Time running out to get work done at State House - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Time running out to get work done at State House

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May 1 is the official crossover deadline in the State House. That means bills which haven't made it to the House and Senate by Thursday likely will not go forward to become law this session.

In a little more than 30 days, many lawmakers will go on break for the rest of the year and leave the Capital City.

"We've got a lot of work to do in those 30 days," said Sen. John Scott (D-Richland).

In the Senate, a bill to opt out of some aspects of Common Core is set for special debate.  Currently it requires the General Assembly to approve any changes proposed to the state's education standards.

"The government closest to the people works best," said Sen. Thomas Alexander (R-Oconee and Pickens). "I think having input on what's best for the students of South Carolina is an appropriate way for us to proceed going forward."

After months of collaboration, senators also have high hopes for a bill that seeks to expand the use of solar energy for homeowners. But across the hall in the House, debate over how to protect the information on your cell phone from law enforcement.

"They want unfettered access to our lives and I want to make sure they don't have it," said House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D-District 74). "We need to make sure at least a judge stands in the way of a cop grabbing someone's cell phone and just deciding to go through it."

Thursday's deadline will reveal the issues that will have to wait until next January.

"I would like to see those roads and bridges get updated and fixed," said Rep. Robert Brown (D-District 116), who said it's not going to happen this year.

Despite this, senators said this could be the year for a texting and driving ban to go the distance.

"I think the opportunity is there," said Martin. "We may have to go to a conference committee to work out the differences. This is the best opportunity I've seen for this."

Bills that don't meet the crossover deadline can still pass but they would require a 2/3rds majority vote just to begin debate and that must happen by the end of session on June 5.

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