As the session goes forward, you may hear a South Carolina legislator or news report mention something called “crossover.” You may also notice that several bills will pass either the House or Senate–and then effectively be ignored by the other.
The reason why is a procedural deadline that passed on Sunday, known as the “crossover deadline.” Any legislation that clears either the House or Senate now requires a two-thirds majority to even be debated by the other body this year.
Greg Foster, a spokesman for the House Speaker’s Office, explains why the rule exists.
It’s so that, on the last week of the legislative session, one body doesn’t drop a major piece of legislation on the other and say, “Well, we passed it. Why couldn’t you guys pass it?”
Sunday’s deadline effectively marks the end of any controversial new legislation, although the Senate can still debate bills that passed the House before May 1, and vice versa. Also, any non-controversial matters can still be approved, as long as two-thirds of legislators agree.
Because this is the first year of a two-year session, the House can still pass those controversial bills, even though the Senate will not take them up until next January.