05 Jun Roads Bill Passage, Shorter Session, & Sine Die
Sine die (Latin meaning “without a fixed day”) Adjournment fell this past Thursday June 2, 2016, at 5:00 PM and marked the end of this year’s general legislative session. For a bill to have become law this year, it would have needed to pass both legislative chambers by sine die.
The House and Senate will now work over the next week and a half in “Conference Committee” to reach final agreements on bills that passed both chambers but still need the differences between them consolidated into a final version that is acceptable to each body. At that point both chambers will come back to vote on the conference reports. The Governor will have 5 days to issue any vetoes and my colleagues will meet one last time to sustain or override her vetoes.
While my House colleagues and I passed many significant pieces of legislation this week, the most anticipated was a bill to begin funding the needed repairs to our dangerous roads and bridges.
On Tuesday afternoon, Speaker Jay Lucas took the floor to call out the Senate for their lack of action and the Governor for her lack of leadership. On Tuesday evening the Senate passed a roads bill, and Wednesday afternoon my House colleagues and I took swift action to give it final passage. After two years and hundreds of hours, the bill now goes to Governor Haley for her signature.
Three key components of Road Funding Bill:
- Significantly reformed the SC Department of Transportation. Before allocating any additional dollars to the broken agency, I joined my conservative colleagues in demanding these reforms.
- Allocated $4 billion in state dollars which must be used to repair our dangerous roadways including 399 dilapidated bridges.
- Does not raise taxes.
As always, I will keep you apprised once all conference committees have finished their work and we are able to review any vetoes from Governor Haley.
Finally, this marks the last year that the South Carolina legislature will end in June. Beginning in 2017, the legislative session will be a month shorter than it has historically been ultimately saving the state $350,000 and forcing more efficiency in lawmaking. The measure was strongly approved by both chambers.
It is an honor to serve you and your family in the General Assembly. If you ever find yourself in need of assistance navigating state government, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with my colleagues in the House, don’t hesitate to contact me.