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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 11-11-400 SO AS TO LIMIT TO FIVE PERCENT ANNUAL INCREASES IN STATE GENERAL FUND APPROPRIATIONS, TO PROVIDE FOR THIS LIMIT TO BE EXCEEDED BY MEANS OF A SPECIAL VOTE OF EACH BRANCH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, AND TO DEFINE SPECIAL VOTE.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 5, Chapter 11, Title 11 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 11-11-400. (A) In addition to all other applicable constitutional and statutory limitations on general fund appropriations, notwithstanding any other provision of law, and only to the extent that the limit on general fund appropriations for a fiscal year imposed by this subsection is less than the annual limit imposed pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Constitution of this State and Section 11-11-410, total general fund appropriations for the fiscal year may not exceed such appropriations for the preceding fiscal year by more than five percent. The Office of State Budget shall certify to the Governor and the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee the total general fund appropriations allowed for a fiscal year pursuant to this section. In calculating the limitation, the Office of State Budget shall determine the amount of nonrecurring funds and remove them from general fund appropriations for the preceding year. Before the Governor submits the proposed budget, the proposal must include the certificate of the Director of the Office of State Budget that the proposed budget conforms to the limitation imposed by this section. The annual general appropriations bill may not be given third reading in the House of Representatives and Senate unless a similar certificate is received by the presiding officer in each house before the bill is given third reading.
(B)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (A), the General Assembly may declare a financial emergency and suspend the spending limitation imposed pursuant to subsection (A) for any one fiscal year for a specific amount by a special vote as provided in this subsection by enactment of legislation which relates only to that matter. The state general fund appropriations for the fiscal year following the suspension is determined as if the suspension had not occurred and, for purposes of determining subsequent limits, is presumed to have been the maximum limit which could have been authorized if the limitation imposed pursuant to subsection (A) had not been suspended.
(2) The special vote referred to in this subsection means an affirmative vote in each branch of the General Assembly by two-thirds of the members present and voting but not less than three-fifths of the total membership in each branch."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor, and first applies for general fund appropriations made and surplus general revenues accruing for fiscal year 2008-2009.
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