Governor Nikki Haley has called for a special session that would begin tomorrow. She wants to discuss restructuring state government, creating a Department of Administration–which the governor says was not included in the special Sine Die session. Legislators are currently adjourned in Sine Die, meaning they can only address certain issues, such as the budget and redistricting, when they return next week.
Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell has asked the South Carolina Supreme Court for emergency guidance–claiming the governor’s order is unconstitutional. His question to the court: Can a governor force the legislature back into session to take up bills that were not included in the Sine Die resolution?
We’re coming back next week, what’s the rush? One week, and we now run the risk of all these constitutional questions, but that hasn’t been said.
However, Governor Haley says due to the Sine Die resolution, the Senate cannot take up the bill.
The governor answers McConnell’s question: “What’s the rush?”
I’ll tell you exactly why. Every day that we don’t restructure our government, every day is costing us money. We are wasting dollars by the hours and it’s ridiculous. They have kicked this can down the road literally for years, saying they don’t want to do this.
McConnell says he understands the governor’s frustrations in unfinished business, but that’s no need to mull over the state Constitution.
The governor has the power under the Constitution to call us back for extraordinary occurrences. There’s nothing extraordinary about bills not making it, hundreds of them (don’t) every year. The most ordinary thing in the world is bills don’t make it and it’s a good thing because it keeps us from having too much government.
McConnell says he does support the bills that Haley wants to take up, which would create a Department of Administration, put the lieutenant governor and governor on the same ticket, and make the superintendent of education an appointed, not elected, position.
Haley questioned why, if the Charleston senator supports it, it was not included in the Sine Die resolution.
I asked Senator McConnell to put it under Sine Die so that they could take it up next week. He said he would let me know and then the next think I knew is he was on the Senate floor and he was putting Sine Die up without the Department of Administration. So, we could’ve taken it up next week if he would have put it in there. He didn’t.
Haley says McConnell is wasting time.
If he would just spend the same amount of energy in voting on the Department of Administration instead of trying to do a lawsuit against me, we would be done by tomorrow afternoon.
However, McConnell says the same thing about Haley. She’s just wasting time.
She should spend this time trying to get the folks that are not with us on board with us. But instead she is out making headlines rather than headway.
Until the state Supreme Court makes a decision, the Senate will return Tuesday.