Governor Nikki Haley today issued her response to Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell’s legal challenge to her authority. McConnell has asked the South Carolina Supreme Court to review Haley’s actions in calling the General Assembly back in to finish her priority bills. McConnell wants to know, “Can a governor force the legislature back into session to take up bills that were not included in the Sine Die resolution?”
The Sine Die law sets up when the legislature can return after regular session has adjourned — and what can be discussed in that time frame.
Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, House Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas, House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham and other legislators have moved to intervene in the case on the side of the governor.
Gov. Haley, in a statement said:
Attorney General Alan Wilson reiterated his legal support for our authority to call the General Assembly into special session, and it’s disappointing to see Senator McConnell involve the Court today. What we have offered Senators is an extended opportunity, which they asked for, to finish the people’s business. If the energy invested in avoiding coming back to work would instead go into passing these important restructuring reforms, South Carolina would be far better served.
The governor is also relying on an earlier written opinion of Attorney General Travis Medlock in 1984. He supported then-Gov. Dick Riley’s considering calling lawmakers back in. Riley ended up not testing his authority at that time.