February 12, 2013
Vol. 30, No. 06
South Carolina House of Representatives
Robert W. Harrell, Jr., Speaker of the House
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND CONSTITUENT SERVICES
Room 212, Blatt Building, P.O. Box 11867, Columbia, S.C.
29211, (803) 734-3230
NOTE: THESE SUMMARIES ARE PREPARED BY THE STAFF OF THE SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT THE EXPRESSION OF THE LEGISLATION'S SPONSOR(S) OR THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. THEY ARE STRICTLY FOR THE INTERNAL USE AND BENEFIT OF MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND ARE NOT TO BE CONSTRUED BY A COURT OF LAW AS AN EXPRESSION OF LEGISLATIVE INTENT.
Legislative Update, February 12, 2013
HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
The House of Representatives approved and sent the Senate Joint Resolution H.3340, a PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT ON SHORTENING THE LEGISLATIVE SESSION. The joint resolution proposes to amend provisions of the South Carolina Constitution that define the sessions of the General Assembly so that the legislative session would begin one month later each year and end one month earlier. Under the revised timeline, annual sessions of the General Assembly would begin on the second Tuesday in February rather than the second Tuesday in January of each year. Even though the Senate and House of Representatives would no longer meet in statewide session during the first weeks of the calendar year, authorization is included that would allow legislators to hold committee meetings and conduct hearings beginning with the second Tuesday of January each year. The legislation proposes to include in the constitution a requirement that each annual session of the General Assembly adjourn sine die no later than the first Thursday in May. The constitutional requirement would replace current statutory requirements for the legislature to adjourn for the year in early June. Upon passage of this legislation by the General Assembly, the proposed constitutional amendment must be submitted to the state's voters in the form of a ballot question at the next general election.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3247, a bill relating to the ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL OF THE GENERAL SESSIONS COURT DOCKET. The legislation addresses a recent State Supreme Court decision that statutory provisions assigning circuit solicitors exclusive control over when criminal cases are to be brought to trial violate the South Carolina Constitution's separation of powers provisions by assigning a judicial responsibility to members of the executive branch of government. Under the legislation's revisions to the statutory provisions assigning circuit solicitors control over the general sessions court docket, these prosecutors, who bear the burden of proof at trial, would continue to exercise their discretion in choosing when cases are ready to be tried in general sessions court, but this authority over scheduling cases would no longer be designated as exclusive. The legislation provides that the circuit solicitorís ability to administer the general sessions court docket shall not interfere with the courtís ability to safeguard a litigantís rights including the South Carolina Constitution's guarantee that any person charged with an offense shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. The legislation establishes a new protocol to address concerns about the accused undergoing extensive periods of confinement in jail while awaiting trial. These new requirements provide that if an arrest warrant is not presented to the county grand jury within ninety days after the solicitor receives the warrant from the clerk of court, upon motion by the defendant, the chief administrative judge must hold a hearing for the purpose of determining whether the state should be compelled to have the case presented to the grand jury during its next term.† If the state fails to comply with the court's instructions to present the case to the grand jury, the court may issue any remedy it considers appropriate. If a case has not otherwise been scheduled for trial within one hundred eighty days after indictment, then upon motion by the defendant, the chief administrative judge shall hold a hearing for the purpose of establishing a scheduling order in the case.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3191, a bill relating to the CLASSIFICATION OF MOPEDS. The legislation revises provisions of the state's Uniform Act Regulating Traffic on Highways by including mopeds under the definition of "motor vehicle" and excluding mopeds from the definition of "motorcycle" so that the state's driving under the influence (DUI) laws apply in the operation of mopeds.
The House approved and sent the Senate H.3453, a joint resolution affording temporary FLEXIBILITY PROVISIONS FOR SCHOOL DISTRICTS. The legislation provides for a delay in this year's deadlines for notifying teachers of school district employment decisions so that districts might have a better knowledge of what funds may be available for them through state appropriations before making their personnel decisions. The legislation also provides that school districts uniformly may negotiate salaries below the district salary schedule for the 2013-2014 school year for retired teachers who are not participants in the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive (TERI) program.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3087, a bill revising CHARTER SCHOOL ENROLLMENT PREFERENCE AND PRIORITY provisions. The legislation requires a public charter school to give enrollment preference to students enrolled in the public charter school the previous school year which excludes these returning students from entering into a lottery. This legislation authorizes a charter school located on a federal military installation or base to give enrollment priority, not to exceed fifty percent of the charter school's total enrollment, to otherwise eligible students who are dependents of military personnel living in military housing on the base or installation or who are currently stationed at the base or installation.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3033, a bill authorizing SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES FOR RECIPIENTS OF THE DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.3225, a bill authorizing "SC RIVERKEEPERS" SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ACTION
AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND
The full Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee met on Thursday, February 7, 2013, and reported out three bills.
H.3047, a bill regarding GIGGING FOR FLOUNDER, received a favorable with amendment recommendation from the full committee. The bill provides that it is unlawful for a person to gig for flounder in salt waters during the daylight hours. The bill further provides that gigging does not include spear fishing.
The full committee gave a favorable report to S.165, a bill that extends hunting season for ALLIGATORS on private land. The season will run from September 1st through May 31st.
In an effort to clarify the law, the full committee gave a favorable report to S.91, a bill relating to the HUNTING AND TAKING OF ANTLERED DEER. The bill allows for deer baiting in the Upstate (Game Zones 1 and 2).
The full Judiciary Committee met on Tuesday, February 5, and reported out three bills.
S.3, relating to PROHIBITED GAMBLING DEVICES, received a favorable report from the Judiciary Committee. This legislation specifies that those who are licensed to hold and advertise special events such as bingo or other similar activities intended to raise money for charitable purposes do not have the authority to make use of video poker machines, slot machines, or other coin-operated gambling machines and similar statutorily prohibited devices. The legislation also specifies that these prohibited gambling devices are not authorized for use in the sweepstakes and promotional games that beer and wine sales permit holders are allowed to conduct.
The full committee gave a favorable report to H.3057. Current law prohibits an offender from participating more than once in a SOLICITORíS PRETRIAL INTERVENTION PROGRAM. This legislation provides that a solicitor, in his discretion, may consent to allow an offender to participate in a pretrial intervention program more than once.
H.3184 received a favorable report. Relating to EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS, this legislation provides that a person may be eligible for expungement of a first offense crime which carries a fine of $1,000 rather than $500 as current law provides.
LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
The House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee met on Thursday, February 7, and reported out two bills.
The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on H.3459, a bill providing for INSPECTORS AT THE SOUTH CAROLINA BOARD OF ACCOUNTANCY. The legislation provides authorization for two new full-time certified public accountant staff positions for the Board of Accountancy at the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, one an administrator, the other an inspector-investigator, so that the board will have the capability of conducting periodic inspections of licensees and firms rather than simply performing audits in response to complaints.
The committee gave a report of favorable with amendments on H.3423, a bill establishing CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR THOSE LICENSED BY THE MANUFACTURED HOUSING BOARD. The legislation establishes requirements for six hours of continuing education every two years for licensed manufactured home retail dealers, retail salesmen, installers, contractors, and repairers as a prerequisite for license renewal.
BILLS INTRODUCED IN THE
HOUSE THIS WEEK
AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES, AND
H.3492 DOGS AND DOMESTIC PETS Rep. Hiott
This bill allows municipalities and counties to enact ordinances to prohibit animals from running at large, whether or not they have been inoculated; as well as to enforce additional measures for the control of rabies. Among many things, the bill also provides requirements for an animal shelter to counsel pet owners to seek veterinary services as soon as possible under certain circumstances.
EDUCATION AND PUBLIC WORKS
H.3478 HOME SCHOOLING PROGRAMS Rep. Brannon
This legislation makes revisions pertaining to home schooling programs. Currently, options for home schooling programs include: instruction approved by the school district board of trustees of the district in which the children reside; instruction under the auspices of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools; and instruction under the auspices of an association for home schools which has no fewer than fifty members. As of July 1, 2014, this legislation repeals the option allowing instruction under the auspices of an association for home schools which has no fewer than fifty members. Relating to required standards for home schooling programs where instruction is approved by the school district board of trustees of the district in which the children reside, the legislation deletes the Basic Skills Assessment Program from the statewide testing required of home schooled students. Relating to required standards for home schools offering instruction under the auspices of the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and other home school associations under which a home school may operate, this legislation requires student participation in certain statewide testing. The legislation requires the testing to be conducted by a certified school district employee either with public school students in a public school or optionally at the home school of the student. A parent who opts for a home school student to take the statewide test at home must pay for the administration of the test. The legislation requires the State Department of Education to report results of the annual review of home school associations to the General Assembly. The legislation further provides that the South Carolina Association of Independent Home Schools and other home school associations under which a home school may operate must include the name rather than the number of each home schooled student in a report to the children's respective school districts.
H.3518 ACCOUNTABILITY-BASED FUNDING FOR PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES Rep. Owens
This legislation requires the Commission on Higher Education and the presidents of public colleges and universities to take certain actions to support the efforts of the General Assembly to establish accountability-based funding for public colleges and universities.
H.3519 TRAINS BLOCKING INTERSECTIONS IN MUNICIPALITIES Rep. Whipper
This legislation limits the time a train may block four-lane street intersections in municipalities during certain periods of time.
H.3526 SCHOOL PRAYER Rep. Williams
Current law requires schools to provide for a minute of mandatory silence at the beginning of each school day. This legislation permits schools to lead a prayer at the beginning of the school day, provided the school allows a student to leave the classroom if the student does not want to listen to or participate in the prayer.
H.3531 SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION Rep. J. E. Smith
Beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, this legislation provides that a public school district shall consider long-term operating expenses, including expected repair and maintenance costs, annual water and energy consumption, and any other related factors when assessing the cost of constructing, improving, or renovating a public school building or other public school property.
H.3532 CHILDCARE FACILITIES Rep. White
This legislation allows the Department of Social Services to issue ABC Child Care Program vouchers only to childcare facilities that are licensed or registered by the department's Division of Child Care Services and that are in compliance with regulations. The legislation revises the definition of the term "childcare facilities".
H.3490 BEAR-BAYING Rep. Sandifer
Current law provides an exemption for "bear-baying" in the Animal Fighting and Baiting Act; this legislation deletes the exemption. This legislation provides that a captive bear for which a permit has been issued and which upon information and belief of the Department of Natural Resources has been or is being used for the purpose of "bear-baying" must be taken into custody by the department. The legislation further provides that the department shall make every effort to place these bears in a suitable environment, including zoos or animal parks within or outside this state.
H.3499 NONPARTISAN ELECTION OF CLERKS OF COURT Rep. Funderburk
This legislation requires the election of clerks of court to be nonpartisan. The legislation provides for nonpartisan special elections when a vacancy occurs, and it provides procedures for the nomination of candidates and the conduct of the nonpartisan elections.
H.3500 NONPARTISAN ELECTION OF PROBATE JUDGES Rep. Funderburk
The legislation requires the election of probate judges to be nonpartisan. The legislation provides for nonpartisan special elections when a vacancy occurs, and it provides procedures for the nomination of candidates and the conduct of the nonpartisan elections.
H.3503 JURY AREAS OF THE MAGISTRATES COURTS Rep. Merrill
This legislation provides that jury areas for magistrates courts are established countywide.
H.3504 GOLD AND SILVER AS LEGAL TENDER Rep. Delleney
To the full extent allowed by Article 1, Section 10, Clause 1 of the Constitution of the United States, this legislation provides that gold and silver coins minted foreign or domestic shall be legal tender in the State of South Carolina under the laws of this State. The legislation further provides that no person may compel another person to tender or accept gold or silver coin unless agreed upon by the parties.
H.3512 REVISIONS TO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CONTROL ACT Rep. Quinn
This legislation makes revisions to the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. This legislation allows a retail dealer to offer discounts at the register through the use of premiums, coupons, or stamps, so long as the cost related to the discount is provided only by the retail dealer and is not prohibited by federal law. The legislation provides that a retail dealer may not sell, barter, exchange, give, or offer for sale, barter or exchange, or permit the sale, barter, exchange, or gift of alcoholic liquors without regard to the size of the container to (1) a person the retail dealer knows is another retail dealer, except permitted sales of alcoholic liquor by a former licensee, or (2) between locations owned by the same retail dealer. The legislation provides additional penalties for certain violations of this provision.
H.3514 OPERATION OF A PUBLIC UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM AND THE DISCLOSURE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION ACQUIRED THROUGH THE OPERATION OF A PUBLIC UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEM Rep. Hamilton
With limited exceptions, this legislation provides that a public unmanned aircraft system may be operated and personal information from the operation disclosed in order to collect personal information only pursuant to a criminal warrant issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. The legislation includes provisions for obtaining the warrant as well as provisions for reporting to the General Assembly and others information about these warrants. It is a misdemeanor offense to disclose, without authorization, information about a search warrant or personal information obtained as a result of the search warrant. Personal information and evidence obtained or collected in violation of these provisions is not admissible as evidence in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding. The legislation requires law enforcement to obtain approval before procuring a public unmanned aircraft system and requires all operations of a public unmanned aircraft system or disclosure of personal information about a person acquired through the operation of a public unmanned aircraft system to be conducted in a manner that minimizes the collection and disclosure of personal information not authorized. The legislation allows the operation of public unmanned aircraft systems by public institutions of higher learning solely for research or academic purposes. The legislation also makes it unlawful to operate an unmanned aircraft for the purpose, in whole or in part, of using the public unmanned aircraft system as a weapon or to deliver a weapon against a person or property or to manufacture, sell, or distribute a public unmanned aircraft system as a weapon or to deliver a weapon against a person or property.
H.3515 INCREASED DAMAGES AN EMPLOYEE MAY RECOVER IN CIVIL ACTIONS AGAINST AND EMPLOYING PUBLIC BODY FOR RETALIATION FOR REPORTING A VIOLATION OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAW OR REGULATION Rep. Whipper
In civil actions against an employing public body for retaliation against an employee who reports a violation of state or federal law or regulation, this legislation increases the maximum amount of actual damages an employee may recover from $15,000 to $300,000.
H.3516 PROPOSED STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT RELATING TO THE PROHIBITION OF PUBLIC OFFICERS GAMBLING OR BETTING ON GAMES OF CHANCE Rep. Whipper
This legislation proposes to amend the State Constitution relating to the prohibition of public officers gambling or betting on games of chance. This proposed amendment provides that the prohibition does not apply to participation in lotteries conducted by the State of South Carolina, except that the following officeholders may not participate in lotteries conducted by this State: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, other constitutional officers, members elected to the General Assembly, and judges sitting on the State Supreme Court or the South Carolina Court of Appeals. The proposed amendment must be submitted to the qualified electors at the next election for representatives.
H.3517 RESIGNATION FROM OFFICE REQUIRED TO CHANGE POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION Rep. Whipper
This legislation provides that a candidate who executes a candidacy pledge with a political party for purposes of offering for election to a particular office in that party's primary election and who is later elected to that office is required to resign this office before he may change his political party affiliation.
H.3520 JUVENILES' WAIVER OF COUNSEL Rep. Whipper
Among other things, this bill provides that a child or the child's parent or guardian may not waive the child's right to counsel when the family court proceeding may result in detention or confinement of the child.
H.3521 LIABILITY OF MEMBERS OR MANAGERS OF LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANIES Rep. Finlay
Relating to the liability of members or managers of limited liability companies, this legislation provides that a member or manager cannot be held personally liable for a debt, obligation, or liability of the company, whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise. The legislation also removes from the comments language that states that members or managers would be responsible for acts or omissions to the extent that those acts or omissions would be actionable in contract or tort against the member or manager if that person were acting in an individual capacity.
H.3527 DOGS PERFORMING CORRECTIONS OR POLICE WORK Rep. D. C. Moss
Under certain circumstances, this legislation allows a governmental agency to have exclusion from liability for dog bites by certain dogs performing corrections or police work.
H.3528 CREATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INFORMATION SECURITY Rep. M. S. McLeod
A stated finding of the legislation is that the creation of a centralized Department of Information Security is necessary to provide statewide oversight and standards to all South Carolina State government to protect the personally identifiable information of all citizens and taxpayers of this State. This legislation creates the Department of Information Security to provide a comprehensive framework for ensuring the effectiveness of information security controls over information resources that support state operations and assets. The Governor appoints the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) with the advice and consent of the Senate. Among other things, the CISO develops and oversees the implementation of information security policies; reviews at least annually, and approving or disapproving, agency information security programs; ensures that all personally identifiable information electronically or digitally maintained by an agency is encrypted; and reports annually to the General Assembly on agency compliance. The legislation authorizes the department to promulgate binding regulations regarding minimum information security requirements. It provides steps each agency must take regarding information security, including developing and implementing an agencywide information security program approved by the CISO. Agencies must submit a report to the General Assembly detailing the adequacy and effectiveness of security policies, procedures and practices. The legislation requires an annual independent external audit of each agency's information security program, and it provides for the operation of a central information security incident center.
H.3534 JURISDICTION OF THE STATE GRAND JURY Rep. Hardwick
This legislation adds to the state grand jury's jurisdiction a crime involving or relating to the offense of trafficking in persons when a victim is trafficked in more than one county or when the trafficker commits the offense in more than one county.
LABOR, COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY
H.3477 CREDIT CARD PAYMENT SURCHARGES PROHIBITED Rep. Powers Norrell
This bill provides that no seller in any sales, service, or lease transaction with a consumer may impose a surcharge on a cardholder who elects to use a credit card in lieu of payment by cash, check, or similar means. A seller may, however, offer discounts for the purpose of inducing payment by cash, check, or other means not involving the use of a credit card, provided that the discount is offered to all prospective buyers. Penalties are established for violations.
H.3484 PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION REQUIRED TO SUBMIT FISCAL IMPACT STATEMENTS WITH PROPOSED REGULATIONS Rep. Sandifer
This bill revises the authority of the Public Service Commission to regulate public utilities by providing that, before the commission may submit a regulation for General Assembly approval under the Administrative Procedures Act, the commission is required to obtain from the State Budget Office a fiscal impact statement estimating the cost of complying with and implementing the proposed regulation and file a copy of this economic impact statement with the regulation.
H.3489 "MEDICAL LABORATORY PERSONNEL ACT" Rep. Spires
This bill enacts the "Medical Laboratory Personnel Act" to provide for regulation by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation of certain medical laboratory personnel working in disciplines such as microbiology, clinical chemistry, hematology, blood banking, molecular biology, and cytogenetics.
H.3491 VACATION TIMESHARE RESALES Rep. Sandifer
This bill revises provisions relating to fees for the resale of an interest in a vacation timeshare, so as to provide requirements of a resale vacation timeshare service provider. The legislation revises provisions relating to the transfer of an interest in a vacation time sharing plan from a seller to a third party, so as to make the provisions applicable to a resale of the interest. The legislation makes enforcement and implementation provisions applicable to a vacation time sharing association.
WAYS AND MEANS
H.3498 MOTOR FUEL USER FEE INCREASES AND INCOME TAX CREDITS OFFSETTING FEE INCREASES FOR IN-STATE VEHICLES Rep. Skelton
This bill increases user fees for gasoline and other motor fuels, from sixteen cents to twenty-six cents a gallon, and requires the Department Revenue to adjust user fees twice a year based on the change in the wholesale price of motor fuel. The legislation establishes income tax credits for offsetting user fee cost increases for owners of motor vehicles registered in-state. The legislation revises the distribution of the user fee on gasoline and diesel fuel to counties, so as to increase amount distributed to three and one-half cents and to eliminate a nine and a half million dollar transfer to certain donor counties.
H.3501 LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING TEMPORARY FLEXIBILITY PROVISIONS Rep. White
This joint resolution suspends for Fiscal Years 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 statutory restrictions on amending or repealing provisions in the State Aid to Subdivisions Act and provides that, for those fiscal years, counties may transfer among appropriated state revenues as needed to ensure the delivery of services.
H.3505 "HIGH GROWTH SMALL BUSINESS ACCESS TO CAPITAL ACT OF 2013" Rep. Loftis
This bill enacts the "High Growth Small Business Access To Capital Act of 2013" to provide for state nonrefundable income tax credits to encourage those who act as "angel investors" by providing early stage capital for emerging high-growth enterprises in such areas as manufacturing, processing, warehousing, wholesaling, software development, and information technology services.
H.3511 EMPLOYEE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT TRUST FUND REQUIRED Rep. Skelton
This bill provides that each person employed in this state shall contribute a portion of his wages to the State Unemployment Trust Fund and requires an employer to withhold these contributions and transmit them to the Department of Employment and Workforce. The legislation provides that an employer shall maintain a separate record of the contribution of each employee and report the amount withheld to the employee at least annually. The department shall allocate an employee contribution it receives to the Unemployment Trust Fund account of the employer to offset the contribution required of the employer. Penalties are provided for violations.
H.3513 SPECIAL RATES FOR ADMISSION TO STATE PARKS AND USE OF PARK FACILITIES Rep. Bales
This bill provides that disabled veterans may gain admission to state parks without charge and may use the camping facilities and overnight lodging facilities of state parks if vacancies exist without charge. The legislation revises provisions allowing the use of facilities, campsites, and overnight lodging facilities at state parks at reduced rates by the aged, blind, or disabled, so as to provide that such persons may use these facilities at one-half the prescribed fee, including campsite facilities and overnight lodging facilities if vacancies exist. The legislation provides that, based on a review of business and personal use of a particular state park or facility by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, and the labor and insurance requirements it sustains at that facility, the management plan for that park or facility may be altered by permitting the reletting of campsites, camping facilities, or other amenities before the rental term of the original renter has expired if vacated by the original renter before the end of the stated term. The department also may waive the charges for its reuse and for the use of these and other amenities.
H.3522 SALES TAX EXEMPTION REFORM Rep. Stringer
This bill eliminates several sales tax exemptions and provides that the revenue generated by the elimination of exemptions must be credited to the General Reserve Fund. The legislation reestablishes the Joint Committee on Taxation in order to provide a cost benefit analysis on the sales tax exemptions. The legislation also eliminates certain exemptions for the use tax.
H.3533 STATE GOVERNMENT SPENDING LIMITATIONS Rep. G. R. Smith
This bill provides that the limit on general fund appropriations for a fiscal year is the total amount of the general fund revenue estimate as of February 15, 2013, for Fiscal Year 2013-2014, increased annually and cumulatively by a percentage determined by population increases and increases in the consumer price index. The legislation excludes from this limit constitutional and statutory requirements and provides for the limitation to be suspended for a fiscal year for a specific amount upon a special vote of the General Assembly. The legislation establishes the Spending Limit Reserve Fund to which all surplus general fund revenues must be credited and provides for the priority uses of the revenues of this fund. The legislation requires that appropriation of revenues of this fund must be by a joint resolution originating in the House of Representatives. The legislation's new spending limitations first apply for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.
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