SC lawmakers begin three-day special session to discuss budget, Santee Cooper & Panthers

SC State House
SC State House
Updated: May. 20, 2019 at 7:28 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina lawmakers are headed back to the State House Monday to begin a three-day special session.

It’s an opportunity to take care of some unfinished business, including how the state will spend its nearly $9 billion budget.

Lawmakers said spending priorities include providing salary increases for teachers and state workers, allocating nearly $160 million towards increasing the starting salary for teachers and more than $40 million for a cost of living pay raise for state workers.

The estimated $9 billion budget is $1 billion more than what was approved for the last state budget.

In order for any proposals to pass this three-day special session, it will need a two-thirds majority vote from SC lawmakers.

There are only certain proposals in which lawmakers are allowed to discuss during this week’s special session.

Once the legislative session came to an end for the year, a resolution was passed – making this week’s special session official. That resolution limits what issues can be discussed over the next few days.

That includes the budget and Santee Cooper. Plus, any bills that have passed both the House and Senate and are currently in conference committees, where three lawmakers from each chamber are selected to talk through assigned proposals.

One of the more anticipated debates will surround the Pro Sports Team Investment Act in support of bringing some of the Carolina Panthers’ operations here to South Carolina. Lawmakers will also discuss any measures that are vetoed by Governor Henry McMaster.

Sources close to the State House said they anticipate that the Pro Sports Team Act will be passed, but issues like Santee Cooper could be more difficult to get through. The failed nuclear project is considered one of the biggest financial woes the state is currently facing, bringing with it more than $8 billion in debt.

Lawmakers are expected to reconvene at the State House around noon Monday.

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