The legislative session ended this week, but the Senate is preparing to return in two weeks to discuss some unfinished business. However, Governor Nikki Haley wants to return next Tuesday at 10 am, but Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell doesn’t understand her reasoning.
A lot of people, I suspect, will be on vacation and stuff, but if we came back on Tuesday, under the Sine Die, we can’t take it up unless two-thirds vote in each House to take it up. I don’t understand what she’s doing.
Haley wants to take up the bill that calls for a restructuring of state government, forming a Department of Administration–merging the Department of Corrections and Department of Probation, Pardon, and Parole Services. McConnell says the state needs to be very specific when merging the two.
The problem you got to be careful about is making sure on one hand Corrections looks them up, PPP turns them out. And, you have to make sure if you merge that agency that the parole system doesn’t become the way that they control their budget by turning the criminals out of jail.
The bill would also put the lieutenant governor and governor on the same ticket and make the superintendent of education an appointed position. McConnell says so much of this session was taken up with the budget. A final budget still has not been decided on– so the Senate will take up the issue in two weeks. McConnell says that’s a reason to return, however–
We ended the session without passing a budget, that’s an extraordinary circumstance. You got to have a budget. But, just because one of her bills didn’t pass, that’s not an extraordinary circumstance. The legislature decided not to put that on the list of bills left. We still have a budget to pass. So, the legislature has already voted and bound itself not to take up that bill.
And due to that vote, McConnell says they can’t take up the bill anyway.
I told her yesterday (Thursday), I said: Look, number one, ya’ll shouldn’t have tried to ram that thing through at the last minute and take away people’s debate rights. If we back off the date, the votes are there to pass the bill, but we have to get them together, and if we have time in those two weeks we can go back and take that bill back up.
The Senate is scheduled to reconvene on June 14, but if the governor gets her way, it will return next Tuesday–June 7.