There are nine days left in the legislative session for 2014. Last week, I wrote a bit about the House’s conservative achievements for the year.
This week marked the final week of committee meetings in the House, as we reserved the final three weeks of the session for floor work and conference committees. We were heartened to see the Senate approve its version of the state budget this week – raising expectations that we could have the state budget finalized, and vetoes considered, before June 5th.
As I write this, there are 242 pieces of House legislation still awaiting action in the Senate. We’re certainly not calling for the Senate to pass all of them. But as the House Republicans have contentiously worked on passing a conservative agenda during the 2013-2014 session, we have once again witnessed much of that progress stall in the Senate.
This isn’t something new. Since the voters gave Republicans control of the House in 1994, we have voiced frustrations with the Senate’s inability to get conservative reforms passed. Term limits, a shorter session, numerous tax cuts, regulatory reform, and government streamlining have all repeatedly met their end in the Senate.
We approved a Department of Administration – giving the governor control of the executive branch – for 5 years before it was finally signed into law earlier this year. Shorter session legislation has been approved in every legislature for 20 years. Even this year’s attempt to shorten the session by one lone week remained marooned in a Senate committee.
So, as time winds down, what is still pending?
I have good, hard-working conservative colleagues in the Senate who feel the same frustrations, and this is not a criticism of their efforts to promote these reforms. The House worked hard, with much input from our constituents, to get these bills to the Senate. We hope the Senate will consider these bills in the time they have left.
As always, it is a privilege to serve you in the South Carolina House. If you ever need help with state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me.