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934Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 20020124Primary Sponsor: HayesAll Sponsors: HayesDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\dka\4626mm02.docResiding Body: HouseDate of Last Amendment: 20020425Subject: Joint Agency Act, special purpose districtsHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 20020528 Request for debate by Representative Harrison J. Young Altman Davenport Loftis Fleming House 20020523 Committee report: Favorable with 25 HJ amendment House 20020430 Introduced, read first time, 25 HJ referred to Committee Senate 20020426 Read third time, sent to House Senate 20020425 Amended, read second time, unanimous consent for third reading on Friday, 20020426 Senate 20020424 Committee report: Favorable with 11 SJ amendment Senate 20020124 Introduced, read first time, 11 SJ referred to Committee Versions of This Bill Revised on April 24, 2002 - Word format Revised on April 25, 2002 - Word format Revised on May 23, 2002 - Word format
Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
May 23, 2002
S. Printed 5/23/02--H.
Read the first time April 30, 2002.
To whom was referred a Bill (S. 934) to amend Title 6, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to local governments, by adding Chapter 24 so as to enact the "Joint Agency Act", etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass with amendment:
Amend the bill, as and if amended, by deleting SECTION 3 in its entirety and inserting appropriately numbered SECTIONS to read:
/ SECTION __. Section 15-41-30(1) through (8) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 53 of 1988, is further amended to read:
"(1) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed
five thousand dollars in value the amount specified in 11 U.S.C.A. 522(d)(1), in real property or personal property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, in a cooperative that owns property that the debtor or a dependent of the debtor uses as a residence, or in a burial plot for the debtor or a dependent of the debtor, except that the aggregate value of multiple homestead exemptions allowable with respect to a single living unit may not exceed ten thousand dollars. If there are multiple owners of such a living unit exempt as a homestead, the value of the exemption of each individual owner may not exceed his fractional portion of ten thousand dollars.
(2) The debtor's interest, not to exceed
one thousand two hundred dollars in value the amount specified in 11 U.S.C.A. 522(d)(2), in one motor vehicle.
(3) The debtor's interest, not to exceed
two thousand five hundred dollars in aggregate value the amount specified in 11 U.S.C.A. 522(d)(3), in household furnishings, household goods, wearing apparel, appliances, books, animals, crops, or musical instruments, that are held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.
(4) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed
five hundred dollars in value the amount specified in 11 U.S.C.A. 522(d)(4), in jewelry held primarily for the personal, family, or household use of the debtor or a dependent of the debtor.
(5) The debtor's aggregate interest in cash and other liquid assets to the extent of a value not exceeding one thousand dollars, except that this exemption is available only to an individual who does not claim a homestead exemption. The term 'liquid assets' includes deposits, securities, notes, drafts, unpaid earnings not otherwise exempt, accrued vacation pay, refunds, prepayments, and other receivables.
(6) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed
seven hundred fifty dollars in value the amount specified in 11 U.S.C.A. 522(d)(6), in any implements, professional books, or tools of the trade of the debtor or the trade of a dependent of the debtor.
(7) Any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor, other than a credit life insurance contract.
(8) The debtor's aggregate interest, not to exceed
in value four thousand dollars the amount specified in 11 U.S.C.A. 522(d)(8), less any amount of property of the estate transferred in the manner specified in Section 542(d) of the Bankruptcy Code of 1978, in any accrued dividend or interest under, or loan value of, any unmatured life insurance contract owned by the debtor under which the insured is the debtor or an individual of whom the debtor is a dependent."
SECTION __. Section 7-5-120(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 365 of 1994, is further amended to read:
"(B) A person is disqualified from being registered or voting if he:
(1) is mentally incompetent as adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction; or
(2) is serving a term of imprisonment resulting from a conviction of a crime; or
(3) is convicted of a violent crime, as defined in section 16-1-60, or offenses against the election laws, unless the disqualification has been removed by pardon; or
(3)(4) is convicted of a any other felony or offenses against the election laws, unless the disqualification has been removed by service of the sentence, including probation and parole time unless sooner pardoned pardon or fifteen years or more has passed after the completion date of service of the sentence, including probation and parole time."
SECTION __. A. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-5-15.(A) All members of boards of registration, county election commissions, and combined county boards of registration and county election commissions must be appointed for terms of two years. All terms begin on the date of appointment and end on March thirty-one of the year the term ends.
(B) A member of a county board of registration, county election commission, or a combined county board of registration and county election commission may be removed for cause by the Governor upon recommendation of the State Election Commission.
(C) Nothing in this section may be construed to prevent a legislative delegation from recommending to the Governor the removal of a board or commission member pursuant to Section 7-13-70."
B. Article 1, Chapter 5, Title 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-5-25. (A) Failure by a member of a county registration board, a combined county election and registration commission, or a county election commission to complete or make satisfactory progress toward completion of the certification and training requirements of Section 7-5-10, 7-5-35, or 7-13-70, as applicable, and as determined by the State Election Commission, constitutes neglect of duty for which the member must be removed from office by the Governor.
(B) No later than February fifteenth of every even-numbered year, the State Election Commission shall report to the Governor and the respective legislative delegation or other recommending authority the progress of the officials named in subsection (A) of this section toward completion of the training and certification requirements applicable to these officials."
C. Chapter 13, Title 7 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 7-13-210. (A) For purposes of this article, 'governing body' means the governing body of a municipality, school board, school district, special purpose district, or public service district, which include, but are not limited to, water, sewer, fire, recreation, soil conservation, and other similar district offices.
(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of law or special act providing for the election of the members of a governing body, beginning at the time of the general election of 2002 and every year thereafter as appropriate, members of a governing body must be elected in elections to be conducted at the same time as the general election or on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in an odd-numbered year as follows:
(1) If the term for which a current member of a governing body expires in an even-numbered year, that member's term is extended until his successor is elected and qualifies in the manner provided in this article at the general election.
(2) If the term for which a current member of a governing body expires in an odd-numbered year, that member's term is extended until his successor is elected and qualifies in the manner provided in this article on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November.
Section 7-13-220. If a member of a governing body is currently elected at the time of the general election or on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November, the provisions of this article control the election of that member.
Section 7-13-230. A member of a governing body currently elected in a nonpartisan election as provided by law shall continue to be elected in that manner except that the date of the nonpartisan election must be at the same time in the appropriate even-numbered or odd-number year as provided in Section 7-3-210(B).
Section 7-13-240. The terms for a member elected to a governing body are as now provided by law for that governing body.
Section 7-13-250. Candidates for these offices, which are filled in nonpartisan elections on the effective date of this article, must be nominated by the method provided by law for the office affected with the appropriate authority conducting the election.
Section 7-13-260. The elections provided for in this article including, but not limited to, all dates and times for the conduct of elections currently provided for in the general election in Title 7 apply to and also must be used for the election conducted on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in an odd-numbered year and must be conducted pursuant to the provisions of Title 7, mutatis mutandis, except as otherwise provided for in this section. The cost of the election must be borne by the governing body elected at the times specified in this article on a pro rata basis determined by the entity charged by law with conducting the election.
Section 7-13-270. Members of a governing body shall continue to be elected from the district at large, from specified election districts, or in such other manner as is now provided by law for that governing body.
Section 7-13-280. Vacancies in these offices must be filled as provided by law.
Section 7-13-290. The results of these elections must be determined in the manner provided by law for that governing body.
Section 7-13-300. A referendum on the question of raising the bonded indebtedness limit of a governing body, including a county and any other referendum, must be held either at the time of the general election or on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of an odd-numbered year."
D. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-13-1115. (A) Hand counts of election results may only be conducted if the machine used for the original count malfunctions and that malfunction is certified by the State Election Commission. The State Election Commission must also certify that the hand count is necessary. If another machine can be substituted for the malfunctioning machine within forty-eight hours of the discovery of the malfunction, the substituted machine must be used and the necessity of the hand count may not be certified. All hand counts must be conducted at the direction of the State Election Commission.
(B) The State Election Commission is directed to establish policies and procedures for all recounts which must be followed by local election commissions."
E. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-17-75. (A) For purposes of this section:
(1) 'Frivolous' means the basis or factual content of the protest, excluding technical aspects, is of no significance for purposes of stating a claim upon which relief may be granted.
(2) 'Without merit' means without credible evidence that the election law or a candidate's rights in an election have been violated in a manner or to the degree necessary to change the outcome of the election.
(B) If a candidate protests an election on any ground other than the disparity of the number of ballots cast, and if the board hearing the protest determines the protest was frivolous and without merit, the losing candidate who filed the frivolous protest is liable to the winning candidate and to the board hearing the protest for all costs incurred by the winning candidate in connection with the protest, and for all administrative costs incurred by the board in connection with hearing the protest, respectively."
F. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-15-335. Before each primary for the general election and the general election, the county board of registration or a trained and certified designee of the board shall, after prior notification, visit each nursing home or assisted living facility in the county, and offer residents who are qualified the opportunity to apply for an absentee ballot. If the voter needs assistance in completing the application, the board member or designee must provide such assistance and return the completed application to the office of the voter registration board. After determining qualification, the board member or designee must deliver the appropriate absentee ballots to each applicant, provide assistance if necessary and requested, return the voted ballots to the absentee precinct, and deposit the sealed envelope containing the voted ballots in the ballot box provided. All provisions and safeguards established by law regarding absentee voting that are not in conflict with this section are not affected by these provisions."
G. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-15-470. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, a county board of registration may use other methods of voting by absentee ballot instead of by paper ballot. No voting machine or voting system, other than a paper-based system, may be used for in-person absentee voting that has not received written certification from the State Election Commission that the voting machine or voting system meets all statutory requirements for use in the State and certification that the machine can be secured against voting at times other than business hours of the county board of registration, that the results of elections can be held secure from release until the time for counting ballots at any polling place, and votes cast using the machine can be challenged and held secure until the hearing on challenged ballots required by Section 7-13-830 is held. The State Election Commission must develop standards and guidelines for these purposes."
H. Section 7-13-190(B) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 412 of 1998, is further amended to read:
"(B) In partisan elections, whether seeking nomination by political party primary or political party convention, filing by these candidates shall open for the office at twelve o'clock noon on the third Friday after the vacancy occurs for a period to close ten days later at twelve o'clock noon. If seeking nomination by petition, the petitions must be submitted not later than twelve o'clock noon, sixty days prior to the election. Verification of these petitions must be made not later than twelve o'clock noon forty-five days prior to the election. If seeking nomination by political party primary or political party convention, filing with the appropriate official is the same as provided in Section 7-11-15 and if seeking nomination by petition, filing with the appropriate official is the same as provided in Section 7-11-70.
A primary must be held on the eleventh Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. A runoff primary must be held on the thirteenth Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. The special election must be on the eighteenth Tuesday after the vacancy occurs. If the eighteenth Tuesday after the vacancy occurs is no more than sixty days
prior to before, or no more than fifteen days after the general election, the special election shall be held on the same day as the general election. If the filing period closes on a state holiday, then filing must be held open through the succeeding weekday. If the date for an election falls on a state holiday, it must be set for the next succeeding Tuesday. For purposes of this section, state holiday does not mean the general election day."
I. Section 7-13-860 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 434 of 1996, is further amended to read:
"Section 7-13-860. Each candidate who is not unopposed in a primary and each nonpartisan candidate, including announced write-in candidates in a general or special election, may appoint a watcher for any voting place where his name appears on the ballot. However, in any general or special election, all candidates who are certified by a political party must be jointly represented at each polling place by not more than two watchers from the party for each one thousand registered voters or fraction thereof registered at the polling place. Each watcher appointed
hereunder under this section must be a qualified voter in the county where he is to watch State, and must be certified, in writing, to the managers of the voting precinct to which assigned. This certification must be signed by the primary or nonpartisan candidate or, in the case of watchers jointly representing all candidates of a political party, by an appropriate party official. Watchers must, at all times, wear visible identification specifying the candidate or party, as
appropriate, which they represent. The identification badge of a poll watcher may not exceed four and one-fourth inches by four and one-fourth inches with individual letters on the badge not exceeding one-quarter inch in height or width. Badges may not be a color that has a fluorescent quality. After qualification, watchers must be placed in an area designated by the poll managers where the watchers can observe the entire election process at that polling place. No watcher may conduct himself in a manner that will interfere in the orderly conduct of the election or influence any voter in the casting of his ballot."
J. Section 7-13-1120 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 7-13-1120. (A) If a voter marks more names than there are persons to be elected or nominated to an office or if for any reason it is impossible to determine the voter's choice for any office to be filled, his ballot
shall must not be counted for such the office; but this shall not vitiate the ballot, so far as properly marked. Nothing herein in this section shall may be construed to prevent any voter in a general or special election from voting for any qualified person, other than those whose names are printed on the ballot, by writing in the name of the person opposite the office.
(B) The integrity of the ballot is the voter's responsibility. If a hand count, pursuant to Section 7-13-1115, is conducted the intent of the voter must be clear from the face of the ballot pursuant to policies and procedures established by the State Election Commission."
K. Section 7-13-1340 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 103 of 1999, is further amended to read:
"Section 7-13-1340. No vote recorder or optical scan voting device
shall may be adopted or used unless it shall, at the time, satisfy the following requirements:
It shall provide provides facilities for voting for such the candidates as may be nominated and upon such the questions as may be submitted;
It shall permit permits each elector, at other than primaries, to vote a straight party or body ticket, with the exception of candidates for the offices of presidential electors, in one operation; and, in one operation, to vote for all the candidates of one party or body for presidential electors; and, in one operation, to vote for all the candidates of one party or body for every office to be voted for, except those offices as to which he votes for individual candidates and the offices of presidential electors;
Except as provided in subsection (b) for presidential electors, it shall permit permits each elector, at other than
primaries, to vote a ticket selected from the nominees of any and all parties or bodies, from independent nominations, and from persons not in nomination;
It shall permit permits each elector to vote, at any election, for any person and for any office for whom and for which he is lawfully entitled to vote, whether or not the name of such the person or persons appears upon a ballot label as a candidate for election, and to vote for as many persons for an office as he is entitled to vote for, and to vote for or against any question upon which he is entitled to vote;
When when used in conjunction with a tabulating machine, it shall preclude the counting of votes for any candidate, or upon any question, for whom or upon which an elector is not entitled to vote, and shall preclude the counting of votes for more persons for any office than he is entitled to vote for or for fewer than he is required to vote for, and shall preclude the counting of votes for any candidate for the same office or upon any question more than once;
It shall permit voting in absolute secrecy, so that no person can see or know for whom any other elector has voted or is voting, save an elector whom he has assisted or is assisting in voting, as prescribed by law;
It shall must be constructed of material of good quality, in a neat and workmanlike manner;
It shall, when properly operated, record correctly and accurately every vote cast;
It shall must be so constructed that an elector may readily learn the method of operating it; and
It shall must be safely transportable .; and
If if approved after July 1, 1999, or if an upgrade in software, hardware, or firmware is submitted for approval as required by Section 7-13-1330(C), the voting system must be able to electronically transmit vote totals for all elections to the State Election Commission in a format and time frame specified by the commission."
L. Section 7-15-330 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 193 of 1989, is amended to read:
"Section 7-15-330. To vote by absentee ballot, a qualified elector or a member of his immediate family must request an application to vote by absentee ballot in person, by telephone, or
by mail in writing from the county registration board, or at an extension office of the board of registration as established by the county governing body, for the county of the voter's residence.
Any form for requesting an application for an absentee ballot that is produced and distributed by a candidate or political party must be approved by the State Election Commission before its use. The commission's written approval and a copy of the form must be on file at the commission's office and available for public inspection. A person requesting an application for a qualified elector as the qualified elector's authorized representative must request an application to vote by absentee ballot in person or by mail in writing only and must himself be a registered voter and must sign an oath to the effect that he fits the statutory definition of a representative. A person who represents himself as an authorized representative for a qualified elector who fraudulently signs the required oath is in violation of Section 7-25-190 and, upon conviction, is subject to the penalties for that offense. This signed oath must be kept on file with the board of registration until the end of the calendar year or until all contests concerning a particular election have been finally determined, whichever is later. A candidate or a member of a candidate's paid campaign staff, including volunteers reimbursed for time expended on campaign activity, is not allowed to request applications for absentee voting for any person designated in this section unless the person is a member of the immediate family. A request for an application to vote by absentee ballot may be made anytime during the calendar year in which the election in which the qualified elector desires to be permitted to vote by absentee ballot is being held. However, completed applications must be returned to the county registration board in person or by mail before 5:00 p.m. on the fourth day before the day of the election. Applications must be accepted by the county board of registration until 5:00 p.m. on the day immediately preceding the election for those who appear in person and are qualified to vote absentee pursuant to Section 7-15-320. A member of the immediate family of a person who is admitted to a hospital as an emergency patient on the day of an election or within a four-day period before the election may obtain an application from the registration board on the day of an election, complete it, receive the ballot, deliver it personally to the patient who shall vote, and personally carry the ballot back to the board of registration. The board of registration shall serially number each absentee ballot application form and keep a record book in which must be recorded the number of the form, the name, home address, and absentee mailing address of the person for whom the absentee ballot application form is requested; the name, address, voter registration number, and relationship of the person requesting the
form, if other than the applicant; the date upon which the form is requested; and the date upon which the form is issued. This information becomes a public record at 9:00 a.m. on the day immediately preceding the election, except that forms issued for emergency hospital patients must be made public by 9:00 a.m. on the day following an election. A person Any voter who violates the provisions of this section is subject to the penalties provided for in Section 7-25-170 7-25-20."
M. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-13-1885. As part of the canvassing and announcement of the results an election required by Section 7-13-1880, the entity charged by law with conducting the election shall report the aggregate number of electors signing the poll list. This number must be included in the report of the entity charged by law with conducting the election to the State Election Commission."
N. Section 7-13-110 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 337 of 2000, is further amended to read:
"Section 7-13-110. All managers of election for the various polling places in the State must be residents and registered electors of the respective counties in which they are appointed to work or in an adjoining county.
Any A person at least sixteen years of age who has completed the training required by Section 7-13-72 and who is not otherwise disqualified by law may be appointed as a poll manager's assistant by the appropriate county election commission. Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds A sixteen or seventeen-year-old appointed as a poll manager's assistants assistant may not serve as chairman of the managers or clerk in the polling place to which they are appointed. They Sixteen and seventeen-year-olds must serve under supervision of the chairman of the managers of the polling place, and their specific duties must be prescribed by the county election commission. No polling place in this State may employ more than one One sixteen or seventeen-year-old assistant poll manager may be appointed for every two regular poll workers appointed to work in a precinct."
O. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 7-13-310. A referendum on the question of raising the millage limit of a governing body must be held either at the time of the general election or on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November of an odd-numbered year."
P. This section takes effect January 1, 2003.
SECTION __. A. This act may be cited as the "South Carolina Exile Act of 2001".
B. Section 16-23-10(c) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
The term "crime of violence" means murder, manslaughter (except negligent manslaughter arising out of traffic accidents), rape, mayhem, kidnapping, burglary, robbery, housebreaking, assault with intent to kill, commit rape, or rob, assault with a dangerous weapon, or assault with intent to commit any offense punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. The term 'crime of violence' means any offense listed in Section 16-1-60 and includes any similar offense as defined by any jurisdiction or court of the United States, the several states, commonwealths, territories, possessions, or District of Columbia."
C. Section 6-23-50(A)(1) of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 184 of 1993, is further amended to read:
"(A)(1) A person, including a dealer, who violates the provisions of this article, except Section 16-23-20, is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years, or both. However, a person who violates the provisions of this article, except Section 16-23-20, and who was previously convicted of a crime of violence, as defined in Section 16-23-10(c), upon conviction, must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, no part of which may be suspended or probation granted, in addition to the punishment provided for the principal offense. A person sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment pursuant to this section is not eligible for parole or any early release program; nor is the person eligible to receive any work credits, education credits, good conduct credits, or any other credits that would reduce the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment required by this section."
D. Section 16-23-490 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 184 of 1993, is further amended to read:
"(A)(1) If a person is in possession of a firearm whether on his person or within his immediate access, or
visibly displays what appears to be affirmatively represents that he is in possession of a firearm or visibly displays a knife during the commission of a violent crime and is convicted of committing or attempting to commit a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60, he must be imprisoned sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, no part of which may be suspended or probation granted, in addition to the punishment provided for the principal crime offense. This five-year sentence does not apply in cases where the death penalty or a life sentence without parole is imposed for the violent crime.
(2) If a person is in possession of a firearm whether on his person or within his immediate access, or affirmatively represents that he is in possession of a firearm or visibly displays a knife during the commission or attempted commission of the unlawful manufacture, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance, or during the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute as defined in Sections 44-53-370 and 44-53-375, he must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years, no part of which may be suspended or probation granted, in addition to the punishment provided for the principal offense.
Service of the five-year sentence is mandatory unless a longer mandatory minimum term of imprisonment is provided by law for the violent crime. A person sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment pursuant to this section is not eligible for parole or any early release program, nor is the person eligible to receive any work credits, education credits, good conduct credits, or any other credits that would reduce the mandatory minimum term of imprisonment required by this section. The court may must impose this mandatory five-year sentence to run consecutively or concurrently. to the sentence imposed for the principal offense.
(C) The person sentenced under this section is not eligible during this five-year period for parole, work release, or extended work release. The five years may not be suspended and the person may not complete his term of imprisonment in less than five years pursuant to good-time credits or work credits, but may earn credits during this period.
(D)(C) As used in this section, 'firearm' means any machine gun, automatic rifle, revolver, pistol, or any weapon which will, can, or is capable of or is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile; 'knife' means an instrument or tool consisting of a sharp cutting blade whether or not fastened to a handle which is capable of being used to inflict a cut, slash, or wound.
(E)(D)(1) The additional punishment penalties may must not be imposed unless the indictment alleged as a separate count that:
(a) the person was in possession of a firearm
or visibly displayed what appeared to be a firearm whether on his person or within his immediate access, or affirmatively represents that he is in possession of a firearm or visibly displays a knife during the commission of the violent crime and conviction was had upon this
the person was convicted of this separate count in the indictment .; or
(b) the person was in possession of a firearm whether on his person or within his immediate access, or affirmatively represents that he is in possession of a firearm or visibly displays a knife during the commission or attempted commission of the unlawful manufacture, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance, or during the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute as defined in Sections 44-53-370 and 44-53-375 and the person was convicted on this separate count in the indictment.
(2) The penalties prescribed in
this section may subsection (A)(1) must not be imposed unless the person convicted was at the same time indicted for and convicted of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60.
The penalties prescribed in subsection (A)(2) must not be imposed unless the person convicted was at the same time indicted for and convicted of the offense of unlawful manufacture, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance, or during the possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute as defined in Sections 44-53-370 and 44-53-375."
E. If any provision of this act or its application thereof to any person is held invalid, the invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application and, to this end, the provisions of this act are severable.
F. This section takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies to offenses committed on or after that date. A person arrested, charged, or indicted under those provisions of law amended by this act must be tried and sentenced as provided by the law in force at the time of the commission of the offense.
SECTION __. Except as otherwise provided, this act takes effect upon approval by the Governor. /
Renumber sections to conform.
Amend totals and title to conform.
JAMES H. HARRISON for Committee.
EXPLANATION OF IMPACT:
The Secretary of State estimates passage of this bill would have a minimal fiscal impact, which the agency can absorb.
LOCAL GOVERNMENT IMPACT:
Enactment of this bill would have no fiscal impact on local governments.
Office of State Budget
TO AMEND TITLE 6, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, BY ADDING CHAPTER 24 SO AS TO ENACT THE "JOINT AGENCY ACT" AND TO PROVIDE FOR SPECIAL PURPOSE DISTRICTS OF THE STATE JOINTLY TO UNDERTAKE THE ACQUISITION AND FINANCING OF PROJECTS, SYSTEMS, OR PROGRAMS, TO PROVIDE FOR THE CREATION OF JOINT AGENCIES FOR THAT JOINT PURPOSE BY SPECIFYING THEIR METHOD OF FORMATION, THEIR MEMBERSHIP, AND THE METHOD OF THEIR GOVERNANCE, TO PROVIDE FOR THE POWERS OF JOINT AGENCIES, INCLUDING THEIR RELATIONSHIPS, CONTRACTUAL AND OTHERWISE, AND THOSE OF THEIR MEMBERS, AND TO PROVIDE FOR FINANCING OF UNDERTAKINGS OF JOINT AGENCIES AND THE OBLIGATIONS OF THEIR MEMBERS IN CONNECTION WITH THE FINANCING.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. (A) The General Assembly finds that:
(1) special purpose districts have been created and established for the principal purpose of furnishing natural gas throughout their respective service areas;
(2) these special purpose districts include the Chester County Natural Gas Authority, the Clinton-Newberry Natural Gas Authority, the Fort Hill Natural Gas Authority, the Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority, and the York County Natural Gas Authority (the "Gas Authorities");
(3) Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution of the State of South Carolina provides that any political subdivision may agree with another political subdivision for the joint administration of functions and joint exercise of powers and the sharing of related costs;
(4) in many instances, the public would benefit from more efficient and better services if projects were undertaken by two or more Gas Authorities for the benefit of the residents of both;
(5) in many instances, one Gas Authority may be unable to provide services that could be provided if undertaken collectively by two or more Gas Authorities; and
(6) there is no general mechanism for the joint undertaking of projects by the Gas Authorities, the lack of which is detrimental to the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of the several Gas Authorities.
(B) It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide to the Gas Authorities of the State a mechanism for the joint exercise of their powers, joint administration of functions, and sharing of related costs so as to ensure that the residents of this State located in the service areas of the Gas Authorities are provided with natural gas services as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. To accomplish those goals, the General Assembly intends to empower the Gas Authorities to create joint agencies to provide for the joint exercise of powers, joint administration of functions, and sharing of costs in a convenient and predictable manner.
SECTION 2. Title 6 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
Section 6-24-10. This chapter is known as the 'Joint Agency Act'.
Section 6-24-20. As used in this chapter:
(1) 'Cost', with respect to a project, means:
(a) all costs of planning, designing, constructing, and financing the project, including fees for professional services, costs of insurance, and costs for principal and interest, during planning, designing, and construction and for up to one year after completion of construction;
(b) all costs associated with establishing necessary or desirable reserves in connection with a project; and
(c) other expenditures of the joint agency incidental, necessary, or convenient to the acquisition, construction, implementation, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, or extension of a project.
If a project does not involve the acquisition or construction of a facility, 'cost' includes all costs of the undertaking or funding of the undertaking. In either case, 'cost' may include those administration expenses a joint agency considers appropriate.
(2) 'Governing body' means the duly constituted governing body of a governmental entity.
(3) 'Governmental entity' means a special purpose district created by the General Assembly of this State for the principal purpose of furnishing natural gas to the residents of the service area as defined in and fully described in the act of the General Assembly that created and established the special purpose district, and in amendments to that act.
(4) 'Joint agency' means a public body and body corporate and politic organized in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(5) 'Member' of a joint agency means each of those governmental entities which have agreed to create a joint agency to undertake the ownership, operation, maintenance, financing, or contractual use of a project.
(6) 'Project' means a project or other undertaking pursued by a joint agency for a purpose that is a public and corporate purpose of each member of the joint agency. A project may consist of:
(a) the acquisition or construction of a facility or facilities or a system of facilities; and
(b) an administrative undertaking, such as the acquisition of insurance, investment, banking, or other like services, or the provision of interim financing in the anticipation of the collection of taxes or other revenues or grants or the issuance of bonds.
(7) 'State' means the State of South Carolina.
Section 6-24-30. (A) In addition and supplemental to other powers granted to governmental entities of the State, a governmental entity may:
(1) jointly plan, finance, develop, acquire, purchase, construct, reconstruct, improve, enlarge, own, operate, and maintain an undivided interest as a tenant-in-common in a project situated within the State with one or more governmental entities in this State and make plans and enter into contracts in connection with the project consistent with the provisions of this chapter and necessary or appropriate;
(2) undertake the exercise of any administrative function or power jointly with one or more governmental entities in this State and make plans and enter into contracts in connection with that exercise consistent with the provisions of this chapter and necessary or appropriate; and
(3) agree to share the costs of a like undertaking with another governmental entity as is appropriate.
(B) Each governmental entity agreeing to act jointly shall have the legal capacity, power, and authority, by charter, act, constitution, or other law, to so act on its own. This section does not grant any authorization other than as is specifically provided. Each governmental entity may make plans and enter into contracts severally in connection with the projects described consistent with the provisions of this chapter and necessary or appropriate.
(C) Governmental entities which become tenants-in-common pursuant to this section may waive by contract their right of partition, either in kind or by sale. The power and right to enter into agreements to waive the right of judicial partition authorized by this section are in addition to powers and rights authorized elsewhere.
Section 6-24-40. (A) Two or more governmental entities may determine by resolution, as appropriate, that it is in their best interests and those of their residents to create a joint agency for the purpose of:
(1) undertaking the planning, financing, development, acquisition, purchase, construction, reconstruction, improvement, enlargement, ownership, sale, lease, operation, or maintenance of a project or other undertaking constituting a project;
(2) undertaking the exercise of any administrative function or power and making plans and entering into contracts in connection with that exercise consistent with the provisions of this chapter as necessary or appropriate; or
(3) sharing the costs of a like undertaking with another governmental entity as is appropriate to provide for the present and future needs of the inhabitants and residents of their jurisdictions or to whom they are permitted to provide services as an alternative or supplement to assuming severally and individually the responsibilities of ownership, undertaking a project, or administering a function or power.
(B) The finding that the creation of a joint agency is in the best interests of the governmental entity and its residents, or the residents of the State, must include one or more of the following reasons:
(1) a joint agency is able to acquire, construct, own, or operate a project, administer a function, or exercise a power more efficiently and economically than its members operating individually;
(2) a joint agency is able to undertake a project or exercise a power for the benefit of its members, but one or more of its members otherwise would be unable to undertake a similar project or exercise the power acting individually;
(3) a joint agency is able to finance the cost of a project more efficiently and economically;
(4) to the extent financing is required in connection with the undertaking, better financial market acceptance results if one entity is responsible for issuing all of the bonds and incurring all other debt required for a project;
(5) fiscal savings and other advantages are obtained by providing a separate entity responsible for the:
( i) acquisition, purchase, construction, ownership, or operation of, or otherwise undertaking, a project; or
(ii) administering a function or power.
(C) If the creation of a joint agency is found to be in the best interests of a governmental entity or those it serves, notice of the adoption of the resolution must be published once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation within the county in which the governmental entity is located or, if the governmental entity is located in two or more counties, in each of the counties, or, if the governmental entity is an agency, instrumentality, board, or commission of the State, in a newspaper of general circulation within the State. A person affected by the action of the governmental entity may challenge the action by action de novo instituted in the court of common pleas for the county in which the governmental entity is located or, if the governmental entity is located in two or more counties, in one of the counties, within twenty days following the last publication of the notice.
Section 6-24-50. (A) Upon fulfilling the requirements of Section 6-24-40, each governmental entity participating in the proposed joint agency shall appoint by resolution one representative to the proposed joint agency. Two or more appointed representatives shall file with the Secretary of State an application signed by the representative of each of the proposed members. The application must include:
(1) names of all the proposed members and their respective appointed representatives;
(2) a certified copy of:
( i) the resolution of each member determining it is in its best interests or the best interests of those it serves to participate in the proposed joint agency; and
(ii) the resolution appointing the member's representative;
(3) the statement of desire that the joint agency be organized as a public body and a body corporate and politic pursuant to this chapter;
(4) the proposed name for the joint agency; and
(5) the method of appointment of the board of directors, including the number of directors appointed by each member.
(B) The Secretary of State shall file the application after examining it and determining that it complies with the requirements of subsection (A) and that the proposed name of the joint agency is not identical to that of another corporation of the State or an agency or instrumentality, or so similar as to lead to confusion and uncertainty.
(C) The Secretary of State then shall issue a corporate certificate. The corporate certificate must include the names of the members and the name of the joint agency. The existence of the joint agency as a public body corporate and politic under the proposed name begins when the corporate certificate is issued by the Secretary of State. Notice of the issuance of the corporate certificate must be given to all members of the joint agency by the Secretary of State.
(D) In any suit, action, or proceeding involving the validity or enforcement of or otherwise relating to a contract of a joint agency, the joint agency is presumed conclusively to have been established in accordance with the provisions of this chapter upon proof of the issuance of the certificate by the Secretary of State, absent a showing of fraud. A copy of the certificate, duly certified by the Secretary of State, is admissible in evidence in any suit, action, or proceeding and is conclusive proof of the filing and contents.
Section 6-24-60. (A) Management and control of the joint agency is vested in a board of directors consisting of the number of directors specified in the application as filed or as amended. The governing body of each member of the joint agency shall appoint the number of representatives provided, and each appointed representative is a director of the joint agency. The governing body of a member may provide that a representative be an officer or employee of the member and also serve ex officio as a member of the board of directors of the joint agency. Each director has at least one vote and has additional votes as a majority of the members of the joint agency may determine. Each director, who serves at the pleasure of the governing body by which he was appointed, before entering upon his duties shall take and subscribe to an oath, before a person authorized by law to administer oaths, to execute the duties of his office faithfully and impartially. A record of each oath must be filed with the governing body of the appointing governmental entity.
(B) The board of directors of the joint agency shall elect annually, with each director having one vote, one of the directors as chairman, another as vice-chairman, and other persons who may be, but need not be, directors as treasurer, secretary, and, if desired, assistant secretary. The office of treasurer may be held by the secretary or assistant secretary. The board of directors also may appoint additional officers as it considers necessary. The secretary or assistant secretary of the joint agency shall keep a record of the proceedings of the joint agency and the secretary is the custodian of all books, records, documents, and papers filed with the joint agency, the minute book or journal of the joint agency, and its official seal.
(C) A majority of the directors of the joint agency constitutes a quorum. A vacancy on the board of directors of the joint agency does not impair the right of a quorum to exercise all rights and perform all duties of the joint agency. An action taken by the joint agency pursuant to this chapter must be authorized by resolution at a regular or special meeting held pursuant to notice in accordance with bylaws of the joint agency, and each resolution takes effect immediately, without publication or posting. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter or in the bylaws of the joint agency, a majority of the votes which the directors present are entitled to cast, with a quorum present, is necessary and sufficient to take any action or to pass a resolution. A director of a joint agency may not receive compensation solely for the performance of duties as a director, but each director may be paid per diem, mileage, and subsistence expenses as provided by law for state boards, committees, and commissions.
Section 6-24-70. (A) After a joint agency is created, another governmental entity may become a member by:
(1) adopting a resolution complying with the requirements of Section 6-24-40, including publication of notice;
(2) submitting an application to the joint agency; and
(3) receiving approval of the application by resolution from the governing body of each member of the joint agency. The approval must include approval of any changes to the board of directors resulting from the addition.
(B) A member may withdraw from a joint agency by resolution of its governing body. All contractual rights acquired and contractual obligations incurred by a member while it was a member of the joint agency remain in full force and effect. Upon withdrawal of a member, the board of directors must be reduced by the number of directors appointed by the withdrawing member.
(C) The members of a joint agency may modify the composition of the board of directors to increase or decrease the number of directors or to change the number of directors appointed by each member through the adoption of a resolution approving the modification by the governing body of each member.
(D) Notice of a change in membership and a modification of the board of directors, including changes resulting from a change in membership, must be filed with the Secretary of State. A change is not final until the filing.
Section 6-24-80. If the board of directors of a joint agency and the governing body of each of its members determine by resolution that the purposes for which the joint agency was formed have been fulfilled substantially and that all bonds issued and all other obligations incurred by the joint agency have been paid or satisfied fully, the board of directors and members may declare the joint agency to be dissolved. On the effective date of the resolution, title to all funds and other property owned by the joint agency at the time of the dissolution must be disbursed to the members of the joint agency according to its bylaws.
Section 6-24-90. The board of directors of a joint agency may create an executive committee, the composition of which must be set forth in the bylaws of the joint agency and reflect a fair representation of the members. The executive committee may exercise powers during intervals between the board's meetings as provided by the board. The terms of office of the members of the executive committee and the methods of filling vacancies must be fixed by the bylaws of the joint agency.
Section 6-24-100. Each joint agency has the rights and powers of a public body politic and corporate of the State including, without limitation, all the rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the provisions of this chapter including, but not limited to, rights and powers to:
( 1) adopt bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business and to prescribe rules and policies and promulgate regulations in connection with the performance of its functions and duties;
( 2) adopt an official seal and alter it at its pleasure;
( 3) maintain an office at a place it determines;
( 4) sue and be sued in its own name and to plead and be impleaded;
( 5) receive, administer, and comply with the conditions and requirements of a gift, grant, or donation of property or money;
( 6) acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or otherwise acquire or to obtain options for the acquisition of property, real or personal, improved or unimproved, including an interest in land less than the fee in conformity with state law;
( 7) sell, lease, exchange, transfer, or otherwise dispose of, or to grant options for those purposes with respect to, real or personal property, insurance, recovery, or condemnation award;
( 8) pledge or assign any money, rents, charges, or other evidence of indebtedness of the joint agency for the purpose of providing funds for its corporate purposes;
( 9) borrow money and issue notes, bonds, or other evidence of indebtedness of the joint agency for the purpose of providing funds for its corporate purposes;
(10) authorize the construction, operation, or maintenance of a project by a person, firm, or corporation, including political subdivisions and agencies of a state of the United States;
(11) acquire by negotiated purchase or lease from one of its members one or more projects which may be an existing project, project under construction, or other project, either individually or jointly with one or more other governing bodies or joint agencies in this State;
(12) fix, charge, and collect rents, rates, fees, and charges in connection with a project;
(13) make and execute contracts and other instruments necessary or convenient in the exercise of the powers and functions of the joint agency pursuant to this chapter, including contracts with persons, firms, corporations, and others;
(14) apply to the appropriate agencies of the State, the United States, or any state of the United States, and to another proper agency for necessary permits, licenses, certificates, or approvals and to construct, maintain, and operate projects in accordance with those licenses, permits, certificates, or approvals; and
(15) employ engineers, architects, attorneys, appraisers, financial advisors, and other consultants and employees as required in the judgment of the joint agency and to fix and pay their compensation from funds available to the joint agency for that purpose.
Section 6-24-110. (A) A governmental entity may contract with the joint agency for its present or future service requirements, including the capacity and output of one or more specified projects. The contract may provide that the contracting governmental entity is obligated to make the payments required by the contract whether or not a project is completed, operable, or operating and that payments pursuant to the contract are not subject to reduction, whether by offset or otherwise, and are not conditioned upon the performance or nonperformance of the joint agency or a member of the joint agency pursuant to the contract or other instrument. A contract entered into between a joint agency and its members also may provide that the remaining members of the joint agency shall assume on a proportional basis the obligations of a defaulting member if one or more of the members defaults in the payment of the obligations.
(B) A contract entered into between a governmental entity and a joint agency may be in the form of an obligation or bond issued under another statute authorizing or permitting the incurring of indebtedness by the governmental entity. The provisions of another statute authorizing or permitting the incurring of indebtedness by the governmental entity do not apply to the extent they would prohibit or limit the sale of the obligation by negotiation to a joint agency and the form of the obligation as a single instrument payable to the joint agency on terms as the joint agency considers appropriate. If the statute requires the establishment or maintenance of reserves or other funds or accounts, intended as security for the holders of the obligations, the joint agency may elect to eliminate or waive those requirements. To the extent any statute provides a lien or permits the pledge of property or revenues as security for obligations issued under it, the joint agency may be the direct beneficiary of the lien or pledge or to waive it.
(C) Notwithstanding the provisions of another law to the contrary, a contract between a governmental entity and a joint agency may extend for a period not exceeding fifty years from the date services are first provided pursuant to the contract, and the execution and effectiveness of the contract is not subject to authorizations or approvals by the State or any agency, commission, or instrumentality or political subdivision of the State.
(D) Except as specifically provided by the terms of the contract, payments by a governmental entity pursuant to a contract with a joint agency are not a legal or equitable pledge, charge, lien, or encumbrance upon property of the governmental entity or upon its income, receipts, or revenues. The faith and credit or the taxing power of the governmental entity may be pledged from the payment of an obligation under the contract only to the extent the contract obligation is treated like a general obligation debt of the governmental entity and is subject to the same constitutional debt limitations as other general obligation debts of the governmental entity.
(E) A governmental entity may authorize a joint agency to act on its behalf in the same manner and to the same extent as any agency, commission, or employee of the governmental entity. A governmental entity may exercise its governmental powers on behalf of a joint agency in instances where the exercise of the power cannot be delegated.
Section 6-24-120. A joint agency may incur debt for its purposes and may issue bonds pledging the revenues derived from all or any of its projects and additions and betterments or extensions or contributions or advances from its members to the payment of both principal and interest.
Section 6-24-130. If a joint agency undertakes a project requiring financing, in whole or in part, with the proceeds of bonds, and the payment of principal or interest on the bonds is assured directly or indirectly by a contract with one or more members, the project must not be undertaken without the approval of the governing body of each member which provides assurance. For these purposes, a member has not assured payment on bonds unless its obligation pursuant to the contract is absolute and without regard to the completion or operation of the project.
Section 6-24-140. (A) A joint agency may issue at one time, or from time to time, its bonds for the purpose of paying all or part of the cost of the purposes authorized by this chapter. The principal of and the interest on the bonds, and any premium, are payable only from the fund provided for payment. The bonds of each issue may be sold at public or private sale. Notwithstanding another provision of law to the contrary, the bonds may be sold at a price, and bear interest at a rate or rates, as determined by the board of directors of the joint agency. The bonds of each issue must be dated and must mature in amounts and at a time, not exceeding fifty years from their respective date, as determined by the board of directors of the joint agency, and may be redeemable before maturity at a price and by terms and conditions as fixed by the board of directors of the joint agency before the issuance of the bonds. The board of directors of the joint agency shall determine the form and the manner of execution of the bonds, including interest coupons attached to them, and shall fix the denomination of the bonds and the place of payment of principal and interest, which may be at a bank or trust company inside or outside the State. If an officer whose signature or signature facsimile appears on a bond or coupons ceases to be an officer before the delivery of the bonds, the signature or facsimile is valid and sufficient for all purposes as if he had remained in office until delivery. The board of directors of the joint agency also may provide for the authentication of the bonds by a trustee or fiscal agent. The bonds may be issued in fully registered form or under a book-entry-only system, as the governing body of the issuer determines.
(B) The proceeds of the bonds of each issue must be used only for the purposes for which the bonds were issued, and must be disbursed in a manner as the board of directors of the joint agency provides in the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds or in a trust agreement securing the issuance. The joint agency may issue interim receipts or temporary bonds exchangeable for definitive bonds when the bonds are executed and available for delivery. The joint agency also may provide for the replacement of bonds which are mutilated, destroyed, or lost.
(C) Bonds may be issued pursuant to this chapter without obtaining the consent or approval of the State or any political subdivision, or agency, commission, or instrumentality of the State.
Section 6-24-150. The board of directors of the joint agency may elect to have bonds issued pursuant to this chapter secured by a trust agreement between the joint agency and a corporate trustee, which may be any trust company or bank having the powers of a trust company inside or outside the State. The trustee agreement or the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds may contain provisions for protecting and enforcing the rights and remedies of the bondholders and of the trustee as may be reasonable and proper and not in violation of law, and may restrict the individual right of action by bondholders. The trust agreement or the resolution providing for the issuance of the bonds may contain covenants including, but not limited to, the:
( 1) assignment or pledge of:
(a) all or a part of the revenues derived from the project financed by the bonds; or
(b) the contracts and any collateral between the joint agency and any of its members or other governmental entities;
( 2) rents, rates, fees, and charges to be established, maintained, and collected and the use and disposal of revenues, gifts, grants, and funds received by the joint agency;
( 3) setting aside, investment, regulation, and disposition of reserves;
( 4) custody, collection, securing, investment, and payment of monies held for the payment of bonds;
( 5) limitations or restrictions on the purposes to which the proceeds of sale of issued bonds must be applied;
( 6) limitations or restrictions on the issuance and security of additional bonds or the refunding of outstanding or other bonds;
( 7) procedure for amending the terms of a contract with bondholders;
( 8) events of default and the rights and liabilities arising upon default, and the terms and conditions upon which bonds issued pursuant to this chapter are or may be declared due before maturity, and the terms and conditions upon which that declaration and its consequences may be waived;
( 9) preparation and maintenance of a budget;
(10) retention or employment of conducting engineers, independent auditors, and other technical consultants;
(11) limitations on, or the prohibition of, free service to a person, firm, or corporation, public or private;
(12) acquisition and disposal of property, except that a project or part of a project must not be mortgaged by the trust agreement or resolution. The joint agency may mortgage other property owned by it;
(13) provisions for insurance and for accounting reports and their inspection and audit;
(14) continuing operation and maintenance of the project.
Section 6-24-160. (A) The joint agency may fix, charge, and collect rents, rates, fees, and charges for services provided by the agency or the use of a project so as to provide revenues, for so long as the bonds are outstanding and unpaid, at least sufficient together with other available funds to:
(1) pay all costs of and charges and expenses in connection with the proper operation and maintenance of its projects and for all necessary repairs, replacements, or renewals;
(2) pay when due the principal and interest and any premiums on all bonds payable from the revenues;
(3) create and maintain reserves and comply with covenants required by a resolution or trust agreement authorizing and securing bonds; and
(4) pay amounts which the joint agency may be obligated by law or contract to pay from the revenues.
(B) A pledge made by a joint agency pursuant to this chapter is valid and binding from the date the pledge is made. The revenues, securities, and other monies pledged and held or received afterwards by the joint agency or fiduciary are subject immediately to the lien of the pledge without physical delivery of it or other act, and the lien of the pledge is valid and binding as against all parties having claims in tort, contract, or otherwise against the governmental entity or joint agency without regard to whether the parties have notice of it.
Section 6-24-170. The resolution authorizing the bonds of an issue or the trust agreement securing the bonds may provide that the monies may be invested temporarily and reinvested pending disbursement in securities and other investments provided in the resolution or trust agreement. The resolution or trust agreement must provide that a bank or trust company with which the monies are deposited shall act as trustee of the monies and hold and apply them for the purposes of this joint agency, subject to regulation as this chapter and the resolution or trust agreement provide.
Section 6-24-180. A holder of bonds issued pursuant to this chapter and the trustee pursuant to a trust agreement, except to the extent the rights are restricted by the trust agreement or the resolution authorizing the issuance of the bonds, may protect and enforce, either at law or in equity, by suit, action, mandamus, or other proceeding, all rights and compel performance of all duties arising out of the law of the State or terms of the trust agreement or resolution or other contract.
Section 6-24-190. All bonds issued pursuant to this chapter are investment securities within the meaning of and for all the purposes of Chapter 8, Title 36 of the 1976 Code, subject only to the provisions of the bonds pertaining to registration, regardless of whether or not the bonds authorized by this chapter are of such form and character as to be investment securities pursuant to Chapter 7, Title 36 of the 1976 Code.
Section 6-24-200. It is lawful for all executors, administrators, guardians, committees, and other fiduciaries to invest monies in their hands in bonds issued pursuant to this chapter.
Section 6-24-210. The bonds issued pursuant to this chapter are special obligations of the joint agency issuing them. The principal and interest and any premium on the bonds are not payable from the general fund of the joint agency, nor are they a legal or equitable pledge, charge, lien, or encumbrance upon any of its property, income, receipts, or revenues, except the funds which are pledged pursuant to the resolution authorizing the bonds or the trust agreement securing the bonds. Except as specifically provided with respect to an obligation of a governmental entity which is a general obligation, the faith and credit and the taxing power of the State of any governmental entity must not be pledged for the payment of the principal or interest on the bonds, and a holder of the bonds may not compel the exercise of the taxing power by the State and any governmental entity or the forfeiture of any of this property in connection with any default on the bonds. A bond must recite in substance that the principal of and interest on the bond is payable only from the revenues pledged to its payment and that the joint agency is not obligated to pay the principal or interest except from those revenues.
Section 6-24-220. A joint agency may provide by resolution for the issuance of refunding bonds of the joint agency for the purpose of refunding outstanding bonds issued pursuant to this chapter, including the payment of a redemption premium on them and interest accrued to the date of their redemption. The refund of outstanding bonds may be exercised as considered desirable by the board of the joint agency. The issuance of the bonds, their maturities and other terms, the rights of their holders, and the rights, duties, and obligations of the joint agency in respect to the bonds must be governed by the provisions of this chapter relating to the issuance of bonds to the extent those provisions apply.
Section 6-24-240. (A) Personnel employed or appointed by a member of a joint agency to work for it have the same authority, rights, privileges, and immunities, including coverage pursuant to workers' compensation laws, which the officers, agents, and employees of the appointing member enjoy within the territory of that member when they are acting within the scope of their authority or in the course of their employment.
(B) Personnel employed or appointed directly by a joint agency may participate in the South Carolina Retirement System if they are residents of this State with the same rights, privileges, obligations, and responsibilities as if they were employees of a governmental entity.
Section 6-24-250. At the close of each fiscal year, a joint agency shall submit an annual report of its activities for the preceding year to each member, including a complete operating and financial statement covering the operations of the joint agency during the year. The joint agency shall cause an audit of its books of record and accounts to be made at least once a year by a certified public accountant, and the cost of the audit may be treated as a part of the cost of construction of a project or otherwise as part of the expense of administration of a project covered by the audit.
Section 6-24-260. (A) The board of directors of a joint agency may make application and enter into contracts for and accept grants-in-aid and loans from the federal and state governments and their agencies or political subdivisions, including members, for planning, acquiring, constructing, expanding, maintaining, and operating a project or facility or participating in a reserve or development program or performing a function which a member of the joint agency may authorize by general or local law to provide or perform.
(B) The board of directors of a joint agency may:
(1) enter into and carry out contracts with the state or federal government or an agency or institution through which the government, agency, or institution grants financial or other assistance to the member or joint agency;
(2) accept assistance or funds granted or loaned by the state or federal government with or without a contract;
(3) agree to and comply with reasonable conditions imposed upon grants or loans; and
(4) make expenditures from granted funds.
Section 6-24-270. A joint agency formed by governmental entities which themselves possess the power of eminent domain for the purpose for which the joint agency was formed possesses the power of eminent domain within the jurisdictional limits of its members in accordance with Sections 5-7-50 and 4-29-30 or other provision of law as may be applicable so as to effectuate the purposes of this chapter and may exercise the power as provided in Title 28.
Section 6-24-280. A director of a joint agency or officer of a governmental entity or person acting for him is not subject to personal liability by reason of carrying out any of the powers expressly or impliedly provided in this chapter while acting within the scope of his authority.
Section 6-24-290. This chapter provides an additional method for accomplishing the acts authorized, and is supplemental to powers conferred by existing laws and not in derogation of powers now existing. If a provision of this chapter is inconsistent with the provisions of other general, special, or local law, the provisions of this chapter control.
Section 6-24-300. The provisions of this chapter must be liberally construed."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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