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SC House to return Dec. 1 for redistricting special session

Jay Jordan, Weston Newton, Pat Henegan
Jeffrey Collins/AP
House redistricting committee chairman Jay Jordan, left, Rep. Weston Newton, center, and Rep. Pat Henegan, right, listen during a public hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Columbia, S.C. The proposed House map puts two incumbents together in five new House districts. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

The South Carolina House will return to Columbia to meet in a special session about redistricting in early December.

House Speaker Jay Lucas said the House will first meet at 2 p.m. Dec. 1 with the primary focus on approving the new state House, Senate and U.S. House districts based on 2020 U.S. Census data.

The chamber may also be in session on Dec. 2 and Dec. 6 if necessary.

The Senate hasn't announced the dates it might meet in special session, but they are expected to gather in early December too because that would leave three months for legal challenges about the new maps to be resolved before filing for the new districts in the 2022 elections begins in March.

The Legislature set aside only a few issues that can be taken up in the special session without a two-thirds vote. They include redistricting, spending billions of dollars in federal pandemic funds and from a settlement with the federal government over radioactive material stored past a deadline at the Savannah River Site.

The list of items did not include COVID-19 vaccine or mask mandates.

The General Assembly returns in January for the second year of its regular session.