S.C. lawmakers returning to Columbia for 1 day to pause session, extend budget

S.C. lawmakers returning to Columbia for 1 day to pause session, extend budget
Senate President Harvey Peeler said this will allow the General Assembly to pause the legislative session and send legislators home until it is safe to return. (Source: WCSC/WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Lawmakers in South Carolina are being called back to the State House for a one day session next week.

According to a letter from South Carolina Senate President Harvey Peeler, the Senate will return for a one day session on April 8.

Peeler said this will allow the General Assembly to pause the legislative session and send legislators home until it is safe to return.

“The General Assembly must return to Columbia in order to guarantee our state government can continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Peeler wrote.

According to Peeler, the General Assembly plans to extend the state’s budget and set a schedule to finalize the work of this legislative session later in the year.

“The Senate will act responsibly, do our work, and return home,” Peeler added.

A message sent out Thursday morning to House members said they will also return April 8. The message said it should only take one day to complete their work.

According to the message, lawmakers will take up a continuing resolution to provide for continued operation of state government beginning July 1. This will keep state government funded if a state budget plan for the next fiscal year isn’t passed by that date.

Legislators usually pass a resolution like this when working on the budget plan.

Lawmakers will also vote on a Sine Die resolution. This resolution is usually passed near the end of session to give lawmakers an outline of what issues they can take up once the official calendar is over.

The message went on to say the House Chamber will cleaned before members meet. Additional chairs will be added to the House Chamber along the walls for members to spread out in the chamber. In addition, the balcony will be open with 194 seats available for members.

Last month, lawmakers passed a bill that would give the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control emergency funding to fight the coronavirus.

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