Wednesday afternoon in the Senate, the main topic was changing the Employment Security Commission, but debate centered around the details—from how to choose commissioners to when to pay benefits.
Senators argued for and against governor having the power to select the members and chief of the state Employment Security Commission. And the debate was divided among Republicans: Aiken’s Greg Ryberg argued for the governor having the power to select the head of the Employment Security Commission. Horry’s Luke Rankin countered that the governor needs some legislative oversight. Lexington’s Senator Jake Knotts says the system of legislative control has worked with the state Department of Transportation. Charleston’s Chip Campsen came to Ryberg’s defense, using a football analogy:
(Senator Chip Campsen’s football analogy MP3 :42)
Senator Chip Campsen’s football analogy MP3
Other ESC issues discussed included delaying severance pay while collecting unemployment benefits. Clarendon’s John Land– the leading Democrat–says since employers pay into unemployment insurance, it’s not the state’s place to get involved. A small business owner himself, Land says, “It’s punitive in nature, for the wrong reason and it’s government getting into private business’s business.”
This amendment by Ryberg was tabled.
Also on Wednesday, Senator David Thomas of Greenville revisited his attempts to add mandates for drug tests for unemployment recipients. The Senate adjourned without passing this part of the measure.