Even though the South Carolina state legislature was officially in recess this week, that didn’t stop them from continuing to make headlines.
Governor Nikki Haley lost a Supreme Court challenge in her effort to call the legislature back into session last week. Haley wanted senators to finish a series of government restructuring bills. After she lost the suit, she told the Senate she instead wished them to take up the bills upon their return this week.
Afterwards, the Senate’s top officer, President pro tempore Sen. Glenn McConnell, said he agreed the bill should be taken up if the Senate has time. However, he added the governor needed to do her part to help.
But the point could be moot, as some Democrats are threatening to hold up the entire process unless the House brings a separate bill up for a vote this week.
–Meanwhile, a joint committee consisting of members from both the Senate and House met to come up with a budget both chambers could support. Rep. Dan Cooper (R-Piedmont) says the main disagreement will be how much to spend on education versus paying back the state’s unemployment debt.
I think those will be the areas where we will have to find our way… between the two versions and try to come up with something both bodies can adopt. I think we can get there. It will just take us a little while.
Cooper is helping chair the committee for the last time. He’s resigning from the House after 21 years, effective at the end of the month.
The committee consists of six members– three from the House and three from the Senate. Its makeup is four Republicans and two Democrats. They are scheduled to continue deliberations on the budget Monday.
–The Amazon.com deal officially became law last week. It did so without Haley’s signature. That led several Democrats to mock her in a press conference celebrating the occasion.
–Governor Haley also riled Democrats with her veto of the I-95 Corridor Authority Act. The bill would have created a special entity among the municipal governments and colleges located in the corridor. The goal was to better coordinate the area’s resources. However, Haley worried that it unnecessarily grew state government. The bill’s main proponent said a miscommunication between the governor and legislators led to the veto.