Current Status Bill Number:
1014Ratification Number: 260Act Number: 247Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19960111Primary Sponsor: McConnellAll Sponsors: McConnell, Passailaigue, Courson, Rose, RichterDrafted Document Number: jud6066.gfmDate Bill Passed both Bodies: 19960227Date of Last Amendment: 19960226Governor's Action: SDate of Governor's Action: 19960304Subject: Hunley Commission established
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ ------ 19960318 Act No. A247 ------ 19960304 Signed by Governor ------ 19960229 Ratified R260 Senate 19960227 Concurred in House amendment, enrolled for ratification House 19960227 Read third time, returned to Senate with amendment House 19960226 Unanimous consent for third reading on the next Legislative day House 19960226 Amended, read second time House 19960221 Recalled from Committee 25 HJ House 19960123 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee Senate 19960119 Read third time, sent to House Senate 19960118 Read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Friday, 19960119 Senate 19960117 Committee report: Favorable 11 SJ Senate 19960111 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to CommitteeView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
(A247, R260, S1014)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 54-7-100, SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE HUNLEY COMMISSION TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT ON BEHALF OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA CONCERNING THE SUBMARINE H.L. HUNLEY TO ENSURE THAT THE SUBMARINE AND ANY HUMAN REMAINS LOCATED THEREIN REMAIN IN SOUTH CAROLINA IN PERPETUITY AND ARE DISPLAYED IN AN APPROPRIATE MANNER FOR THE BENEFIT OF FUTURE GENERATIONS AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE GEOGRAPHICAL COORDINATES OF THE HUNLEY'S LOCATION ARE EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT.
Whereas, the H.L. Hunley was commissioned by private investors and built in Mobile, Alabama, for use in the Civil War; and
Whereas, the Hunley torpedoed and destroyed on February 17, 1864, the USS Housatonic, a Union warship blockading Charleston Harbor, and that attack made the Hunley the first submarine in history to sink a warship; and
Whereas, the sinking of the USS Housatonic was the only such action in the Civil War; and
Whereas, the Hunley's achievement would not be repeated until the closing months of the First World War, and the Hunley's success launched the era of submarine warfare; and
Whereas, the Hunley and her crew disappeared off the coast of Charleston the night she sank the Housatonic, and nine gallant sailors went down with the submarine; and
Whereas, the Hunley is the single most important artifact in the history of submarine warfare, and has recently been discovered intact off the coast of Sullivan's Island, South Carolina; and
Whereas, the State of South Carolina desires to ensure that its ownership and control of this piece of southern history, which is inextricably tied to South Carolina, is displayed in perpetuity in South Carolina in an appropriate manner for the benefit of future generations; and
Whereas, if subsequent events or proceedings should find and dictate that the State cannot legally assert ownership to this property, the State would want to pursue obtaining ownership from the entity found to own the ship, and if it is determined that ownership of the vessel belongs to the Department of the Navy, the State requests transfer of ownership to the State; and
Whereas, under federal and state law, the State of South Carolina has a good faith claim of title to the Hunley, the members of the General Assembly hereby memorialize the United States Congress to direct the United States Department of the Navy to transfer any interest they may have in the wreckage of the H.L. Hunley to the State of South Carolina for enshrinement at an appropriate site in South Carolina. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Hunley Commission established; coordinates exempt from disclosure
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 54-7-100. A committee of nine members `Hunley Commission' shall be appointed, three of whom must be members of the House of Representatives, to be appointed by the Speaker, three of whom must be members of the Senate to be appointed by the President Pro Tempore, and three members to be appointed by the Governor. The committee shall make a study of the law regarding the rights to the salvage of the Hunley and any claim that a person or entity may assert with regard to ownership or control of the vessel. The committee is authorized to negotiate with appropriate representatives of the United States government concerning the recovery, curation, siting, and exhibition of the H.L. Hunley. Provided, inasmuch as actual locations or geographical coordinates of submerged archaeological historic properties are now exempt from disclosure as public records pursuant to Section 54-7-820(A), the geographical coordinates of the Hunley's location, regardless of the custodian, upon receipt from the Navy or receipt otherwise are expressly made exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act or any other law, and no remedy for the disclosure of such coordinates exists pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act; and provided further, that with respect to the Hunley project, as described herein, the applicable duties and responsibilities contained in Article 5, Chapter 7 of this title shall be vested in the Hunley Commission. However, the committee may not negotiate any agreement which would relinquish South Carolina's claim of title to the Hunley or which would result in the siting outside South Carolina of the Hunley or any remains, not claimed by direct descendants, found therein.
The committee shall make recommendations regarding the appropriate method of preservation of this historic vessel and is also authorized to direct the Attorney General on behalf of South Carolina to take appropriate steps to enforce and protect the rights of the State of South Carolina to the salvage of the Hunley and to defend the State against claims regarding this vessel. The committee shall submit a recommendation for an appropriate site in South Carolina for the permanent display and exhibition of the H.L. Hunley to the General Assembly for its review and approval.
The committee members shall not receive the subsistence, mileage, and per diem as may be provided by law for members of boards, committees, and commissions."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Approved the 4th day of March, 1996.