Last day of legislative session concludes with SC lawmakers left with work to do
COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Lots of gavels and lots of amendments.
The final day of the current legislative session at the statehouse sparked a lot of discussion as lawmakers looked to get bills passed.
“Much of what I thought was going to happen is what happened, especially early on,” said Sen. Shane Massey, majority leader. “Marijuana took a little longer than I expected it to take.”
Massey says was disappointed the House didn’t vote on medical marijuana. He adds that he would have also liked to have seen legislation that addressed texting while driving, the restructuring of DHEC and the certificate of need program, but is still pleased with how the session went.
“I think overall we had a very successful year,” the Republican from Edgefield said. “The changes to election law were important. That’s something a lot of people wanted to get done. We did a lot with education this year, especially K-12 education.”
When it comes to election law, Governor Henry McMaster had his say on the matter Thursday as well.
“There’s some great parts that are well overdue that the House put in,” McMaster said. “There’s some parts that the Senate put in that I’m not as happy with.”
Democrat Senator Mike Fanning gave a speech in front of the Senate body saying that he thinks nothing passed ultimately helps teachers.
“We’re telling them to suck it up. You got three weeks of school, suck it up. Next year, you’re coming back with the state guaranteeing you no raise,” Fanning said. “Instead on the last day, with three hours left in the session, we’re going to pass a bill that’s going to take hundreds of millions of dollars and spend it on private schools.”
Governor McMaster also says there are things he would have liked to have seen done this session, including improvement to one interstate in particular.
“I’d hate to say they’re failures, but I-73 is something that should have been done,” McMaster said. “That part of our state is growing and it needs to grow more.”
The Senate and House budgets differ when it comes to the minimum teachers salary as well as a potential tax rebate.
“It sounds to be like one of the big sticking points is going to be a billion dollars,” Massey said. “There are a number of other issues because the spending levels are different so they have to reconcile that, but I think we’ll get there. I’m confident they’ll come together and come up with a good budget.”
Lawmakers will return June 15th and 28th to work on the budget, a select other specific bills and any vetoes from the governor. They would also reconvene after that if a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade happens.