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 SCOTT.
The following remarks by Senator K. JOHNSON were ordered printed in the Journal of March 23, 2023:
Thank you, Mr. PRESIDENT. Members, I'm going to flip the script a little bit. I don't necessarily want to talk about medical marijuana, but I will say this. I listened to Senator DAVIS, and if anybody said that the Bill has not been vetted, I know differently. I know the Bill has been vetted. To the point that Senator MATTHEWS made, there was a time when I was on that subcommittee and until this day, I spent more time on that subcommittee Bill than I did any other Bill since I have been here. Albeit I was on the other side of the issue, I think Senator DAVIS will concur that we have disagreed on this Bill, but that it has been a respectful disagreement. I've always commended him on constructing this Bill much better than the previous one. The Bill that we are debating is far better than the Bill that we first created years ago when I sat on the subcommittee, but I didn't want to talk about the medical marijuana issue.
I felt like since we were talking about Bills that deal with health care, I want to just remind the Body that for the last several years, I have filed a Bill to expand Medicaid. Senator DAVIS, I know you're frustrated because your Bill hasn't passed but your Bill has been getting hearings, moved to committees, and it's being voted on in both bodies; however, my Bill to expand Medicaid has never even received a committee hearing. We're talking about whether we want to agree or disagree that medical marijuana saves lives and if it has medicinal value -- I'm not quite there yet. I do know that if Medicaid expansion is passed that will save lives in South Carolina. We have two to three hundred thousand South Carolinians who fall between that gap. We can fix this and help deserving people to qualify and get affordable quality health care. As I said, for some reason, that Bill can't even get a committee hearing. I'll just end by saying that if we really want to provide compassionate care in South Carolina, there should be no debate about Medicaid expansion because it will provide just that.
The following remarks by Senator KIMPSON were ordered printed in the Journal of March 28, 2023:
Thank you, MR. PRESIDENT, may I have everyone's attention? When the gunshots began to pop, Mrs. Polly Sheppard first assumed it was faulty wiring in the building. Then came the shouts, the agony -- as she hid under a table in the kitchen in the back of the Fellowship Hall. Dylan Roof killed our brethren -- the Reverend Clementa Pinckney first, and then shot Reverend Daniel Simmons -- who had rushed to assist his pastor. The gunman kept shooting. Mrs. Sheppard said, "I could hear the clips falling." From under the table, she called 911. She watched as this gunman approached her. She began to recite "The Lord is my shepard, I shall not want, he makeith me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside the still waters." "I had given up," she said, "My body was loose, I was just waiting for the bullet." Mrs. Sheppard continued to recite, "I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me." When the gunman reached Mrs. Sheppard, the killer stopped and asked her, "Did I shoot you yet?" She responded, "No." His response was that he was not going to shoot her.
It is my humble honor and privilege to introduce this Body to two of the survivors of the shooting on that night -- Mrs. Felicia Sanders and Mrs. Polly Sheppard. These two ladies and Mr. Sanders, you can please stand. Mr. Sanders is a father, a nephew and a cousin of the deceased. These three individuals lived. They lived -- and they continue to live to champion the cause and the calls of the righteous. They are here today to advocate for South Carolina to join the rest of the Nation as we pass hate crime legislation. This morning, they are championing this very critical legislation for our State, our business interests, and our humanity. And they are traveling across this Country to make sure that those who died on that night did not die in vain. They have engaged in the fight for background checks. What sense does it make to have a background check if the background check does not have to be complete? Why do you need an AR--15 to hunt deer? And these are the voices that we have been listening to since the horrific murder on that evening and the voices that the Nation has been listening to as they advocate for us to observe humanity and that we respect one another.
I want the Senate to take some time, Mr. PRESIDENT, to join me in welcoming these righteous freedom fighters who have taken their time to advocate for hate crime legislation and a myriad of other issues such as the preservation of the church and many other eleemosynary, non-profit organizations. Mr. PRESIDENT, let's welcome these courageous freedom fighters to the Senate.
At 11:05 A.M., on motion of Senator SHEALY, the Senate adjourned to meet next Tuesday, April 25, 2023, at 12:00 P.M.
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