State lawmakers prepare for additional work as current session nears final day

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Just one more day left in the current legislative session.

Lawmakers are looking to tie up loose ends but may be back again at the statehouse next month.

Tuesday, Senator Massey confirmed that lawmakers are due to return at two different times in June to further discuss the state budget and other specific bills.

“We passed a significant bill to divide DHEC between its various responsibilities with environment and medical affairs,” said Sen. Richard Cash, a Republican from Anderson County.

However, this bill as well as some others failed to make it through the House.

“We passed a couple of bills, medical marijuana and certificate of need reform, but those have died. There’s no chance of them passing this session,” said Sen. Mike Fanning, a Democrat from Great Falls. “We’re left almost out of gas, looking at the finish line and wondering where we’ve run.”

Fanning says there are two issues that he believes were successfully worked on this session.

“Rural infrastructure. We were able to get some one-time money set aside for water and sewer projects in rural areas,” Fanning said. “The only way we’re going to lure big time development in rural communities is if we have water and sewer. The second thing is broadband.”

The Democrat Fanning, as well as Republicans across the aisle, have pieces of legislation they wish had been worked on in the Senate.

“I introduced a bill in January, what’s called the Trigger Bill, to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned,” Cash said. “We have not passed the bill.”

The Senate will be back in session next month to work out some differences in opinion with the House when it comes to certain bills.

“The big one of course on June 15th will be the budget. There’s going to be a conference committee working over the next several weeks to come up with agreements there. I’m confident that will happen and we’ll take that up,” said Sen. Shane Massey, majority leader. “We’ll come back again towards the end of June to address any vetoes the governor may have on the budget or other issues.”

Overall, the majority leader says this session has been a success.

“I’m proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Massey said. “We’ve still got a little bit more to do today and tomorrow, but I think we’re going to end on the right note.”

On the other side, Senator Fanning believes this session was a missed opportunity.

“This was the largest amount of new money we’ve ever had in the history of the state,” Fanning said. “We’re in the biggest teacher shortage we’ve ever had, and we’ve done nothing to help teachers. That to me is the failure of this session.”

The Senate is also able to be called back into session all the way up until November if there is a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

Categories: Local News, Richland