This week South Carolina lawmakers met at the Statehouse to discuss unemployment benefits in the state. However, as expected, Republican Greg Delleny introduced an impeachment resolution for Governor Mark Sanford. House Speaker Bobby Harrell responded.
“As the clerk handed it to me, as it is done, another member stood up and just raised a point of order that that couldn’t be introduced, and I had to rule whether or not the rules allowed it to be introduced and they clearly don’t. So, I ruled it out of order, but anticipating that it would be in the pre-filing session I went ahead and told the membership we would do pre-filing in mid-November,” says Harrell.
Harrell says although impeachment was brought up for discussion, the reason they were at the session was to discuss unemployment, so he had to shift the focus in that direction.
“That’s all we said we would come back to do, that’s all everybody agreed to come back to do, so you have to honor that. You can’t trick them to come up here for one thing and switch gears on them and do something else, you just don’t do that. When Greg tried to introduce it, which was entirely proper for him to try and introduce it because the way it operates, if nobody raises a point of order, you have to take it up. If somebody does, you have to respond to that and somebody did, so I did,” says Harrell.
The topic of discussion at the special session this week was unemployment and the extension of jobless benefits. Gov. Sanford signed a bill extending benefits to the unemployed under the stimulus act, and made necessary by an oversight at the Employment Security Commission.
As for the state’s economic development, Harrell has his predictions: “We’ve got some pretty serious things happening economic development wise around the state right now. Unlike things we’ve seen in a long time, and not just in the Lowcountry, there’s things going on all around the state right now, I would be really surprised if the unemployment rate in South Carolina doesn’t turn around in the next four to five months because of all the activity that’s occurring right now,” says Harrell.