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

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
(Statewide Session)

Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter

The Senate assembled at 11:00 A.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:

The Psalmist writes:

"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."     (Psalm 73:24)

Let us pray:

Gracious Lord, the gift absolutely everyone within the walls of this Statehouse needs is the strength You alone can provide. Bestow Your blessing and Your guidance upon all who serve You in this place, dear God. Bring these leaders together in common accord for the sake of all that we hold dear in this State we love. In the same manner, Lord, bless and guide all of our women and men in the Armed Forces who serve You in this land and in far-flung places around the globe. Grant wisdom and integrity to all who are in national, state and local positions of responsibility. And help us all to acknowledge that it is Your mercy and power which gives our hearts strength and which enables us to serve You-always. In Your name we pray, Lord.
Amen.

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

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR

The following appointments were transmitted by the Honorable Mark C. Sanford:

Local Appointments

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

M. Brian Rawl, 2568 River Road, Johns Island, S.C. 29455

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Priscilla B. Baldwin, 10034 South Carolina Road, McClellanville, S.C. 29458

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

James B. Gosnell, Jr., 1284 Ashley Hall Rd., Charleston, S.C. 29407

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

David W. Coker, 4322 Patricia Street, North Charleston, S.C. 29418

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Bonnie L. Koontz, 2357 Brevard Road, Charleston, S.C. 29414

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

James A. Turner, 351 Confederate Circle, Charleston, S.C. 29407

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Harold R. Stein, P. O. Box 23, 2065 Allandale Plantation Rd., Wadmalaw Island, S.C. 29487

Initial Appointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Thomas E. Lynn, 857 Detyens Road, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464 VICE Jeanette M. Harper

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Leroy Linen, 6113 Judge Linen Lane, Wadmalaw Island, S.C. 29487

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Patricia B. Dixon, 5454 Highway 165, Hollywood, S.C. 29449

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Linda S. Lombard, 63 Rebellion Rd., Charleston, S.C. 29407

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

Russell A. Miller, 7775 Moses Dingle Road, Manning, S.C. 29102 VICE Willie L. Bethune

Reappointment, Laurens County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Oscar L. Tribble, 254 Lawson Road, Laurens, S.C. 29360

Initial Appointment, Marlboro County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Grover McQueen, Jr., 502 McQueen Rd., Bennettsville, S.C. 29512

Reappointment, Saluda County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2006, and to expire April 30, 2010

Joyce B. Shults, 1437 Old Chappells Ferry Rd., Saluda, S.C. 29138

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator McCONNELL rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator FORD rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

The Chaplain offered the following devotion in memory of the nine Charleston firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty this week.

Please join me as again we unite our hearts in this time of special prayer. Precious Lord, we know that You are always with us. Yet, even in the midst of that knowledge, there are times when events unfold that we are absolutely blown away in the enormity of loss. We ask You, Lord, to be with all of those in the Charleston community and in this State who are impacted directly and indirectly by the loss of these brave public servants. We ask that You especially be with all their family members. Strengthen and guide them as they deal with the reality of the loss of those so dear. Such a tragedy cuts through every level of society and it touches the hearts of each and every one of us. Bestow Your grace and mercy upon those who are hurting so greatly. In Your loving name we pray, O Lord. Amen.

INTRODUCTION OF BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS

The following were introduced:

S. 838 (Word version) -- Senator McConnell: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE FOR THE MODIFICATION OF SINE DIE ADJOURNMENT PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE III, SECTION 21 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS STATE AND SECTION 2-1-180 OF THE 1976 CODE.
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On motion of Senator McCONNELL, with unanimous consent, the Concurrent Resolution was introduced and ordered placed on the Calendar without reference.

S. 839 (Word version) -- Senator Courson: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO EXPRESS APPRECIATION TO MR. JAMES E.B. "JIM" WALLACE FOR HIS SIXTEEN YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE AS ASSISTANT SCOUTMASTER AND SCOUTMASTER TO BOY SCOUT TROOP 312 IN IRMO.
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S. 840 (Word version) -- Senators O'Dell and Bryant: A SENATE RESOLUTION TO CELEBRATE THE LIFE OF MILLARD G. SMITH OF ANDERSON COUNTY AND EXPRESS THE APPRECIATION OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA SENATE FOR HIS OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER AND COMMUNITY SERVICE.
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S. 841 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON ASSISTANT ENGINEER MICHAEL FRENCH IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 842 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIREFIGHTER BRANDON THOMPSON IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 843 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIREFIGHTER MELVEN CHAMPAIGN IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 844 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON ENGINEER MARK KELSEY IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 845 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIRE CAPTAIN MIKE BENKE, IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 846 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIREFIGHTER JAMES "EARL" DRAYTON IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 847 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIRE DEPARTMENT ENGINEER BRADFORD "BRAD" BAITY IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 848 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIRE CAPTAIN LOUIS MULKEY IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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S. 849 (Word version) -- Senators McConnell, Ford, Campsen, Grooms, Pinckney, Cleary and Scott: A SENATE RESOLUTION JOINING MOURNERS FROM ACROSS THE NATION IN EXPRESSING THE COLLECTIVE SORROW OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA UPON THE TRAGIC DEATH OF CHARLESTON FIRE CAPTAIN WILLIAM "BILLY" HUTCHINSON IN THE LINE OF DUTY AS HE COURAGEOUSLY BATTLED TO RESCUE CITIZENS TRAPPED IN A KILLER FIRE ON JUNE 18, 2007.
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Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 19, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has sustained the veto by the Governor on R.159, H. 3304 by a vote of 43 to 65:

(R159, H3304 (Word version)) -- Reps. J.M. Neal, McLeod, Branham, Chalk, Frye, Gambrell, Littlejohn, Lucas, Mulvaney, Neilson, Rice, Spires, Viers and Agnew: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 44-61-80, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, SO AS TO ALSO REQUIRE AN APPLICANT FOR CERTIFICATION, OR RECERTIFICATION, TO UNDERGO A CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-620, RELATING TO PROCEDURES FOR TAKING DNA SAMPLES FROM PERSONS AT THE TIME OF SENTENCING FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES, SO AS TO DELETE THESE PROVISIONS AND TO REQUIRE DNA SAMPLES TO BE TAKEN FOLLOWING ARREST OR INDICTMENT FOR CERTAIN FELONIES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-630, RELATING TO MEDICAL PERSONNEL TAKING DNA SAMPLES, SO AS TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT MEDICAL PERSONNEL MUST TAKE DNA SAMPLES AND TO PROVIDE THAT AN APPROPRIATELY TRAINED PERSON MAY TAKE SUCH SAMPLES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-650, RELATING TO THE CONFIDENTIALITY, STORAGE, AND RELEASE OF DNA SAMPLES, SO AS TO PROVIDE PROCEDURES TO PREVENT TAKING DUPLICATE DNA SAMPLES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-660, RELATING TO EXPUNGEMENT OF DNA RECORDS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE EXPUNGEMENT WHEN CHARGES HAVE BEEN DROPPED AND TO PROVIDE THAT NO COSTS FOR EXPUNGEMENT MAY BE CHARGED TO THE PERSON SEEKING EXPUNGEMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-670, RELATING TO THE DNA SAMPLE PROCESSING FEE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH FEE MUST BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE PERSON AT THE TIME OF SENTENCING; AND TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-120, RELATING TO FINGERPRINTING PERSONS WHO ARE ARRESTED, SO AS TO FURTHER SPECIFY THAT SUCH FINGERPRINTING MUST BE CONDUCTED AT THE TIME THE PERSON IS BOOKED AND PROCESSED INTO A JAIL OR DETENTION FACILITY.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator MALLOY rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Expression of Personal Interest

Senator KNOTTS rose for an Expression of Personal Interest.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has reconsidered the vote whereby the veto by the Governor on H. 3304, R. 159, was sustained and that it has sustained the veto by the Governor on R. 159, H. 3304 by a vote of 61 to 52:

(R159, H3304 (Word version)) -- Reps. J.M. Neal, McLeod, Branham, Chalk, Frye, Gambrell, Littlejohn, Lucas, Mulvaney, Neilson, Rice, Spires, Viers and Agnew: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 44-61-80, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS, SO AS TO ALSO REQUIRE AN APPLICANT FOR CERTIFICATION, OR RECERTIFICATION, TO UNDERGO A CRIMINAL RECORDS CHECK; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-620, RELATING TO PROCEDURES FOR TAKING DNA SAMPLES FROM PERSONS AT THE TIME OF SENTENCING FOR CERTAIN OFFENSES, SO AS TO DELETE THESE PROVISIONS AND TO REQUIRE DNA SAMPLES TO BE TAKEN FOLLOWING ARREST OR INDICTMENT FOR CERTAIN FELONIES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-630, RELATING TO MEDICAL PERSONNEL TAKING DNA SAMPLES, SO AS TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT MEDICAL PERSONNEL MUST TAKE DNA SAMPLES AND TO PROVIDE THAT AN APPROPRIATELY TRAINED PERSON MAY TAKE SUCH SAMPLES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-650, RELATING TO THE CONFIDENTIALITY, STORAGE, AND RELEASE OF DNA SAMPLES, SO AS TO PROVIDE PROCEDURES TO PREVENT TAKING DUPLICATE DNA SAMPLES; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-660, RELATING TO EXPUNGEMENT OF DNA RECORDS, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE EXPUNGEMENT WHEN CHARGES HAVE BEEN DROPPED AND TO PROVIDE THAT NO COSTS FOR EXPUNGEMENT MAY BE CHARGED TO THE PERSON SEEKING EXPUNGEMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-670, RELATING TO THE DNA SAMPLE PROCESSING FEE, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT SUCH FEE MUST BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE PERSON AT THE TIME OF SENTENCING; AND TO AMEND SECTION 23-3-120, RELATING TO FINGERPRINTING PERSONS WHO ARE ARRESTED, SO AS TO FURTHER SPECIFY THAT SUCH FINGERPRINTING MUST BE CONDUCTED AT THE TIME THE PERSON IS BOOKED AND PROCESSED INTO A JAIL OR DETENTION FACILITY.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 19, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has overridden the veto by the Governor on R.128, H. 3239 by a vote of 65 to 11:

(R128, H3239 (Word version)) -- Reps. Funderburk, Cato and Mahaffey: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION TO EXPEND UP TO FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS OF THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE STATE UNDER SECTION 903 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING LAND ON WHICH TO ERECT A BUILDING FOR USE BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION IN SPARTANBURG COUNTY.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

VETO OVERRIDDEN

(R128, H3239 (Word version)) -- Reps. Funderburk, Cato and Mahaffey: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO AUTHORIZE THE SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION TO EXPEND UP TO FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS OF THE FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO THE STATE UNDER SECTION 903 OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT, AS AMENDED, FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING LAND ON WHICH TO ERECT A BUILDING FOR USE BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION IN SPARTANBURG COUNTY.

The veto of the Governor was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator RITCHIE moved that the veto of the Governor be overridden.

The question was put, "Shall the Act become law, the veto of the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding?"

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

AYES 43; NAYS 0

AYES

Alexander                 Anderson                  Bryant
Campsen                   Courson                   Cromer
Drummond                  Elliott                   Fair
Ford                      Gregory                   Grooms
Hawkins                   Hayes                     Hutto
Jackson                   Knotts                    Land
Leatherman                Leventis                  Lourie
Malloy                    Martin                    Matthews
McConnell                 McGill                    Moore
O'Dell                    Patterson                 Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Ritchie                   Ryberg                    Scott
Setzler                   Sheheen                   Short
Thomas                    Vaughn                    Verdin
Williams

Total--43

NAYS

Total--0

The necessary two-thirds vote having been received, the veto of the Governor was overridden, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 19, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has overridden the veto by the Governor on R.124, H. 3045 by a vote of 95 to 0:

(R124, H3045 (Word version)) -- Reps. Cooper, Cobb-Hunter, Umphlett, Mahaffey, Sandifer, G.R. Smith, Hamilton, Davenport, Mitchell, Miller, Battle, Thompson, J.R. Smith, J.H. Neal, M.A. Pitts, Cotty, Ballentine, Haley, Ceips, Funderburk, Brady, White, Kirsh, Jefferson, Vick, McLeod, Harrell, Littlejohn, Lucas, Branham, Delleney, Bowen, Gambrell, Gullick and Sellers: AN ACT TO ENACT THE "VOLUNTEER STRATEGIC ASSISTANCE AND FIRE EQUIPMENT PILOT PROGRAM (V-SAFE)" WHOSE PURPOSE, CONTINGENT UPON THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATING APPROPRIATE FUNDS, IS TO OFFER GRANTS TO ELIGIBLE VOLUNTEER AND COMBINATION FIRED DEPARTMENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROTECTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND REGIONAL RESPONSE AREAS FROM INCIDENTS OF FIRE, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, TERRORISM, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE SAFETY OF VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS, TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS OF CERTAIN TERMS, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE GRANTS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE PILOT PROGRAM WILL CEASE TO EXIST ON JUNE 30, 2008; AND TO AMEND SECTION 23-9-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE TRANSFER OF THE OFFICE OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL TO THE STATE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD AND THE DUTIES, QUALIFICATIONS, AND APPOINTMENT OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL, SO AS TO SUSPEND THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL MUST POSSESS A CERTAIN LEVEL OF EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCES UNTIL AFTER JANUARY 20, 2011, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL SHALL SERVE AS THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF FIRE AND LIFE SAFETY.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

VETO OVERRIDDEN

(R124, H3045 (Word version)) -- Reps. Cooper, Cobb-Hunter, Umphlett, Mahaffey, Sandifer, G.R. Smith, Hamilton, Davenport, Mitchell, Miller, Battle, Thompson, J.R. Smith, J.H. Neal, M.A. Pitts, Cotty, Ballentine, Haley, Ceips, Funderburk, Brady, White, Kirsh, Jefferson, Vick, McLeod, Harrell, Littlejohn, Lucas, Branham, Delleney, Bowen, Gambrell, Gullick and Sellers: AN ACT TO ENACT THE "VOLUNTEER STRATEGIC ASSISTANCE AND FIRE EQUIPMENT PILOT PROGRAM (V-SAFE)" WHOSE PURPOSE, CONTINGENT UPON THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY APPROPRIATING APPROPRIATE FUNDS, IS TO OFFER GRANTS TO ELIGIBLE VOLUNTEER AND COMBINATION FIRED DEPARTMENTS FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROTECTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND REGIONAL RESPONSE AREAS FROM INCIDENTS OF FIRE, HAZARDOUS MATERIALS, TERRORISM, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE SAFETY OF VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS, TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS OF CERTAIN TERMS, AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE GRANTS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE PILOT PROGRAM WILL CEASE TO EXIST ON JUNE 30, 2008; AND TO AMEND SECTION 23-9-10, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE TRANSFER OF THE OFFICE OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL TO THE STATE BUDGET AND CONTROL BOARD AND THE DUTIES, QUALIFICATIONS, AND APPOINTMENT OF THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL, SO AS TO SUSPEND THE REQUIREMENT THAT THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL MUST POSSESS A CERTAIN LEVEL OF EDUCATION AND WORK EXPERIENCES UNTIL AFTER JANUARY 20, 2011, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL SHALL SERVE AS THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE DIVISION OF FIRE AND LIFE SAFETY.

The veto of the Governor was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator RYBERG moved that the veto of the Governor be overridden.

The question was put, "Shall the Act become law, the veto of the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding?"

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

AYES 43; NAYS 0

AYES

Alexander                 Anderson                  Bryant
Campsen                   Courson                   Cromer
Drummond                  Elliott                   Fair
Ford                      Gregory                   Grooms
Hawkins                   Hayes                     Hutto
Jackson                   Knotts                    Land
Leatherman                Leventis                  Lourie
Malloy                    Martin                    Matthews
McConnell                 McGill                    Moore
O'Dell                    Patterson                 Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Ritchie                   Ryberg                    Scott
Setzler                   Sheheen                   Short
Thomas                    Vaughn                    Verdin
Williams

Total--43

NAYS

Total--0

The necessary two-thirds vote having been received, the veto of the Governor was overridden, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has overridden the veto by the Governor on R.158, H. 3254 by a vote of 72 to 36:

(R158, H3254 (Word version)) -- Reps. Clyburn, Neilson, Whipper, W.D. Smith, Anderson, Bales, Breeland, R. Brown, Cobb-Hunter, Cooper, Dantzler, Delleney, Harrison, Hayes, Hosey, Howard, Jennings, Limehouse, Mack, Merrill, J.H. Neal, Ott, Owens, Rutherford, Scarborough, Sellers, Umphlett, Viers, Walker and Bedingfield: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 59-18-1600 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A SCHOOL THAT HAS RECEIVED AN UNSATISFACTORY ABSOLUTE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE RATING ON ITS MOST RECENT REPORT CARD SHALL OFFER AN ORIENTATION CLASS FOR PARENTS TO FOCUS ON CERTAIN SCHOOL ISSUES, TO PROVIDE FOR WRITTEN NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS OF THE DATE AND TIME OF THE CLASS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF EACH STUDENT REGISTERED TO ATTEND THE SCHOOL SHALL ATTEND THE ORIENTATION CLASS.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

VETO OVERRIDDEN

(R158, H3254 (Word version)) -- Reps. Clyburn, Neilson, Whipper, W.D. Smith, Anderson, Bales, Breeland, R. Brown, Cobb-Hunter, Cooper, Dantzler, Delleney, Harrison, Hayes, Hosey, Howard, Jennings, Limehouse, Mack, Merrill, J.H. Neal, Ott, Owens, Rutherford, Scarborough, Sellers, Umphlett, Viers, Walker and Bedingfield: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 59-18-1600 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT A SCHOOL THAT HAS RECEIVED AN UNSATISFACTORY ABSOLUTE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE RATING ON ITS MOST RECENT REPORT CARD SHALL OFFER AN ORIENTATION CLASS FOR PARENTS TO FOCUS ON CERTAIN SCHOOL ISSUES, TO PROVIDE FOR WRITTEN NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS OF THE DATE AND TIME OF THE CLASS, AND TO PROVIDE THAT A PARENT OR GUARDIAN OF EACH STUDENT REGISTERED TO ATTEND THE SCHOOL SHALL ATTEND THE ORIENTATION CLASS.

The veto of the Governor was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator HAYES moved that the veto of the Governor be overridden.

The question was put, "Shall the Act become law, the veto of the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding?"

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

AYES 42; NAYS 1

AYES

Alexander                 Anderson                  Bryant
Courson                   Cromer                    Drummond
Elliott                   Fair                      Ford
Gregory                   Grooms                    Hawkins
Hayes                     Hutto                     Jackson
Knotts                    Land                      Leatherman
Leventis                  Lourie                    Malloy
Martin                    Matthews                  McConnell
McGill                    Moore                     O'Dell
Patterson                 Peeler                    Pinckney
Rankin                    Reese                     Ritchie
Ryberg                    Scott                     Setzler
Sheheen                   Short                     Thomas
Vaughn                    Verdin                    Williams

Total--42

NAYS

Campsen

Total--1

The necessary two-thirds vote having been received, the veto of the Governor was overridden, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 19, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has overridden the veto by the Governor on R.123, H. 3034 by a vote of 90 to 13:

(R123, H3034 (Word version)) -- Reps. Brady, Haskins, Cobb-Hunter, Cotty, Funderburk, Hagood, Stavrinakis, Gullick, Bowers, Whipper, Bales and Neilson: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION ACT OF 2007, BY ADDING ARTICLE 8 TO CHAPTER 52, TITLE 48, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE APPLICATION OF "GREEN BUILDING" OR COMPARABLE STANDARDS TO MEASURES OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND ENERGY CONSERVATION ON STATE-FUNDED MAJOR FACILITY PROJECTS, TO DEFINE THOSE PROJECTS AND PROVIDE FOR EXEMPTIONS, TO SET FORTH PURPOSES AND GOALS, TO PROVIDE FOR MONITORING AND EVALUATING THE EFFICACY OF THE STANDARDS, AND TO REQUIRE AN ANNUAL REPORT OF THE RESULTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

VETO OVERRIDDEN

(R123, H3034 (Word version)) -- Reps. Brady, Haskins, Cobb-Hunter, Cotty, Funderburk, Hagood, Stavrinakis, Gullick, Bowers, Whipper, Bales and Neilson: AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO ENACT THE ENERGY INDEPENDENCE AND SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION ACT OF 2007, BY ADDING ARTICLE 8 TO CHAPTER 52, TITLE 48, SO AS TO REQUIRE THE APPLICATION OF "GREEN BUILDING" OR COMPARABLE STANDARDS TO MEASURES OF ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND ENERGY CONSERVATION ON STATE-FUNDED MAJOR FACILITY PROJECTS, TO DEFINE THOSE PROJECTS AND PROVIDE FOR EXEMPTIONS, TO SET FORTH PURPOSES AND GOALS, TO PROVIDE FOR MONITORING AND EVALUATING THE EFFICACY OF THE STANDARDS, AND TO REQUIRE AN ANNUAL REPORT OF THE RESULTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

The veto of the Governor was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator RITCHIE moved that the veto of the Governor be overridden.

The question was put, "Shall the Act become law, the veto of the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding?"

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

AYES 43; NAYS 0

AYES

Alexander                 Anderson                  Bryant
Campsen                   Courson                   Cromer
Drummond                  Elliott                   Fair
Ford                      Gregory                   Grooms
Hawkins                   Hayes                     Hutto
Jackson                   Knotts                    Land
Leatherman                Leventis                  Lourie
Malloy                    Martin                    Matthews
McConnell                 McGill                    Moore
O'Dell                    Patterson                 Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Ritchie                   Ryberg                    Scott
Setzler                   Sheheen                   Short
Thomas                    Vaughn                    Verdin
Williams

Total--43

NAYS

Total--0

The necessary two-thirds vote having been received, the veto of the Governor was overridden, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has overridden the veto by the Governor on R.133, H. 3481 by a vote of 82 to 26:

(R133, H3481 (Word version)) -- Reps. Cato, G. Brown, Cobb-Hunter, Cooper, Dantzler, Haley, Huggins, Leach, Owens, Skelton, G.M. Smith and Witherspoon: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 40-10-230, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PERSONS WHOM THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 10, TITLE 40, REGULATING FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTORS, DO NOT APPLY, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT CHAPTER 10 DOES NOT APPLY TO PERSONS WHO ARE EMPLOYED BY PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS TO REPAIR, ALTER, MAINTAIN, TEST, OR INSPECT FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS, WATER SPRAY SYSTEMS, OR WATER FOAM SYSTEMS IF THIS WORK IS CONDUCTED BY PERSONS UNDER THE CONTROL OR SUPERVISION OF A PERSON WITH A NICET LEVEL III CERTIFICATION AND IF THE PUBLIC INSTITUTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTS OF THESE EXEMPT EMPLOYEES.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

VETO OVERRIDDEN

(R133, H3481 (Word version)) -- Reps. Cato, G. Brown, Cobb-Hunter, Cooper, Dantzler, Haley, Huggins, Leach, Owens, Skelton, G.M. Smith and Witherspoon: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 40-10-230, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PERSONS WHOM THE PROVISIONS OF CHAPTER 10, TITLE 40, REGULATING FIRE SPRINKLER CONTRACTORS, DO NOT APPLY, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT CHAPTER 10 DOES NOT APPLY TO PERSONS WHO ARE EMPLOYED BY PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS TO REPAIR, ALTER, MAINTAIN, TEST, OR INSPECT FIRE SPRINKLER SYSTEMS, WATER SPRAY SYSTEMS, OR WATER FOAM SYSTEMS IF THIS WORK IS CONDUCTED BY PERSONS UNDER THE CONTROL OR SUPERVISION OF A PERSON WITH A NICET LEVEL III CERTIFICATION AND IF THE PUBLIC INSTITUTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTS OF THESE EXEMPT EMPLOYEES.

The veto of the Governor was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator RYBERG moved that the veto of the Governor be overridden.

The question was put, "Shall the Act become law, the veto of the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding?"

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

AYES 42; NAYS 1

AYES

Alexander                 Anderson                  Bryant
Courson                   Cromer                    Drummond
Elliott                   Fair                      Ford
Gregory                   Grooms                    Hawkins
Hayes                     Hutto                     Jackson
Knotts                    Land                      Leatherman
Leventis                  Lourie                    Malloy
Martin                    Matthews                  McConnell
McGill                    Moore                     O'Dell
Patterson                 Peeler                    Pinckney
Rankin                    Reese                     Ritchie
Ryberg                    Scott                     Setzler
Sheheen                   Short                     Thomas
Vaughn                    Verdin                    Williams

Total--42

NAYS

Campsen

Total--1

The necessary two-thirds vote having been received, the veto of the Governor was overridden, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR
State of South Carolina
Office of the Governor
P. O. Box 11369
Columbia, SC 29211
June 14, 2007

The Honorable André Bauer
President of the Senate
State House, 1st Floor, East Wing
Columbia, South Carolina 29202

Dear Mr. President and Members of the Senate:

I am hereby vetoing and returning without my approval S. 91, R-107.

We believe this bill is another example of, at times, a fragmented approach to economic development in South Carolina that does not serve the taxpayer well - or fit with the coordination essential to competing effectively in the times in which we live.

We applaud the notion of constant refinement to make our economy more competitive as this administration has focused on changing the economic soil conditions to position us to be more competitive in the global marketplace. We have advocated a whole host of changes ranging from efforts to reduce taxes on small business owners to reforming the tort system to creating a venture capital fund to help finance potential growth companies in this state. It has all been within the deliberative process of legislative committees, and, unfortunately, there is not the same level of debate on many ideas in these so called "BAT" bills.

At the end of virtually every legislative session, there is an attempt to put several narrowly-crafted incentives on a host of bills, and this bill continues this practice. As an example of this tradition, last year the General Assembly sent several pieces of legislation that provided a sales tax reimbursement for a single retail establishment, Cabela's - among other objectionable items. The legislation used tax dollars to finance competition to small businesses already operating in this state. Despite my objection, the provision became law and now sits on the books. Since then, not only has this establishment not come to South Carolina, but several other states are looking to reclaim some or all of their taxpayer-funded economic dollars from the company.

Yet that statute sits on the books and there appears to be efforts to modify the provision to benefit another company that now wants to draw down tax dollars. We believe the more coordinated approach to economic development, as envisioned by Carroll Campbell, with economic development legislation vetted by one Department of Commerce rather than what may be in the interest of a few House or Senate members, could avoid these sorts of pitfalls. So on procedural grounds, I oppose this legislation.

There are two particular provisions that concern us.

First, S. 91 carves out language for a tire manufacturer in at least one economic impact zone. While the company in question is one of the best in our state, this legislation would create a precedent that would inevitably be applied to companies that don't make the contribution to our state that this one does. Specifically, this legislation is an unprecedented break from past practices as, for the first time, a company would be able to apply its tax credits against employee withholdings. In other words, once a company has completely eliminated its corporate income tax liability, it will be able to use any remaining tax credits against amounts it owes in payroll taxes. This is moving dangerously close to fully eliminating any direct tax revenue from a corporation here in the state. While one could even argue the merits of this company and this case, this sets us down a road that I don't think we have fully debated as a state. Does it make sense to eliminate essentially all taxes for large corporations and not do the same for small businesses? What does this mean in determining future shifts in the tax load between large and small companies - or between indigenous and foreign owned?

It also opens new ground in changing what has been an historic benchmark in our incentive packages - job creation in our state. In this instance, the requirement of the company is to invest $500 million between last year and 2011 - and employ 5,000 people - but not create jobs. Currently, the company in question employs approximately 8,000 people in South Carolina - so we do not even expect them to grow their workforce in order to qualify for this benefit. Again, you might argue the merits of this company and situation, but where it leads I think has not been argued enough. S. 91 also carves out a sales tax exemption for an amusement park that makes a capital investment of at least$250 million at a single site and creates at least 250 full time jobs and at least 500 part-time jobs. The sales tax exemption is broad and applies to all aspects of construction of the park. We are pleased this amusement park is coming to South Carolina and believe it will serve as a good addition to our tourism economy. We have pledged other incentives to attract the company here in the first place and this is, in essence, adding icing to the cake after the ribbon has been cut. If the situation were reversed, we could not, in good faith, change the terms of an agreement to a company once they relocated here. As impressed as I am with the operators of this company, I once again struggle with the implications down the road in other economic development deals if we get into the practice of changing the deal after the deal has been signed.

Last year, I expressed my concerns that our tax code has far too many incentives carved out for only one area of the state or for one business that may come to our state. To this end, I asked the Department of Commerce to review our incentive system and make recommendations. Commerce Secretary Joe Taylor reported back that "some of the current incentives contained within the tax code have become obsolete or have been amended to the point that they no longer serve their original purposes." I ask every member of the General Assembly to review the recommendations put forth by the Department of Commerce and work with this Administration to clean up the incentives currently in the state code and work with us to improve overall economic soil conditions of the state.

For these reasons, I am vetoing S. 91, R-107.
Sincerely,
/s/ Mark Sanford

VETO OVERRIDDEN

The veto of the Governor was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator O'DELL moved that the veto of the Governor be overridden.

The question was put, "Shall the Act become law, the veto of the Governor to the contrary notwithstanding?"

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

AYES 43; NAYS 0

AYES

Alexander                 Anderson                  Bryant
Campsen                   Courson                   Cromer
Drummond                  Elliott                   Fair
Ford                      Gregory                   Grooms
Hawkins                   Hayes                     Hutto
Jackson                   Knotts                    Land
Leatherman                Leventis                  Lourie
Malloy                    Martin                    Matthews
McConnell                 McGill                    Moore
O'Dell                    Patterson                 Peeler
Pinckney                  Rankin                    Reese
Ritchie                   Ryberg                    Scott
Setzler                   Sheheen                   Short
Thomas                    Vaughn                    Verdin
Williams

Total--43

NAYS

Total--0

The necessary two-thirds vote having been received, the veto of the Governor was overridden, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

On motion of Senator MARTIN, with unanimous consent, Senators PEELER, LAND and LEATHERMAN were granted leave to attend a meeting of the Committee of Conference, be counted in any quorum calls and be granted leave to vote from the balcony.

HOUSE CONCURRENCE

S. 837 (Word version) -- Senators Campsen, Anderson, Alexander, Bryant, Cleary, Courson, Cromer, Drummond, Elliott, Fair, Ford, Gregory, Grooms, Hawkins, Hayes, Hutto, Jackson, Knotts, Land, Leatherman, Leventis, Lourie, Malloy, Martin, Matthews, McConnell, McGill, Moore, O'Dell, Patterson, Peeler, Pinckney, Rankin, Reese, Ritchie, Ryberg, Scott, Setzler, Sheheen, Short, Thomas, Vaughn, Verdin and Williams: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION PAYING TRIBUTE AND EXTENDING SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO THE BELOVED FAMILIES, FELLOW FIREMEN, AND FRIENDS OF THE NINE CITY OF CHARLESTON FIREFIGHTERS WHO TRAGICALLY PERISHED IN THE WEST ASHLEY FIRE ON MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2007, AND COMMENDING THEM FOR THEIR HEROIC BRAVERY AND THEIR COURAGEOUS AND DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE SAFETY OF THE LIVES OF THE CITIZENS OF THE CITY OF CHARLESTON AND THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

Returned with concurrence.

RECESS

At 12:15 P.M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, the Senate receded from business until 1:30 P.M.

At 2:09 P.M., the Senate resumed.

THE SENATE PROCEEDED TO A CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS OF COMMITTEES OF CONFERENCE AND FREE CONFERENCE.

H. 3124--REPORT OF THE

H. 3124 (Word version) -- Reps. Walker, Harrell, Harrison, Cotty, Bingham, Toole, D.C. Smith and Crawford: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 62 TO TITLE 59 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PUBLIC SCHOOL OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM OF THIS STATE, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPLICATION PROCESS FOR STUDENTS WISHING TO TRANSFER, TO PROVIDE RESPONSIBILITIES OF RECEIVING SCHOOL DISTRICTS, TO PROVIDE STANDARDS OF APPROVAL, PRIORITIES OF ACCEPTING STUDENTS, AND CRITERIA FOR DENYING STUDENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PARENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRANSPORTING THE STUDENT TO SCHOOL, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FUNDING OF THE OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM, TO PROVIDE THAT A STUDENT MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC CONTESTS DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF ENROLLMENT, TO PROVIDE THAT A RECEIVING DISTRICT SHALL ACCEPT CERTAIN CREDITS TOWARD A STUDENT'S REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION, TO PROVIDE THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY CONTRACT WITH CERTAIN ENTITIES FOR THE PROVISION OF SERVICES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL CONDUCT AN ANNUAL SURVEY AND REPORT THE RESULTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

On motion of Senator HAYES, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator HAYES spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator HAYES, the Report of the Committee of Conference to H. 3124 was adopted as follows:

H. 3124--Conference Report
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

The Committee of Conference, to whom was referred:

H. 3124 (Word version) -- Reps. Walker, Harrell, Harrison, Cotty, Bingham, Toole, D.C. Smith and Crawford: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 62 TO TITLE 59 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PUBLIC SCHOOL OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM OF THIS STATE, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPLICATION PROCESS FOR STUDENTS WISHING TO TRANSFER, TO PROVIDE RESPONSIBILITIES OF RECEIVING SCHOOL DISTRICTS, TO PROVIDE STANDARDS OF APPROVAL, PRIORITIES OF ACCEPTING STUDENTS, AND CRITERIA FOR DENYING STUDENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PARENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRANSPORTING THE STUDENT TO SCHOOL, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FUNDING OF THE OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM, TO PROVIDE THAT A STUDENT MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC CONTESTS DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF ENROLLMENT, TO PROVIDE THAT A RECEIVING DISTRICT SHALL ACCEPT CERTAIN CREDITS TOWARD A STUDENT'S REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION, TO PROVIDE THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY CONTRACT WITH CERTAIN ENTITIES FOR THE PROVISION OF SERVICES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL CONDUCT AN ANNUAL SURVEY AND REPORT THE RESULTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:

That the same do pass with the following amendments:

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

/ SECTION   1.   Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"CHAPTER 62
South Carolina Public School Choice Programs

Section 59-62-10.   (A)   There is established a district choice program and an open enrollment program within the public school system of this State.

(B)   In establishing these programs, it is the objective of the General Assembly to make the South Carolina public school system the most choice-driven public school system in the nation by increasing student participation in and student access to public school educational opportunities both within and outside of their resident school district, regardless of where they may live or their socioeconomic status. It is therefore the intent of the General Assembly that this chapter be construed broadly to maximize parental choice options and student access to public school educational opportunities that are now not available to their children.

Section 59-62-20.   As used in this chapter:

(1)   'School district choice programs' means a public education delivery system that requires school districts to provide for student programs of choice offered within the district, which may include, but not be limited to, public charter schools, virtual school programs, extended day or school year programs, flexible school scheduling programs, Montessori programs, single-gender programs, learning team programs, magnet school programs, arts programs, and school-within-a-school programs, and to provide for school assignments to these programs using parents' indicated preferential choice as a significant factor for assigning students within the district.

(2)   'Open enrollment' means a public education delivery system that requires school districts to allow for school assignments of students outside of the students' district of residence using parents' indicated preferential choice as a significant factor.

(3)   'Attendance zone' means the geographic area used to determine a particular school assignment for students in the district of residence.

(4)   'Capacity' as established by State Board of Education guidelines means individual school capacities to include any district projections per school for the school year impacted by a transfer pursuant to this chapter. However, when defining capacity, only permanent building structures may be included in the calculation of capacity and must not include transfers permitted by federal law.

(5)   'District of residence' means a school district in which the parent or guardian of a student resides.

(6)   'Feeder pattern' means the schools to which students are assigned upon the completion of the highest grade level of their previous school.

(7)   'Good cause' means a change in a child's residence due to a change in parent or guardian' s residence, a change in a child's parent's marital status, a change caused by a guardianship or custody proceeding, placement of a child in foster care, adoption, participation by a child in an approved foreign exchange program, or participation by a child in a substance abuse or mental health treatment program, revocation of a charter school contract, or a set of circumstances consistent with this definition of 'good cause'.

(8)   'Parent' means the parent or legal guardian of a student of the State.

(9)   'Receiving district' means a school district other than the district of residence in which a student seeks to enroll. Where the district of residence includes more than one school providing instruction at a given grade level, and a parent of a child entering the grade level applies to enroll his child in a public school in the district of residence other than the program in which the child would normally be assigned to attend based on the child's place of residence, the district of residence also must be considered to be the receiving district for purposes of this chapter.

(10)   'Siblings' mean all children residing in the same household on a permanent basis who have the same mother or father or guardian.

(11)   'Working days' means working days as determined by a school district's administrative calendar.

Section 59-62-30.   (A)   The State Department of Education shall establish the Office of School Choice and Innovation. This office shall provide school districts with information on various school choice programs, best practice information, staff development, assistance in planning for transportation needs, and technical assistance for developing and implementing public school choice and open enrollment programs throughout the State.

(B)   In conjunction with a series of town meetings held throughout the State, the Office of School Choice and Innovation shall conduct a statewide inventory. The inventory shall be designed to determine the public's knowledge and understanding of public school choice. Additionally, the inventory shall collect information on district growth projections, choice programs available in districts, and choice options parents would like to see implemented in their district of residence. With the information received from the statewide inventory, the Office of School Choice and Innovation shall compile and disseminate the results to the school districts of the State and members of the General Assembly.

(C)   In the 2007-08 school year, with funds appropriated by the General Assembly, the Office of School Choice and Innovation shall establish a School District Choice and an Open Enrollment pilot program. Participation of districts in the pilots shall be voluntary. The School District Choice pilot program shall be designed to pair districts currently offering multiple student choice options with districts where student choice options are limited or do not exist, for the purpose of offering guidance, technical assistance, and staff development. The Open Enrollment pilot program shall be designed to provide nontuition choice options for students between adjacent school districts. The Office of School Choice and Innovation shall offer technical assistance to the pilot districts in developing and implementing Open Enrollment choice programs.

(D)   Throughout the pilot year, the Office of School Choice and Innovation shall provide information to all school districts regarding obstacles that have the potential of interfering with the implementation of quality school choice and open enrollment programs and shall make recommendations for overcoming and avoiding those obstacles. The information provided shall also include costs associated with the implementation of both pilot programs.

(E)   The State Board of Education shall develop guidelines listing factors to be used in determining school capacity. In developing these guidelines, a task force shall be established with membership to include, but not be limited to, school board members, superintendents, principals, parents, and business and community leaders. The membership of the task force shall reflect urban and rural areas of the State.

(F)   During the 2007-08 school year, each school district of the State shall convene a School Choice Committee. The committee shall include, but not be limited to, members representing parents, community and business leaders, teachers, and students. The committee membership shall represent the ethnicity and geographic diversity of the district. With information obtained from the statewide survey, the School Choice Committee shall develop an action plan incorporated in the school renewal plan for providing parents and students choice options within the district and shall include a timeline and budget proposal for implementation of the identified options. Each district shall submit their plan to the Office of School Choice and Innovation for review, and if necessary the Office of School Choice and Innovation shall provide recommendations. Districts having plans currently in place shall also submit their plans.

Section 59-62-40.   (A)   Beginning in the 2008-09 school year and succeeding school years with inno vation funds appropriated by the General Assembly, each school district of the State shall begin implementation of their school choice plans. At a minimum, each district shall begin by providing a choice option for students at the elementary, middle, and high school level. With approval from the State Department of Education, districts may utilize technical assistance funds provided pursuant to Section 59-18-1595 to assist in the implementation of school choice plans.

(B)   During the 2008-09 school year, the School Choice Committee, established pursuant to Section 59-62-30(F), and school district administration shall develop plans to implement an Open Enrollment Choice Program as outlined in this chapter. However, nothing in this chapter shall prohibit a school district from implementing the Open Enrollment Choice Program prior to the 2009-10 school year.

(C)   Based on the findings obtained from the pilot programs established in Section 59-62-30(C) and the implementation of district choice programs, the State Department of Education shall issue a report to the General Assembly by January 1, 2009. The report shall include, but not be limited to, districts participating in the pilot programs and number of students participating in new choice options, types of choice options being implemented in each school district, number of students participating in school district choice options, and recommended changes to this chapter, to include the basis for such recommendations.

Section 59-62-50.   (A)   Beginning with the 2009-10 school year and each succeeding school year, a parent residing in this State may enroll his child in a public school in any school district without the requirement of payment of tuition in the manner provided in this chapter.

(B)(1)   Each school district of the State shall participate in public school open enrollment consistent with this chapter.

(2)   A parent of a school age child may apply to enroll his child in a school in a receiving district by submitting a written application, on a form provided to districts by the State Department of Education, to the receiving district and to the district of residence postmarked not later than January fifteenth for enrollment during the following school year for grades kindergarten through twelve. The application shall identify the reason for seeking enrollment in the receiving district. The parent shall request a particular school or program as part of the application. However, the assignment of the student must be determined by the receiving school district based on capacity.

(3)   If a parent desires to transfer a child to a school within the parent and child's district of residence but not within the child's attendance area or zone, the parent shall make application therefor in the same manner provided in this chapter for interdistrict transfers.

(4)   If a local school board by the last day of February notifies an applicant that their application for enrollment in a particular school has been denied due to a lack of capacity in that school, the school board in the denial notice shall also notify the applicant of any remaining schools in the district with the capacity to accept additional students seeking to enroll under this chapter. In this case, the applicant has an additional fifteen days from receipt of the notice to reapply seeking enrollment in one of these schools with capacity and the local board within fifteen days after receipt of the new application must act thereon.

(C)   If a parent of a school age child fails to file an application by the deadline, and good cause exists for the failure to meet the deadline, the receiving district and the district of residence may accept and consider the application in the same manner as if the deadline had been met.

(D)   Upon agreement between the resident and the nonresident school boards, or between the affected schools within the resident district, the deadline for application may be waived.

(E)   The parent or guardian of the student approved to enroll shall confirm in writing to the nonresident school district by April first whether the student intends to enroll. Notice of intent to enroll in the nonresident district obligates the student to attend the nonresident district during the following school year, unless the boards of the resident and nonresident school districts agree in writing to allow the student to transfer back to the district of residence, or good cause can be substantiated.

(F)   A parent who applies under this chapter and whose child is approved to enroll in a school outside of his school attendance area of his resident district but whose child fails to attend the school is ineligible to apply again for enrollment for a period of one year absent good cause shown. Good cause shall be determined by the board of the local school district of the applicable school.

Section 59-62-60.   (A)   Within ten working days of receiving an application, the receiving district shall notify the district of residence that it has received the application. This notification must include the grade level and school the student previously attended in the district of residence.

(B)   The board of trustees of the receiving district shall take action no later than the last day of February of the school year preceding enrollment to approve or deny an application for admission in grades kindergarten through twelve.

(C)   The board of the receiving district shall take action to approve or deny an application filed in accordance with Section 59-62-50(B) within forty-five days of the receipt of the application.

(D)   The board of the receiving district shall notify the parent of the child and the board of the district of residence in writing within five working days after board action. In the case of denial, a written explanation of the denial must be included in the notification.

Section 59-62-65.   Students under this chapter, subject to capacity and the other requirements of this chapter, shall be permitted to transfer to a school outside their attendance area within their district or to a school outside their attendance area in another district. Where the provisions of this chapter refer to sending districts or receiving districts, or both, they shall be construed to mean sending schools or receiving schools as appropriate when the context requires.

Section 59-62-70.   (A)   In implementing the provisions of this chapter, a student who currently resides in the attendance zone of a school must not be displaced by students transferring from outside the attendance zone.

(B)   A school district is not required to:

(1)   accept students at a particular school residing outside the school's attendance area in excess of three percent of the school's highest average daily membership in any year over the preceding ten-year period. Accepting students residing outside of the attendance area for a particular school must be phased in at a yearly increase of one percent of the school's previous year's average daily membership. Enrolled students residing outside of the school's attendance zone must continue to be counted in the receiving school's acceptance percentage until the student is no longer enrolled in a receiving school;

(2)   make alterations in the structure of a requested school;

(3)   establish and offer a particular program in a school if the program is not currently offered in the requested school; or

(4)   alter or waive an established eligibility criteria for participation in a particular program, including age requirements, course prerequisites, or required levels of performance.

(C)   The school board of trustees shall adopt specific policies regarding capacity standards, standards of approval, and priorities of acceptance.

(1)   Standards of approval may include consideration of the capacity of a program, class, or grade level. However, district standards for capacity must not be set less than fifty percent of those established in State Board of Education regulations. Standards must not be based on ethnicity, national origin, gender, income level, or include an applicant's athletic, artistic, or other extracurricular ability, disabling conditions, English proficiency level, or previous disciplinary proceedings, except that an expulsion from another district, offenses committed that would result in expulsion, or suspensions from the previous school year that total ten days may be included. However, the school board may provide for provisional enrollment of students with prior behavior problems and may establish conditions under which enrollment of nonresident students would be permitted or continued. Standards may include an applicant' s previous academic achievement only if enrollment in that program or school is based upon specific levels of performance uniformly applied to all seeking enrollment to that program or school.

(2)   In the assignment of students, priority must be given:

(a)   first, to students residing within the district including students currently enrolled in private schools and home schools, but who desire to attend a school outside their attendance zone;

(b)   second, to returning students who continue to meet the requirements for the program or school;

(c)   third, to students who meet the requirements for the program or school and who seek to attend the designated school in the district's feeder pattern;

(d)   fourth, to the siblings of students residing in the same household already enrolled in the school, provided that any siblings seeking priority under this section meet the requirements for the program or school; and

(e)   fifth, to students whose parent or legal guardian is assigned to the school as his or her primary place of employment.
The policies must not have the purpose or effect of causing racial segregation in a school or the school district.

(D)   A receiving school only may deny resident students living outside the attendance zone or nonresident students permission to enroll for the following reasons:

(1)   there is a lack of capacity in the school or program requested;

(2)   the school requested does not offer the appropriate programs or is not structured or equipped with the necessary facilities to meet special needs of a student;

(3)   the student does not meet established eligibility criteria for participation in a particular program, including age requirements, course prerequisites, or required levels of performance;

(4)   a voluntary or court-ordered desegregation plan is in effect for the school district, and the denial is necessary in order to enable compliance with the desegregation plan; or

(5)   the student was suspended for ten days or more the previous school year, is expelled, has committed offenses that would result in expulsion, or is in the process of being suspended or expelled.

A denial of a request by the board of a receiving district is subject to appeal. The parent or legal guardian may appeal a denial to the State Board of Education within thirty days after the date the notification of denial was received by the parent or legal guardian. The State Board of Education shall promulgate regulations establishing the basis and procedures for hearing appeals.

(E)   A sending school district only may deny resident students a transfer to a receiving school when the transfer would violate a voluntary or court-ordered desegregation plan in effect for that district. However, if the percentage of students seeking to transfer to receiving schools exceeds twenty percent of the sending district's enrollment, the sending district must concur with any additional students transferring from the school to attend a receiving school. If a school's transfer requests exceed twenty percent of its enrollment, the State Board of Education shall appoint an external review team to study educational programs in the school, identify factors contributing to the transfer requests of students, and make recommendations to the district.

(F)   A district may not take any action to prohibit or prevent application by resident students to attend school in a nonresident school district or to attend another school within the resident district.

(G)   Each school board of trustees of the school district annually shall submit capacity figures for each of its schools to the State Department of Education. These figures must be used by the State Board of Education in addition to any other factors it considers appropriate in developing board policy to determine a school's capacity. Each district is responsible for annually posting school capacities on the district and school websites. Additionally, information regarding the current enrollment of the school and its percentage of capacity must be included. This information must be verified by the State Department of Education. This information must be provided to the department and posted on the district and school websites by January first of each school year as it relates to capacity capabilities for the following school year.

Section 59-62-80.   (A)   A student approved for enrollment in a nonresident district school or program pursuant to this chapter is entitled to remain enrolled in that district until completion of the final grade within that school without being required to submit annual applications. Before completion of that final grade of the school, application for enrollment in the feeder school must be submitted pursuant to this chapter.

(B)   A receiving district may terminate the enrollment of a nonresident student enrolled pursuant to this chapter at the end of a school year if the:

(1)   student meets the definition of a habitual truant;

(2)   student fails to comply with requirements for attending school or class;

(3)   student has committed violations of the receiving district's student code of conduct resulting in ten or more days of suspension; or

(4)   board of the district of residence, the board of the receiving district, and the parent having submitted the application for enrollment agree for any reason to terminate the enrollment.

Section 59-62-90.   (A)   The parent is responsible for transporting the student to and from the school. However, nothing in this chapter shall be construed as prohibiting resident districts or the receiving districts from providing bus transportation on any approved route and districts are encouraged to collaborate in the development of transportation plans for students whose parents are unable to provide transportation.

(B)   Parents or guardians of students attending a receiving school district, whose family income is one hundred eighty-five percent or less of the federal poverty guidelines as promulgated annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, making them eligible for free or reduced-price lunches, shall be eligible for transportation services provided by the school district or shall be eligible for transportation reimbursement from the district with funds appropriated by the General Assembly for that purpose. Should the General Assembly fail to appropriate funds for this purpose, receiving school districts shall be under no obligation.

(C)   With funds appropriated by the General Assembly, the State Department of Education shall reimburse receiving school districts for transportation expenses as provided in subsection (B) of this section. The rate of reimbursement shall be pursuant to State Board of Education regulations.

Section 59-62-100.   (A)   A student enrolled in a receiving district pursuant to this chapter must be included in the average daily membership of the receiving district for the purposes relating to the allocation of all state and federal education funding and must not be included in the average daily membership of the district of residence for these purposes.

(B)   Districts shall receive one hundred percent of the base student cost from the State for nonresident students enrolled pursuant to this chapter.

Section 59-62-110.     (A)   A student enrolled in a receiving school pursuant to this chapter is ineligible to participate in interscholastic athletic contests and competitions for one calendar year after the student's date of enrollment in the receiving school or, if the student makes subsequent transfers, for one calendar year from the date of each transfer. This restriction does not apply to a student's initial transfer from his district of residence if the sport in which the student wishes to participate is not offered in the student's previous school.

(B)   A student may not gain eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities in violation of policies governing eligibility as a result of an enrollment transfer to another school.

Section 59-62-120.   (A)   A receiving district shall accept credits for a course completed in another accredited school and shall apply those credits toward the student's requirements for graduation.

(B)   The receiving district shall award a diploma to a nonresident student if the student meets all state requirements for graduation.

Section 59-62-130.   Open enrollment does not preclude a school district from contracting with other school districts, educational service providers, or other state-approved entities for the provision of services. A child with a disability receiving services from another district pursuant to contract due to lack of appropriate programming in his resident school district is not eligible to transfer as an open enrollment student into the district currently providing services, but is eligible to transfer as an open enrollment student into another district that has an appropriate program and has not reached enrollment capacity.

Section 59-62-140.   The State Department of Education shall conduct an annual survey of districts to determine the number of students participating in the Open Enrollment Program. The participants must be reported according to the number of resident students enrolling in a school other than the school in their attendance zone, the number of nonresident students enrolled, the number of denied applications, reasons for denial, and changes to the racial composition and poverty level of the districts and schools enrolling students. The State Department of Education shall report these findings to the General Assembly annually by January first.

Section 59-62-150.   Implementation of this chapter each fiscal year is contingent upon the appropriation of adequate funding as documented by a fiscal impact statement provided by the Office of State Budget of the State Budget and Control Board to the General Assembly and the State Department of Education on or before April fifteenth of each year estimating the cost of implementation for the ensuing fiscal year; provided that for fiscal year 2007-2008 the cost of implementation shall be as determined in the fiscal impact statement of the act enacting this chapter. There is no mandatory financial obligation to public schools or public school districts with respect to this chapter if state funding is not appropriated for each fiscal year of implementation as provided for in the annual fiscal impact statement of the Office of the State Budget of the State Budget and Control Board provided for above.

Section 59-62-160.   If any section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this chapter 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 chapter, the General Assembly hereby declaring that it would have passed this chapter, and each and every section, subsection, paragraph, subparagraph, sentence, clause, phrase, and word thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more other sections, subsections, paragraphs, subparagraphs, sentences, clauses, phrases, or words hereof may be declared to be unconstitutional, invalid, or otherwise ineffective."

SECTION   2.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor./

Amend title to conform.

/s/Sen. Robert W. Hayes, Jr.      /s/Rep. Robert E. Walker
/s/Sen. Linda H. Short            /s/Rep. William R. Whitmire
/s/Sen. Randy Scott               /s/Rep. Lester P. Branham, Jr.
On Part of the Senate.            On Part of the House.

, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has adopted the report of the Committee of Conference on:

H. 3124 (Word version) -- Reps. Walker, Harrell, Harrison, Cotty, Bingham, Toole, D.C. Smith and Crawford: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 62 TO TITLE 59 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PUBLIC SCHOOL OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM OF THIS STATE, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPLICATION PROCESS FOR STUDENTS WISHING TO TRANSFER, TO PROVIDE RESPONSIBILITIES OF RECEIVING SCHOOL DISTRICTS, TO PROVIDE STANDARDS OF APPROVAL, PRIORITIES OF ACCEPTING STUDENTS, AND CRITERIA FOR DENYING STUDENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PARENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRANSPORTING THE STUDENT TO SCHOOL, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FUNDING OF THE OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM, TO PROVIDE THAT A STUDENT MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC CONTESTS DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF ENROLLMENT, TO PROVIDE THAT A RECEIVING DISTRICT SHALL ACCEPT CERTAIN CREDITS TOWARD A STUDENT'S REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION, TO PROVIDE THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY CONTRACT WITH CERTAIN ENTITIES FOR THE PROVISION OF SERVICES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL CONDUCT AN ANNUAL SURVEY AND REPORT THE RESULTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that the Report of the Committee of Conference having been adopted by both Houses, and this Bill having been read three times in each House, it was ordered that the title thereof be changed to that of an Act and that it be enrolled for ratification:

H. 3124 (Word version) -- Reps. Walker, Harrell, Harrison, Cotty, Bingham, Toole, D.C. Smith and Crawford: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING CHAPTER 62 TO TITLE 59 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE PUBLIC SCHOOL OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM OF THIS STATE, TO DEFINE CERTAIN TERMS, TO PROVIDE FOR AN APPLICATION PROCESS FOR STUDENTS WISHING TO TRANSFER, TO PROVIDE RESPONSIBILITIES OF RECEIVING SCHOOL DISTRICTS, TO PROVIDE STANDARDS OF APPROVAL, PRIORITIES OF ACCEPTING STUDENTS, AND CRITERIA FOR DENYING STUDENTS, TO PROVIDE THAT THE PARENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TRANSPORTING THE STUDENT TO SCHOOL, TO PROVIDE FOR THE FUNDING OF THE OPEN ENROLLMENT CHOICE PROGRAM, TO PROVIDE THAT A STUDENT MAY NOT PARTICIPATE IN INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETIC CONTESTS DURING THE FIRST YEAR OF ENROLLMENT, TO PROVIDE THAT A RECEIVING DISTRICT SHALL ACCEPT CERTAIN CREDITS TOWARD A STUDENT'S REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION, TO PROVIDE THAT A SCHOOL DISTRICT MAY CONTRACT WITH CERTAIN ENTITIES FOR THE PROVISION OF SERVICES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION SHALL CONDUCT AN ANNUAL SURVEY AND REPORT THE RESULTS TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has adopted the report of the Committee of Conference on:

S. 332 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Ritchie and Vaughn: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 38-55-530, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT "FALSE STATEMENT AND MISREPRESENTATION" INCLUDES A FALSE BUSINESS ACTIVITY REPORT, MISCOUNT OR MISCLASSIFICATION BY AN EMPLOYER OR EMPLOYEE, OR A FALSE CLAIM MADE BY AN EMPLOYEE TO OBTAIN AN ECONOMIC BENEFIT; TO AMEND SECTION 38-55-540, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR A FALSE STATEMENT AND MISREPRESENTATION, SO AS TO INCREASE PENALTIES AND CREATE ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES; TO AMEND SECTION 38-55-560 BY ADDING SUBPARAGRAPH (E) AUTHORIZING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO HIRE A FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT TO BE ASSIGNED TO THE INSURANCE FRAUD DIVISION; TO AMEND SECTION 42-1-160, WHICH DEFINES "INJURY" AND "PERSONAL INJURY", SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE EMPLOYEE'S BURDEN OF PROOF AND FURTHER EXCLUDE CERTAIN CONDITIONS FROM "PERSONAL INJURY" AND EXCLUDE CERTAIN EVENTS FROM "ACCIDENT"; TO ADD SECTION 42-1-172, RELATING TO A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY, SO AS TO ESTABLISH WHEN A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY MAY BE COMPENSABLE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-1-375 SO AS TO EXEMPT AN OWNER-OPERATOR OF A VEHICLE LEASED TO A MOTOR CARRIER WHO HAS SIGNED AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT WITH A MOTOR CARRIER; TO AMEND SECTION 42-9-30 SO AS TO LIMIT THE DISABILITY AWARD TO TEN PERCENT GREATER THAN THE MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT RATING UNLESS THE COMMISSIONER FINDS EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES AND LISTS FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES AND TO PRESUME FIFTY PERCENT OR MORE LOSS OF USE OF THE BACK IS TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY; TO AMEND SECTION 42-11-10, RELATING TO OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE, SO AS TO ESTABLISH EMPLOYEE'S BURDEN OF PROOF, EXCLUDE CERTAIN TYPES OF CONDITIONS, AND PROVIDE THAT COMPENSATION IS NOT PAYABLE UNLESS CLAIMANT SUFFERS PERMANENT OR PARTIAL DISABILITY; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-20, RELATING TO NOTICE FOR A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY, SO AS TO REQUIRE NOTICE BE GIVEN NO LATER THAN NINETY DAYS AFTER EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE DISCOVERED THAT THE CONDITION IS COMPENSABLE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-40 SO AS TO BAR THE RIGHT TO COMPENSATION FOR A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY UNLESS THE CLAIM IS FILED WITHIN TWO YEARS AFTER THE DEATH, DISABILITY, OR LAST DATE OF EMPLOYMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-60, RELATING TO EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY, SO AS TO ESTABLISH THAT AFTER TEN WEEKS AFTER DATE OF EMPLOYEE'S INJURY, EMPLOYEE MUST ESTABLISH BY MEDICAL RECORDS OR EXPERT MEDICAL TESTIMONY THAT ADDITIONAL TIME IS NEEDED TO LESSEN THE EMPLOYEE'S DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT AND TO CLARIFY THAT AN EMPLOYER'S DUTY TO EMPLOYEE TERMINATES WHEN THERE IS NO FURTHER MEDICAL CARE THAT WOULD LESSEN THE DEGREE OF MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT AND IN NO CASE WOULD MEDICAL BENEFITS EXTEND FOR MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED WEEKS AFTER THE DATE OF INJURY, EXCEPT IN CASES INVOLVING PARAPLEGIA, QUADRIPLEGIA AND PHYSICAL BRAIN DAMAGE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-95, RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT AN EMPLOYEE SEEKING TREATMENT IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE GIVEN CONSENT FOR RELEASE OF MEDICAL RECORDS AND TO PROVIDE COMMUNICATION OPTIONS AMONG INTERESTED PARTIES; TO AMEND SECTION 42-17-90 SO AS TO ESTABLISH A ONE-YEAR PERIOD FOR CHANGE OF CONDITION IN CASES INVOLVING REPETITIVE TRAUMA OR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE; TO AMEND SECTION 38-73-495 SO AS TO ACCOUNT FOR THIRD-PARTY REIMBURSEMENTS IN EXPERIENCE MODIFICATION; TO AMEND SECTION 42-7-310 SO AS TO REDUCE THE SECOND INJURY FUND ASSESSMENT FORMULA TO ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE PERCENT AND TO REQUIRE THE SECOND INJURY FUND DIRECTOR TO ANNUALLY SUBMIT INFORMATION TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON COMPENSATION INSURANCE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-9-400, RELATING TO THE SECOND INJURY FUND, SO AS TO ELIMINATE "COMBINED EFFECTS OF PREEXISTING IMPAIRMENT AND SUBSEQUENT INJURY", TO FURTHER INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WEEKS TO ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR, TO INCREASE THE THRESHOLD FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEDICAL PAYMENT FROM THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS TO TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, TO ELIMINATE "ARTHRITIS" AND "ANY OTHER PRE-EXISTING DISEASE, CONDITION OR IMPAIRMENT" FROM THE LIST OF PRESUMPTIONS FOR PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT, AND TO PROVIDE NOTICE PROVISIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 42-9-410 SO AS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WEEKS TO ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR FOR SECOND INJURY FUND REIMBURSEMENT ELIGIBILITY; AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 73, TITLE 38.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

S. 332--ENROLLED FOR RATIFICATION

S. 332 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Ritchie and Vaughn: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 38-55-530, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, SO AS TO CLARIFY THAT "FALSE STATEMENT AND MISREPRESENTATION" INCLUDES A FALSE BUSINESS ACTIVITY REPORT, MISCOUNT OR MISCLASSIFICATION BY AN EMPLOYER OR EMPLOYEE, OR A FALSE CLAIM MADE BY AN EMPLOYEE TO OBTAIN AN ECONOMIC BENEFIT; TO AMEND SECTION 38-55-540, RELATING TO PENALTIES FOR A FALSE STATEMENT AND MISREPRESENTATION, SO AS TO INCREASE PENALTIES AND CREATE ADDITIONAL CATEGORIES; TO AMEND SECTION 38-55-560 BY ADDING SUBPARAGRAPH (E) AUTHORIZING THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO HIRE A FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT TO BE ASSIGNED TO THE INSURANCE FRAUD DIVISION; TO AMEND SECTION 42-1-160, WHICH DEFINES "INJURY" AND "PERSONAL INJURY", SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE EMPLOYEE'S BURDEN OF PROOF AND FURTHER EXCLUDE CERTAIN CONDITIONS FROM "PERSONAL INJURY" AND EXCLUDE CERTAIN EVENTS FROM "ACCIDENT"; TO ADD SECTION 42-1-172, RELATING TO A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY, SO AS TO ESTABLISH WHEN A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY MAY BE COMPENSABLE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-1-375 SO AS TO EXEMPT AN OWNER-OPERATOR OF A VEHICLE LEASED TO A MOTOR CARRIER WHO HAS SIGNED AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR AGREEMENT WITH A MOTOR CARRIER; TO AMEND SECTION 42-9-30 SO AS TO LIMIT THE DISABILITY AWARD TO TEN PERCENT GREATER THAN THE MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT RATING UNLESS THE COMMISSIONER FINDS EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES AND LISTS FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED FOR EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES AND TO PRESUME FIFTY PERCENT OR MORE LOSS OF USE OF THE BACK IS TOTAL AND PERMANENT DISABILITY; TO AMEND SECTION 42-11-10, RELATING TO OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE, SO AS TO ESTABLISH EMPLOYEE'S BURDEN OF PROOF, EXCLUDE CERTAIN TYPES OF CONDITIONS, AND PROVIDE THAT COMPENSATION IS NOT PAYABLE UNLESS CLAIMANT SUFFERS PERMANENT OR PARTIAL DISABILITY; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-20, RELATING TO NOTICE FOR A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY, SO AS TO REQUIRE NOTICE BE GIVEN NO LATER THAN NINETY DAYS AFTER EMPLOYEE COULD HAVE DISCOVERED THAT THE CONDITION IS COMPENSABLE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-40 SO AS TO BAR THE RIGHT TO COMPENSATION FOR A REPETITIVE TRAUMA INJURY UNLESS THE CLAIM IS FILED WITHIN TWO YEARS AFTER THE DEATH, DISABILITY, OR LAST DATE OF EMPLOYMENT; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-60, RELATING TO EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITY, SO AS TO ESTABLISH THAT AFTER TEN WEEKS AFTER DATE OF EMPLOYEE'S INJURY, EMPLOYEE MUST ESTABLISH BY MEDICAL RECORDS OR EXPERT MEDICAL TESTIMONY THAT ADDITIONAL TIME IS NEEDED TO LESSEN THE EMPLOYEE'S DEGREE OF IMPAIRMENT AND TO CLARIFY THAT AN EMPLOYER'S DUTY TO EMPLOYEE TERMINATES WHEN THERE IS NO FURTHER MEDICAL CARE THAT WOULD LESSEN THE DEGREE OF MEDICAL IMPAIRMENT AND IN NO CASE WOULD MEDICAL BENEFITS EXTEND FOR MORE THAN FIVE HUNDRED WEEKS AFTER THE DATE OF INJURY, EXCEPT IN CASES INVOLVING PARAPLEGIA, QUADRIPLEGIA AND PHYSICAL BRAIN DAMAGE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-15-95, RELATING TO THE RELEASE OF MEDICAL INFORMATION IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION CLAIMS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT AN EMPLOYEE SEEKING TREATMENT IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE GIVEN CONSENT FOR RELEASE OF MEDICAL RECORDS AND TO PROVIDE COMMUNICATION OPTIONS AMONG INTERESTED PARTIES; TO AMEND SECTION 42-17-90 SO AS TO ESTABLISH A ONE-YEAR PERIOD FOR CHANGE OF CONDITION IN CASES INVOLVING REPETITIVE TRAUMA OR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE; TO AMEND SECTION 38-73-495 SO AS TO ACCOUNT FOR THIRD-PARTY REIMBURSEMENTS IN EXPERIENCE MODIFICATION; TO AMEND SECTION 42-7-310 SO AS TO REDUCE THE SECOND INJURY FUND ASSESSMENT FORMULA TO ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE PERCENT AND TO REQUIRE THE SECOND INJURY FUND DIRECTOR TO ANNUALLY SUBMIT INFORMATION TO THE NATIONAL COUNCIL ON COMPENSATION INSURANCE; TO AMEND SECTION 42-9-400, RELATING TO THE SECOND INJURY FUND, SO AS TO ELIMINATE "COMBINED EFFECTS OF PREEXISTING IMPAIRMENT AND SUBSEQUENT INJURY", TO FURTHER INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WEEKS TO ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR, TO INCREASE THE THRESHOLD FOR REIMBURSEMENT FOR MEDICAL PAYMENT FROM THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS TO TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS, TO ELIMINATE "ARTHRITIS" AND "ANY OTHER PRE-EXISTING DISEASE, CONDITION OR IMPAIRMENT" FROM THE LIST OF PRESUMPTIONS FOR PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT, AND TO PROVIDE NOTICE PROVISIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 42-9-410 SO AS TO INCREASE THE NUMBER OF WEEKS TO ONE HUNDRED AND FOUR FOR SECOND INJURY FUND REIMBURSEMENT ELIGIBILITY; AND TO AMEND CHAPTER 73, TITLE 38.

The Report of the Committee of Conference having been adopted by both Houses, ordered that the title be changed to that of an Act, and the Act enrolled for Ratification.

A message was sent to the House accordingly.

H. 3826--REPORT OF THE

H. 3826 (Word version) -- Rep. White: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-580, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO CERTAIN PERSONNEL IN A HOSPITAL UNDER THE STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM HAVING THE OPTION OF JOINING THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, SO AS TO EXTEND THIS OPTION TO PHYSICIANS, TO PROVIDE THAT THIS OPTION IS IRREVOCABLE, AND TO PROVIDE THE METHOD BY WHICH SERVICE CREDIT MUST BE ESTABLISHED FOR A PERSON ENTITLED TO RETIREMENT BENEFITS.

On motion of Senator RYBERG, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator RYBERG spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator RYBERG, the Report of the Committee of Conference to H. 3826 was adopted as follows:

H. 3826--Conference Report
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., June 15, 2007

The Committee of Conference, to whom was referred:

H. 3826 (Word version) -- Rep. White: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-580, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO CERTAIN PERSONNEL IN A HOSPITAL UNDER THE STATE RETIREMENT SYSTEM HAVING THE OPTION OF JOINING THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM, SO AS TO EXTEND THIS OPTION TO PHYSICIANS, TO PROVIDE THAT THIS OPTION IS IRREVOCABLE, AND TO PROVIDE THE METHOD BY WHICH SERVICE CREDIT MUST BE ESTABLISHED FOR A PERSON ENTITLED TO RETIREMENT BENEFITS.

Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:

That the same do pass with the following amendments:

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

/ SECTION   1.   Section 9-1-580 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 9-1-580.   (A)   Any persons employed by a hospital, which is an employer under the system by application, in the capacity of a physician, nursing service personnel, technicians, housekeeping personnel, dietary personnel, and laundry personnel, may elect to become or not to become members of the South Carolina Retirement System, if such this option is exercised within thirty days after they enter upon the discharge of their duties. The option provided for in this section is irrevocable.

(B)   If for any reason, a determination is made that a person who exercised the option provided for in subsection (A) is entitled to any benefit provided pursuant to this title, the cost to establish service credit must be calculated pursuant to Section 9-1-1140(A). This calculation must be based on the person's current salary or career highest fiscal year salary for any period of time the person was employed in a position that otherwise would have been covered by membership in the system, regardless of whether the person requests to purchase all of the eligible service credit. The calculated cost must be paid solely by the person's employer, the person, or any combination of these.

(C)   For purposes of this section, 'physician' means a person who is licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in this State in accordance with Chapter 47, Title 40."

SECTION   2.   Chapter 8, Title 9 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 9-8-67.   The normal retirement age for the system established pursuant to this chapter is sixty years."

SECTION   3.   A.   Section 9-8-60 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by a 2007 act bearing ratification number 154, is further amended by adding a new subsection (7) to read:

"(7)(a)   A member who has attained the age of sixty years and is eligible to retire and receive the maximum monthly benefit of one-twelfth of ninety percent of the current active salary of a judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender as provided in subsection (5) may retire and receive a retirement benefit while continuing to serve as judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender until the end of the calendar year in which the member attains the age of seventy-two years. The employee and employer contributions must continue to be paid as if the judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender continuing to serve pursuant to this subsection was an active contributing member, but no additional service credit accrues on account of these contributions. A judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender who retires pursuant to this subsection is not subject to the provisions of Section 9-8-120 unless he has vacated his office.

(b)   A member who has not yet reached the age of sixty years, but who is eligible to retire and receive the maximum monthly benefit of one-twelfth of ninety percent of the current active salary of a judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender as provided in subsection (5) may retire and continue to serve as judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender until the end of the calendar year in which the member attains the age of seventy-two years. While a member continues to serve as judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender pursuant to this subsection, the member's normal monthly retirement benefit will be deferred and placed in the system's trust fund on behalf of the member. Upon reaching the age of sixty years, the balance of the member's deferred retirement benefit will be distributed to the member. No interest will be paid on the member's deferred monthly retirement benefit placed in the system's trust fund. The employee and employer contributions must continue to be paid as if the judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender continuing to serve pursuant to this subsection was an active contributing member, but no additional service credit accrues on account of these contributions. A judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender who retires pursuant to this subsection is not subject to the provisions of Section 9-8-120 unless he has vacated his office.

(c)   For a member retiring and continuing to serve as judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender pursuant to subsection (7)(b) the additional benefit provided for in subsection (6) will be deferred and placed in the system's trust fund until the member reaches the age of sixty years. Upon reaching the age of sixty years, the additional benefit will be distributed, plus interest, to the member.

(d)   For all purposes other than employment, a member retiring and continuing to serve as judge, solicitor, or circuit public defender pursuant to either subsection (7)(a) or (7)(b) is a retired member of the system."

B.   Notwithstanding the date of enactment of this or any other act enacted by the General Assembly in the 2007 legislative session amending Section 9-8-60 of the 1976 Code by adding a new subsection (7) therein, Section 9-8-60(7) of the 1976 Code as added by this act is deemed the final and only expression of the General Assembly for the 2007 legislative session in adding a new subsection (7) in Section 9-8-60.

SECTION   4.   Section 9-8-110(2) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 139 of 1995, is further amended to read:

"(2)   Unless a married member has designated a beneficiary other than his spouse in accordance with subsection (1), upon his death prior to in-service before retirement an allowance equal to one-third of the allowance which would have been payable to him, assuming if he was then eligible to retire on his date of death notwithstanding the vesting requirement of Section 9-8-50(E)(1) and as if he had retired on the date of his death, shall must be paid to his surviving spouse until her death. This allowance is payable in lieu of the lump sum amount payable in accordance with subsection (1). Upon the death of a retired member who has not designated a beneficiary other than a spouse an allowance equal to one-third of the allowance which would have been payable to him, shall must be paid to the surviving spouse until death. For purposes of this subsection, 'retired member' shall include includes those former judges and solicitors who are beneficiaries pursuant to subsection (4) of Section 9-8-60."

SECTION   5.   Section 9-1-2210(I) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 153 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"(I)   A member is not eligible to participate in the program if the member has participated previously in and received a benefit under this program or any other state retirement system. However, a member who has received a disability benefit, but who has been restored to active service and voided his optional benefit selection pursuant to Section 9-1-1590 and repaid any benefit received is eligible to participate in the program."

SECTION   6.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor./

TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-580, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ELECTION FOR HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES TO PARTICIPATE OR NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA RETIREMENT SYSTEM, SO AS TO INCLUDE PHYSICIANS EMPLOYED BY THE HOSPITAL, MAKE THE ELECTION AN "OPT-OUT" ELECTION, AND MAKE THIS ELECTION IRREVOCABLE; BY ADDING SECTION 9-8-67 SO AS TO ESTABLISH A NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE OF SIXTY YEARS FOR THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-60, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO RETIREMENT UNDER THE RETIRE MENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO ADD CIRCUIT PUBLIC DEFENDERS AND TO ALLOW CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THAT SYSTEM WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO RETIRE TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, BASED ON AGE, WHILE CONTINUING TO SERVE AND TO REQUIRE THESE MEMBERS TO CONTINUE TO MAKE EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS WHILE IN THIS STATUS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-110, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO PAYMENTS ON THE DEATH OF A MEMBER OR BENEFICIARY OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH A BENEFIT MAY BE PAID TO A SURVIVING SPOUSE FOLLOWING A MEMBER'S IN-SERVICE DEATH; AND TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-2210, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE TEACHER AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION INCENTIVE (TERI) PLAN, SO AS TO ALLOW PARTICIPATION BY A DISABILITY RETIREE RESTORED TO ACTIVE SERVICE WHO REPAYS BENEFITS RECEIVED AND VOIDS HIS OPTIONAL BENEFIT SELECTION.

/s/Sen. W. Greg Ryberg            /s/Rep. W. Brian White
/s/Sen. Thomas C. Alexander       /s/Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter
/s/Sen. Vincent A. Sheheen        /s/Rep. G. Murrell Smith, Jr.
On Part of the Senate.            On Part of the House.

, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has adopted the report of the Committee of Conference on:

H. 3826 (Word version) -- Rep. White: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-580, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ELECTION FOR HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES TO PARTICIPATE OR NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA RETIREMENT SYSTEM, SO AS TO INCLUDE PHYSICIANS EMPLOYED BY THE HOSPITAL, MAKE THE ELECTION AN "OPT-OUT" ELECTION, AND MAKE THIS ELECTION IRREVOCABLE; BY ADDING SECTION 9-8-67 SO AS TO ESTABLISH A NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE OF SIXTY YEARS FOR THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-60, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO RETIREMENT UNDER THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO ADD CIRCUIT PUBLIC DEFENDERS AND TO ALLOW CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THAT SYSTEM WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO RETIRE TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, BASED ON AGE, WHILE CONTINUING TO SERVE AND TO REQUIRE THESE MEMBERS TO CONTINUE TO MAKE EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS WHILE IN THIS STATUS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-110, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO PAYMENTS ON THE DEATH OF A MEMBER OR BENEFICIARY OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH A BENEFIT MAY BE PAID TO A SURVIVING SPOUSE FOLLOWING A MEMBER'S IN-SERVICE DEATH; AND TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-2210, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE TEACHER AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION INCENTIVE (TERI) PLAN, SO AS TO ALLOW PARTICIPATION BY A DISABILITY RETIREE RESTORED TO ACTIVE SERVICE WHO REPAYS BENEFITS RECEIVED AND VOIDS HIS OPTIONAL BENEFIT SELECTION.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

H. 3826--ENROLLED FOR RATIFICATION

H. 3826 (Word version) -- Rep. White: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-580, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ELECTION FOR HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES TO PARTICIPATE OR NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA RETIREMENT SYSTEM, SO AS TO INCLUDE PHYSICIANS EMPLOYED BY THE HOSPITAL, MAKE THE ELECTION AN "OPT-OUT" ELECTION, AND MAKE THIS ELECTION IRREVOCABLE; BY ADDING SECTION 9-8-67 SO AS TO ESTABLISH A NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE OF SIXTY YEARS FOR THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-60, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO RETIREMENT UNDER THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO ADD CIRCUIT PUBLIC DEFENDERS AND TO ALLOW CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THAT SYSTEM WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO RETIRE TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, BASED ON AGE, WHILE CONTINUING TO SERVE AND TO REQUIRE THESE MEMBERS TO CONTINUE TO MAKE EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS WHILE IN THIS STATUS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-110, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO PAYMENTS ON THE DEATH OF A MEMBER OR BENEFICIARY OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH A BENEFIT MAY BE PAID TO A SURVIVING SPOUSE FOLLOWING A MEMBER'S IN-SERVICE DEATH; AND TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-2210, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE TEACHER AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION INCENTIVE (TERI) PLAN, SO AS TO ALLOW PARTICIPATION BY A DISABILITY RETIREE RESTORED TO ACTIVE SERVICE WHO REPAYS BENEFITS RECEIVED AND VOIDS HIS OPTIONAL BENEFIT SELECTION.

The Report of the Committee of Conference having been adopted by both Houses, ordered that the title be changed to that of an Act, and the Act enrolled for Ratification.

A message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has requested and was granted Free Conference Powers and has appointed Reps. Hagood, G. R. Smith and McLeod to the Committee of Free Conference on the part of the House on:

S. 65 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Vaughn, McConnell, Knotts, Verdin, Fair, Alexander and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 27-5-75, TO PROVIDE A RIGHT OF INGRESS AND EGRESS TO A CEMETERY, BURIAL GROUND, OR GRAVE LOCATED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR FAMILY MEMBERS, CLOSE FRIENDS, DESCENDANTS OF DECEASED PERSONS, CEMETERY PLOT OWNERS, PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN A LAWFUL BURIAL, OR PERSONS ENGAGING IN GENEALOGY RESEARCH.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

S. 65--REPORT OF THE

S. 65 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Vaughn, McConnell, Knotts, Verdin, Fair, Alexander and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 27-5-75, TO PROVIDE A RIGHT OF INGRESS AND EGRESS TO A CEMETERY, BURIAL GROUND, OR GRAVE LOCATED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR FAMILY MEMBERS, CLOSE FRIENDS, DESCENDANTS OF DECEASED PERSONS, CEMETERY PLOT OWNERS, PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN A LAWFUL BURIAL, OR PERSONS ENGAGING IN GENEALOGY RESEARCH.

On motion of Senator MARTIN, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Free Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator MARTIN spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator MARTIN, the Report of the Committee of Free Conference to S. 65 was adopted as follows:

S. 65--Free Conference Report
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

The Committee of Free Conference, to whom was referred:

S. 65 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Vaughn, McConnell, Knotts, Verdin, Fair, Alexander and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 27-5-75, TO PROVIDE A RIGHT OF INGRESS AND EGRESS TO A CEMETERY, BURIAL GROUND, OR GRAVE LOCATED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR FAMILY MEMBERS, CLOSE FRIENDS, DESCENDANTS OF DECEASED PERSONS, CEMETERY PLOT OWNERS, PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN A LAWFUL BURIAL, OR PERSONS ENGAGING IN GENEALOGY RESEARCH.

Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:

That the same do pass with the following amendments:

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

/ SECTION   1.   Chapter 43, Title 27 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Article 3

Section 27-43-310.   (A)   An owner of private property on which a cemetery, burial ground, or grave is located must allow ingress and egress to the cemetery, burial ground, or grave as provided in this section by any of the following persons:

(1)   family members and descendants of deceased persons buried on the private property or an agent who has the written permission of family members or descendants;

(2)   a cemetery plot owner;

(3)   persons lawfully participating in a burial; or

(4)   a person engaging in genealogy research who has received the written permission of:

(a)   family members or descendants of deceased persons buried on the private property; or

(b)   the owner of record, an agent of the owner of record, or an occupant of the private property acting on behalf and with permission of the owner of record.

(B)   The ingress and egress granted to persons specified in subsection (A) must be exercised as provided in this section and is limited to the purposes of:

(1)   visiting graves;

(2)   maintaining the gravesite or cemetery;

(3)   lawfully burying a deceased person in a cemetery or burial plot by those granted rights of burial to that plot; or

(4)   conducting genealogy research.

(C)(1)   In order to exercise the ingress and egress provided in subsection (A), a person authorized by subsection (A) must give written notice to the owner of record, an agent of the owner of record, or an occupant of the private property acting on behalf of and with permission of the owner of record that:

(a)   he or the person for whom he requests ingress and egress meets the statutory requirements provided in subsection (A); and

(b)   he requests a written proposal designating reasonable conditions for the exercise of ingress and egress as provided in subsection (B).

(2)   Within thirty days after receipt of the written notice to exercise the ingress and egress, the owner of record, an agent of the owner of record, or an occupant of the private property acting on behalf and with permission of the owner of record must respond with a written proposal designating reasonable conditions for ingress and egress, including, but not limited to, routes to be used for access, duration of access, and time restrictions for access.

(3)   The exercise of ingress and egress on the property by persons authorized in subsection (A) for the purposes specified in subsection (B) must be exercised as reasonably restricted in time and manner by the owner of record, an agent of the owner of record, or an occupant of the private property acting on behalf and with permission of the owner of record. The exercise of ingress and egress must not substantially and unreasonably interfere with the use, enjoyment, or economic value of the property by the owner or an occupant of the private property.

(4)   If, thirty days after receipt of the written notice to exercise ingress and egress on the private property, written notice of reasonable conditions for the exercise of the ingress and egress as provided in subsection (B) have not been proposed or accepted, a person authorized by subsection (A) or the owner of record, an agent of the owner of record, or an occupant of the private property acting on behalf and with permission of the owner may institute a proceeding in the magistrate's court of the county in which the cemetery, burial ground, or grave is located. In granting relief to either party, the magistrate may set the frequency, hours, duration, or other conditions of the ingress and egress.

(5)   A magistrate may deny the exercise of ingress and egress as provided in this section if:

(a)   the person seeking to exercise the ingress and egress is not authorized by subsection (A); or

(b)   the magistrate is presented with credible evidence that the person authorized by subsection (A) is involved in an imminent or actual violation of state or local law while upon, or entering, or exiting the private property; or

(c)   the magistrate makes a finding, based upon a showing of credible evidence, that there is no condition of entry, no matter how limited in time, manner, or otherwise restricted, that would allow the person authorized by subsection (A) to enter the private property for the purposes authorized by subsection (B) without substantially and unreasonably interfering with the use, enjoyment, or economic value of the property by the owner or an occupant of the private property.

(6)   The provisions of this subsection do not authorize a magistrate to make determinations concerning the title of the property or establish an easement across the property.

(D)   In the absence of intentional or willful misconduct, or intentional, willful, or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity, the owner of record, an agent of the owner of record, or an occupant of the private property acting on behalf and with permission of the owner of record is immune from liability in any civil suit, claim, action, or cause of action arising out of the access granted pursuant to this section.

(E)(1)   A person exercising ingress or egress to a cemetery, burial ground, or grave under the provisions of this section is responsible for conducting himself in a manner that does not damage the private property or the cemetery, burial ground, or grave, and is liable to the owner of record for any damage caused as a result of the ingress or egress.

(2)   The ingress or egress to a cemetery, burial ground, or grave on private property conferred by this section does not include the authority to operate motor vehicles on the private property unless a road or adequate right-of-way exists that permits access by motor vehicles and the person authorized to exercise ingress and egress by subsection (A) has been given written permission to use motor vehicles on the road or right-of-way.

(F)(1)   The provisions of this section do not apply to any deed or other written instrument executed prior to the effective date of this section which creates or reserves a cemetery, burial ground, or grave on private property, and which specifically sets forth terms of ingress and egress.

(2)   The provisions of this section in no way abrogate, affect, or encumber the title to the landowner's private property and are exercisable only for a particular private property that is subject to the provisions of this section."

SECTION   2.   Section 6-29-1145 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act No. 45 of 2007, is further amended to read:

"Section 6-29-1145.   (A)   In an application for a permit, the local planning agency must inquire if in the application or by written instructions to an applicant whether the tract or parcel of land is restricted by any recorded covenant that is contrary to, conflicts with, or prohibits the permitted activity.

(B)   If a local planning agency has actual notice of a restrictive covenant on a tract or parcel of land that is contrary to, conflicts with, or prohibits the permitted activity:

(1)   in the application for the permit;

(2)   from materials or information submitted by the person or persons requesting the permit; or

(3)   from any other source including, but not limited to, other property holders,
the local planning agency must not issue a the permit for activity that is contrary to, conflicts with, or is prohibited by the restrictive covenant unless the local planning agency receives confirmation from the applicant that the restrictive covenant has been waived released for the tract or parcel of land either by action of the other property holders subject to the restrictive covenant appropriate authority or property holders or by court order.

(C)   As used in this section:

(1)   'actual notice' is not constructive notice of documents filed in local offices concerning the property, and does not require the local planning agency to conduct searches in any records offices for filed restrictive covenants;

(2)   'permit' does not mean an authorization to build or place a structure on a tract or parcel of land; and

(2)(3)   'restrictive covenant' does not mean a restriction concerning a type of structure that may be built or placed on a tract or parcel of land."

SECTION   3.   Section 27-43-10 through Section 27-43-40 of the 1976 Code are designated as Article 1 of Chapter 43, Title 27 and are entitled "Removal of Abandoned Cemeteries", and Chapter 43 of Title 27 of the 1976 Code is reentitled "Cemeteries".

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

SECTION   5.   This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor./

Amend title to conform.

/s/Sen. Larry A. Martin           /s/Rep. Ben A. Hagood, Jr.
Sen. George E. Campsen III        /s/Rep. Garry R. Smith
/s/Sen. Kent M. Williams          /s/Rep. Walton J. McLeod
On Part of the Senate.            On Part of the House.

, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Recorded Vote

Senators SHEHEEN and CAMPSEN desired to be recorded as voting against the adoption of the Free Conference Report.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has adopted the report of the Committee of Free Conference on:

S. 65 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Vaughn, McConnell, Knotts, Verdin, Fair, Alexander and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 27-5-75, TO PROVIDE A RIGHT OF INGRESS AND EGRESS TO A CEMETERY, BURIAL GROUND, OR GRAVE LOCATED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR FAMILY MEMBERS, CLOSE FRIENDS, DESCENDANTS OF DECEASED PERSONS, CEMETERY PLOT OWNERS, PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN A LAWFUL BURIAL, OR PERSONS ENGAGING IN GENEALOGY RESEARCH.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

S. 65--ENROLLED FOR RATIFICATION

S. 65 (Word version) -- Senators Martin, Vaughn, McConnell, Knotts, Verdin, Fair, Alexander and Elliott: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 27-5-75, TO PROVIDE A RIGHT OF INGRESS AND EGRESS TO A CEMETERY, BURIAL GROUND, OR GRAVE LOCATED ON PRIVATE PROPERTY FOR FAMILY MEMBERS, CLOSE FRIENDS, DESCENDANTS OF DECEASED PERSONS, CEMETERY PLOT OWNERS, PERSONS PARTICIPATING IN A LAWFUL BURIAL, OR PERSONS ENGAGING IN GENEALOGY RESEARCH.

The Report of the Committee of Free Conference having been adopted by both Houses, ordered that the title be changed to that of an Act, and the Act enrolled for Ratification.

A message was sent to the House accordingly.

RECESS

At 2:52 P.M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, the Senate receded from business subject to the Call of the PRESIDENT.

At 3:32 P.M., the Senate resumed.

At 3:32 P.M., Senator McCONNELL 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 4:30 P.M.

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

Senator McCONNELL asked unanimous consent to make a motion that the Free Conference Report on S. 355, the DOT Reform Bill, be adopted upon signature by the House conferees on the Free Conference Report that was signed by the Senate conferees on June 19, 2007.

There was no objection and the motion was adopted.

S. 656--FREE CONFERENCE POWERS GRANTED
FREE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE APPOINTED

S. 656 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Moore, Leventis, McGill, Cleary, Setzler, Elliott and Land: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-910, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE IMPOSITION OF THE STATE SALES AND USE TAX AND THE SPECIAL THREE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX IMPOSED ON UNPREPARED FOOD, SO AS TO REDUCE THIS SPECIAL RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD FROM THREE PERCENT TO TWO PERCENT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008, TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE PROVISION, AND TO REDUCE THIS TWO PERCENT RATE IN INCREMENTS OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENTAGE POINT IF THE FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH FORECAST OF ANNUAL GENERAL FUND GROWTH FOR THE UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR EQUALS AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT OF THE MOST RECENT ESTIMATE OF GENERAL FUND REVENUE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT EXEMPTION FOR UNPREPARED FOOD WHICH LAWFULLY MAY BE PURCHASED WITH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD COUPONS BEGINNING THE JULY FIRST THAT THE PHASE-DOWN OF THE STATE SALES TAX RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD ATTAINS ZERO.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator LEATHERMAN spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, Free Conference Powers were granted.

Whereupon, Senators PEELER, LAND and LEATHERMAN were appointed to the Committee of Free Conference on the part of the Senate and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Message from the House

Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

Mr. President and Senators:

The House respectfully informs your Honorable Body that it has requested and was granted Free Conference Powers and has appointed Reps. Cooper, Edge and Neilson to the Committee of Free Conference on the part of the House on:

S. 656 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Moore, Leventis, McGill, Cleary, Setzler, Elliott and Land: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-910, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE IMPOSITION OF THE STATE SALES AND USE TAX AND THE SPECIAL THREE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX IMPOSED ON UNPREPARED FOOD, SO AS TO REDUCE THIS SPECIAL RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD FROM THREE PERCENT TO TWO PERCENT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008, TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE PROVISION, AND TO REDUCE THIS TWO PERCENT RATE IN INCREMENTS OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENTAGE POINT IF THE FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH FORECAST OF ANNUAL GENERAL FUND GROWTH FOR THE UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR EQUALS AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT OF THE MOST RECENT ESTIMATE OF GENERAL FUND REVENUE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT EXEMPTION FOR UNPREPARED FOOD WHICH LAWFULLY MAY BE PURCHASED WITH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD COUPONS BEGINNING THE JULY FIRST THAT THE PHASE-DOWN OF THE STATE SALES TAX RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD ATTAINS ZERO.
Very respectfully,
Speaker of the House

S. 656--REPORT OF THE

S. 656 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Moore, Leventis, McGill, Cleary, Setzler, Elliott and Land: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-910, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE IMPOSITION OF THE STATE SALES AND USE TAX AND THE SPECIAL THREE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX IMPOSED ON UNPREPARED FOOD, SO AS TO REDUCE THIS SPECIAL RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD FROM THREE PERCENT TO TWO PERCENT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008, TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE PROVISION, AND TO REDUCE THIS TWO PERCENT RATE IN INCREMENTS OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENTAGE POINT IF THE FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH FORECAST OF ANNUAL GENERAL FUND GROWTH FOR THE UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR EQUALS AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT OF THE MOST RECENT ESTIMATE OF GENERAL FUND REVENUE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT EXEMPTION FOR UNPREPARED FOOD WHICH LAWFULLY MAY BE PURCHASED WITH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD COUPONS BEGINNING THE JULY FIRST THAT THE PHASE-DOWN OF THE STATE SALES TAX RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD ATTAINS ZERO.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Free Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator LEATHERMAN spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, the Report of the Committee of Free Conference to S. 656 was adopted as follows:

S. 656--Free Conference Report
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., June 20, 2007

The Committee of Free Conference, to whom was referred:

S. 656 (Word version) -- Senators Leatherman, Moore, Leventis, McGill, Cleary, Setzler, Elliott and Land: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-910, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE IMPOSITION OF THE STATE SALES AND USE TAX AND THE SPECIAL THREE PERCENT SALES AND USE TAX IMPOSED ON UNPREPARED FOOD, SO AS TO REDUCE THIS SPECIAL RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD FROM THREE PERCENT TO TWO PERCENT EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2008, TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE PROVISION, AND TO REDUCE THIS TWO PERCENT RATE IN INCREMENTS OF ONE-HALF OF ONE PERCENTAGE POINT IF THE FEBRUARY FIFTEENTH FORECAST OF ANNUAL GENERAL FUND GROWTH FOR THE UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR EQUALS AT LEAST FIVE PERCENT OF THE MOST RECENT ESTIMATE OF GENERAL FUND REVENUE FOR THE CURRENT FISCAL YEAR; AND TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO SALES TAX EXEMPTIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE A PERMANENT EXEMPTION FOR UNPREPARED FOOD WHICH LAWFULLY MAY BE PURCHASED WITH UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOOD COUPONS BEGINNING THE JULY FIRST THAT THE PHASE-DOWN OF THE STATE SALES TAX RATE ON UNPREPARED FOOD ATTAINS ZERO

Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:

That the same do pass with the following amendments:

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

/ SECTION   1.   Article 1, Chapter 11, Title 11 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 11-11-220.   (A)   There is created in the State Treasury a fund separate and distinct from the general fund of the State, the Capital Reserve Fund, and all other funds entitled the Contingency Reserve Fund. All general fund revenues accumulated in a fiscal year in excess of general appropriations and supplemental appropriations must be credited to this fund. Revenues credited to this fund in a fiscal year may be appropriated by the General Assembly. Upon determination by the Comptroller General as to the amount to be deposited in the Contingency Reserve Fund, the Comptroller General shall notify the Board of Economic Advisors and the board shall recognize that amount as surplus funds.

(B)   If the balance in the general reserve fund established pursuant to Article III, Section 36 of the Constitution of this State and Section 11-11-310 is less than the required balance, there must be appropriated to it all amounts in the Contingency Reserve Fund up to the total necessary to replenish the general reserve fund. This amount does not replace or supplant the minimum replenishment amount otherwise required to be made to the general reserve fund."

SECTION   2.   Of the first funds available from fiscal year 2006-2007 state general fund surplus revenues, an amount equal to $10,000,000 is appropriated to the State Department of Education to supplement the school districts that are negatively affected by the lack of revision of the 2007 Final Index of Taxpaying Ability. The school districts supplemented by these funds must be separate from the school districts supplemented by the Education Finance Act reserve funds. Funds appropriated pursuant to this section not expended before July 1, 2008, revert to the state general fund. In fiscal year 2007-2008, school districts that receive a higher amount of state Education Finance Act funds as a result of the lack of revision of the 2007 Final Index of Taxpaying Ability shall direct the excess funds towards nonrecurring allowable expenditures. The Department of Revenue shall build the 2008 Index of Taxpaying Ability on the 2007 Index of Taxpaying Ability as if it was amended. SECTION 3. A. Section 12-36-910 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 388 of 2006, is further amended by deleting subsection (D) which reads: "(D)(1) Notwithstanding the rate of the tax imposed pursuant to subsection (A) of this section or the rate of any other sales tax imposed pursuant to this chapter and the rate of any use tax imposed pursuant to this chapter, the sales and use tax on the gross proceeds of sales or sales price of unprepared food which lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons is three percent. (2) There is transferred from the general fund of the State to the EIA Fund in fiscal year 2006-2007 the revenue estimated by the Board of Economic Advisors to equal EIA revenue not received as a result of the two percent sales tax differential provided pursuant to this subsection." B. Section 12-36-2120 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding a new item at the end appropriately numbered to read: "( ) unprepared food that lawfully may be purchased with United States Department of Agriculture food coupons. However, the exemption allowed by this item applies only to the state sales and use tax imposed pursuant to this chapter." C. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for fiscal year 2007-2008 only, there must be transferred from the general fund of the State to the EIA Fund an amount estimated by the Board of Economic Advisors to equal the difference between EIA Fund revenues from the sales tax on food in fiscal year 2007-2008 and the amount of such revenue to the EIA Fund in fiscal year 2006-2007. D. Notwithstanding any other effective date provided in act, this subsection A and B of this section takes effect November 1, 2007. SECTION 4. The amount appropriated to the State Ports Authority for the port access road pursuant to this act must be credited to an account in the State Treasury, which is hereby established, separate and distinct from the general fund of the State and all other funds. Earnings on this account must be credited to it and unexpended revenues in this account carry-forward to succeeding fiscal years and must be used for the same purposes as the original appropriation. SECTION 5. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for taxable years beginning after 2006, the rate of tax imposed pursuant to Section 12-6-510(A) on the lowest bracket of South Carolina taxable income is reduced from 2.5 percent to zero percent, and the Department of Revenue shall adjust amounts due in tax tables prescribed by the department. SECTION 6. A. Section 59-149-50(A) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 162 of 2005, is further amended to read: "(A) To be eligible for a LIFE Scholarship, a student must be either a student who has graduated from a high school located in this State, a student who has completed at least three of the final four years of high school within this State, a home school student who has successfully completed a high school home school program in this State in the manner required by law, a student who has graduated from a preparatory high school outside this State, while a dependent of a parent or guardian who is a legal resident of this State and has custody of the dependent, or a student whose parent or guardian has served in or has retired from one of the United States Armed Forces within the last four years, paid income taxes in this State for a majority of the years of service, and is a resident of this State. These students also must meet the requirements of subsection (B) and be eligible for in-state tuition and fees as determined pursuant to Chapter 112 of Title 59 and applicable regulations. In addition, beginning with the 1998-1999 school year for those students who graduate from high school on or after May 1998, the student must have graduated from high school with a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade average on a 4.0 scale and have scored 1000 1100 or better on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) or have the equivalent ACT score, 1050 or better, beginning with school year 2000-2001, and 1100 or better, beginning with school year 2002-2003; provided that, if the student is to attend such a public or independent two-year college or university in this State, including a technical college, the SAT requirement does not apply. If a student chooses to attend such a public or independent institution of this State and does not make the required SAT score or the required high school grade point average, as applicable, the student may earn a LIFE Scholarship after his freshman year if he meets the grade point average and semester credit hour requirements of subsection (B)." B. This SECTION takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies beginning with the academic year beginning in the fall of 2007. SECTION 7. A. Chapter 104, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding: "Section 59-104-25. (A) A resident student who is at least a sophomore attending a four-year public or private institution of higher learning in this State, who is majoring in science or mathematics as defined below, and who is receiving a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship for the current year, shall receive an additional Palmetto Fellows Scholarship stipend equal to the cost of attendance after applying all other scholarships or grants, not to exceed three thousand three hundred dollars each year for no more than three additional years of instruction, including his sophomore year, if the student enrolled in a four-year degree program, or for not more than four additional years of instruction, including his sophomore year, if enrolled in a five-year degree program or a 3 plus 2 program. A year is defined as thirty credit hours of instruction or its equivalent each year. To receive the additional Palmetto Fellows Scholarship stipend each year, the student must receive the underlying Palmetto Fellows Scholarship for that year and must be making acceptable progress each year toward receiving a degree in his science or mathematics major. In addition, during his freshman year, the student must have successfully completed a total of at least fourteen credit hours of instruction in mathematics and life and physical science courses with a minimum of six hours in mathematics and a minimum of six hours in life and physical science including one laboratory course. For purposes of meeting the required minimum level of instruction in mathematics and life and physical science courses during a student's freshman year, advanced placement courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences taken in high school on which the student scored high enough on the advanced placement test to receive credit at his institution and for which he received credit, count toward the fulfillment of this minimum requirement. (B) The Commission on Higher Education by regulation shall define what constitutes a science or mathematics major but at a minimum shall include majors in science or mathematics disciplines, computer science or informational technology, engineering, science education, math education, and health care and related disciplines including medicine and dentistry; provided, that nothing herein prevents a student from changing majors within acceptable science or mathematics disciplines. Additionally, the Commission on Higher Education shall annually communicate with high school guidance counselors regarding the list of qualifying majors. (C) If the additional Palmetto Fellows Scholarship stipend is lost, it may be regained in the same manner the underlying Palmetto Fellows Scholarship is regained if lost. (D) In addition, the amount of the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship for a recipient who does not receive the enhanced stipend provided by this section, beginning with the 2007 academic year, shall be increased to an amount equal to that received by a LIFE scholarship recipient also receiving the enhanced stipend provided by Section 59-149-15." B. Chapter 149, Title 59 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding: "Section 59-149-15. (A) A resident student who is at least a sophomore attending a four-year public or private institution of higher learning in this State, who is majoring in science or mathematics as defined below, and who is receiving a LIFE Scholarship for the current year, shall receive an additional LIFE Scholarship stipend equal to the cost of attendance after applying all other scholarships or grants, not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars each year for no more than three additional years of instruction, including his sophomore year, if enrolled in a four-year degree program, or for not more than four additional years of instruction, including his sophomore year, if enrolled in a five-year degree program or a 3 plus 2 program. In addition, during his freshman year, the student must have successfully completed a total of at least fourteen credit hours of instruction in mathematics and life science courses with a minimum of six hours in mathematics and a minimum of six hours in science including one laboratory course. A year is defined as thirty credit hours of instruction or its equivalent each year. To receive the additional LIFE Scholarship stipend each year, the student must receive the underlying LIFE Scholarship for that year and must be making acceptable progress each year toward receiving a degree in his science or mathematics major. For purposes of meeting the required minimum level of instruction in mathematics and life and physical science courses during a student's freshman year, advanced placement courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences taken in high school on which the student scored high enough on the advanced placement test to receive credit at his institution and for which he received credit, count toward the fulfillment of this minimum requirement. (B) The Commission on Higher Education by regulation shall define what constitutes a science or mathematics major but at a minimum shall include majors in science or mathematics disciplines, computer science or informational technology, engineering, science education, math education, and health care and related disciplines including medicine and dentistry; provided, that nothing herein prevents a student from changing majors within acceptable science or mathematics disciplines. Additionally, the Commission on Higher Education shall annually communicate with high school guidance counselors regarding the list of qualifying majors. (C) If the additional LIFE Scholarship stipend is lost, it may be regained in the same manner the underlying LIFE Scholarship is regained if lost." C. Section 59-150-370 (A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read: "Section 59-150-370. (A) SC HOPE Scholarships are hereby established and are provided by the State. These scholarships are authorized in an amount of up to two thousand five hundred dollars, plus a one hundred fifty three hundred dollar book allowance to cover the cost of attendance, as defined by the Commission on Higher Education by regulation, during the first year of attendance only, to an eligible student attending a four-year public or independent institution as defined in subsection (B) who does not also qualify for a LIFE Scholarship or a Palmetto Fellows Scholarship." D. This SECTION takes effect upon approval by the Governor, and applies beginning with the academic year beginning in the fall of 2007. SECTION 8. There is appropriated from the Contingency Reserve Fund to the South Carolina Research Authority for hydrogen grants the sum of$5,000,000.

SECTION   9.   Except where otherwise specified, this act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. /

Amend title to conform.

/s/Hugh K. Leatherman             /s/Daniel T. Cooper
/s/John C. Land III               /s/Tracy R. Edge
/s/Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.          /s/Denny Woodall Neilson
On Part of the Senate.            On Part of the House.

, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

H. 3620--REPORT OF THE

H. 3620 -- Ways and Means Committee: A BILL TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS AND TO PROVIDE REVENUES TO MEET THE ORDINARY EXPENSES OF STATE GOVERNMENT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2007; TO REGULATE THE EXPENDITURE OF SUCH FUNDS; TO FURTHER PROVIDE FOR THE OPERATION OF STATE GOVERNMENT DURING THE FISCAL YEAR; TO AMEND SECTION 12-6-510, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE RATES AND INCOME BRACKETS APPLICABLE FOR INDIVIDUALS, ESTATES, AND TRUSTS FOR PURPOSES OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA INCOME TAX ACT, SO AS TO REDUCE THE TOP MARGINAL TAX RATE FROM SEVEN PERCENT TO 6.83 PERCENT AND TO UPDATE THE BRACKETS TO REFLECT PAST INFLATION ADJUSTMENTS; TO RETITLE ARTICLE 5, CHAPTER 11, TITLE 1, RELATING TO EMPLOYEES AND RETIREMENT INSURANCE AS "EMPLOYEES AND RETIREES INSURANCE-ACCOUNTING FOR POST-EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS", TO MAKE FINDINGS WITH RESPECT TO THE STATE'S COMPLIANCE WITH NEW REQUIREMENTS OF THE GOVERNMENTAL ACCOUNTING STANDARDS BOARD FOR POST-EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS; BY ADDING SECTIONS 1-11-703, 1-11-705, AND 1-11-707 SO AS TO ESTABLISH THE SOUTH CAROLINA RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE TRUST FUND (SCRHI TRUST FUND) AND THE SOUTH CAROLINA LONG TERM DISABILITY INSURANCE TRUST FUND AS THE METHOD OF PAYING AND ACCOUNTING FOR RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS AND BASIC LONG TERM DISABILITY INCOME BENEFIT PLAN PREMIUMS IN COMPLIANCE WITH NEW ACCOUNTING STANDARDS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE ACTUARIAL FUNDING AND INVESTMENT OF THE ASSETS OF THESE TRUST FUNDS, AND TO PROVIDE DEFINITIONS; TO AMEND SECTION 1-11-710, RELATING TO THE STATE HEALTH AND DENTAL PLANS, SO AS TO PROVIDE FUNDING FOR THE SCRHI TRUST FUND BY MEANS OF INCREASED EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION RATES; AND TO AMEND SECTION 1-11-730, RELATING TO PERSONS ELIGIBLE FOR POST-EMPLOYMENT PARTICIPATION IN THE STATE HEALTH AND DENTAL PLANS AND ELIGIBILITY FOR EMPLOYER PAID PREMIUMS FOR RETIREES, SO AS TO CONFORM THE PAYMENT OF EMPLOYER PREMIUMS FOR RETIREES TO THE REVISED METHOD PROVIDED IN THIS ACT, PROSPECTIVELY TO REVISE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYER PAID PREMIUMS FOR RETIREES; AND TO DELETE AN OBSOLETE PROVISION; AND BY ADDING SECTION 11-43-165 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE SOUTH CAROLINA TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE BANK ANNUALLY SHALL SET ASIDE FIVE MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE USE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION FOR THE INTERSTATE 73 AND INTERSTATE 74 PROJECTS.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator LEATHERMAN spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, the Report of the Committee of Conference to H. 3620 was adopted as follows:

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF CONFERENCE ADOPTED
H. 3620--GENERAL APPROPRIATION BILL

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

The question then was the adoption of the Report of the Committee of Conference on H. 3620, the General Appropriation Bill.

The Report of the Committee of Conference to H. 3620, the General Appropriation Bill, was adopted. The report may be accessed at www.scstatehouse.net.

Recorded Vote

Senator COURSON desired to be recorded as voting in favor of the adoption of the Conference Report.

Recorded Vote

Senators RYBERG, GROOMS, VERDIN and BRYANT desired to be recorded as voting against the adoption of the Conference Report.

Statement by Senator RYBERG

I voted against H. 3620, the FY 2007-2008 Appropriation Bill, due to its unprecedented level of spending, particularly on local projects. The budget this year spent over $1.4 billion in new money (over$240 million more than the budget that passed the Senate only a few weeks ago). This amount of new spending is not only unsustainable but also unconscionable. This budget spends over $90 million on individual pet projects but fails to properly fund the OPEB trust fund, fails to appropriate any money for statewide road construction or repair, fails to reform the legislative slush fund known as the competitive grants program, and fails, most importantly, to give meaningful tax relief. The income tax relief encompassed by this budget eliminates the bottom taxpayer bracket, and while I applaud the relief given to any segment of the taxpaying population, I disagree with this application. The fact is that 50% of the tax burden in South Carolina is paid by less than 4% of the taxpayers at the top of the tax bracket. Merely 13% of the taxpayers at the top pay 75% of the tax burden, and 17% of the taxpayers at the top pay 90% of the tax burden. Clearly, the elimination of the lower bracket does nothing for the taxpayers who bear nearly all the burden, therefore it does nothing to free up investment and savings among those folks with the means to drive economic development in South Carolina. I have noted previously that this budget fails to prioritize statewide needs and instead focuses on local projects. I will not support a budget that builds local buildings but not statewide roads, that funds local festivals but not state the retirees' health plan, that funds local grants for the politically connected but ignores the health of the employees' pension plan. I will not support this fiscal irresponsibility. Statement by Senators VERDIN GROOMS and BRYANT We voted against H. 3620, the FY 2007-2008 Appropriation Bill, due to its unprecedented level of spending, particularly on local projects. The budget this year spent over$1.4 billion in new money (over $240 million more than the budget that passed the Senate only a few weeks ago). This amount of new spending is not only unsustainable but also unconscionable. This budget spends over$90 million on individual pet projects but fails to properly fund the OPEB trust fund, fails to appropriate any money for statewide road construction or repair, fails to reform the legislative slush fund known as the competitive grants program, and fails, most importantly, to give meaningful tax relief.

The income tax relief encompassed by this budget eliminates the bottom taxpayer bracket, and while we applaud the relief given to any segment of the taxpaying population, it stops far short of what is needed. Clearly, the elimination of the lower bracket does nothing for the overwhelming number of taxpayers who bear nearly the entire burden, the working men and women of South Carolina.

We have noted previously that this budget fails to prioritize statewide needs and instead focuses on local projects. We will not support a budget that builds local buildings but not statewide roads, that funds local festivals but not the state retirees' health plan, that funds local grants for the politically connected but ignores the health of the employees' pension plan. We will not support this fiscal irresponsibility.

Finally, this budget includes a one-year elimination of the remaining "blue laws". This is problematic for no less than three reasons -- first of all, it was not subjected to the necessary legislative scrutiny and debate for a matter of this magnitude; secondly, this "temporary" provision is a means to eventually bring into the code of laws something that would otherwise be deemed unacceptable. In other words, it is no more acceptable for one year than for perpetuity. Finally, it violates the important principle of home rule, long valued by the people of this State as a means of delivering good government.

H. 3621--REPORT OF THE

H. 3621 (Word version) -- Ways and Means Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROPRIATE MONIES FROM THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006-2007.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator LEATHERMAN spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, the Report of the Committee of Conference to H. 3621 was adopted as follows:

H. 3621--Conference Report
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., June 4, 2007

The Committee of Conference, to whom was referred:

H. 3621 (Word version) -- Ways and Means Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROPRIATE MONIES FROM THE CAPITAL RESERVE FUND FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006-2007.

Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:

That the same do pass with the following amendments:

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

/   SECTION   1.   In accordance with the provisions of Article III, Section 36(B)(2) and (3), Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, and Section 11-11-320(C) and (D) of the 1976 Code, there is appropriated from the monies available in the Capital Reserve Fund for Fiscal Year 2006-2007 the following amounts:

(1)   Department of Education

Governor's School for the Arts

- Residential Hall Reconfiguration   $3,500,000 (2) Department of Education Governor's School for Science and Math - Phase II Construction 14,926,031 (3) Department of Education Instructional Materials 14,715,659 (4) Department of Education Technology Initiative 11,000,000 (5) School for the Deaf and the Blind Safety/Accessibility/ADA 1,690,742 (6) School for the Deaf and the Blind Multi-Handicapped School Construction/Herbert Center Renovation 7,758,977 (7) The Citadel Stevens Barracks 1,600,000 (8) University of Charleston Randolph Hall 3,700,000 (9) Lander University Renovation Needs 425,000 (10) Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine Construction 7,500,000 (11) State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education Tri-County Tech Occupational Center 6,067,200 (12) Vocational Rehabilitation Lyman Center 1,500,000 (13) Department of Health and Environmental Control Facilities Improvements 2,500,000 (14) Department of Mental Health Bryan Renovation for Crisis Capacity 7,330,000 (15) Department of Mental Health Community Mental Health Center Deferred Maintenance 1,145,000 (16) Department of Mental Health Inpatient Buildings Deferred Maintenance 2,000,000 (17) Department of Mental Health Richland County Mental Health Commission Building Projects 50,000 (18) Department of Disabilities and Special Needs Camp Spearhead 500,000 (19) Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services LRADAC - New Building 5,150,000 (20) State Museum Commission Chapman Cultural Center 3,000,000 (21) State Museum Commission OPT - Observatory, Planetarium, Theater 500,000 (22) Department of Agriculture Farmers Market 15,000,000 (23) Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services GPS Monitoring (High Risk and CDV Offenders) 62,604 (24) Department of Consumer Affairs Media Center 200,000 Total$111,821,213

SECTION   2.   The Comptroller General shall post the appropriations contained in this joint resolution as provided in Section 11-11-320(D) of the 1976 Code. Unexpended funds appropriated pursuant to this joint resolution may be carried forward to succeeding fiscal years and expended for the same purpose.

SECTION   3.   This joint resolution takes effect thirty days after the completion of the 2006-2007 fiscal year in accordance with the provisions of Article III, Section 36(B)(3)(a), Constitution of South Carolina, 1895, and Section 11-11-320(D)(1) of the 1976 Code. /

Amend title to conform.

/s/Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman        /s/Rep. Daniel T. Cooper
/s/Sen. John C. Land III          /s/Rep. Denny W. Neilson
/s/Sen. Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.     /s/Rep. Tracy R. Edge
On Part of the Senate.            On Part of the House.

, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

Recorded Vote

Senators RYBERG and BRYANT desired to be recorded as voting against the adoption of the Conference Report.

H. 3471--REPORT OF THE

H. 3471 (Word version) -- Ways and Means Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROPRIATE CONTINGENCY RESERVE FUND REVENUES.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator LEATHERMAN spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator LEATHERMAN, the Report of the Committee of Conference to H. 3471 was adopted as follows:

H. 3471--Conference Report
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., June 4, 2007

The Committee of Conference, to whom was referred:

H. 3471 (Word version) -- Ways and Means Committee: A JOINT RESOLUTION TO APPROPRIATE CONTINGENCY RESERVE FUND REVENUES.

Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:

That the same do pass with the following amendments:

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

/ SECTION   1.   Pursuant to Paragraph 73.15, Part IB, Act 397 of 2006, the general appropriations act for fiscal year 2006-2007, surplus general fund revenues in the amount of $171,541,103 credited to the Contingency Reserve Fund established by that paragraph are appropriated from the Contingency Reserve Fund for the purposes specified as follows: (1) State Ports Authority Port Access Road$167,541,103

(2)   Budget and Control Board

Lake Marion Water Authority   4,000,000

Total                             \$171,541,103

SECTION   2.   The amount appropriated to the State Ports Authority for the port access road pursuant to this joint resolution must be credited to an account in the State Treasury, which is hereby established, separate and distinct from the General Fund of the State and all other funds. Earnings on this account must be credited to it and unexpended revenues in this account carry-forward to succeeding fiscal years and must be used for the same purposes as the original appropriation.

SECTION   3.   This joint resolution takes effect upon approval by the Governor.   /

Amend title to conform.

/s/Sen. Hugh K. Leatherman        /s/Rep. Daniel T. Cooper
/s/Sen. John C. Land III          /s/Rep. Denny W. Neilson
/s/Sen. Harvey S. Peeler, Jr.     /s/Rep. Tracy R. Edge
On Part of the Senate.            On Part of the House.

, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

H. 3749--REPORT OF THE

H. 3749 (Word version) -- Reps. W.D. Smith, Mitchell, Kelly, Littlejohn, Mahaffey, Moss, Phillips, Talley and Walker: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-10-80, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO JOB DEVELOPMENT CREDITS, SO AS TO ALLOW A TAXPAYER WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE JOB DEVELOPMENT CREDIT AND WHO IS LOCATED IN A MULTI-COUNTY BUSINESS OR INDUSTRIAL PARK TO RECEIVE A CREDIT EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT DESIGNATED TO THE COUNTY WITH THE LOWEST DEVELOPMENT STATUS OF THE COUNTIES CONTAINING THE PARK IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

On motion of Senator SETZLER, with unanimous consent, the Report of the Committee of Conference was taken up for immediate consideration.

Senator SETZLER spoke on the report.

On motion of Senator SETZLER, the Report of the Committee of Conference to H. 3749 was adopted as follows:

H. 3749--Conference Report
The General Assembly, Columbia, S.C., June 19, 2007

The Committee of Conference, to whom was referred:

H. 3749 (Word version) -- Reps. W.D. Smith, Mitchell, Kelly, Littlejohn, Mahaffey, Moss, Phillips, Talley and Walker: A BILL TO AMEND SECTION 12-10-80, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO JOB DEVELOPMENT CREDITS, SO AS TO ALLOW A TAXPAYER WHO QUALIFIES FOR THE JOB DEVELOPMENT CREDIT AND WHO IS LOCATED IN A MULTI-COUNTY BUSINESS OR INDUSTRIAL PARK TO RECEIVE A CREDIT EQUAL TO THE AMOUNT DESIGNATED TO THE COUNTY WITH THE LOWEST DEVELOPMENT STATUS OF THE COUNTIES CONTAINING THE PARK IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES.

Beg leave to report that they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend:

That the same do pass with the following amendments:

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

/ SECTION   1.   Section 12-10-80 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended by adding an appropriately lettered subsection at the end to read:

"( )   A taxpayer who qualifies for the job development credit pursuant to the provisions of this section and who is located in a multi-county business or industrial park jointly established pursuant to Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution of this State is allowed a job development credit equal to the amount allowed pursuant to subsection (D) for the designation of the county which has the lowest development status of the counties containing the park if:

(1)   the park is developed and established on the geographical boundary of adjacent counties; and

(2)   the written agreement, pursuant to Section 4-1-170, requires revenue from the park to be allocated to each county on an equal basis."

SECTION   2.   A.   Section 11-45-30(10) and (15) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 125 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"(10)   'Lender' means a banking institution subject to the income tax on banks under Chapter 11 of Title 12, an insurance company subject to a state premium tax liability under pursuant to Chapter 7 of Title 38, a captive insurance company regulated under pursuant to Chapter 90 of Title 38, a utility regulated under pursuant to Title 58, or any other person approved by the authority pursuant to guidelines and regulations established by the authority pursuant to Section 11-45-100 a financial institution with proven experience in state-based venture capital transactions, pursuant to guidelines established by the authority. Both the guidelines and the lender must be approved by the Budget and Control Board.

(15)   'Designated investor group' means any a person who enters into a designated investor contract with the authority pursuant to Section 11-45-50.

(16)   'Interest' means interest on the outstanding balance owed or owing to a lender by a designated investor group under such calculations, terms, or conditions as determined by the authority, provided that the method of calculating interest may be included in the tax credit certificates to the extent that the authority considers the information necessary or appropriate."

B.     Section 11-45-50(B)(1) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 125 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"(1)   Each designated investor group selected pursuant to subsection (A)(3) of this section shall enter into a designated investor contract with the authority, which designated investor contract shall must contain those any investment guidelines and those other terms and conditions as the authority may deem considers necessary, advisable, or appropriate."

C.     Section 11-45-55(B) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 125 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"(B)   The authority shall issue tax credit certificates to each lender contemporaneously with each loan made pursuant to this chapter in accordance with any guidelines and regulations established by the authority pursuant to Section 11-45-100. These guidelines and regulations shall relate to and govern, among other things, The tax credit certificates must describe procedures for the issuance, transfer, and redemption of the certificates, and related tax credits. These certificates shall state also must describe the amounts, year, and conditions for redemption of the tax credits reflected on the certificates. Once a loan is made by a lender, the certificate issued to the lender shall be binding on the authority and this State and may not be modified, terminated, or rescinded. The form of the tax credit certificate must be approved by the Budget and Control Board."

D.     Section 11-45-70(2)(a) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 125 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"(a)   While each designated investor group shall give preference to investors, otherwise qualified, that agree to maintain either a headquarters or an office staffed by an investment professional in South Carolina, investments may be made with investors not principally located in South Carolina; provided, that if the investors are otherwise qualified under pursuant to this chapter and, together with related companies, have other venture capital investments in South Carolina or in South Carolina based companies or can provide evidence to the authority of prior investments in South Carolina or South Carolina based companies at least equal to the total amount of monies placed with that investor by the designated investor group."

E.     Chapter 45, Title 11 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 11-45-105.   Any guideline issued by the authority pursuant to this chapter must be approved by the Budget and Control Board."

SECTION   3.   A.   Section 12-21-6520(14) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(14)   'Tourism or recreational facility' also means an aquarium or natural history exhibit or museum located within or directly contiguous to an extraordinary retail establishment as defined below. An extraordinary retail establishment is a single store located in South Carolina within two miles of an interstate highway or in a county with at least three and one-half million visitors a year, and it must be a destination retail establishment which attracts at least two million visitors a year with at least thirty-five percent of those visitors traveling at least fifty miles to the establishment. The extraordinary retail establishment must have a capital investment of at least twenty-five million dollars including land, buildings and site prep preparation costs, and one or more hotels must be built to service the establishments with establishment within three years of occupancy. Only establishments which receive a certificate of occupancy after July 1, 2006, qualify. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism shall determine and annually certify whether a retail establishment meets these criteria and its judgment is conclusive. The extraordinary retail establishment annually must collect and remit at least two million dollars in sales taxes but is not required to collect or remit admission taxes."

B.   Section 12-21-6590 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-21-6590.   (A)   The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism may designate no more than four extraordinary retail establishments as defined in Section 12-21-6520(14), and for purposes of this section, sales taxes must be substituted for admissions taxes wherever admission tax appears in this Tourism Infrastructure Admissions Tax Act. For purposes of this section, additional infrastructure improvements include any aquarium or natural history exhibits or museum located within or directly contiguous to the extraordinary retail establishment which are dedicated to public use and enjoyment under such terms and conditions as may be required by the municipality or county in which they are located. Additional infrastructure improvements shall also include site prep, construction of real or personal property, parking, roadways, ingress and egress, utilities, and other expenditures on the extraordinary retail establishment which directly support or service the aquarium or natural history museum or exhibits. The certification application made under this section must be executed by both the extraordinary retail establishment as well as the county or municipality.

(B)   Prior to the completion of an extraordinary retail establishment, an entity may request that the county or municipality in which the facility is located provide an application for conditional certification to the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism may grant conditional certification to the entity as an extraordinary retail establishment based on reasonable projections that the facility will meet the requirements of Section 12-21-6520(14) within three years of the certificate of occupancy. If the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism grants the conditional certification to the entity as an extraordinary retail establishment, it shall forward the approval for conditional certification to the department. The department shall notify the entity and either the county or the municipality, as applicable, of the approval.

An applicant obtaining conditional certification as an extraordinary retail establishment under this section and satisfying the requirements of conditional certification by the dates provided therein, shall be deemed to satisfy all of the requirements of this article pertaining to qualification as an extraordinary retail establishment for the duration of the benefit period. The entity shall be deemed to constitute a major tourism or recreation facility under Section 12-21-6520(12) and shall be entitled to all of the benefits of this article for the duration of the benefit period without any further certification requirements. This subsection shall not be construed to allow an applicant to receive the benefits provided in this article prior to satisfying the requirements of the conditional certification and of Section 12-21-6520(14).

The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism shall develop application forms and adopt guidelines governing the conditional certification process.

(C)   If an applicant obtains conditional certification and complies with both the conditional certification and Section 12-21-6520(14), then one-half shall be substituted for one-fourth in Section 12-21-6530(A), and no funds will be transferred to the council pursuant to Section 12-21-6540."

SECTION   4.   Section 12-21-6540(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(A)   During the benefit period, in addition to the amount described in Section 12-21-6530, except as otherwise provided in Section 12-21-6590, an additional amount equal to one-fourth of the license tax paid on admissions to an establishment must be transferred by the department to the State Treasurer to be deposited into the fund and distributed pursuant to the approval of the council."

SECTION 5.   Section 12-6-3415(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-6-3415.   (A)   A   taxpayer that claims a federal income tax credit pursuant to Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code for increasing research activities for the taxable year is allowed a credit against any tax due pursuant to Section 12-6-530 this chapter or Section 12-20-50 equal to five percent of the taxpayer' s qualified research expenses made in South Carolina. For the purposes of this credit, qualified research expenses has the same meaning as provided for in Section 41 of the Internal Revenue Code."

SECTION 6.   Section 12-20-105 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-20-105.   (A)   Any company subject to a license tax under Section 12-20-100 may claim a credit against its license tax liability for amounts paid in cash to provide infrastructure for an eligible project.

(B)(1) To be considered an eligible project for purposes of this section, the project must qualify for income tax credits under Chapter 6 of Title 12, withholding tax credit under Chapter 10 of Title 12, income tax credits under Chapter 14 of Title 12, or fees in lieu of property taxes under either Chapter 12 of Title 4, Chapter 29 of Title 4, or Chapter 44 of Title 12.

(2) If a project consists of an office, business, commercial, or industrial park which is owned or constructed by a county or political subdivision of this State when the qualifying improvements are paid for, the project does not have to meet the qualifications of item (1) to be considered an eligible project.

(C) For the purpose of this section, 'infrastructure' means improvements for water, sewer, gas, steam, electric energy, and communication services made to a building or land that are considered necessary, suitable, or useful to an eligible project. These improvements include, but are not limited to:

(1) improvements to both public or private water and sewer systems;

(2) improvements to both public or private electric, natural gas, and telecommunications systems including, but not limited to, ones owned or leased by an electric cooperative, electric utility, or electric supplier, as defined in Chapter 27, Title 58;

(3) fixed transportation facilities including highway, road, rail, water, and air;

(4) for a qualifying project under subsection (B)(2), infrastructure improvements include industrial shell buildings and the purchase of land for an office, business, commercial, or industrial park which is owned or constructed by a county or political subdivision of this State. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the county or political subdivision from selling the industrial shell building or industrial park after the company has paid in cash to provide the infrastructure for an eligible project.

(D) A company is not allowed the credit provided by this section for actual expenses it incurs in the construction and operation of any building or infrastructure it owns, leases, manages, or operates.

(E) The maximum aggregate credit that may be claimed in any tax year by a single company is three hundred thousand dollars.

(F) The credits allowed by this section may not reduce the license tax liability of the company below zero. If the applicable credit originally earned during a taxable year exceeds the liability and is otherwise allowable under subsection (D), the amount of the excess may be carried forward to the next taxable year.

(G) For South Carolina income tax and license purposes, a company that claims the credit allowed by this section is ineligible to claim the credit allowed by Section 12-6-3420."

SECTION   7.   A.   Section 4-1-175 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 149 of 1997, is further amended to read:

"Section 4-1-175.   A county or municipality receiving revenues from a payment in lieu of taxes pursuant to Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution of this State may issue special source revenue bonds secured by and payable from all or a part of that portion of the revenues which the county is entitled to retain pursuant to the agreement required by Section 4-1-170 in the manner and for the purposes set forth in Section 4-29-68. The county or municipality may pledge the revenues for the additional securing of other indebtedness in the manner and for the purposes set forth in Section 4-29-68.

A county or municipality or special purpose district that receives and retains revenues from a payment in lieu of taxes pursuant to Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution of this State may use a portion of this revenue for the purposes outlined in Section 4-29-68 without the requirement of issuing the special source revenue bonds or meeting the requirements of Section 4-29-68(A)(4) by providing a credit against or payment derived from the revenues received and retained under Section 13 of Article VIII of the Constitution of this State.

A political subdivision of this State subject to the limitation of either Section 14(7)(a) or Section 15(6) of Article X of the Constitution of this State pledging pursuant to this section all or a portion of the revenues received and retained by that subdivision from a payment in lieu of taxes to the repayment of any bonds shall not include in the assessed value of taxable property located in the political subdivision for the purposes of calculating the limit imposed by those sections of the Constitution any amount representing the value of the property that is the basis of the pledged portion of revenues. If the political subdivision, before pledging revenues pursuant to this section, has included an amount representing the value of a parcel or item of property that is the subject of a payment in lieu of taxes in the assessed value of taxable property located in the political subdivision and has issued general obligation debt within the debt limit calculated on the basis of such assessed value, then it may not pledge pursuant to this section revenues based on the item or parcel of property, to the extent that the amount representing its value is necessary to permit the outstanding general obligation debt within the debt limit of the political subdivision."

B.   Section 4-12-30(C), (D), (H), and (K) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 384 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(C)(1)   From the end of the property tax year in which the sponsor and the county execute an inducement agreement, the sponsor has five years in which to enter into an initial lease agreement with the county.

(3)   For those sponsors that, after qualifying pursuant to subsection (D)(4), have more than five hundred million dollars in capital invested in this State and employ more than one thousand people in this State, the five-year period referred to in this subsection is ten years, and the ten-year period for completing the project is fifteen years.

(4)   The annual fee provided by subsection (D)(2) is available for no more than twenty years for an applicable piece of property. The sponsor may apply to the county prior to the end of the twenty-year period for an extension of the fee period for up to ten years. The county council of the county shall approve an extension by resolution upon a finding of substantial public benefit. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered to the department within thirty days of the date the resolution was adopted. For projects completed and placed in service during more than one year, each year's investment may be subject to the fee in subsection (D)(2) for twenty years or, if extended as provided in this subsection up to thirty years, for an aggregate fee period of to a maximum total of thirty up to forty years for the fee for a single project which has been granted an extension. For those sponsors qualifying under subsection (D)(4), the annual fee is available for no more than thirty years for an applicable piece of property and for those projects placed in service in more than one year the annual fee is available for a maximum of an aggregate fee period of up to forty-three years, or for those sponsors qualifying pursuant to subsection (C)(3), forty-five years.

(5)   Annually, during the time period allowed to meet the minimum investment level, the sponsor shall provide the total amount invested to the appropriate county official."

"(D)   The inducement agreement must provide for fee payments, to the extent applicable, as follows:

(1)(a)   Any property is subject to an annual fee payment, as provided in Section 4-12-20.

(b)   Any undeveloped land before being developed and placed in service, is subject to an annual fee payment as provided in Section 4-12-20. The time during which fee payments are made under Section 4-12-20 is not considered part of the maximum periods provided in subsections (C)(2) through (C)(4), and a lease is not considered an 'initial lease agreement' for purposes of this subsection until the first day of the calendar year for which a fee payment is due under item (2) in connection with the lease.

(2)   After property qualifying under subsection (B) is placed in service, an annual fee payment determined in accordance with one of the following is due:

(a)   an annual payment in an amount not less than the property taxes that would be due on the project if it were taxable, but using an assessment ratio of not less than six percent, or four percent of those projects qualifying pursuant to subsection (D)(4), a fixed millage rate as provided in subsection (G), and a fair market value estimate determined by the department as follows:

(i)   for real property, using the original income tax basis for South Carolina income tax purposes without regard to depreciation, if real property is constructed for the fee or is purchased in an arm's length transaction; otherwise, the property must be reported at its fair market value for ad valorem property tax purposes as determined by appraisal. The fair market value estimate established for the first year of the fee remains the fair market value of the real property for the life of the fee; and

(ii)   for personal property, using the original tax basis for South Carolina income tax purposes less depreciation allowable for property tax purposes, except that the sponsor is not entitled to any extraordinary obsolescence.

(b)   an annual payment as provided in subsection (D)(2)(a), except that every fifth year the applicable millage rate is allowed to increase or decrease in step with the average actual millage rate applicable in the district where the project is located based on the preceding five-year period.

(3)   At the conclusion of the payments determined pursuant to items (1) and (2) of this subsection, an annual payment equal to the taxes is due on the project as if it were taxable. When the property is no longer subject to the fee under subsection (D)(2), the fee or property taxes must be assessed:

(a)   with respect to real property, based on the fair market value as of the latest reassessment date for similar taxable property; and

(b)   with respect to personal property, based on the then depreciated value applicable to such property under the fee, and thereafter continuing with the South Carolina property tax depreciation schedule.

(4)(a)   The assessment ratio may not be lower than four percent:

(i)   in the case of a single sponsor investing at least one hundred fifty million dollars, resulting in a total investment of at least three hundred million dollars when added to previous investments by a sponsor, and creating at least one hundred twenty-five new full-time jobs at a project in this State;

(ii)   in the case of a single sponsor investing at least four hundred million dollars and which is creating at least two hundred new full-time jobs at a project; or

(iii)   in the case of a project that satisfies the requirements of Section 11-41-30(2)(a), and for which the Secretary of Commerce has delivered certification pursuant to Section 11-41-70(2)(a). business including a corporation, its subsidiaries, and its limited liability company members, that builds a project consisting of gas-fired combined-cycle power facility and invests at le ast four hundred million dollars and creates at least twenty-five full-time jobs as defined in Section 12-6-3360(M) at that project; or

(iv)   in the case of a project that satisfies the requirements of Section 11-41-30(2)(a), and for which the Secretary of Commerce has delivered certification pursuant to Section 11-41-70(2)(a).

(b)   The new full-time jobs requirement of this item does not apply in the case of a sponsor which for more than the twenty-five years ending on the date of the agreement paid more than fifty percent of all property taxes actually collected in the county.

(c)   In an instance in which the governing body of a county has by contractual agreement provided for a change in fee in lieu of taxes arrangements conditioned on a future legislative enactment, any new enactment shall not bind the original parties to the agreement unless the change is ratified by the governing body of the county.

(5)   Notwithstanding the use of the term 'assessment ratio', a sponsor qualifying for the fee may negotiate an inducement agreement with a county using differing assessment ratios for different assessment years or levels of investment covered by the inducement agreement. However, the lowest assessment ratio allowed is the lowest ratio for which the sponsor may qualify under this section."

"(H)(1)   Upon agreement of the parties, and except as provided in item (2) of this subsection, an inducement agreement, a millage rate agreement, or both, may be amended or terminated and replaced with regard to all matters including, but not limited to, the addition or removal of sponsors or sponsor affiliates.

(2)   No amendment or replacement of an inducement agreement or millage rate agreement may be used to lower the millage rate, assessment ratio, or, except as provided in Sections 4-12-30(C)(2) and (C)(4), increase the term of the agreement under any such agreement. However, existing inducement agreements which have not yet been implemented by the execution and delivery of a millage rate agreement or a lease agreement may be amended up to the date of execution and delivery of a millage rate agreement or a lease agreement in the discretion of the governing body.

(3)   An inducement agreement or a lease agreement may provide that a sponsor who has committed to an investment under subsection (D)(4) may continue to receive the benefits of this chapter even if the sponsor fails to make or maintain the required investment or fails to create the jobs required by subsection (D)(4), if the sponsor meets the two and one-half million dollar minimum investment. If the sponsor fails to make or maintain the required investment or create the required number of jobs, the inducement agreement or the lease agreement may not provide for an assessment ratio and an exemption period more favorable than those allowed for the minimum investment. To the extent that the sponsor obtained a four percent assessment ratio under subsection (D)(4), the sponsor must recalculate the fee using a six percent ratio or such other ratio as the inducement agreement or lease agreement may provide for all years in which the four percent assessment ratio was used and pay the county any difference. This difference is subject to interest as provided in Section 12-54-25."

"(K)(1)   For a project not located in an industrial development park, as defined in Section 4-1-170, distribution of the fee in lieu of taxes on the project must be made in the same manner and proportion that the millage levied for school and other purposes would be distributed if the property were taxable, but without regard to an exemption otherwise available to the project pursuant to Section 12-37-220 for that year.

(2)   For a project located in an industrial development park, as defined in Section 4-1-170, distribution of the fee in lieu of taxes on the project must be made in the manner provided for by the agreement establishing the industrial development park.

(3)   A county or municipality or special purpose district that receives and retains revenues from a payment in lieu of taxes may use a portion of this revenue for the purposes outlined in Section 4-29-68 without the requirement of issuing special source revenue bonds or the requirements of Section 4-29-68(A)(4) by providing a credit against or payment derived from the fee due from a sponsor. A direct payment of cash may not be made to the sponsor.

(4)   Misallocations of the distribution of the fee in lieu of taxes on the project pursuant to this chapter may be corrected by adjusting later distributions, but these adjustments must be made in the same fiscal year as the misallocations. To the extent distributions are made improperly in previous years, a claim for adjustment must be made within one year of the distribution."

C.   Section 4-29-67(C), (D)(4), (H), and (L)(3) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 384 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(C)(1)   From the end of the property tax year in which the sponsor and the county execute an inducement agreement, the sponsor has five years in which to enter into an initial lease agreement with the county.

(2)(a)   From the end of the property tax year in which the sponsor and the county execute the initial lease agreement, the sponsor has five years in which to complete its investment for purposes of qualifying for this section. If the sponsor does not anticipate completing the project within five years, the sponsor may apply to the county before the end of the five-year period for making the investment for an extension of time to complete the project. If the county agrees to grant the extension, it must be in writing, and a copy must be delivered to the department within thirty days of the date the extension was granted. The extension may not exceed five years. If a project receives an extens ion of less than five years, the sponsor may apply to the county before the end of the extension period for an additional extension of time to complete the project for an aggregate extension of not more than five years. Unless approved as part of the original lease documentation, the county council of the county may approve any extension by resolution, a copy of which must be delivered to the department within thirty days of the date the resolution was adopted.

(b)   An extension of the five-year period in which to meet the minimum level of investment is not allowed. If the minimum level of investment is not met within five years, all property covered by the lease agreement or agreements reverts retroactively to the payments required by Section 4-29-60. The difference between the fee actually paid by the sponsor and the payment due pursuant to Section 4-29-60 is subject to interest, as provided in Section 12-54-25(D). To the extent necessary to determine if a sponsor or sponsor affiliate has met its investment requirements, any statute of limitation that might apply pursuant to Section 12-54-85 is suspended for all sponsors and sponsor affiliates and the department or the county may seek to collect any amounts that may be due pursuant to this section.

(c)   Unless property qualifies as replacement property pursuant to a contract provision enacted pursuant to subsection (F)(2), property placed in service after the five-year period, or the ten-year period in the case of a project which has received an extension, is not part of the fee agreement pursuant to subsection (D)(2) and is subject to the payments required by Section 4-29-60 if the county has title to the property or ad valorem property taxes, if the sponsor has title to the property.

(d)   For purposes of those businesses qualifying under subsection (D)(4), the five-year period referred to in this subsection is eight years. For those sponsors which, after qualifying pursuant to subsection (D)(4), have more than five hundred million dollars in capital invested in this State and employ more than one thousand people in this State, the five-year period referred to in this subsection is ten years, and the ten-year period is fifteen years.

(3)   The annual fee provided by subsection (D)(2) is available for no more than twenty years for an applicable piece of property. The sponsor may apply to the county prior to the end of the twenty-year period for an extension of the fee period for up to ten years. The county council of the county may approve an extension by resolution upon a finding of substantial public benefit. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered to the department within thirty days of the date the resolution was adopted. For projects which are completed and placed in service during more than one year, each year's investment may be subject to the fee in subsection (D)(2) for twenty years or, if extended as provided in this subsection, up to thirty years, for an aggregate maximum fee period of up to forty years to a maximum total of thirty years for the fee for a single project which has been granted an extension. For those sponsors qualifying under subsection (D)(4), the annual fee is available for no more than thirty years for an applicable piece of property and for those projects placed in service in more than one year, the annual fee is available for a maximum of an aggregate fee period of up to forty-three years or, for those sponsors qualifying pursuant to item (2)(d), forty-five years.

(4)   During the time period allowed to meet the minimum investment level, the investor annually must inform the appropriate county official of the total amount invested."

"(D)(4)(a)   The assessment ratio may not be lower than four percent:

(i)   in the case of a single sponsor investing at least one hundred fifty million dollars, resulting in a total investment of at least three hundred million dollars when added to previous investments by a sponsor, and which is creating at least one hundred twenty-five new full-time jobs at the project;

(ii)   in the case of a single sponsor investing at least four hundred million dollars and which is creating at least two hundred new full-time jobs at the project in this State;

(iii)   in the case of a project that satisfies the requirements of Section 11-41-30(2)(a), and for which the Secretary of Commerce has delivered certification pursuant to Section 11-41-70(2)(a). business including a corporation, its subsidiaries, and its limited liability company members, that builds a project consisting of gas-fired combined-cycle power facility and invests at least four hundred million dollars and creates at least twenty-five full-time jobs as defined in Section 12-6-3360(M) at that project; or

(iv)   in the case of a project that satisfies the requirements of Section 11-41-30(2)(a), and for which the Secretary of Commerce has delivered certification pursuant to Section 11-41-70(2)(a).

(b)   The new full-time jobs requirement of this item does not apply in the case of a business that paid more than fifty percent of all property taxes actually collected in the county for more than the twenty-five years ending on the date of the lease inducement agreement.

(c)   In an instance in which the governing body of a county has provided, by contractual agreement, for a change in fee in lieu of taxes arrangements conditioned on a future legislative enactment, a new enactment does not bind the original parties to the agreement unless the change is ratified by the governing body of the county."

"(H)(1)   Upon agreement of the parties, and except as provided in subsection (H)(2), an inducement agreement, a millage rate agreement, or both, may be amended or terminated and replaced with regard to all matters including, but not limited to, the addition or removal of sponsors or sponsor affiliates.

(2)   An amendment or a replacement of an inducement agreement or millage rate agreement may not be used to lower the millage rate, discount rate, assessment ratio, or, except as provided in Sections 4-29-67(C)(2) and (C)(4) increase the term of the agreement; except that an existing inducement agreement that has not been implemented by the execution and delivery of a millage rate agreement or a lease agreement may be amended up to the date of execution and delivery of a millage rate agreement or a lease agreement in the discretion of the governing body."

"(L)(3)   A county or municipality or special purpose district that receives and retains revenues from a payment in lieu of taxes may use a portion of this revenue for the purposes outlined in Section 4-29-68 without the requirement of issuing special source revenue bonds or the requirements of Section 4-29-68(A)(4) by providing a credit against or payment derived from the fee due from the sponsor. A direct payment of cash may not be made to a sponsor pursuant to these provisions."

D.   Section 12-44-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-44-10.   This act may be cited as the 'Fee in Lieu of Tax Simplification Act of 1997'."

E.   Section 12-44-30(7), (13), (14), and (20) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 161 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"(7)   'Enhanced investment' means a project which results in a total investment:

(a)   by a single sponsor of at least two hundred million dollars, resulting in a total investment of at least four hundred million dollars when added to the previous investments, and creating at least two hundred investing at least one hundred fifty million dollars and creating at least one hundred twenty-five new full-time jobs at the project; provided that the new full-time jobs requirement of this subsection does not apply to a taxpayer who paid more than fifty percent of all property taxes actually collected in the county for more than twenty-five years, ending on the date of the fee agreement;

(b)   by a single sponsor investing at least four hundred million dollars and which is creating at least two hundred new full-time jobs at the project;

(c)   by a single sponsor investing at least six hundred million dollars in this State;

(d)   at least four hundred million dollars in the building of a project consisting of gas-fired combined-cycle power facility by a sponsor which creates at least twenty-five full-time jobs as defined in Section 12-6-3360(M) at that project and invests an additional five hundred million dollars in this State. The investment must be made by a sponsor which consists of a corporation, its subsidiaries, and its limited liability companies. The new full-time jobs requirement of this subsection does not apply to a taxpayer which paid more than fifty percent of all property taxes actually collected in the county for more than twenty-five years ending on the date of the fee agreement; or

(e) (c)   that satisfies the requirements of Section 11-41-30(2)(a), and for which the Secretary of Commerce has delivered certification pursuant to Section 11-41-70(2)(a)."

"(13)   'Investment period' means the period beginning with the first day that economic development property is purchased or acquired and ending five years after the commencement date; except that for a project with an enhanced investment as described above, the period ends eight years after the commencement date. The minimum investment must be completed within five years of the commencement date. For an enhanced investment, the applicable minimum investment and job requirements under Section 12-44-30(7) must be completed within eight years of the commencement date. For those sponsors that, after qualifying for the enhanced investment, have more than five hundred million dollars in capital invested in this State and employ more than one thousand people in this State, the investment period ends ten years after the commencement date. If the sponsor does not anticipate completing the project within this period these periods, the sponsor may apply to the county before the end of the investment period for an extension of time to complete the project. If the county agrees to an extension, it must do so in writing and furnish a copy of the extension to the department within thirty days of the date the extension was granted. The extension may not exceed five years in which to complete the project. The extension may not exceed five years. If a project receives an extension of less than five years, the sponsor may apply to the county before the end of the extension period for an additional extension of time to complete the project for an aggregate extension of not more than five years. Unless approved as part of the original fee documentation, the county council of the county may approve any extension by resolution, a copy of which must be delivered to the department within thirty days of the date the resolution was adopted. An extension is not allowed for the time period in which the sponsor must meet the minimum investment requirement. "

"(14)   'Minimum investment' means a project that results in a total an investment by a sponsor of not less than five in the project of at least two and one-half million dollars within the investment period. If a county has an average annual unemployment rate of at least twice the state average during the last twenty-four month period based on data available on the most recent November first, the minimum investment is one million dollars. The department shall designate these reduced investment counties by December thirty-first of each year using data from the South Carolina Employment Security Commission and the United States Department of Commerce. The designations are effective for a sponsor whose fee agreement is signed in the calendar year following the county designation. For all purposes of this chapter, the minimum investment may include amounts expended by a sponsor or sponsor affiliate as a nonresponsible party in a voluntary cleanup contract on the property pursuant to Article 7, Chapter 56 of Title 44, the Brownfields Voluntary Cleanup Program, if the Department of Health and Environmental Control certifies completion of the cleanup. If the amounts under the Brownfields Voluntary Cleanup Program equal at least one million dollars, the investment threshold requirement of this chapter is deemed to have been met."

"(20)   'Termination date' means the date which is the last day of a property tax year which is the nineteenth year following the first property tax year in which an applicable piece of economic development property is placed in service; provided, however, that the sponsor may apply to the county prior to the termination date for an extension of the termination date beyond the nineteenth year up to ten years. The county council of the county shall approve any extension by resolution upon a finding of substantial public benefit. A copy of the resolution shall be delivered to the department within thirty days of the date the resolution was adopted. With respect to a fee agreement involving an enhanced investment, the termination date is the last day of a property tax year which is the twenty-ninth year following the first property tax year in which an applicable piece of economic development property is placed in service. If the fee agreement is terminated in accordance with Section 12-44-140, the termination date is the date the agreement is terminated."

F.   Section 12-44-40(E) and (J) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 69 of 2003, is further amended to read:

"(E)   If a fee agreement is not executed within five years after action by the county identifying or reflecting the project, the inducement resolution is adopted by the county council, the real property or tangible personal property of a sponsor for which expenditures have been incurred by the sponsor with respect to the project do not qualify as economic development property. An action includes an inducement resolution adopted by the county council of the county."

"(J)(1)   Upon agreement of the parties, and except as provided in item (2), a fee agreement may be amended or terminated and replaced with regard to all matters, including the addition or removal of sponsors or sponsor affiliates.

(2)   An amendment or replacement of a fee agreement may not be used to lower the millage rate, discount rate, assessment ratio, or, except as provided in Sections 12-44-30(13) and (20), increase the term of the agreement."

G.   Section 12-44-70 of the 1976 Code, is amended to read:

"Section 12-44-70.   (A)   If allowed by the fee agreement and subject to any limitations and conditions contained in the fee agreement, a sponsor may take a credit against the fee established in Section 12-44-50(A)(1) and (3) over the term specified in the fee agreement to offset improvement costs, except that a direct payment of cash must not be made to the sponsor:

(1)   for a project not located in an industrial development park, to the extent that the cumulative credit taken does not exceed the lesser of:

(a)   the improvement costs of the project; or

(b)   the county's share of fees distributed from the project under Section 12-44-80(A).

A municipality or special purpose district that would otherwise receive a distribution of fee in lieu of taxes under Section 12-44-80(A), may agree to allow to a sponsor a credit against the fee established in Section 12-44-50(A)(1) or (A)(3) in an amount not exceeding the share of the fee in lieu of taxes that would have been distributed to the municipality or special purpose district with respect to the sponsor's project; or

(2)   for a project located within an industrial development park, to the extent that the cumulative credit taken does not exceed the lesser of:

(a)   the improvement costs of the project; or

(b)   the total amount of fees the county is entitled to retain under the industrial development park agreement.

(B)   For purposes of this section, improvement costs include the cost of designing, acquiring, constructing, improving, or expanding:

(1)   the infrastructure serving the project; and

(2)   improved and unimproved real property, buildings, and structural components of buildings used in the operation of a project in order to enhance economic development.

A county, municipality, or special purpose district that receives and retains revenues from a payment in lieu of taxes may use a portion of the revenues for the purposes outlined in Section 4-29-68 without the requirements of issuing special source revenue bonds or complying with Section 4-29-68(A)(4) by providing a credit against or payment derived from the fee due from a sponsor."

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

I.   The General Assembly finds that the sections presented in this act constitute one subject as required by Article III, Section 17 of the South Carolina Constitution, in particular finding that each change and each topic relates directly to or in conjunction with other sections to the subject of tort and other civil action reform as clearly enumerated in the title.

The General Assembly further finds that a common purpose or relationship exists among the sections, representing a potential plurality but not disunity of topics, notwithstanding that reasonable minds might differ in identifying more than one topic contained in the act.

J.   This SECTION takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

SECTION   8.   Section 12-6-3360(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(A)   Taxpayers that operate manufacturing, tourism, processing, warehousing, distribution, research and development, corporate office, qualifying service-related facilities, extraordinary retail establishment, qualifying technology intensive facilities, and banks as defined pursuant to this title are allowed an annual jobs tax credit as provided in this section. In addition, taxpayers that operate retail facilities and service-related industries qualify for an annual jobs tax credit in counties designated as least developed or distressed, and in counties that are under developed and not traversed by an interstate highway. As used in this section, 'corporate office' includes general contractors licensed by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. Credits pursuant to this section may be claimed against income taxes imposed by Section 12-6-510 or 12-6-530, bank taxes imposed pursuant to Chapter 11 of this title, and insurance premium taxes imposed pursuant to Chapter 7 of Title 38, and are limited in use to fifty percent of the taxpayer's South Carolina income tax, bank tax, or insurance premium tax liability. In computing a tax payable by a taxpayer pursuant to Section 38-7-90, the credit allowable pursuant to this section must be treated as a premium tax paid pursuant to Section 38-7-20."

SECTION   9.   Section 12-37-220 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding an appropriately numbered item at the end to read:

"( )   Real property not subject to property tax, leased by a state agency, county, municipality, other political subdivision, or other state entity to an entity that would not be subject to property tax if the entity owned the property."

SECTION   10.   Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a county council by ordinance may delay implementation of values in a countywide assessment and equalization plan scheduled for the current tax year until property tax year 2008. The provisions of this section do not alter the index of taxpaying ability as defined in Section 59-20-20(3).

SECTION 11.   Section 61-4-737 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 61-4-737.   Notwithstanding any other provision of law or regulation, the holder of a retail wine permit for off-premises consumption whose primary product is beer, wine, or distilled spirits may conduct, in accordance with department rulings or regulations, not more than twenty-four wine tastings at the retail location in a calendar year quarter."

SECTION   12.A.   Article 13, Chapter 60, Title 12 is amended by adding:

"Section 12-60-3312.   Except as otherwise provided by law or proper judicial order, all proceedings and records of a contested case hearing of the administrative law court of a matter covered by the South Carolina Revenue Procedures Act are open to the public."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to all tax decisions and associated information filed of record, whether or not the decision in the contested case hearing was issued before, on, or after that date.

SECTION   13.A.   Section 6-34-40(C)(3) and (5) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 285 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(3)   The credit earned pursuant to this subsection by a general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, or any other entity taxed as a partnership pursuant to Subchapter K of the Internal Revenue Code must be passed through to its partners and may be allocated among any of its partners, including without limitation, an allocation of the entire credit to one partner, in a manner agreed by the partners that is consistent with Subchapter K of the Internal Revenue Code. As used in this subsection, the term 'partner' means a partner, member, or owner of an interest in the pass through entity, as applicable.

(5)   The South Carolina Department of Revenue shall may promulgate regulations to verify the site's eligibility in accordance with the provisions of this chapter."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and Subsection (C)(3) applies for rehabilitation expenses for eligible sites placed in service after June 30, 2006.

SECTION   14.   Section 12-2-20 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 69 of 2003, is further amended to read:

"Section 12-2-20.   As used in this title and in other titles which that provide for taxes administered by the department, and unless otherwise required by the context, the term:

(1)   'person' includes an any individual, a trust, estate, partnership, receiver, association, company, limited liability company, corporation, or any other entity or group; and

(2) 'individual' means a human being."

SECTION   15.   Section 12-6-40(C) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 89 of 2001, is further amended to read:

"(C)   If a taxpayer complies with the provisions of Internal Revenue Code Section 367 (Foreign Corporations), it is not necessary for the taxpayer to obtain the approval of the department. The A taxpayer filing a paper return shall attach a copy of the approval received from the Internal Revenue Service to its next South Carolina income tax return. A taxpayer filing an electronic return shall keep a copy of the approval with his tax records."

SECTION   16.A.   Section 12-6-545(E)(1) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(1)   Notwithstanding item (A)(1)(ed) of this section, if a taxpayer owns an interest in one or more pass-through businesses that have a total gross income of less than one million dollars and taxable income of less than one hundred thousand dollars and his total South Carolina taxable income from pass-through entities for which he performs personal services is one hundred thousand dollars or less, excluding capital gains and losses, then the taxpayer may elect, instead of determining the actual amount of active trade or business income related to his personal services, to treat fifty percent of his active trade or business income as not related to his personal services. For purposes of this item, the term taxpayer 'taxpayer' includes both taxpayers who file a joint return."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to tax years beginning after December 31, 2005.

SECTION   17.A.   Section 12-6-1140(10) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 242 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(10)(a)   a deduction calculated as provided in this item for a volunteer firefighter, rescue squad member, volunteer member of a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Response Team, reserve police officer, Department of Natural Resources deputy enforcement officer, or member of the State Guard not otherwise eligible for this exemption.

(b)   An individual may receive only one deduction pursuant to this item. The Board of Economic Advisors annually shall estimate a maximum deduction that may be permitted under this section for a taxable year based on an individual income tax revenue loss of three million one hundred thousand dollars attributable to this deduction and shall certify that maximum deduction to the Department of Revenue and for the applicable taxable year, the maximum deduction amount must not exceed the lesser of the certified estimate or three thousand dollars.

(c)(i)   Only a volunteer earning a minimum number of points pursuant to Section 23-9-190 is eligible for this deduction unless otherwise provided in this item.

(ii)   In the case of a reserve police officer and in lieu of minimum points determining eligibility, this deduction is allowed only if the reserve police officer's coordinator-supervisor certifies in writing to the officer that the officer met all requirements of Chapter 28, Title 23 applicable to a reserve police officer for the entire taxable year.

(iii)   In the case of a Department of Natural Resources deputy enforcement officer and in lieu of minimum points determining eligibility, this deduction is allowed only if the deputy enforcement officer's supervisor certifies in writing to the officer that the officer met all requirements of Section 50-3-315 for the entire taxable year.

(iv)   In the case of a member of the State Guard and in lieu of minimum points determining eligibility, this deduction is allowed only if the State Guard member completes a minimum of sixteen hours of training or drill each month, equating to one hundred ninety-two hours a year, and the member's commanding officer certifies in writing to the member that the member met these requirements.

(d)   These certifications from supervisors of taxpayers claiming the deduction must be on a form approved by the Department of Revenue that must be filed with the officer's or member's tax return for the exemption to be claimed department. The department may require a copy of the certification be attached to the taxpayer's income tax return or otherwise be made available to the department."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to taxable years beginning after 2005.

SECTION   18.A.   Section 12-6-3360(H) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 277 of 2000, is further amended to read:

"(H)   A credit claimed under pursuant to this section but not used in a taxable year may be carried forward for fifteen years from the taxable year in which the credit is earned by the taxpayer. Credits which that are carried forward must be used in the order earned and before jobs credits claimed in the current year. A taxpayer who earns credits allowed by this section and who also is eligible for the moratorium provided in Section 12-6-3365 3367 may claim the credits and may carry forward unused credits beginning after the moratorium period expires."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to taxable years beginning after 2005.

SECTION   19.A.   Section 12-6-3360(M)(1) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 384 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(1)   'Taxpayer' means a sole proprietor, partnership, corporation of any classification, limited liability company, or association taxable as a business entity that is subject to South Carolina taxes as contained in Sections Section 12-6-510 and, Section 12-6-530, Chapter 11 of Title 12, and or Chapter 7 of Title 38."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

SECTION   20.A.   Section 12-6-3360(M)(10) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(10)   'Corporate office facility' means a corporate headquarters that meets the definition of a 'corporate headquarters' contained in Section 12-6-3410(J)(1). The corporate headquarters of a general contractor licensed by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation qualifies even if it is not a regional or national headquarters as those terms are defined in Section 12-6-3410(J)(1)."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to tax years beginning after December 31, 2005.

SECTION   21.   Section 12-6-3535(A) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, and the first paragraph of Section 12-6-3535(B), as last amended by Act 69 of 2003, is further amended to read:

"(A)   A taxpayer who is allowed a federal income tax credit pursuant to Section 47 of the Internal Revenue Code for making qualified rehabilitation expenditures for a certified historic structure located in this State is allowed to claim a credit against income taxes imposed by Sections 12-6-510 and 12-6-530 and license fees imposed by Chapter 20 of Title 12 this title. For the purposes of this section, 'qualified rehabilitation expenditures' and 'certified historic structure' are defined as provided in the Internal Revenue Code Section 47 and the applicable treasury regulations. The amount of the credit is ten percent of the expenditures that qualify for the federal credit. To claim the credit allowed by this subsection, the a taxpayer filing a paper return must attach to the return a copy of the section of the federal income tax return showing the credit claimed, along with any other information that the Department of Revenue determines is necessary for the calculation of the credit provided by this subsection.

(B)   A taxpayer who is not eligible for a federal income tax credit under Section 47 of the Internal Revenue Code and who makes rehabilitation expenses for a certified historic residential structure located in this State is allowed to claim a credit against the tax imposed by this chapter. The amount of the credit is twenty-five percent of the rehabilitation expenses. To claim the credit allowed by this subsection, the a taxpayer filing a paper return must attach to the return a copy of the certification obtained from the State Historic Preservation Officer verifying that the historic structure has been rehabilitated in accordance with this subsection, along with all information that the Department of Revenue determines is necessary for the calculation of the credit provided by this subsection. A taxpayer filing an electronic return shall keep a copy of the certification with his tax records."

SECTION   22.A.   Section 12-6-3585 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 319 of 2006, is amended to read:

"Section 12-6-3585.   (A)   A taxpayer may claim as a credit against his state income tax imposed by Chapter 6 of Title 12, bank tax imposed by Chapter 11 of Title 12, license fees imposed by Chapter 20 of Title 12, or insurance premiums imposed by Chapter 7 of Title 38, or any combination of them, one hundred percent of an amount contributed to the Industry Partnership Fund at the South Carolina Research Authority, or an SCRA-designated affiliate, or both, pursuant to Section 13-17-88(E), up to a maximum credit of six hundred fifty thousand dollars for an individual a single taxpayer, not to exceed an aggregate credit of two million dollars for all taxpayers in tax year 2006; up to a maximum credit of one million three hundred thousand dollars for an individual a single taxpayer, not to exceed an aggregate credit of four million dollars for all taxpayers in tax year 2007; and up to a maximum credit of two million dollars for an individual a single taxpayer, not to exceed an aggregate credit of six million dollars for all taxpayers for each tax year beginning after December 31, 2007. For purposes of determining a taxpayer's entitlement to the credit for qualified contrib utions for a given tax year in which more than the applicable aggregate annual limit on the credit is contributed by taxpayers for that year, taxpayers who have made contributions that are intended to be qualified contributions earlier in the applicable tax year than other taxpayers must be given priority entitlement to the credit. The SCRA shall certify to taxpayers who express a bona fide intention of making one or more qualified contributions as to whether the taxpayer is entitled to that priority.

(B)   The amount of the credit is equal to one hundred percent of the amount of the taxpayer's qualified contributions to the Industry Partnership Fund, subject to the limitations in this section. The credit is nonrefundable.

(C)   The use of the credit is limited to the taxpayer's applicable income or premium tax or license fee liability for the tax year of the taxpayer after the application of all other credits. An unused credit may be carried forward ten tax years of the taxpayer after the end of the tax year of the taxpayer during which the qualified contribution was made.

(D)   A contribution is not a qualified contribution if it is subject to conditions or limitations regarding the use of the contribution.

(E)   'Taxpayer' means an individual, corporation, partnership, trust, bank, insurance company, or other entity having a state income or insurance premium tax or license fee liability who has made a qualified contribution.

(F)   To claim qualify for the credit, the taxpayer shall attach to the return a copy of retain a form provided by SCRA identifying the taxpayer's qualified contribution and the year and amount of credit for which the taxpayer qualifies. The Department of Revenue may require a copy of the form be attached to the taxpayer's income tax return or be provided otherwise to the department.

(G)   The Department of Revenue department may require information and submissions by the taxpayer as it considers appropriate in relation to a taxpayer's claim of entitlement to the credit.

(H)   The merger, consolidation, or reorganization of a corporation where tax attributes survive does not create new eligibility in a succeeding corporation, but unused credits may be transferred and continued by the succeeding corporation. In addition, a corporation or partnership may assign its rights to its unused credit to another corporation or partnership if it transfers all, or substantially all, of the assets of the corporation or partnership or all, or substantially all, of the assets of the trade or business or operating division of the corporation or partnership to another corporation or partnership.

(I)   A taxpayer who claims the credit may not take a deduction in relation to the qualified contribution which gives rise to such credit."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to tax years beginning after December 31, 2005.

SECTION   23.A.   Section 12-6-3587(A) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 386 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(A)   There is allowed as a tax credit against the income tax liability of a taxpayer imposed by this chapter an amount equal to twenty-five percent of the costs incurred by the taxpayer in the installation of a solar energy heating or cooling system, or both, in a building in South Carolina owned by the taxpayer. The tax credit allowed by this section must not be claimed before the completion of the installation, and must be claimed for the year that the costs are incurred. The amount of the credit may not exceed three thousand five hundred dollars or fifty percent of the taxpayer's tax liability for that taxable year, whichever is less. If the amount of the credit exceeds three thousand five hundred dollars, the taxpayer may carry forward the excess for up to ten years."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to installation costs incurred after December 31, 2005.

SECTION   24.   Section 12-6-4980 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 363 of 2002, is further amended to read:

"Section 12-6-4980.   (A)   The department, for good cause, may allow an extension of time not to exceed six months for filing returns under this chapter or the annual report under Chapter 20 of this title. A taxpayer requesting an extension of time for filing, on or before the date the return or annual report is due, shall submit a tentative return and pay the full amount of the tax and license fee due.

(B)   When a taxpayer is not required to make a payment of tax at the time of the extension, and the taxpayer has been granted an extension of time to file a federal income tax return, the taxpayer is not required to apply to the department for an extension of time to file the South Carolina return. The department shall accept a copy, if applicable, of a properly filed federal extension attached to the South Carolina return when filed. Any taxes shown to be due on a return required pursuant to this chapter must be paid at the time the return is due to be filed, without regard to any extension of time granted for filing the return.

(C)   An extension may not be granted to a taxpayer who has been granted an extension for a previous period and has not fulfilled the requirements of the previous period."

SECTION   25.   Section 12-8-580(D)(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(2)   The buyer is liable for the collection and payment of an amount due pursuant to this section. The A lending institution, real estate agent, and or closing attorney are is not liable for the collection of an amount due from the buyer pursuant to this section. However, a lending institution, real estate agent, or closing attorney that has in fact withheld taxes is required timely to remit the amount withheld within the timeframe provided in item (1) of this subsection."

SECTION   26.   Section 12-8-590(D) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(D)   A partnership required to withhold taxes on distributed or undistributed income shall make a return with each payment of tax to the department disclosing on the return the names, taxpayer identification number, the total amount of South Carolina taxable income paid or credited to each nonresident partner, the tax withheld for each nonresident partner, and any other information the department requires. The partnership shall furnish to each nonresident shareholder partner a written statement as required by Section 12-8-1540(A) as proof of the amount of his share of distributed or undistributed income that has been withheld."

SECTION   27.   Section 12-8-2020 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-8-2020.   (A)   A refund or credit may be allowed for an overpayment of tax withheld under pursuant to this chapter to:

(1)   the withholding agent to the extent that the withholding agent did not withhold the overpayment amount from the taxpayer; or

(2)   the taxpayer to the extent that the overpayment was withheld from the taxpayer.

(B)   A refund or credit may be granted to a withholding agent who has withheld taxes in error if the withholding agent furnishes evidence that has refunded or unconditionally credited the amount erroneously withheld has been refunded or unconditionally credited to the taxpayer and the amount is refunded or credited to the taxpayer before the issuance of the original wage and tax statement for the calendar year.

(C)   The withholding agent or taxpayer shall apply for a refund or credit under this section within three years from the deemed date of the overpayment. A refund or credit is not allowed for less than one dollar. For purposes of this section, the deemed date of overpayment is the original due date of the return in which the withholding is credited against tax imposed by Chapter 6 of this title."

SECTION   28.   Section 12-20-90 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 89 of 2001, is further amended to read:

"Section 12-20-90.   The amount of the license fee required by Section 12-20-50 for a bank holding company, insurance holding company system, and savings and loan holding company must be measured by the capital stock and paid-in surplus of the holding company exclusive of the capital stock and paid-in surplus of a bank, insurer, or savings and loan association that is a subsidiary of the holding company. For the purposes of this section, 'bank', 'bank holding company', and 'subsidiary' of a bank holding company have the same definitions as in Section 34-24-20 34-25-10; 'insurer', 'insurance holding company system', and a 'subsidiary' of an insurance holding company system have the same definitions as in Section 38-21-10; and savings and loan 'association', 'savings and loan holding company', and a 'subsidiary' of a savings and loan company have the same definitions as in Section 34-28-300."

SECTION   29.A.   Section 12-23-20(9) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 335 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(9)   electricity used by a technology intensive facility as defined in Section 12-6-3360(M)(14)(b) and qualifying for the sales tax exemption provided pursuant to Section 12-36-2120(65), and the equipment and raw materials including, without limitation, fuel used by such qualifying facility to generate, transform, transmit, distribute, or manage electricity for use in such a facility. The running of the periods of limitation within which the department may assess taxes pursuant to Section 12-54-85 is suspended during the same time period it is suspended in item (65)(d) of Section 12-36-2120."

B.     This section takes effect June 6, 2006.

SECTION   30.A.   Section 12-36-2120(66) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 335 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(66)   electricity used by a technology intensive facility as defined in Section 12-6-3360(M)(14)(b) and qualifying for the sales tax exemption provided pursuant to item (65) of this section, and the equipment and raw materials including, without limitation, fuel used by such qualifying facility to generate, transform, transmit, distribute, or manage electricity for use in such a facility. The running of the periods of limitation within which the department may assess taxes pursuant to Section 12-54-85 is suspended during the same time period it is suspended in item (65)(d) of this section."

B.     This section takes effect June 6, 2006.

SECTION   31.   Section 12-36-2510(C) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 145 of 2005, is further amended to read:

"(C)   A seller that complies with the provisions of this section is relieved from any tax otherwise applicable if it is determined that the purchaser improperly claimed an exemption or exclusion by use of a certificate, provided the seller fraudulently did not fraudulently fail to collect or remit the tax, or both, or solicit a purchaser to participate in an unlawful claim of an exemption. The liability for any tax shifts to the purchaser who improperly claimed the exemption or exclusion by use of the certificate."

SECTION   32.   Section 12-37-270(C) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(C)   The department shall may promulgate regulations necessary to carry out the provisions of this section."

SECTION   33.   Section 12-54-70(a) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(a)   The department may, for good cause, allow further time for the filing of returns or remitting of tax due, required under by the provisions of law administered by the department. The request for an extension may be granted only if the request is must be filed with the department on or before the day the return of the tax is due. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the department may allow an extension of time not to exceed six months. A tentative return is required reflecting one hundred percent of the anticipated tax to be paid for the taxable period, to be accompanied by a remittance for the tentative tax liability. Interest at the rate as provided under in Section 12-54-25, calculated from the date the tax was originally due, must be added to the balance due whenever an extension to file or to remit tax due is granted."

SECTION   34.A.   Section 12-54-85(C) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 399 of 2000, is further amended to read:

"(C)   Taxes may be determined and assessed after the thirty-six month limitation if:

(1)   there is fraudulent intent to evade the taxes;

(2)   the taxpayer failed to file a return or document as required by law;

(3)   there is a twenty percent understatement of the total of all taxes required to be shown on the return or document. The taxes in this case may be assessed at any time within seventy-two months from the date the return or document was filed or due to be filed, whichever is later. For the purpose of this item, the total of all taxes required to be shown on the return is the total of all taxes required to be shown on the return before any reduction for estimated payments, withholding payments, other prepayments, or discount allowed for timely filing of the return and payment of the tax due, but that amount must be reduced by another credit that may be claimed on the return;

(4)   the person liable for any taxes consents in writing, before the expiration of the time prescribed in this section for assessing taxes due, to the assessment of the taxes after the time prescribed by this section. ; or

(5)   the tax is a use tax imposed under Chapter 36 of this title, or a local use tax administered and collected by the department on behalf of a local jurisdiction, and the assessment of the use tax is the result of information received from, or as a result of exchange agreements with, other state or local taxing authorities, regional or national tax administration organizations, or the federal government. The use taxes in this case may be assessed at any time within twelve months after the department receives the information, but no later than seventy-two months after the last day the use tax may be paid without penalty."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to all assessments issued after that date.

SECTION   35.A.   Section 12-54-155(D)(2) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(2)   In the case of underpayment attributable to a substantial valuation misstatement with respect to charitable deduction property, item (1) does not apply if unless:

(a)   the claimed value of the property was based on a qualified appraisal made by a qualified appraiser; and

(b)   in addition to obtaining the appraisal, the taxpayer made a good-faith investigation of the value of the contributed property."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies for tax periods beginning after December 31, 2006.

SECTION   36.   Section 12-54-240(B)(12), as last amended by Act 145 of 2005, and (13) of the 1976 Code, is further amended to read:

"(12)(a)   disclosure to a state agency, county auditor, or county assessor of whether a resident or nonresident tax return was filed by a particular taxpayer, whether the return is joint or individual, the name of any a taxpayer filing jointly with the taxpayer, the taxpayer's address as shown on the return, and what county code of residence is contained on the return;

(b)   disclosure to any a county auditor or county assessor of whether the four percent assessment pursuant to Section 12-43-220(c)(1) has been claimed by a taxpayer in any a county.

(13)   disclosure of information pursuant to Section 12-54-1010(c) or 12-54-1020(c) Reserved;"

SECTION   37.A.   Section 12-54-240(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended by adding at the end:

"(26)   disclosure of information referred to in Section 12-60-3312."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to all tax decisions and associated information filed whether the decision was issued before or after that date.

SECTION   38.A.   Section 12-60-20 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 69 of 2003, is further amended to read:

"Section 12-60-20.   It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide the people of this State with a straightforward procedure to determine any a dispute with the Department of Revenue and a dispute concerning property taxes. The South Carolina Revenue Procedures Act must be interpreted and construed in accordance with, and in furtherance of, that intent."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

SECTION   39.   Section 12-60-90(C) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 69 of 2003, is further amended to read:

"(C)   Taxpayers may be represented during the administrative tax process by:

(1)   the same individuals who may represent them in administrative tax proceedings with the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to Section 10.3(a), (b), and (c), Section 10.7(a), (c)(1)(i) through (c)(1)(vi), and (c)(2 1)(viii), and Section 10.7(d) and (e) of United States Treasury Department Circular No. 230; and

(2)   a real estate appraiser who is registered, licensed, or certified pursuant to Chapter 60 of Title 40 during the administrative tax process in a matter limited to questions concerning the valuation of real property."

SECTION   40.   Section 6-1-320(A) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 388 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(A)   Notwithstanding Section 12-37-251(E), a local governing body may increase the millage rate imposed for general operating purposes above the rate imposed for such purposes for the preceding tax year only to the extent of the increase in the average of the twelve monthly consumer price indexes for the most recent twelve-month period consisting of January through December of the preceding calendar year, plus, beginning in 2007, the percentage increase in the previous year in the population of the entity as determined by the Office of Research and Statistics of the State Budget and Control Board. If an entity experiences a reduction in population, the percentage change in population is deemed to be zero. However, in the year in which a reassessment program is implemented, the rollback millage, as calculated pursuant to Section 12-37-251(E), must be used in lieu of the previous year's millage rate."

SECTION   41.   Article 5, Chapter 4, Title 12 is amended by adding:

"Section 12-4-535.   (A)   the department may issue a department determination directing the appropriate county official to comply with all applicable state law relating to the valuation, assessment, or taxation of property.

(B)   Within thirty days of the date the department determination is mailed or hand delivered, the county must respond in writing by first class mail or hand delivery to the department and state its agreement or disagreement with the department determination.

(C)   If the county disagrees with, or fails to respond to, the department determination, the department by its director or designee or the county governing body by resolution may request a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court within thirty days after the date the county disagreement notice was, or should have been, mailed or hand delivered. A request for a contested case hearing before the Administrative Law Court must be made in accordance with its rules.

(D)   The county governing body by resolution may request a department determination on any state law regarding the valuation, assessment, or taxation of property. Within thirty days of a request by a county governing body, the department may issue, in its discretion, the determination, which must be issued by first class mail or hand delivery to the county."

SECTION   42.   Section 12-4-320 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding an appropriately numbered item at the end:

"( )   enter into an installment payment agreement with a taxpayer."

SECTION   43.   Section 12-6-40(A)(1)(a) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"(a)   Except as otherwise provided, 'Internal Revenue Code' means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended through December 31, 20052006, and includes the effective date provisions contained in it."

SECTION   44.A.   Section 12-6-50(2) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(2)   Sections 22 through 5354, 515, 853, 901 through 908, and 960 relating to tax credits;"

B.   This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to tax years beginning after December 31, 2005.

SECTION   45.   Section 12-6-3360(B)(5)(f) and (h) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 161 of 2005 and Act 386 of 2006, respectively, is amended to read:

"(f)   In a county in which one employer has lost at least 1,500 jobs in a calendar year, the credit allowed is one tier higher than the credit for which the county would otherwise qualify. The one-tier-higher credit allowed by this subsection is allowed for a three-year period beginning immediately following the year during which the jobs were lost five taxable years for jobs created in 2006, 2007, and 2008. This subsection does not apply to a job created in a county eligible for a higher tier pursuant to another provision of this section.

(h)   In a county in which one employer has lost at least 1,500 jobs in calendar year 2006, the credit allowed is three tiers higher than the credit for which the county would otherwise qualify. The three-tier-higher credit allowed by this subsection is allowed for five taxable years beginning for jobs created in 2007 and 2008. This subsection does not apply to a job created in a county eligible for a higher tier pursuant to another provision of this section."

SECTION   46.A.   Section 12-6-3362(B) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 389 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(B)   Beginning with the first full month wages are paid for year the new full-time jobs are created, the taxpayer is allowed a jobs tax credit in an amount equal to 8.33 percent of the maximum credit amount calculated pursuant to Section 12-6-3360(C)(2) each month, for not more than sixty consecutive months, multiplied by the number of new full-time jobs for which wages are paid for the full month five consecutive years. A credit is not allowed for any month a year in which the new employment full-time job increase falls below the minimum level of two. To claim the credits allowed pursuant to Section 12-6-3360(C)(2)(a), the minimum gross wages requirement is met if the gross wages paid for the month, when annualized, meet the minimum requirement."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to tax years beginning after December 31, 2005.

SECTION   47.   A.   Section 12-36-2120(67) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 384 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(67)   effective July 1, 2011, construction materials used in the construction of a new or expanded single manufacturing and or distribution facility, or one that serves both purposes, with a capital investment of at least one hundred million dollars in real and personal property at a single site in the State over an eighteen-month period. The taxpayer must provide notice of the exemption, and the Department of Revenue may assess taxes owing in the manner provided in Section 12-36-2120(51)."

B.   Notwithstanding the sales and use rates imposed pursuant to Chapter 36, Title 12 of the 1976 Code, the rate of tax imposed pursuant to that chapter on the gross proceeds of qualifying construction materials used in the construction of a single manufacturing or distribution facility, as provided in item (67), is four percent for sales from July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008, three percent for sales from July 1, 2008, through June 30, 2009, two percent for sales from July 1, 2009, through June 30, 2010, and one percent for sales from July 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011.

SECTION   48.   Section 12-54-200(C) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 89 of 2001, is further amended to read:

"(C)   If A person is required to maintain a separate account, he must give the name of the financial institution, the account number, and other information the department requires. Taxes, penalties, and interest due must be withdrawn from the account by preprinted, consecutively numbered checks signed by a properly authorized officer, partner, manager, employee, or member of the taxpayer and made payable to the department. Monies deposited in the account may must not be commingled with other funds. The department, at its discretion, may apply Section 12-54-250, if the amount due from the taxpayer is twenty fifteen thousand dollars or more."

SECTION   49.   Section 12-54-240(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended by adding appropriately numbered items at the end:

"( )   disclosure of information to the State Treasurer necessary for the administration and enforcement of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act;

( )   exchange of information between the department, the Department of Commerce and its agency, the Venture Capital Authority, and the Department of Insurance for the purpose of registering and verifying the existence, possession, transfer, and use of tax credits pursuant to Chapter 45 of Title 11."

SECTION   50.   Section 12-54-250(A) and (B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 163 of 2002, is further amended to read:

"(A)(1)   The South Carolina Department of Revenue may require, consistent with the cash management policies of the State Treasurer, that any a person owing fifteen thousand dollars or more in connection with any return, report, or other document to be filed with the department or a withholding agent making at least twenty-four payments in a year pursuant to Section 12-8-1520(D) shall pay the tax liability to the State no later than the date the payment is required by law to be made, in funds which that are available immediately to the State on the date of payment. 'Payment in immediately available funds' may be made means payment by cash to the main office of the department before five o'clock p.m. or by any electronic means established by the department, with the approval of the State Treasurer, which ensures the availability settlement of those funds to in the State state's account on or before the banking day following the due date of payment the tax as provided by law.

(2)   Evidence of the payment must be furnished to the department Initiation of the transfer of funds must occur on or before the due date of the tax as provided by law. If payment is made by means other than cash and settlement to the state's account does not occur on or before the banking day following the due date of the tax, payment is deemed to occur on the date settlement occurs.

(3)   Failure to make timely payment in immediately available funds or failure to provide evidence of payment in a timely manner subjects the taxpayer to penalties and interest as provided by law for delinquent or deficient tax payments.

(B)   The department by rule may prescribe provide alternative periodic filing and payment dates later than the dates otherwise provided by law for any taxes collected by the department in those instances where it is considered to be in the best interest interests of the State. An alternative date may must not be later than the last day of the month in which the tax was otherwise due."

SECTION   51.   Section 12-60-430 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 69 of 2003, is further amended to read:

"(A)   If a taxpayer fails or refuses to make a report or to file a return required by the provisions of this title or required to be filed with the department, the department may make an estimate of the tax liability from the best information available and issue a proposed assessment for the taxes, including penalties and interest.

(B)   If the department determines a return or report filed by a taxpayer is frivolous, the department may make an estimate of the tax liability from the best information available and issue a proposed assessment for the tax, including penalties and interest."

SECTION   52.   Section 11-11-156(D) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 388 of 2006, is amended to read:

"(D)   Notwithstanding any other another provision of this section, in the case of a redevelopment project area created pursuant to Chapter 6, 7, or 12 of Title 31, the reimbursements provided pursuant to this section for the property tax exemption allowed by Section 12-37-220(B)(47) must include full payment to each taxing entity for the incremental property tax that, in the absence of such exemption, would otherwise be payable to such taxing entity with respect to owner-occupied residential real property located in a redevelopment project area pursuant to the tax increment financing law for cities, counties, or redevelopment authorities. Such payment for incremental property taxes shall be calculated in accordance with the applicable tax increment financing law and shall be based on the assessed value of, and the school operating millage rate otherwise applicable to, the owner-occupied residential property in question the city or county creating the redevelopment project area for amounts that would have been payable to the special tax allocation fund created pursuant to that chapter if no such exemption existed."

SECTION   53.   Section 11-45-55(I) of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 125 of 2005, is amended by adding at the end:

"(3)   Notwithstanding Section 12-54-240(A), the authority, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Revenue, and the Department of Insurance may exchange information for the purpose of registering and verifying the existence, possession, transfer, and use of tax credits pursuant to this chapter."

SECTION   54.   A taxpayer must not be penalized for following the provisions of Section 401 of the Federal Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 for South Carolina purposes.

SECTION   55.   A.   Article 17, Chapter 6, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 12-6-2252.   (A)   A taxpayer whose principal business in this State is (i) manufacturing or a form of collecting, buying, assembling, or processing goods and materials within this State, or (ii) selling, distributing, or dealing in tangible personal property within this State, shall make returns and pay annually an income tax that includes its income apportioned to this State. Its income apportioned to this State is determined by multiplying the net income remaining after allocation pursuant to Sections 12-6-2220 and 12-6-2230 by the sales factor defined in Section 12-6-2280.

(B)   If a sales factor does not exist, the remaining net income is apportioned to the business's principal place of business."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies for taxable years beginning after 2006.

SECTION   56.   A.   Article 17, Chapter 6, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 12-6-2295.   (A)   The terms 'sales' as used in Section 12-6-2280 and 'gross receipts' as used in Section 12-6-2290 include, but are not limited to, the following items if they have not been separately allocated:

(1)   receipts from the sale or rental of property maintained for sale or rental to customers in the ordinary course of the taxpayer's trade or business including inventory;

(2)   receipts from the sale of accounts receivable acquired in the ordinary course of trade or business for services rendered or from the sale or rental of property maintained for sale or rental to customers in the ordinary course of the taxpayer's trade or business if the accounts receivable were created by the taxpayer or a related party. For purposes of this item, a related person includes a person that bears a relationship to the taxpayer as described in Section 267 of the Internal Revenue Code;

(3)   receipts from the use of intangible property in this State including, but not limited to, royalties from patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade names;

(4)   net gain from the sale of property used in the trade or business. For purposes of this subsection, property used in the trade or business means property subject to the allowance for depreciation, real property used in the trade or business, and intangible property used in the trade or business which is:

(a)   not property of a kind that properly would be includible in inventory of the business if on hand at the close of the taxable year; or

(b)   held by the business primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of the trade or business;

(5)   receipts from services if the entire income-producing activity is within this State. If the income-producing activity is performed partly within and partly without this State, sales are attributable to this State to the extent the income-producing activity is performed within this State;

(6)   receipts from the sale of intangible property which are unable to be attributed to any particular state or states are excluded from the numerator and denominator of the factor.

(B)   The terms 'sales' as used in Section 12-6-2280 and 'gross receipts' as used in Section 12-6-2290 do not include:

(1)   repayment, maturity, or redemption of the principal of a loan, bond, or mutual fund or certificate of deposit or similar marketable instrument;

(2)   the principal amount received under a repurchase agreement or other transaction properly characterized as a loan;

(3)   proceeds from the issuance of the taxpayer's stock or from sale of treasury stock;

(4)   damages and other amounts received as the result of litigation;

(5)   property acquired by an agent on behalf of another;

(6)   tax refunds and other tax benefit recoveries;

(7)   pension reversions;

(8)   contributions to capital, except for sales of securities by securities dealers;

(9)   income from forgiveness of indebtedness; or

(10)   amounts realized from exchanges of inventory that are not recognized by the Internal Revenue Code."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval of this act by the Governor and applies for taxable years beginning after 2006.

SECTION   57.A.   Section 12-6-2250 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 384 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"Section 12-6-2250.   A taxpayer whose principal business in this State is (i) manufacturing or any form of collecting, buying, assembling, or processing goods and materials within this State, or (ii) selling, distributing, or dealing in tangible personal property within this State, shall make returns and pay annually an income tax that includes its income apportioned to this State. Its income apportioned to this State is determined by multiplying the net income remaining after allocation pursuant to Sections 12-6-2220 and 12-6-2230 by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of sales made in South Carolina, and the denominator of which is the total number of sales for the taxpayer. However, if a sales ratio does not exist, the denominator of the fraction is the number of existing ratios, and where the sales ratio exists but the payroll ratio or the property ratio does not exist, the denominator of the fraction is the number of existing ratios plus one. The sales ratios must be determined in accordance with Section 12-6-2280. (A)   A taxpayer whose principal business in this State is (i) manufacturing or a form of collecting, buying, assembling, or processing goods and materials within this State, or (ii) selling, distributing, or dealing in tangible personal property within this State, shall make returns and pay annually an income tax that includes its income apportioned to this State. Its income apportioned to this State is determined by multiplying the net income remaining after allocation pursuant to Sections 12-6-2220 and 12-6-2230 by a fraction, the numerator of which is the property ratio, plus the payroll ratio, plus twice the sales ratio, and the denominator of which is four. However, where the sales ratio does not exist, the denominator of the fraction is the number of existing ratios, and where the sales ratio exists but the payroll ratio or the property ratio does not exist, the denominator of the fraction is the number of existing ratios plus one. The property, payroll, and sales ratios must be determined in accordance with Sections 12-6-2260, 12-6-2270, and 12-6-2280, respectively.

(B)   For taxable years beginning in 2007 through 2010 only, a taxpayer in subsection (A) shall apportion income by using the method provided in Section 12-6-2250(A) and, if applicable, the method provided in Section 12-6-2252. If the calculation permitted in Section 12-6-2252 results in a reduction in income allocated to this State, the reduction is allowed as follows:

Taxable year beginning in:       Percentage of reduction allowed:

2007                     20

2008                     40

2009                     60

2010                     80.

(C) For purposes of calculation of the license fee pursuant to Section 12-20-60, the percentage reduction is applied in the same manner as in subsection (B).

B.   This section takes effect upon approval of this act by the Governor and applies for taxable years beginning after 2006.

SECTION   58.A.   Section 12-6-2280 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-6-2280.   (A)   The sales factor is a fraction in which the numerator is the total sales of the taxpayer in this State during the taxable year and the denominator is the total sales of the taxpayer everywhere during the taxable year.

(B)   The term 'sales in this State' includes sales of goods, merchandise, or property received by a purchaser in this State other than the .United States Government. The place where goods are received by the purchaser after all transportation is completed is considered as the place at which the goods are received by the purchaser. Direct delivery into this State by the taxpayer to a person designated by a purchaser constitutes delivery to the purchaser in this State.

(C)   The word 'sales' includes, but is not limited to:

(1)   rentals from tangible personal property located in this State which are not separately allocated; and

(2)   sales of intangible personal property and receipts from services if the entire income-producing activity is within this State. If the income-producing activity is performed partly within and partly without this State, sales are attributable to this State to the extent the income-producing activity is performed within this State. Sales of tangible personal property to the United States government are not included in the numerator or the denominator of the sales factor. Only sales for which the United States government makes direct payment to the seller pursuant to the terms of a contract constitute sales to the United States government.

(D)   For purposes of this section, items included in sales are as provided in Section 12-6-2295."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval of this act by the Governor and applies for taxable years beginning after 2006.

SECTION   59.A.   Section 12-6-2290 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-6-2290.   If the principal profits or income of a taxpayer are derived from sources other than those described in Section 12-6-2250 or Section 12-6-2310, the taxpayer shall apportion its remaining net income using a fraction in which the numerator is gross receipts from within this State during the taxable year and the denominator is total gross receipts from everywhere during the taxable year. For purposes of this section, items included in gross receipts are as provided in Section 12-6-2295."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval of this act by the Governor and applies for taxable years beginning after 2006.

SECTION   60.   A.     Section 12-6-1130(6) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(6)   In computing the depletion deduction pursuant to Internal Revenue Code Sections 611 through 613, a taxpayer who allocates or apportions income under pursuant to the provisions of Article 17 of this chapter has the option of:

(a)   apportioning the deduction according to the appropriate South Carolina apportionment percentage provided in Sections 12-6-2250 12-6-2252 through 12-6-2310; or

(b)   allocating the deduction to South Carolina with respect to mines, oil and gas wells, and other natural deposits located in this State. The amount allocated to South Carolina may not exceed fifty percent of the net income apportioned to South Carolina by Sections 12-6-2250 12-6-2252 through 12-6-2310."

B.     Section 12-6-2240 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-6-2240.   All income remaining after allocation under pursuant to Sections 12-6-2220 and 12-6-2230 is apportioned in accordance with Sections 12-6-2250 Section 12-6-2252, or one of the special apportionment formulas provided in Sections 12-6-2290 through 12-6-2310."

C.     Section 12-6-2290 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"Section 12-6-2290.   If the principal profits or income of a taxpayer are derived from sources other than those described in Section 12-6-2250 12-6-2252 or Section 12-6-2310, the taxpayer shall apportion its remaining net income using a fraction in which the numerator is gross receipts from within this State during the taxable year and the denominator is total gross receipts from everywhere during the taxable year. For purposes of this section, items included in gross receipts are as provided in Section 12-6-2295. "

D.     Sections 12-6-2250, 12-6-2260, and 12-6-2270 are repealed.

E.   This section takes effect for tax years after 2010.

SECTION   61.   Section 6-5-10(a) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(a)   The governing body of any municipality, county, school district, or other local government unit or political subdivision and county treasurers may invest money subject to their control and jurisdiction in:

(1)   Obligations of the United States and its agencies thereof; , the principal and interest of which is fully guaranteed by the United States;

(2)   Obligations issued by the Federal Financing Bank, Federal Farm Credit Bank, the Bank of Cooperatives, the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank, the Federal Land Banks, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Government National Mortgage Association, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Farmers Home Administration, if, at the time of investment, the obligor has a long-term, unenhanced, unsecured debt rating in one of the top two ratings categories, without regard to a refinement or gradation of rating category by numerical modifier or otherwise, issued by at least two nationally recognized credit rating organizations;

(23)(i)   General obligations of the State of South Carolina or any of its political units; or (ii) revenue obligations of the State of South Carolina or its political units, if at the time of investment, the obligor has a long-term, unenhanced, unsecured debt rating in one of the top two ratings categories, without regard to a refinement or gradation of rating category by numerical modifier or otherwise, issued by at least two nationally recognized credit rating organizations;

(34)   Savings and loan associations to the extent that the same are insured by an agency of the federal government;

(45)   Certificates of deposit where the certificates are collaterally secured by securities of the type described in (1) and (2) above held by a third party as escrow agent or custodian, of a market value not less than the amount of the certificates of deposit so secured, including interest; provided, however, such collateral shall not be required to the extent the same are insured by an agency of the federal government.

(56)   Repurchase agreements when collateralized by securities as set forth in this section.

(67)   No load open-end or closed-end management type investment companies or investment trusts registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, where the investment is made by a bank or trust company or savings and loan association or other financial institution when acting as trustee or agent for a bond or other debt issue of that local government unit, political subdivision, or county treasurer if the particular portfolio of the investment company or investment trust in which the investment is made (i) is limited to obligations described in items (1), (2), (3) and (56) of this subsection, and (ii) has among its objectives the attempt to maintain a constant net asset value of one dollar a share and to that end, value its assets by the amortized cost method.

(78)   A political subdivision receiving Medicaid funds appropriated by the General Assembly in the annual general appropriations act may utilize appropriated funds and other monies generated by hospital operations to participate in principal protected investments in the form of notes, bonds, guaranteed investment contracts, debentures, or other contracts issued by a bank chartered in the United States or agency of a bank if chartered in the United States, financial institution, insurance company, or other entity which provides for full principal payment at the end of a contract term not to exceed twelve years if the issuer has received a rating in one of three highest general rating categories issued by no fewer than two nationally recognized credit rating organizations. No more than forty percent of the appropriated funds and other monies generated by hospital operations may be invested in the manner provided in this item. Revenue realized pursuant to these investments must be expended on health care services."

SECTION   62.   A.   Section 12-36-2120 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended by adding an appropriately numbered item at the end to read:

"( )   an amusement park ride and any parts, machinery, and equipment used to assemble, operate, and make up an amusement park ride or performance venue facility located in a qualifying amusement park or theme park and any related or required machinery, equipment, and fixtures located in the same qualifying amusement park or theme park.

(a)   To qualify for the exemption, the taxpayer shall meet the investment and job requirements provided in subsubitem (i) of subitem (b) over a five-year period beginning on the date of the taxpayer's first use of this exemption. The taxpayer shall notify the Department of Revenue of its intent to qualify and use this exemption and upon receipt of the notification, the department shall issue an appropriate exemption certificate to the taxpayer to be used for qualifying purposes under this item. Within six months after the fifth anniversary of the taxpayer 's first use of this exemption, the taxpayer shall notify the department, in writing, that it has or has not met the investment and job requirements of this item. If the taxpayer fails to meet the investment and job requirements, the taxpayer shall pay to the State the amount of the tax that would have been paid but for this exemption. The running of the periods of limitations for assessment of taxes provided in Section 12-54-85 is suspended for this time period beginning with the taxpayer's first use of this exemption and ending with notice to the department that the taxpayer has or has not met the investment and job requirements of this item.

(b)   For purposes of this item:

(i)     'Qualifying amusement park or theme park' means a park that is constructed and operated by a taxpayer who makes a capital investment of at least two hundred fifty million dollars at a single site and creates at least two hundred fifty full-time jobs and five hundred part-time or seasonal jobs.

(ii)   'Related or required machinery, equipment, and fixtures' means an ancillary apparatus used for or in conjunction with an amusement park ride or performance venue facility, or both, including, but not limited to, any foundation, safety fencing and equipment, ticketing, monitoring device, computer equipment, lighting, music equipment, stage, queue area, housing for a ride, electrical equipment, power transformers, and signage.

(iii)   'Performance venue facility' means a facility for a live performance, nonlive performance, including any animatronics and computer-generated performance, and firework, laser, or other pyrotechnic show.

(iv)   'Taxpayer' means a single taxpayer or, collectively, a group of one or more affiliated taxpayers. An 'affiliated taxpayer' means a person or entity related to the taxpayer that is subject to common operating control and that is operated as part of the same system or enterprise. The taxpayer is not required to own a majority of the voting stock of the affiliate."

B.   Notwithstanding the general effective date of this act, this SECTION takes effect on the first day of the month succeeding the month in which this act is approved by the Governor.

SECTION   63.   A.   Chapter 14, Title 12 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 12-14-80.   (A)   There is allowed an economic impact zone tax credit pursuant to Section 12-14-60 for qualifying investments made by a manufacturer which:

(1)   is engaged in this State in at least one economic impact zone, as defined in Section 12-14-30(1), in an activity or activities listed under the North American Industry Classification System Manual (NAICS) Section 326;

(2)   is employing five thousand or more full-time workers in this State and having a total capital investment in this State of not less than two billion dollars; and

(3)   has invested five hundred million dollars in capital investment in this state between January 1, 2006 and July 1, 2011.

(B)   A taxpayer that qualifies for the tax credit allowed by this section may claim the credit earned pursuant to this section and credits earned pursuant to Section 12-6-3360 in the manner provided pursuant to Sections 12-6-3360 and 12-14-60, or as a credit in an amount equal to not more than fifty percent of the employee's withholding on the taxpayer's quarterly withholding tax returns. The taxpayer must elect to take the credit either as an income tax or a withholding tax credit but not both. A taxpayer must first take the credits as an income tax credit in a year in which the taxpayer has a corporate income tax liability. The withholding tax credit may be taken only when the taxpayer has used the maximum investment tax credit allowed against the corporate income tax for that year. The withholding credit may only be taken for qualifying investments made or placed in service after July 1, 2007. To claim the credit against the employee 's withholding, the taxpayer must be in compliance with its withholding tax and other taxes due to the State."

B.   This section takes effect July 1, 2007, and applies for capital investments placed in service outside of an economic impact zone after June 30, 2007, and for quarterly state withholding returns due on and after that date, provided that for the period July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008, a taxpayer using this section many not reduce its state withholding tax to less than the withholding tax remitted for the period June 30, 2006, to July 1, 2007.

SECTION   64.   Section 12-37-220(B)(38) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(38)(a)   Watercraft and motors which have an assessment of not more than fifty dollars.

(b)   By ordinance, a governing body of a county may exempt from the property tax, forty-two and 75/100 percent of the fair market value of a watercraft and its motor. This exemption for a watercraft motor applies whether the motor is located in, attached to, or detached from the watercraft."

SECTION   65.   A.   Section 12-6-590(B) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:

"(B)   If Internal Revenue Code Section 1374 (Tax Imposed on Certain Built-In Gains and Capital Gains) or 1375 (Tax Imposed on Certain Passive Investment Income) imposes a federal income tax, a South Carolina tax is similarly imposed using the rates set forth in Section 12-6-530. If the exception in Internal Revenue Code Section 1374(c) is effective for federal tax purposes, then this exception is applicable for South Carolina income tax purposes. A taxpayer who is a shareholder in a bank, as defined in Section 581 of the IRC, having a valid federal election under Subchapter S, is allowed a tax credit that equals the difference between: (i) the taxpayer's tax as computed pursuant to this chapter, including all credits other than the credit allowed pursuant to this section; and (ii) the tax as computed pursuant to this chapter, including all credits other than the credit allowed pursuant to this section, but excluding the taxpayer's prorata share of the net items of income and expense of the bank. The credit may not exceed the taxpayer's prorata share of the tax imposed on the bank pursuant to Section 12-11-30. These taxpayers are taxed pursuant to the provisions of this section and Section 12-6-545, notwithstanding the exception contained in Section 12-6-545(A)(1)."

B.     This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to calendar years beginning January 1, 2007.

SECTION   66.   Section 12-37-714 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 386 of 2006, is further amended to read:

"Section 12-37-714.A.   In addition to any other provisions of law subjecting boats and boat motors to property tax in this State:

(1)   A boat, including its motor if separately taxed, used in interstate commerce having a tax situs in this State and at least one other state is subject to property tax in this State. The value of such a boat must be determined based on the fair market value of the boat multiplied by a fraction representing the number of days present in this State. The fraction is determined by dividing the number of days the boat was present in this State by three hundred and sixty-five days. A boat used in interstate commerce must be physically present in this State for thirty days in the aggregate in a property tax year to become subject to ad valorem taxation.

(2)   A boat, including its motor if the motor is separately taxed, which is not currently taxed in this State and is not used exclusively in interstate commerce, is subject to property tax in this State if it is present within this State for sixty consecutive days or for ninety days in the aggregate in a property tax year. Upon written request by a tax official, the owner must provide documentation or logs relating to the whereabouts of the boat in question. Failure to produce requested documents creates a rebuttable presumption that the boat in question is taxable within this State.

(3)   When a boat, or motor if separately taxed, is subject to a written contract for repairs and located in a marine repair facility in this State, the time periods provided pursuant to items (1) and (2) of this section are tolled."

B.   This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and is applicable for tax years beginning after 2007.

SECTION   67.   Section 4-29-68(A)(2) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 462 of 1996, is further amended to read:

"(2)   The bonds are issued solely for the purpose of paying the cost of designing, acquiring, constructing, improving, or expanding (a) the infrastructure serving the issuer and or the project, (b) for improved or unimproved real estate used in the operation of a manufacturing or commercial enterprise, or (c) aircraft which qualifies as a project pursuant to Section 12-44-30(16), which property is determined by the issuer in order to enhance the economic development of the issuer . and costs Costs of issuance of the bonds also may be paid from bond proceeds. Bonds issued pursuant to this section to finance the acquisition of real or personal property may be additionally secured by a mortgage of that real or personal property."

SECTION   68.   Chapter 3 of Title 46 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:

"Section 46-3-260.   (A)   There is established in the State Treasury a separate and distinct fund known as the 'South Carolina Renewable Energy Infrastructure Development Fund'. The revenues of the fund must be distributed by the South Carolina Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Program and the South Carolina Renewable Energy Grant Program. Disbursement of these funds by the loan and grant programs must be approved by the South Carolina Renewable Energy Oversight Committee. The committee shall consist of seven members, one appointed by each of the following persons: the Governor, the Commissioner of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

(1)   The South Carolina Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Program shall provide low interest loans, with a rate not to exceed the Wall Street Journal prime interest rate, to an individual or organization that plans to build a qualified renewable energy production facility. A renewable energy production facility is a facility that produces energy or transportation fuels from biomass, solar, or wind resources. A loan from the program may provide up to fifty percent of the total cost of a project, but must not exceed two hundred fifty thousand dollars for each project. The Department of Agriculture shall administer the South Carolina Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Program, in cooperation with the South Carolina Institute of Energy Studies.

(2)   The South Carolina Renewable Energy Grant Program shall provide grants to a private and public entity located in South Carolina for the purpose of assisting the entity to be more competitive in obtaining federal and other available grants that may generate renewable energy-related research and projects to directly benefit the State. The Department of Agriculture shall administer the South Carolina Renewable Energy Grant Program, in cooperation with the South Carolina Institute of Energy Studies and the South Carolina Research Authority. Grants are available in the following three categories:

(a)   planning grants up to ten thousand dollars are available to a research institution or private organization to develop proposals to obtain federal grants and other funding sources for biomass, solar, and wind energy projects in South Carolina;

(b)   matching grants up to two hundred thousand dollars are available for research and development projects that relate to development of South Carolina biomass, solar, and wind energy resources, provided that the grant does not exceed fifty percent of the total cost of the project; and

(c)   matching grants up to two hundred thousand dollars are available for demonstration projects that validate the effectiveness of new and future biomass technologies and products, provided that the grant does not exceed fifty percent of the total cost of the demonstration project.

(B)   The Department of Revenue may prescribe forms, procedures, issue policy documents, and distribute funds as necessary to ensure the orderly and timely implementation of the provisions herein. The Department of Revenue shall coordinate with the Department of Agriculture as necessary.

(C)   Unexpended funds received by the Department of Revenue from Proviso 73.17 of the Fiscal Year 2006-07 Appropriations Act and carried forward must be disbursed to these entities to meet the requirements of this provision: the Department of Revenue for the purpose of alternative fuel purchases incentive payments and the South Carolina Renewable Energy Infrastructure Development Fund established in this section.

SECTION   69.   This act takes effect upon the approval by the Governor, and is applicable for tax years beginning after 2007, except for SECTION 5, relating to Section 12-6-3415(A), which is applicable for tax years beginning after 2006, and SECTION 6, relating to Section 12-20-105, which is applicable for tax years beginning after 2003.   /

/s/Sen. Nikki G. Setzler          Rep. Scott F. Talley
/s/Sen. William H. O'Dell         /s/Rep. Herb Kirsh
/s/Sen. Thomas C. Alexander       /s/Rep. Kenny Bingham
On Part of the Senate.            On Part of the House.

, and a message was sent to the House accordingly.

RECESS

At 3:45 P.M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, the Senate receded from business subject to the Call of the PRESIDENT.

At 4:30 P.M., the Senate resumed.

RATIFICATION OF ACTS

Pursuant to the provisions of S. 787, the Sine Die Resolution, and an invitation, the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives appeared in the Senate Chamber on June 20, 2007, at 4:30 P.M. and the following Acts were ratified:

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(R164, S. 804 (Word version)) -- Senator Alexander: AN ACT TO AMEND ACT 604 OF 1994, RELATING TO THE CREATION OF THE REGISTRATION AND ELECTIONS COMMISSION FOR OCONEE COUNTY, SO AS TO AUTHORIZE THE COMMISSION TO APPOINT AND REMOVE THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
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(R165, S. 816 (Word version)) -- Senator Malloy: AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT EACH MEMBER OF THE DARLINGTON COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE SHALL BE ALLOWED AND PAID FROM DARLINGTON COUNTY "C" FUND REVENUES SEVENTY-FIVE DOLLARS FOR EACH MEETING AT WHICH HE IS IN ATTENDANCE, TO PROVIDE THAT THE COMMITTEE SHALL RECEIVE THE PAYMENT AUTHORIZED IN THIS ACT UPON ISSUANCE OF APPROVED VOUCHERS BY THE COMMITTEE'S CHAIRMAN, EXCEPT THAT THE CHAIRMAN MAY NOT APPROVE VOUCHERS IN ANY SINGLE FISCAL YEAR WHICH VOUCHERS AUTHORIZE PAYMENT FOR MORE THAN FIFTEEN MEETINGS PER FISCAL YEAR FOR EACH MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE DARLINGTON COUNTY LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION SHALL BE AN EX OFFICIO NONVOTING MEMBER OF THE DARLINGTON COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE.
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(R166, H. 4150 (Word version)) -- Reps. Hagood, Stavrinakis, Limehouse, Miller, Scarborough and Young: AN ACT TO AMEND ACT 340 OF 1967, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE CHARLESTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT AND THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE DISTRICT, SO AS TO REVISE THE MANNER IN WHICH PRINCIPALS OF SCHOOLS IN THE DISTRICT SHALL BE APPOINTED AND THE MANNER IN WHICH TEACHERS AND OTHER PERSONNEL SHALL BE EMPLOYED AND ASSIGNED, AND TO DELETE CERTAIN PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE EMPLOYMENT AND TRANSFER OF TEACHERS AND OTHER EMPLOYEES.
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(R167, H. 4200 (Word version)) -- Rep. Cotty: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 7-7-340, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DESIGNATION OF VOTING PRECINCTS IN KERSHAW COUNTY, SO AS TO REVISE AND NAME CERTAIN VOTING PRECINCTS OF KERSHAW COUNTY AND TO REDESIGNATE A MAP NUMBER 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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(R168, H. 4228 (Word version)) -- Reps. Moss, Phillips and Littlejohn: AN ACT TO REVISE THE DATE FOR ELECTIONS FOR THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF CHEROKEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT 1, THE FILING PERIOD, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS ARE DETERMINED.
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RATIFICATION OF ACTS

Pursuant to the provisions of S. 787, the Sine Die Resolution, and an invitation, the Honorable Speaker of the House of Representatives appeared in the Senate Chamber on June 20, 2007, at 6:25 P.M. and the following Act was ratified:

(R169, H. 3826 (Word version)) -- Rep. White: AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-580, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ELECTION FOR HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES TO PARTICIPATE OR NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE SOUTH CAROLINA RETIREMENT SYSTEM, SO AS TO INCLUDE PHYSICIANS EMPLOYED BY THE HOSPITAL, MAKE THE ELECTION AN "OPT-OUT" ELECTION, AND MAKE THIS ELECTION IRREVOCABLE; BY ADDING SECTION 9-8-67 SO AS TO ESTABLISH A NORMAL RETIREMENT AGE OF SIXTY YEARS FOR THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-60, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO RETIREMENT UNDER THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO ADD CIRCUIT PUBLIC DEFENDERS AND TO ALLOW CERTAIN MEMBERS OF THAT SYSTEM WHO ARE ELIGIBLE TO RETIRE TO RECEIVE RETIREMENT BENEFITS EITHER DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, BASED ON AGE, WHILE CONTINUING TO SERVE AND TO REQUIRE THESE MEMBERS TO CONTINUE TO MAKE EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS WHILE IN THIS STATUS; TO AMEND SECTION 9-8-110, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO PAYMENTS ON THE DEATH OF A MEMBER OR BENEFICIARY OF THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR JUDGES AND SOLICITORS, SO AS TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES IN WHICH A BENEFIT MAY BE PAID TO A SURVIVING SPOUSE FOLLOWING A MEMBER'S IN-SERVICE DEATH; AND TO AMEND SECTION 9-1-2210, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE TEACHER AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION INCENTIVE (TERI) PLAN, SO AS TO ALLOW PARTICIPATION BY A DISABILITY RETIREE RESTORED TO ACTIVE SERVICE WHO REPAYS BENEFITS RECEIVED AND VOIDS HIS OPTIONAL BENEFIT SELECTION.
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RECESS

At 4:45 P. M., on motion of Senator MARTIN, the Senate receded from business subject to the Call of the PRESIDENT.

At 6:35 P.M., the Senate resumed.

Pursuant to the provisions of S. 787, the Sine Die Resolution, the following Concurrent Resolution having been received from the House of Representatives was taken up for immediate consideration:

H. 4279 (Word version) -- Reps. Harrell, Merrill and Ott: A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION TO PROVIDE THAT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL STAND ADJOURNED FROM JUNE 29, 2007, UNTIL JANUARY 14, 2008, AND MAY BE CALLED INTO JOINT ASSEMBLY BY MUTUAL CONSENT OF THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING AN ELECTION TO FILL A VACANCY IN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT AND TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONFIRMATION OF APPOINTMENTS BY THE SENATE.

Senator McCONNELL spoke on the Resolution.

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

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

ORDERED ENROLLED FOR RATIFICATION

The following Bill was read the third time and, having received three readings in both Houses, it was ordered that the title be changed to that of an Act and enrolled for Ratification:

H. 4228 (Word version) -- Reps. Moss, Phillips and Littlejohn: A BILL TO REVISE THE DATE FOR ELECTIONS FOR THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF CHEROKEE COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT 1, THE FILING PERIOD, AND THE MANNER IN WHICH THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTIONS ARE DETERMINED.

LOCAL APPOINTMENTS
Confirmations

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

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

M. Brian Rawl, 2568 River Road, Johns Island, S.C. 29455

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Priscilla B. Baldwin, 10034 South Carolina Road, McClellanville, S.C. 29458

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

James B. Gosnell, Jr., 1284 Ashley Hall Rd., Charleston, S.C. 29407

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

David W. Coker, 4322 Patricia Street, North Charleston, S.C. 29418

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Bonnie L. Koontz, 2357 Brevard Road, Charleston, S.C. 29414

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

James A. Turner, 351 Confederate Circle, Charleston, S.C. 29407

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Harold R. Stein, P. O. Box 23, 2065 Allandale Plantation Rd., Wadmalaw Island, S.C. 29487

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Leroy Linen, 6113 Judge Linen Lane, Wadmalaw Island, S.C. 29487

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Patricia B. Dixon, 5454 Highway 165, Hollywood, S.C. 29449

Reappointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Linda S. Lombard, 63 Rebellion Rd., Charleston, S.C. 29407

Initial Appointment, Charleston County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Thomas E. Lynn, 857 Detyens Road, Mount Pleasant, S.C. 29464 VICE Jeanette M. Harper

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

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

Russell A. Miller, 7775 Moses Dingle Road, Manning, S.C. 29102 VICE Willie L. Bethune

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

Reappointment, Laurens County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Oscar L. Tribble, 254 Lawson Road, Laurens, S.C. 29360

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

Initial Appointment, Marlboro County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2007, and to expire April 30, 2011

Grover McQueen, Jr., 502 McQueen Rd., Bennettsville, S.C. 29512

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

Reappointment, Saluda County Magistrate, with term to commence April 30, 2006, and to expire April 30, 2010

Joyce B. Shults, 1437 Old Chappells Ferry Rd., Saluda, S.C. 29138