the director and must be used to fund the costs of implementing and enforcing the provisions of this chapter."

SECTION   20.   If any subsection, item, subitem, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of Section 19 is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid, such holding shall not affect the constitutionality or validity of the remaining portions of the Section, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this act, and each and every subsection, item, subitem, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other subsections, items, subitems, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION   21.   If any section, subsection, item, subitem, 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, item, subitem, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, items, subitems, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective.

SECTION   23.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.           /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator McCONNELL explained the amendment.

Senator MARTIN objected to further consideration of the Bill.

OBJECTION

H. 3030 (Word version) -- Reps. J.R. Smith, Clyburn, Perry, D.C. Smith, Spires and Stewart: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 6-13-15 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE A RURAL COMMUNITY WATER DISTRICT TO PROVIDE A SEWAGE COLLECTION SYSTEM WITHIN THE DISTRICT.

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

Senator McCONNELL objected.

AMENDMENT PROPOSED, OBJECTION

S. 1313 (Word version) -- Senators Knotts, Peeler, Williams, Elliott, Ford, Vaughn, Grooms, Malloy, Cromer, Bryant, Courson, Setzler, McConnell, Ceips, Ritchie, Cleary, Campsen, Short, McGill, Patterson, Reese, Ryberg, Fair, Thomas, Campbell, Anderson, Drummond, Pinckney, Jackson, Alexander, Leatherman, O'Dell, Lourie, Matthews, Martin, Rankin, Hayes and Verdin: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 12-43-223 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO THROUGH A BOND FOR TITLE, LEASE-PURCHASE AGREEMENT, CONTRACT FOR SALE, OR OTHER TYPE OF CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT OWNS AN EQUITABLE INTEREST IN A PARCEL OF REAL PROPERTY, THE LEGAL TITLE TO WHICH REMAINS IN THE SELLER, WHICH THAT PERSON MAINTAINS AS HIS LEGAL RESIDENCE QUALIFIES FOR A FOUR PERCENT ASSESSMENT RATIO THEREON IF HE MEETS ALL OTHER REQUIREMENTS PROVIDED BY LAW FOR SUCH CLASSIFICATION INCLUDING A REQUIREMENT IN THE CONTRACTUAL AGREEMENT THAT HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE REAL PROPERTY TAXES ON THE PROPERTY.

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

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

Senator CAMPSEN proposed the following amendment (JUD1313.001):

Amend the committee report, page [1313-002], after line 9, by adding:

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

//   SECTION   __.   Section 12-43-220(c)(2)(i) of the 1976 Code is amended to read :

"(2)(i)   To qualify for the special property tax assessment ratio allowed by this item, the owner-occupant must have actually owned and occupied the residence as his legal residence and been domiciled at that address for some period during the applicable tax year. A residence which has been qualified as a legal residence for any part of the year is entitled to the four percent assessment ratio provided in this item for the entire year, for the exemption from property taxes levied for school operations pursuant to Section 12-37-251 for the entire year, and for the homestead exemption under Section 12-37-250, if otherwise eligible, for the entire year. A single-member limited liability company where the single member is an individual and that is not taxed for South Carolina income tax purposes as a corporation shall be considered an owner-occupant for purposes of the special property tax assessment ratio allowed by this item, if the single-member limited liability company is able to meet all the requirements of subsection (c).   "   // /

Renumber sections to conform.

Amend title to conform.

Senator CAMPSEN explained the amendment.

Senator MARTIN objected to further consideration of the Bill.

MINORITY REPORT REMOVED

H. 3094 (Word version) -- Reps. Brady, Haskins, Cotty, Mahaffey, Funderburk, Viers, Erickson, Hutson, Clemmons, Mulvaney, Harvin and Bedingfield: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 23-3-535 SO AS TO LIMIT THE LOCATIONS IN WHICH A SEX OFFENDER MAY RESIDE AND TO PROVIDE A PENALTY FOR A PERSON WHO VIOLATES THIS PROVISION.

Senator HUTTO asked unanimous consent to remove the minority report on the Bill.

There was no objection and the minority report was removed.

MINORITY REPORT REMOVED

H. 4662 (Word version) -- Reps. Walker, Harrell, Whitmire, Toole, Gullick, Spires, Hiott, Bannister, J.R. Smith, Loftis, Ballentine, Pinson, Cotty, Brady, Bedingfield, Hardwick, Edge, Herbkersman, Lowe, Crawford, Limehouse, Hamilton, G.R. Smith, Harrison, Duncan, Bowen, Huggins, Mahaffey, Erickson, Leach, Owens, Frye, Rice, Hutson, Bingham, Haskins, Littlejohn, Cato, Chalk, Clyburn, Cooper, Dantzler, Davenport, Delleney, Gambrell, Kelly, Lucas, Merrill, Moss, Neilson, E.H. Pitts, Sandifer, Scarborough, Shoopman, Skelton, D.C. Smith, G.M. Smith, W.D. Smith, Talley, Taylor, Umphlett, Viers, White, Witherspoon, Young, Barfield, Knight, Miller, Battle, Perry, Bales, Phillips, J.M. Neal, R. Brown and Whipper: A BILL TO AMEND CHAPTER 18, TITLE 59, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, SO AS TO REVISE THE MANNER IN WHICH SCHOOLS ARE ASSESSED AND ACCREDITED, TO PROVIDE FOR DESIGNATION TO SIGNIFY VARYING LEVELS OF SCHOOL ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, AND TO REVISE AND FURTHER PROVIDE FOR OTHER RELATED PROVISIONS REGARDING EDUCATION ACCOUNTABILITY.

Senator RYBERG asked unanimous consent to remove the minority report on the Bill.

There was no objection and the minority report was removed.

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.

NONCONCURRENCE

H. 3032 (Word version) -- Reps. Viers and Sandifer: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, TO CREATE A STUDY COMMITTEE TO STUDY APPROPRIATE ENFORCEMENT OF FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS RELATING TO THE PRESENCE OF ILLEGAL ALIENS IN THIS STATE AND TO RECOMMEND LEGISLATIVE CHANGES AS APPROPRIATE.

The House returned the Bill with amendments.

Senator HUTTO was recognized.

Point of Order

Senator MARTIN raised a Point of Order under Rule 6 that the Senator was not in his seat when he was recognized.

The PRESIDENT sustained the Point of Order.

Senator MARTIN moved that the Senate concur in the House amendments.

Senator McCONNELL argued contra to the motion to concur.

The question then was concurrence in the House amendments.

The "ayes" and "nays" were demanded and taken, resulting as follows:

Ayes 20; Nays 26

AYES

Alexander                 Bryant                    Campsen
Ceips                     Cleary                    Courson
Cromer                    Fair                      Grooms
Hawkins                   Hayes                     Martin
Massey                    Peeler                    Ritchie
Ryberg                    Scott                     Thomas
Vaughn                    Verdin

Total--20

NAYS

Anderson                  Campbell                  Drummond
Elliott                   Ford                      Gregory
Hutto                     Jackson                   Knotts
Land                      Leatherman                Leventis
Lourie                    Malloy                    Matthews
McConnell                 McGill                    O'Dell
Patterson                 Pinckney                  Rankin
Reese                     Setzler                   Sheheen
Short                     Williams

Total--26

The Senate nonconcurred in the House amendments and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Statement by Senators McCONNELL, SETZLER and KNOTTS

We voted to noncur because that was the responsible thing to do to get the Bill corrected to have a strong and enforceable Bill. The House Bill was incorrectly drafted to give the Attorney General the power to impose penalties of probation on those who knowingly and intentionally hire illegals. This clearly violates the South Carolina Constitution which the S. C. Supreme Court in a case held is a judicial power granted to the courts under the Constitution. Therefore, this power to set the conditions of probation is an unconstitutional delegation of judicial authority to the Executive Branch in violation of separation of powers. Sadly, the provision would fall on the first challenge and there would be no penalty for those who knowingly and intentionally hire illegals. Thus, by concurring we would put into the law a provision which would fall and there would be no penalty for those in violation of the law.

There are other problems with the Bill which could be fixed by noncurring and going to conference to amend it. For instance, the Bill gave regulation-making authority to the Department of Revenue to make regulations for the Attorney General to enforce the law. Never has a law given regulation-making authority to one agency for another. How would that hold up on judicial review? The House Bill reduces the Senate passed fines on failure to maintain paperwork. The Bill gives safe harbor to those who comply with any of the different ways of verification while the Senate Bill gave safe harbor only to those who E-Verify.

The House Bill by implication prohibits the Attorney General's office personnel or the Solicitor's Office personnel from entering a premise and inspecting records since the Bill explicitly grants that authority to DOR inspectors but leaves the Attorney General and solicitors inspectors out.

The House Bill automatically reinstates an employer's license after the suspension period even if the employer has not terminated his illegal immigrant employees.

Conference committees are used to clean up a Bill. Those who voted to nonconcur were voting to fix the Bill. Those who voted to concur were sending a defective Bill to the Governor for signature. Our job is to pass correct Bills if we know the Bill is right, but to amend a Bill or fix it if it is wrong. Some of the provisions of the Bill would have gone into effect before the legislature could have by separate Bills corrected the problems. Thus, concurring was tantamount to passing no effective immigration reform this year.

Finally, we tried to take up true and correct reform in H. 4400 today fixing the problems. Sadly, one of the Senators on the side of concurring, objected to consideration of the amendment and the Bill. In the rush to get a political vote, the Senate missed the chance to get true reform.

OBJECTION

H. 4400 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrell, Harrison, Cato, Cooper, Walker, Witherspoon, Merrill, Sandifer, Haley, Young, Erickson, Littlejohn, Simrill, Bowen, Crawford, Barfield, Cotty, Taylor, Spires, Davenport, E.H. Pitts, Frye, Lowe, Shoopman, Hardwick, Bingham, Skelton, Clemmons, Thompson, Bedingfield, Bannister, Mahaffey, Herbkersman, J.R. Smith, Haskins, Huggins, Hutson, Leach, Toole, Viers, Brady, Dantzler, Delleney, Gambrell, Hamilton, Kelly, Rice, Scarborough, G.M. Smith, G.R. Smith, Talley, Umphlett, Duncan, Owens, Mulvaney, White, Loftis and Edge: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, TO PROVIDE FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM.
(Abbreviated Title)

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

Senator THOMAS objected.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator KNOTTS rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Senator RYBERG moved that the Senate go into Executive Session prior to adjournment.

THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO THE INTERRUPTED DEBATE.

CARRIED OVER IN THE STATUS OF INTERRUPTED DEBATE

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

The Senate proceeded to a consideration of the Joint Resolution, the question being the adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Judiciary.

Senator SHORT argued contra to the Resolution.

Remarks by Senator SHORT

First I'd like to say, Mr. PRESIDENT, lady and gentlemen, it was suggested this week that if you didn't support something that the PRESIDENT Pro Tem had suggested, that somehow it was a personal affront to him. I hope that he doesn't take my objections to his Bill as a personal affront to him. It is certainly not intended that way.

The Judiciary Committee worked on S. 718 and S. 1220 for about a year. The Finance Committee, between subcommittee and the full committee, had it for about an hour. The two Bills deal with the budget completely. You know that they don't have anything to do with anything else but appropriations and spending. For Finance to have had it such a short period of time, I think, is just a really bad way to deal with spending and revenue and appropriations. I've asked myself a million times--I wonder why you care--you're not going to be here next year, so it isn't going to be an issue for you, but the truth is that I still care what happens in South Carolina, and I care about the quality of life. I think that this legislation has the potential, albeit not intended, to harm the quality of life for the citizens of South Carolina.

If this legislation passes as it is, it caps spending, not revenue spending, at 41/2%. That's some $315 million that you would have some flexibility of spending. We have two saving accounts already. One of them requires$10 million to be put back. Another requires $10 million to be put back--that's out of the$315 million. Then we have EFA that we traditionally fund for growth in EFA. It's not required, Senator SETZLER, and you may want to remember that, because you're thinking that this legislation protects education, but, in fact, it really doesn't.

Typically we have spent whatever it took to meet the next years' needs for EFA. For this coming year that would be about $100 million. We typically covered the difference in Medicaid increases in costs and some of that we have to do by Federal law, which says that we have to cover anything the Feds say we have to, because Medicaid is an entitlement program. Some of it we don't have to do, but typically we cover all of that increased cost. That's another$80 million. Already, that's over $200 million out of a possible new$315 million that could be appropriated.

Every 1% pay increase for state employees is $20 million. They are in real terms about 5% down in spending money over the last decade. So, hopefully, we would be able to do better at some point than we did this year, which is only a 2% pay increase; but that 2% is another$40 million. And then, health insurance for state employees--if we cover the increased costs for them, that's another $30 million. Just these few items--that's$270 million out of the possible $315 million new dollars that we would have available for appropriating next year. That's not very much money to cover all of the needs and all of the wants of this State. I'm not going to stand here and tell you that we should not have any kind of a spending cap. I understand what they are suggesting, but there's a way to stop having ups and downs and that's what their proposal would take care of. Maybe we do need to do that. I think this is the worst year we possibly could enact legislation like that. And there are a couple of reasons why I think so. Just last year we adopted major changes in property tax and the way we fund education. We're not sure yet how all that's going to wash. I know that in York County alone the four districts there believe that they're going to have about a$7 million dollar shortfall in this upcoming year. There are other fast growing districts who also believe they're going to have shortfalls. We don't know yet how we're going to address those issues.

I hope, and I hope a lot of people hope, that at some point we're going to start funding education at the state level. To do that, it is going to take some major changes in how we tax and how we raise revenue. I think having these changes that have been proposed, S. 718 and S. 1220, which travel together, would limit the possibilities, or at least make it more difficult for us to make those changes in how we fund education.

But the other reason, and the primary reason that I hope we don't pass this legislation this year is because of the TRAC Commission that has been proposed by the Chairman of the Finance Committee. I have been saying since I ran sixteen years ago--and so many of you have been saying--we need to have a comprehensive review of the whole tax structure. We need, then, to make some major changes in the whole system. There have been a couple of times during the sixteen years that I've been here that I thought we actually were going to accomplish that. One of those times was when Senator LEATHERMAN and former House member, Representative Boan, chaired jointly a commission that did a study and we had legislation that looked like it was really going to go forward. And for some reason it sort of died on the vine.

I am concerned about the aspects of the Bill which might, if passed, increase revenue and how the spending limit would work in that respect, but I have been informed by staff from Judiciary that they don't believe that it would be a problem because the new revenue would actually be added into the base.

Well, I would agree with the 15% budget stabilization fund if I thought that we were doing everything we need to be doing in the State. But we know that this year, for example, we've shorted education $10 million at least, just what gas costs them. And we know they don't have enough money to do that. We've already told Corrections that they need to come and ask for deficit spending. I saw where the Governor has said that that was unconstitutional to even suggest that. So I think if we were doing all the things we needed to be doing, then, yes. I am not satisfied that the General Assembly, 3 to 5 years out, could enact a revenue increase for a specific program--say education or whatever it might be, if Judiciary's intent was to move the growth average in accordance with whatever the General Assembly enacted or took away. If they took away revenue, the same thing would apply. They said they made every effort to recalibrate the growth average application based on that one year increase by the General Assembly or whatever action. Judiciary feels this isn't an absolute cap in the sense that it barred the General Assembly from acting on something, that it feels like it needs to address on a public policy basis and I understand that. I'm still not sure how that's exactly going to work, and I'm not sure that the Finance Committee staff is sure how that's going to work, because they didn't get to keep the Bill long enough to really study it. I'm not opposed to putting money in really good years in a budget stabilization fund. I think if you want to have something like Carnell-Felder again, that would be good. I've supported that 100%. It would have been if it had passed. Once you do this by constitutional amendment then if it doesn't work the way you think it's going to work, then you are stuck. There's nothing you can do but go back and try to get it changed. People don't want to vote "no" on constitutional amendments. You know every constitutional question is written so you will vote yes, because that's the way people want to vote. It would satisfy me more if we took the statutory approach over a period of time, than it would if it were on the ballot, but in addition to that, I just think it is more important for the Finance Committee to have the opportunity to really review what this is going to do and what the repercussions might be. Even the Finance Committee cannot tell what is going to happen down the road, but they have to deal with developing those budgets over and over. But they can see some of the nuances that we may not see on the floor. Under the current environment we're working under a reduction in general fund revenues in the year we just had or are experiencing now. We guarantee the very programs that we care about as legislators. We guarantee a reduction of those in years of bad economic conditions. And I know how bad that is. Remember, I served on the school board and I was there several times when we had mid-year budget reductions. This may be the thing we need to do, but I just don't think it is the time to do it. I really think that Senator LEATHERMAN's recommendation of the TRAC Commission--and I'm assuming that's what it's going to be called--modeled on the federal legislation that determines whether or not military bases close, having that kind of opportunity to make changes in the way we get our revenue in South Carolina is the best opportunity we're ever going to have to really make some changes in the tax code. We have too many lobbyists out there. They get one of this; then they get another. We're not going to do anything about that ridiculous$300 cap on car taxes or whatever happens to be your favorite and that is what bugs me to death. But I do think that this commission has the best opportunity of making those kinds of changes and it desperately needs to be done. I think enacting this legislation, especially with the Constitutional amendment is going to make it almost impossible for them to come back--especially with recommendations for the General Assembly to adopt. I think it would be unlikely then to have the kind of success that it has absent this. But still, to me, one of the most serious considerations is the fact that the Finance Committee had very, very limited time to look at this legislation. My understanding is that the Judiciary Committee had public hearings--but I understand they didn't get a lot of information to help with the drafting of this legislation. But they also had no fewer than five subcommittee meetings on this. Our subcommittee, because we were pushed on this side--we were left in the Chamber for longer than we thought we were going to be--and then the Finance Committee was meeting immediately after that--so we had maybe 40 minutes, maybe less than that in subcommittee, and we didn't make a recommendation to the Finance Committee because we felt that we didn't understand it well enough to be able to do that.

My main concern about this legislation is that I think the Finance Committee needs to look at it seriously to make sure it's not going to keep us from funding education and healthcare and all these things that we need to fund. I think right now we certainly aren't doing all the things we need to do in South Carolina. The Department of Corrections is being told they need to ask for the authority to fund deficit funding. Once we get to the point where we are doing some of the things we think we ought be doing and we need to do, then maybe we need to look seriously at doing something like this--or consider doing this maybe even next year.

I am talking about state funding because that's what this deals with. It's not a tax cap; it's a spending cap. I'll tell you one thing that would probably not happen. Charleston wouldn't get that $11 million anymore to hold them harmless. I think we could handicap everything. There is no requirement that we fund EFA even though when we had the Finance Committee, they said to Senator SETZLER that there was a requirement that EFA be fully funded but there is not! Senator FORD: Well, I would like to make a recommendation to the PRESIDENT Pro Tem, the leader of the Senate, that the Senator expresses a real passionate concern--and we did serve on the same committee. We went statewide and spent a long time with this legislation; I suggest that we send it to Finance, because there is no rush on this and let them take a fair look at it. It won't do anything for rural school districts and rural communities because we're going to do something to hurt them in the long run. Mr. PRESIDENT Pro Tem, will you send it to Finance and let them look at it over the summer? Senator GREGORY: Senator, I served on the Judiciary Subcommittee. Did you know that the purpose of this Bill was to even out spending through good times and bad and it's really interesting to look at the charts provided to us by Dr. Gillespie on how revenues have gone up and down over the last years. What we're trying to accomplish with this legislation is to be sure there is money for education in the lean years. Senator SHORT: I do understand that the purpose of the Bill was to even out spending through good times and bad, and it very well may be, as I stated previously, that would work exactly the way you believe that it will. But it may not, and if it has already been enacted with a Constitutional amendment, then trying to make any changes in that are going to be almost impossible. Again, we are talking about having about$315 million of discretionary spending of which a $270 million minimum would already be dedicated. I think Senator FORD from Charleston understands exactly my concern and while the Judiciary Committee may have looked at all that, and may have looked at the numbers, it takes about$100 million every year just to bring EFA up to speed. It takes about $80 million just for Medicaid--the$20 million for savings accounts that we have to have are there--we'd hoped we'd give more than a 2% raise to state employees, but unfortunately that's all we're able to give this year. It's about $40 million to keep the State from having to pay additional health insurance costs. We're already$270 million out, of the $325 million, which would be the 4.5% that you would have if the Stabilization Fund is put into effect. It only leaves you$45 million to deal with every other single issue that you may have.

It is conceivable that if you have a natural disaster or whatnot, we would not be able to hold the state employees harmless and they might experience increases in their health insurance. If we pass the Constitutional amendment, we could put ourselves in circumstances where we have no other choice. You know we've done that a number of times over the years--increased what the state employees had to pay for health insurance--and it's fairly high now compared to what you can get from other group policies. So that's one of the issues. That's one of the things we'd have to turn to, possibly, to have other discretionary funding.

We don't want to go toward unintended results. We'd like to cap things, but if what we're capping is services to ourselves, if what we're capping is the quality of life that we all enjoy--we have missed the mark. Maybe we should instead request the return on investment and accountability? That's my whole purpose in talking about this. I don't believe it's anyone's intention to make it difficult down the road to fund those issues and those services that are so necessary for the State. But I think that's a very possible and unintended consequence of this legislation. Particularly if we have a Constitutional amendment, then it makes it so much more difficult to make any changes if you find out down the road that it didn't work the way you intended it to work. A budget Stabilization Fund, you know, maybe that's not a bad idea at all. Maybe you don't want to have any really good years when you're able to do some extra, extraordinary kinds of things. I'm not so sure I agree with that, but maybe that's the way you want to do it. 15% seems to me to be an awfully large amount to put into that fund and that leaves you very little left to work with.

My concern is why should we have to try to invest in the people of South Carolina if we pass a Constitutional amendment on these issues. The two issues that I have worked on since I've been here had to do with education at every level, starting with childhood, early childhood and going through even college, but more with going through K-12, and healthcare. Those are the two costly items that we have to deal with in this State. There is no requirement that we fund the extra cost annually on either of those, but only for what's required by the government for Medicaid. We're going to have a very small amount of money to deal with to cover all of the increases, and you know that we need to be spending, maybe differently, not just spending more on funding for education. It's not where we want it to be. For all of you that have pushed so hard and worked so hard to get CHIPS funded at a higher level, you should know that CHIPS is not required. It is not a pure Medicaid program. So if you ended up not having enough money to cover medical costs, where do you think you're going to go to start cutting? You're going to CHIPS because it's not an entitlement program. You're going to cut back on the maternal benefits because right now we pay for up to 185% of poverty and it's not required that we go that high. That would be one of the things that would be cut. Education is not required to be funded at an increased level every year. So maybe education won't get the funding that they need. I just think that having that limited amount of flexibility in your funding decisions is going to make it almost impossible for you to govern the way I believe you want to.

I hope that we can send this legislation back to Finance and let it be studied further. Even though the House said they were not going to pass it, my fear is that they will get cold feet and decide that they are going to pass it. But, like the Senator from Charleston, I don't see any harm at all in looking further at this. Again, it is not a revenue cap, so for those of you who are thinking that maybe this has to do with tax cuts, it doesn't. It doesn't restrict that in any way and it doesn't allow any of those additional funds to be used for tax cuts.

I hope that many of you will join me, if we have to have a vote today, in voting against this Constitutional amendment and against sending the other Bill forward. I'm not really sure at this point what you're hoping to do. I don't know if you are looking to take a vote.

Thank you.

On motion of Senator FORD, with unanimous consent, the remarks by Senator SHORT were ordered printed in the Journal.

Objection

With Senator SHORT retaining the floor, Senator FORD asked unanimous consent to make a motion that S. 718 and S. 1220 be recommitted to the Committee on Finance.

Senator McCONNELL objected.

Senator SHORT resumed arguing contra to the Resolution.

Senator LAND argued contra to the Resolution.

At 4:51 P.M., Senator MARTIN asked unanimous consent to make a motion to invite the House of Representatives to attend the Senate Chamber for the purpose of ratifying Acts at 2:30 P.M. on Thursday, May 15, 2008.

There was no objection and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Senator LAND continued arguing contra to the Resolution.

ACTING PRESIDENT PRESIDES

At 4:52 P.M., Senator MARTIN assumed the Chair.

Senator LAND continued arguing contra to the Resolution.

Senator MATTHEWS argued contra to the Resolution.

Senator COURSON argued in favor of the Resolution.

The question then was the adoption of the amendment proposed by the Committee on Judiciary.

Senator McCONNELL asked unanimous consent to make a motion to carry over the Resolution in the status of Interrupted Debate, that the Senate go into Executive Session, and upon lifting of the veil, the Senate would stand adjourned.

There was no objection and the motion was adopted.

The Resolution was carried over in the status of Interrupted Debate.

On motion of Senator McCONNELL, the Senate agreed to go into Executive Session.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

On motion of Senator McCONNELL, the seal of secrecy was removed and the Senate reconvened.