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State Senator asks Attorney General Alan Wilson to weigh in on Daniel Island secession

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Secession is now a hot topic on Daniel Island, as islanders consider moving from Berkeley County to Charleston County. State Senator Larry Grooms says he has asked South Carolina's Attorney General to weigh in on the issue.

Do It Yourself Frozen yogurt owner Damon Pennington says talk of secession has him a bit concerned for his Daniel Island business. "I've heard a lot of things about Berkeley County taxes or Charleston County taxes and it just does concern me as a business owner. I do want to know what's going on, what's happening and how it can affect my business."

He plans to attend tonight's announcement and meeting about secession.

He is not alone when it comes to concerns about what happens next.

State Senator Larry Grooms represents Daniel Island in the SC Statehouse. He says the people have a right to address grievances with their elected officials. "If they can't be addressed, the state constitution does have a provision that allows a section of one county to secede to another county."

A major issue leading some to seek a move to Charleston County is schools. But Senator Grooms says he is not certain the school district would automatically change if the county lines change.

He is asking for clarification from SC attorney General Alan Wilson. "But the provision in our constitution just speaks to changing county boundary lines and so I've asked the attorney general to give an opinion as to whether the district lines for the school district would also have to be changed if the procedure is followed by the constitution to the letter of the law with the voters of Daniel Island and Charleston County."

If a petition is signed by 10% of registered voters on Daniel Island, then that starts the process toward deciding whether islanders want to secede.

Grooms says the next step would be, "an election will be held on Daniel Island and if two thirds of the voters decide to move to Charleston County and then if the majority of those in Charleston County decide to except Daniel Island, (it) then goes to the legislature."

If the legislature cannot come to agreement, courts could eventually get involved.

Tonight's announcement and question/answer session takes place at 7pm at Bishop England High School.

Senator Grooms says he expects to hear back from Attorney General Wilson in a couple of weeks.

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