Thursday morning I flew with Gov. Sanford to Myrtle beach to sign Jessica’s Law at the Children’s Recovery Center. After several states have passed Jessica’s Law, Sen. Jake Knotts introduced the bill in the SC Senate. Jessica’s Law deals with increased sentencing, electronic monitoring, and other issues with those that sexually assault children. My amendment called for capital punishment to be an option for convinced child rapists under eleven years old. This is a great day when the Palmetto State can send a message to all the world that we take the safety of our precious children very seriously.
(LR Sen. Knotts, Gov. Sanford, Rep. Alan Clemmons, myself & Rep. Ted Pitts. also present: Sen. Ray Cleary & Rep. Thad Viers)
Sen. Jake Knotts (R-Lexington pictured below) introduced a strike & insert amendment. This removes all the damage the SC House did to the bill then inserts the legislation that the Senate passed on March 28th. Last week the House removed capital punishment, removes “hearsay” clause, reduces minimum from 25 years to 10. Basically, the SC House “gutted” the bill. There was a failed attempt to block the vote by Sen. Phil Leventis (D-Sumter). A motion for cloture was made and passed. Below are the roll call votes:
AYES: Alexander, Bryant, Campsen, Cleary, Courson, Cromer, Fair, Gregory, Grooms, Hawkins, Hayes, Knotts, Leatherman, Martin, McConnell, Mescher, O’Dell, Peeler, Richardson, Ritchie, Ryberg, Scott, Thomas, Verdin
NAYS: Anderson, Drummond, Elliott, Ford, Hutto, Land, Leventis, Jackson, Malloy, Pinckney, Patterson, Reese, Sheheen, Williams
Not Voting or Absent: Lourie, Matthews, McGill, Moore, Rankin, Setzler, Short, Smith
On Wed May 31, the House “concurred” on S. 1267. This bill will now go straight to Gov. Sanford that has already announced his support.