A measure that would expand the scope of the state’s Amber Alert system received third reading in the House Wednesday and now moves on to the Senate. The amended legislation states that when any person who suffers from a cognitive disability, including dementia, goes missing and is believed to be on the roadways in South Carolina, the Amber Alert system can be used to locate that person. Bill sponsor Horry County Representative Alan Clemmons says right now the system is only used to locate missing youngsters.”Let’s say grandma, who is in a nursing home, goes missing at the same time a car in the parking law goes missing and it had a key in the ignition. You now with this legislation will be able to advertise the vehicle that’s missing with grandma. Under the current amber alert law that is not allowed. You can only used it for missing children.”
Clemmons says there is strong indication that the legislation will pass, but not until 2010. “There are some strong advocates for the bill over in the Senate. I don’t think it’s going to happen this year. I think they’re bogged downed in the Senate with other issues, but I feel like in January that they will be taking it up as one of their first issues.”
Charleston County Representative Chip Limehouse suggested Tuesday that lawmakers look into cross state activation of the Amber Alert system noting for example that when an amber alert is activated in Hardeeville, South Carolina the amber alert is not activated in Savannah, Georgia which is less than 20 miles away.