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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 44-9-130 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HOSPITAL PROPERTY OWNED OR HELD BY THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH THAT IS NOT IN USE MAY BE SOLD OR LEASED, TO CREATE A SPECIAL TRUST FUND FOR THE DEPOSIT OF PROCEEDS FROM THE SALE OR LEASE OF SUCH PROPERTY, TO PROVIDE THAT THESE FUNDS MUST BE USED TO REPLACE ADULT LONG-TERM HOSPITALIZATION SERVICES AND FORENSIC SERVICES, AND TO PROHIBIT THE DEPARTMENT FROM USING THESE FUNDS TO SUPPLANT ITS CURRENT LEVEL OF APPROPRIATED FUNDING.
Whereas, the South Carolina State Hospital was the only state-run psychiatric facility designated for the care of adults with mental illnesses who needed long-term hospitalization and community transition services; and
Whereas, the closure of the State Hospital has resulted in the transfer of long-term patients into state-run acute care facilities; and
Whereas, the resulting shortage of acute care beds has placed an enormous burden on local hospital emergency departments; and
Whereas, the South Carolina State Hospital was the only state-run psychiatric facility designated for the care of adults who needed forensic services; and
Whereas, the closure of the State Hospital has resulted in the transfer of forensic patients to facilities that do not have the capacity to serve the state's need for these services; and
Whereas, the resulting shortage of forensic beds has placed an enormous burden on local jails; and
Whereas, it is the intent of the South Carolina General Assembly, that any proceeds from the sale of the South Carolina State Hospital be deposited into a special trust and that these proceeds be used to replace both the adult long-term hospitalization and forensic services lost with the closure of the facility. Now, therefore,
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 9, Title 44 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 44-9-130. (A) All South Carolina State Hospital property owned or held by the Department of Mental Health and controlled by the department which is not in use may be sold or leased in accordance with the provisions of this section. In selling or leasing this property the department shall comply with those procedures required by law for other state owned real property.
(B)(1) There is created a special trust fund, separate and distinct from the general fund, for the sole purpose of providing funds to the department for the purposes set forth in subsection (B)(2). The proceeds received from the department's sale or lease of real property pursuant to subsection (A) must be deposited in this trust fund.
(2) The interest and principal from this trust must be used as provided in the general appropriations act for the specific purposes of replacing adult long-term hospitalization services and forensic services.
(C) The department must not submit a budget that proposes to use funds derived from the sale or lease of South Carolina State Hospital property owned or held by the department to supplant its current level of appropriated funding."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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