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TO ESTABLISH A COMMITTEE TO REVIEW THE EVENTS OF FEBRUARY 8, 1968, REFERRED TO AS THE "ORANGEBURG MASSACRE", AND TO MAKE A REPORT TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND THE GOVERNOR ASCERTAINING THE ACTUAL EVENTS OF THAT DAY AND CONCERNING THE HISTORICAL, SOCIAL, AND ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS OF THOSE EVENTS; TO PROVIDE FOR THE COMMITTEE'S MEMBERSHIP, STAFF, AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS; AND TO ABOLISH THE COMMITTEE UPON SUBMISSION OF ITS REPORT.
Whereas, on the night of February 8, 1968, three South Carolina State College students were killed on their campus by police gunfire and at least twenty-seven others were wounded; and
Whereas, the people of the State of South Carolina have never been provided with an official account of what happened that night; and
Whereas, several agencies of the State in recent years, including official statements by Governors Jim Hodges and Mark Sanford, have moved the State toward reconciliation regarding this tragic episode in our State's history; and
Whereas, a comprehensive report can lead to a more complete understanding of this tragedy and the lessons that may be learned from it. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A) There is created a committee to review the events of February 8, 1968, referred to as the "Orangeburg Massacre", and to make a report to the General Assembly and the Governor ascertaining what actually occurred on February 8, 1968, and concerning the historical, social, and ethical ramifications of those events.
(B) The committee is composed of:
(1) two members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
(2) two members of the Senate to be appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate; and
(3) one member to be appointed by the Governor.
(C) The members of the committee shall receive the usual mileage, subsistence, and per diem as provided by law for members of state boards, committees, and commissions.
(D) The committee has the authority to subpoena witnesses, documents, and records, administer oaths, and to examine such witnesses, documents, and records.
(E) The committee may procure information and assistance from any officer or agency of the State or of a political subdivision of this State, and every such officer and agency shall provide the committee relevant information and reasonable assistance on matters of research within their knowledge and control.
(F) The committee must be staffed by personnel as provided and assigned by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Governor, and expenses of the committee must be paid from the approved accounts of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Office of the Governor.
(G) The committee shall submit a report containing its findings and recommendations to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Governor before February 8, 2008. Upon submission of the report, the committee is abolished.
SECTION 2. This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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