Bill to oust SC State Board of Trustees heads to Haley's desk

Bill to oust SC State Board of Trustees heads to Haley's desk

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC/WIS) - It's down to the wire for South Carolina State University's board of trustees. Both the Senate and the House concurred on the compromise bill which will oust the embattled school's board.

Now, a signature from Governor Haley is the only thing that will decide whether the board stays or goes.

There has been no word from the Governor's office on whether she'll sign the bill, but if she does, the new board will be in place within seven days of that signature.

The decision to concur in both houses was pretty straightforward and simple, marking a quiet end to two tense days of negotiations over the bill.

On Thursday, senators and representatives reached an agreement over the bill and a group of seven leaders, including legislators, constitutional officers, and the governor, who will select the school's interim board.

While both chambers did concur, the bill still has to be ratified or given official final approval by both the House and Senate.

Sen. Darrell Jackson served on that negotiating conference committee.

"I think every indication that I've received is that she will sign it, she will sign it quick because she understands the urgency of getting it done right away," Jackson said. "They need to address the leadership, because I think it all starts with leadership. I think the acting president is doing a really good job. I think the board needs to decide who the permanent president will be. That search will begin and in the meantime, they need to put together a fiscal financial plan, to address some of the financial issues."

"I want to commend my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, because we reached a consensus, to do what's best for South Carolina, and particularly what's best for South Carolina State students. Now we move forward, and hopefully those appointing the board will do so quickly, and we'll get good board members," he said.

Legislators involved with the bill have equated today as breathing a big sigh of relief, but there were a few opportunities to one-up the other side.

Rep. Jim Merrill, who also served on that conference committee, said the House did the brunt of the work on this bill.

And other legislators have said a lot of rumors clouded this whole process, so much so that even Wednesday, they said they were still getting calls from SC State alums who thought the school was going to shut down.

Lawmakers say they hope this vote settles the matter.

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