State House Week

Santee Cooper headquarters sign.
Santee Cooper

After months of discussion about Santee Cooper, the SC General Assembly this week took the first official actions that could lead to the eventual sale of the state-owned utility.

The State House of Representatives and Senate are considering Joint Resolutions that would begin a process to sell Santee Cooper which is burdened by an enormous debt incurred from the collapse of the giant V.C. Summer Nuclear Project in 2017. 

The S.C. House of Representatives approved the state's FY 2019-20 spending package on March 13, 2019
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

This year’s session of the state legislature is at the half-way mark.  And right on schedule this week the House of Representatives passed its’ version of next year’s $9 Billion state spending package.  It now goes to the Senate.

To pay for this year’s push to improve public education the budget contains millions of new education dollars. $160 Million dollars for teacher pay raises.

The House version also funds two percent pay raises for state workers, and $32 Million to help shore-up the state’s aging pension system. 

Republican leadership at the State House pushing a major overhaul of S. C. Public School system.
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

The S.C. House of Representatives this week overwhelmingly passed a major bill that overhauls the state’s education system.

It pumps more money into the system, gives the state education superintendent more ability to take over low-performing school districts, and creates a nearly $100 Million fund to help bring businesses to places where schools are poor and struggling.

The state’s low performing school system is hurting South Carolina’s businesses, and the state's Republican leadership is moving to try and correct deficiencies.

The S.C. General Assembly is attempting to exert its authority over local governments in this year’s legislative session.

The House of Representatives this week passed and sent to the Senate a bill that would stop local governments from passing regulations on cigarettes and vaping products.  Supporters of the bill say such power should rest only with the state so as to prevent a mixed bag of laws and regulations from popping up across the state.

S.C. Superintendent of Education Mollie Spearman flanked by Gov. Henry McMaster (L) and House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) at the Statehouse Feb. 20, 2019.
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

South Carolina’s teachers have made their voices heard at the Statehouse as lawmakers debate a major public education reform bill. 

From the moment House Speaker Jay Lucas and dozens of fellow House members introduced the 84 page omnibus bill last month, teachers have been demanding changes. 

This week, Republican leaders in the legislature sought to re-assure them.

A House education committee is now moving to incorporate some teacher backed changes to the bill.

Sen Mike Fanning (D-Fairfield) in a recent meeting with public school teachers at the Statehouse.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Comprehensive bills to improve the state’s troubled public education system are being debated in both the State House and Senate.

Last month House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) and dozens of other lawmakers introduced an 84 page bill aimed at improving student readiness for the workplace, help for rural school districts that are struggling, and perhaps most importantly increasing teacher retention.

African American Legislators Call Judicial Elections a 'Travesty'

The fallout from the 2017 V.C. Summer Nuclear failure continues at the Statehouse. This year lawmakers are dealing with what may be the hard part of unwinding the debacle;  what to do about state owned utility Santee Cooper.

S.C. Senate President Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee (L).
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

When sworn in as the state’s new Lieutenant Governor last month Pamela Evette made history. She  became the first Lieutenant Governor elected as a Governor’s running mat instead of running for the office independently of the Governor.

The primary duty of the Lieutenant Governor is to step-up to the Governor’s Office if necessary as Henry McMaster did when Gov. Nikki Haley resigned the office in 2017.

Instead of being an elected state official the Lieutenant Governor is in essence now a member of the Governor’s staff.

Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Work is underway at the Statehouse on next year’s $9 Billion state budget which is expected to pump money into reforming the state’s public education system.

Gov. McMaster sent his budget recommendations to the legislature this week.  He calls for a 5 percent pay raise for teachers at a cost of about $155 Million, $36 Million for colleges aimed at holding down tuition,  and over $48 Million to put more trained police officers and mental health counselors  in schools.

State House Week for July 29, 2018

Jun 29, 2018
State House Week
SC Public Radio

This year's session of the SC General Assembly has finally ends, as lawmakers pass a wide-ranging plan to address the V.C. Summer nuclear debacle.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The SC General Assembly heads towards its' final week of the 2018 session. Key bills have yet to pass, but Democrats in the State Senate managed to kill a sweeping anti-abortion bill.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The State House and Senate remain at odds over reducing SCE&G's nuclear charge, and the state will soon have a new Child Advocate.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The S.C. General Assembly has moved to cut SCE&G's nuclear rate, and prison violence sparks calls for action.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

Action on the future of Santee Cooper, and the future solar energy industry were debated by the SC House of Representatives this week.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

Fallout from the V.C. Summer nuclear fiasco dominated action at the State House this week.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

Keeping schools safe, and passage of a new state "liquor bill" highlight action at the Statehouse this week.

House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, and House members slamming state Senators for what they see as a lack of Senate action on the V.C. Summer Nuclear debacle. Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Half way through the 2018 session of the S.C General Assembly, members of the House and Senate are at odds concerning the V.C. Summer Nuclear project, and the Senate has passed a bill re-instating the use of the 'electric chair' for death sentences.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

Gun safety advocates were out in force at the Statehouse this week, and leaders of the House of Representatives express frustration with the State Senate over the V.C. Summer Nuclear issue.

Former Rep. Rick Quinn talking with news reporters at the Richland County Courthouse in Columbia, after his indictment in May, 2017.
Jim Covington/SCETV

More fallout from the ongoing Statehouse corruption probe, and the S.C. Senate moves to give state regulators more time to consider SCANA Corp and Dominion Energy's request to continue to charge ratepayers for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

This week the issue of the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project moved from the State House of Representatives to the Senate, and a controversial bill prohibiting cities and counties from banning plastic bags being sold is passed by the  House.

The S.C. House voted 119-1 this week to pass a bill that would temporarily halt customers of SCE&G from paying for the abandoned VC Summer Nuclear Project.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

The S.C. House this week passed what's expected to be the most important piece of legislation to be considered during the 2018  legislative session, a repeal of the 2007 Base Load Review Act.

File: Gov. Henry McMaster
Mark Adams/SCETV

Gov. Henry McMaster delivers his first State of the State Address to the SC General Assembly, and as expected fallout from the V.C. Summer nuclear debacle is shaping up to be the dominant issue for this years' legislative session.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

Wintry weather cut this week's session of the SC General Assembly short, but lawmakers had plenty of questions for the CEO of Dominion Energy.  Domion Energy has proposed to buy SCANA Corp., the parent company of South Carolina Electric and Gas.

S.C. DOT Secretary Christy Hall watching the House of Representatives final vote on a $600 Million road funding bill.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

The S.C. General Assembly adjourns for the year, passing a critical road funding bill in the final hours.

Members of the House-Senate Conference Committee debating a road funding bill on May 4, 2017.
S.C. Senate

With one week remaining before adjournment, the S.C. General Assembly still has some heavy lifting to do.

Hwy 17 Northbound near Hwy 174, April 18, 2016.
@ChasCoSheriff

After three years of unsuccessful attempts, the S.C. Senate passes a road funding bill.

Again this year, the fate of a bill to fix state roads and bridges will be determined in the S.C. Senate.

Russ McKinney
Rob Sprankle

Gov. McMaster threatens to veto the proposed gas tax bill, and a bill allowing residents to openly carry a gun without a permit is approved in the House of Representatives.

The S.C. Senate failed to set the pending road funding bill for priority debate, thus putting its' chances for passage this year in jeopardy.

Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort speaking at Americans For Prosperity rally at the Statehouse on Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Another handgun bill is up for debate in the S.C. House, and battle lines are being drawn in the Senate around an $800 Million road funding bill.

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