State legislators are set to take up a bill that would ease some of the regulations and processes public colleges face when they do business in South Carolina. Among these are potential changes aimed at streamlining minor construction projects.
Legislators will likely vote Tuesday on the bill, which would give individual schools more power to approve routine maintenance, repair and renovation projects that cost less than $1 million. Right now, any time a school does any construction at all, it requires a vote from the state Budget and Control Board, which only meets less than once per month.
Rep. Lester Branham (D-Florence), one of the bill’s sponsors, said the law would help schools save money by taking some steps out of the process.
Schools also currently have to get approval before they buy or sell any property. The new law would set the limit at $250,000 before the Board has to approve it. It also raises the threshold for remodeling costs before the school has to apply through the Board.
The bill is expected to pass the House, where it has bipartisan support.
— Also on Tuesday, a House subcommittee will discuss several constitutional changes, including creating a Department of Administration that would take over many of the duties of the Budget & Control Board.
The panel will also hear testimony on a bill that would require the lieutenant governor to run jointly with the governor in a general election. A third bill would require the state Superintendent to be an appointed position, instead of elected by the general public.