South Carolina General Assembly
122nd Session, 2017-2018
Journal of the Senate

                                                NO. 24









Friday, February 16, 2018
(Local 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 ACTING PRESIDENT, Senator MASSEY.


The following remarks by Senator CLIMER were ordered printed in the Journal of January 23, 2018:

Remarks by Senator CLIMER

Members of the Senate, when we were here last week, last Tuesday, the four Senators who represent portions of York County came up and shared with you the news of a tragedy that took place in our community on the night of Monday, January 15th. I'm sure many of you knew and paid witness to the fact that our flags were flying at half-mast yesterday. Yesterday was the date of Detective Mike Doty's funeral. Detective Doty was killed in the line of duty responding to a cry for help from a victim of domestic violence.

Yesterday was the memorial service for Detective Doty. It was a tough experience. But it was also a beautiful and uplifting tribute to the ultimate sacrifice made in the name of public service. Detective Doty was renowned among his colleagues for his commitment to the craft of law enforcement. He was a good cop. He was also known for the spirit of charity and kindness that he brought to it. I will give you two examples.

He spearheaded our county's effort to make sure that every one of our Sheriff's Officers has a NARCAN device on them, so when a victim of the opioid crisis falls under extreme duress, then that person's life can be saved. That was important to Detective Doty.

I know many of the high school students who've benefited from his mentorship and leadership in the Explorer Program mourn his loss deeply today. He was instrumental in the success of that program. That is the kind of man Detective Doty was. He took time to help people.

Yesterday, at his service, both his brother and father made remarkable pleas for unity and recommitment to service in Mike's name. I would challenge all of us here and all of us across this State to set down our petty games and to know that there are thousands of men and women all over this State, day in and day out, who risk their lives to defend our people and the laws we pass. And the loss of a hero like Mike Doty draws that into incredibly sharp relief.

Second, three of Mike's colleagues, members of the S.W.A.T. team who were called out that night, have endured multiple surgeries. They are recovering. They still have a long, long way to go before they are back on their feet and protecting their neighbors. When I visited these guys on Thursday, Sargent Randy Gibson, who leads our K-9 department at the York County Sheriff's Office, was griping to me because they weren't going to let him out of the hospital that day. They were going to make him wait until tomorrow. He says every day he spends there is a day he's not back out with his dogs and is a day he is not working. That is the spirit of that department. A man like Randy Gibson, who has given 34 years of his life to protecting our community, was shot by a monster with a rifle in the conduct of his duties to protect a mother from domestic violence. And his only concern is how quickly can I get back to work because I have a job to do.

Two other colleagues, Buddy Brown and Kyle Cummings -- Kyle was discharged the day I got there and Buddy had just gotten out of surgery when I was there. We got to visit for a minute. I know that both of them, like Randy, are itching to get back to work because that is the kind of people who give themselves to service and law enforcement.

Yesterday after the memorial service, one of the most moving things that I have ever experienced took place. The procession, in my mind, was at least seven miles long. I want to thank many of you here because there were law enforcement officers, and I won't be able to count them all, from Greenville, Spartanburg and from Greenwood. I sat beside the solicitor from Horry County. They came from Spartanburg, Aiken, Charleston and from Cherokee. The law enforcement family in this State came together in a big way yesterday to pay tribute to one of their own. It was an amazing thing to witness.

It was equally amazing, and I want to express my gratitude to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, because our officers were in a trauma center in Charlotte. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have been nothing but outstanding in their care, concern and delivery of aid to the officers who came up from York County. Not only that, they shut down Interstates I-485 and I-77 yesterday for the funeral procession when we came back into York County.

There were thousands, thousands of my neighbors lining the road, paying respect to their fallen hero. I am so grateful to live in a community with people like that. Mr. PRESIDENT, I ask unanimous consent that on the next available day, the Senate adjourn in memory of Detective Mike Doty.


The following remarks by Senator FANNING were ordered printed in the Journal of January 9, 2018:

Remarks by Senator FANNING

Ladies and gentleman of the Senate, today we have been told to wait and take our time -- to allow time to go on so we can formulate our ideas. But this is the biggest fiasco in the history of South Carolina. We have people hurting right now all over South Carolina. And we talk about people hurting in the past, but we have millions of South Carolinians paying 18% more on utility bills today for reactors that have been abandoned for four months. They were abandoned on July 31st and Santee Cooper rates are still higher and SCANA rates are 18% higher. You tell your little old lady on a fixed income, age fill in the blank, that she is using this amount of money in utility each month and we're going to tack on 18%, which we have been doing for the last ten years. But theoretically, we told her at least she'd get some reactors out of it. And that little ole lady is continuing in September, in October, in November, in December, this month, next month, to pay 18% more than the utility she used. Tell her we are going to take our time!

There are folks that are hurting right now and they can't wait. As bad as that is for many South Carolinians in your districts, it is desperately hurting Fairfield County. We have 5,650 people that worked in our county, that as of July 31st, no longer have jobs and are no longer working in our county. Their homes have been foreclosed. They have moved and they have left. And you make think, well, we are sorry Senator Fanning, we are so sorry that happened. That's unfortunately the price of business. But I don't call attention just to SCANA and just to those 5,650 -- we had small businesses in Fairfield County that had opened to serve guess who? Those 5,650 workers! We had other small businesses that needed those 5,650 workers to make ends meet. Our local restaurants are suffering. And I say that because we don't have a single chain restaurant in Fairfield County. Their profit margin might only be 10%, Senator PEELER but 10% will be the number of people who used to come in there from those reactors and they are going out of business. So tell our small businesses in Fairfield County to wait a little longer and let's take our time. Tell Fairfield County, Fairfield County has partnered with SCANA for four decades Unit 1 since the early 1980s. Our county has been a wonderful partner with Unit 1 that has produced cheap, clean nuclear energy for decades partnered with Fairfield County. And we were in the process for decades for the past decades for Unit 2 and 3. While we are moving slowly, Fairfield County has been left holding the bag. Fairfield County, I want to remind you, is located 30 minutes from where we sit right now. And that county that is as big as Chester, Lancaster or York in geographic needs, now has the ninth smallest population in the State. Two-thirds of Fairfield County, thirty minutes from you, has no water or sewer. Fairfield County is suffering. We have the highest unemployment rate in the State. While we wait, this abandonment is killing our county's property tax base because as you can imagine, with ACT 388, we didn't have anything to tax except industry. And guess what our only industry is? The reactors. Again, this is the largest fiasco in the history of South Carolina. Millions of South Carolinians are affected by years, a decade, of nine rate increases in ten years. South Carolina has a duty to all rate payers in South Carolina. But also has a duty to the county that has housed this 9.5 billion investment. That is correct. In fact, I dare you to think and google while I speak and find another investment in the history of South Carolina that was more than 9.5 billion. 9.5 billion was invested in the two reactors that we're building that when complete would provide cheap, clean nuclear power for 80 years a piece. Instead of South Carolina buying power off the grid, South Carolina could be one of the few states that could be selling power off the grid. We are walking away from a 9.5 billion investment. Billions of this came directly from your constituents. If they're on an electric co-op, they paid. If they're a part of Santee Cooper, they paid. SCE&G, they paid. Billions of their dollars going to pay for this investment. So a couple of numbers for you today. First of all, the number 2 billion -- over ten years, nine rate increases. Your rate payers paid 2 billion dollars toward these reactors. Dominion, that you hear, about talks about a thousand dollars cash payout. That cash payout would make only 72% of that figure for an average typical rate payer. And you may say, well 72% sounds pretty good -- sounds like the best you can get. But that brings me to my second number, which is 18%. Remember your folks are continuing this month. Their utility bill is 18% higher than the utilities they've used to pay for two reactors they walked away from.


The following remarks by Senator NICHOLSON were ordered printed in the Journal of February 8, 2018:

Remarks by Senator NICHOLSON

Thank you, Mr. PRESIDENT. May I have your attention please? You know we all have certain dates and events that are very special in our lives. It might be the birth of a child, or the date you got married. I woke up early and remembered that February 8 is a date that is very special in my life. I think 25 years is silver and 50 is golden. It is golden but not an anniversary. I remembered what happened 50 years ago on February 8, 1968, in Orangeburg, South Carolina -- the Orangeburg Massacre. You read about certain things and have certain experiences, but it is different when you are there living it.

I was a freshman at South Carolina State University when those three students were killed that night. They are conducting a service in Orangeburg now to commemorate this tragedy, with Bakari Sellers as the speaker. From that event, an individual was indicted for inciting a riot. I don't see how a fire and yelling at cars equals a riot. We were being filmed and not allowed to go off camera. Highway patrol arrived and started shooting. You know, it was like being in a war. But in that war, only one side had guns. They said they heard gunfire. You know there was no gunfire -- just open season. Three students were killed. South Carolina State's gym -- The Smith-Hammond-Middleton Memorial Center -- was named in honor of the innocent lives that were lost. One killed was a high school student from Orangeburg, whose mother worked at the university. Instead of going home, or being in the streets, he would go to the university to wait for her until she got off work. His mother thought he was safe there.

This had a drastic affect upon my life. I still remember running and falling on the ground. Nicholson could have been one of the names on that gym. Bullets don't have names on them. There was a crowd of about 200 students out there. This impacted me greatly. I will never forget that incident. When I think about it, I think about how critical the year 1968 was. On February 8, I borrowed money to go home, where I stayed for two weeks until I went back to school. Senator FANNING's birthday is April 4. The year was 1967. He was one year old when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. For those of you that don't know, Dr. King's mentor was Benjamin Mayes. He is from Greenwood, South Carolina. If you come up, I will show his birthplace and statue we have erected in his memory. He had a heavy influence on Dr. King. Then in Los Angeles, California, Robert Kennedy was assassinated. Tensions were high that year. Then, in August in Greenwood, three friends of mine knew integration was on the horizon. My friends volunteered to play football for Greenwood High. And guess what? They started as tenth graders and received scholarships when they graduated. They paved the way for countless others. Gamecock fans -- Gerald Witt got a scholarship to the University of South Carolina and was a star athlete. David Hackett went to Western Carolina. Clyde Jones decided on South Carolina State. Just think, despite tensions being so high, they volunteered to attend these universities. The winter Olympics start today. I heard that a lot of Dorman athletes were here, talking about track and field. The most exciting parts are the running events-- especially the sprints. A lot of you don't remember Tommie Smith or John Carlos but they both smoked the 200 meter race. They placed first and third. At the medal ceremony when the National Anthem was played, they each put a fist up. Black Power was a prominent topic during the 60s. Smith and Carlos said it was not in reference to black power, but in reference to human rights. Human rights for everyone. I never will forget that October and all those things that happened in 1968.

This year we are celebrating the 50 year anniversary. Growing up in the 60s, I will never forget hearing one of my favorite Sam Cooke songs play. That song is called "A Change Is Gonna Come." A change is going to come, but it has not arrived completely. There is talk about football players protesting by taking a knee. Many people say this is disrespectful to the military. No, it is not. It is the same reason that Smith and Carlos raised their right hands. It is for human rights. Human rights for everyone. I want to share this as we reminisce, as we reflect about how far we have come, and that we still have a long way to go. You know, I was talking with my wife the other night. I said, "Everyone talks about the National Anthem, but does anyone ever think about the pledge?" We say it every day here, "I pledge allegiance to the flag..." Do you ever think about the part where it says "one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all?" -- for all. If it were there in our hearts, the world would be a better place. Thank you.


At 11:05 A.M., on motion of Senator SCOTT, the Senate adjourned to meet next Tuesday, February 20, 2018, at 2:00 P.M.

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This web page was last updated on Friday, February 16, 2018 at 12:24 P.M.