After working over the weekend and behind closed doors, the state Senate reached a compromise to send a massive government restructuring bill to one more committee before it comes up for full debate.
Senate Finance Committee members want to have a say about how state procurement is handled.
This could stall or kill what is known as the Department of Administration bill, but both sides set up a deadline and a promise to send the bill right back to the floor for full debate by February 20.
Bill sponsor, Sen.Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw) says, “We have made sure that this bill is frankly on a fast track for debate that will be decided and I would urge you to set us a goal of passing the bill out of here in whatever form it takes by the end of February.”
Senate Majority Leader John Courson (R-Richland) thanked all sides for agreeing to set conditions on how the bill is handled. He says that both the Finance and Judiciary committees will have a chance to look at the bill again before it returns to the calendar.
Sen. Shane Massey (R-Edgefield) and Sheheen have tried to move the bill that has failed for the past two years.
Senate Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) told media he would not let the bill linger in his committee.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey released this statement: “Today’s Senate action is disappointing in that it further delays government reform that is critical to our state and has already been delayed for years. The fact that a rare parliamentary tactic was used to create this delay makes clear there are still those in the Senate who flat out oppose reforming state government. Nonetheless, three weeks is not so long, and patience can be a virtue. The Senate Judiciary Committee produced a strong bill, and we will soon know whether the Senate as a whole is serious about reform. The governor certainly hopes they are – the people of South Carolina deserve nothing less.”