State legislators return to finish budget, redistricting
Tue, 14 Jun 2011 09:43:57 GMT —
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH, AP) -- Legislators plan to redraw election district lines and wrap up work on a $6 billion general fund state spending plan during a two-week wrap-up session.
The session begins Tuesday.
Legislators left town June 2 and Gov. Nikki Haley immediately ordered them back to their desks. She wants them to pass restructuring legislation that includes putting much of the state's bureaucracy into a new Cabinet agency she would oversee.Related Stories Panel to resume SC budget plan negotiations SC legislators rush to wrap up work on last day Senate leader issues letter urging lawmakers to take up Haley's bill SC Supreme Court rules against Haley's call for extra session Senate leader to file lawsuit challenging special session
But Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell challenged the order. He said the legislature was on a one-week recess and couldn't be required to return. He won a 3-2 state Supreme Court decision.
Last week McConnell sent a letter to his fellow Senators urging them to take up the restructuring bill Haley requested when they return. The Department of Administration bill, which would give Haley more control over the state's day-to-day operations, was not originally covered under the issues to be discussed under the Sine Die Resolution. The Sine Die Resolution clarifies which matters can be taken up when lawmakers return after recess.
McConnell has said he favors the legislation, but not the governor's tactics.
In the letter, McConnell also calls the court's ruling a win for Constitutional government. Click here to read the entire document.
During the one-week break, the House and Senate judiciary committees adopted plans for their election districts. And a House and Senate budget conference committee began working out budget differences.
Do you think legislators should take up restructuring while in Columbia for the two-week wrap-up session? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)