Both the House and Senate passed bills that redraw the state’s election districts. They also redrew the boundaries of South Carolina’s 46 Senate seats and 124 House seats.
The Senate will now have a chance to look at where to put a new congressional seat. A House proposal would add the Seventh Congressional District in the Grand Strand and Pee Dee area. However, a Senate staff proposal would instead put the Seventh in the Lowcountry, focusing around Beaufort and stretching northward to Berkeley County.
The House plan for its own legislative seats raised the ire of several Democrats. The arguments mostly dealt with how to properly draw districts that would have majority-black populations.
Meanwhile, South Carolina’s top financial oversight board gave the state Medicaid agency permission to run an additional $22 million deficit. That means the agency has now gone $222 million into the red this year.
Gov. Nikki Haley also made two new high-profile appointments. Appointing Mark Keel to lead the State Law Enforcement Division and another former SLED investigator to the state’s Inspector General position she created by executive order this year.
The legislature overrode the governor’s veto on a bill that would regulate narcotic treatment centers. The law would require methadone treatment facilities to obtain permission from the state health agency before opening. Legislators are concerned about methadone treatment, which they say is essentially a legal drug trade. The governor had worried the centers were regulated enough already.