New legislative session begins in South Carolina

Published: Jan. 9, 2015 at 10:50 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 19, 2015 at 10:51 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Lawmakers are putting the final touches on legislation before session begins next week and Governor Haley starts her second term in office.

For months, especially since Darlington Representative Jay Lucas took over as House Speaker we've heard about three things: roads, ethics, and criminal domestic violence

Three days before the two year legislative session begins some lawmakers are saying they're approaching these issues the wrong way.

"Every time I go out in public, the first thing out of someone's mouth's 'when you folks gonna fix the roads?"

As legislators continue the debate on how to fix South Carolina's roads, they admit those same roads aren't getting any better.

Representatives say the House will pass a plan in 2015 but what the Senate does with it is up to them.

While fixing the roads is not on the House GOP agenda Representative Bruce Bannister says something will be done this year. He continued to say roads in the South Carolina won't be fixed with just one bill or one legislative session.


Subcommittees are working on prefiled legislation, like criminal domestic violence and ethics reform will meet one more time before sending bills to the judiciary committee.

The criminal domestic violence reform bill, which would create a 10 year gun ban for CDV offenders is on the fast track to reach the senate floor.

At Wednesday's senate judiciary meeting, anti-CDV advocate Christian Rainey said the bill is on the right track, but it could have more requirements in it.

"I think that person should have some type of psychiatric evaluation or some type of counseling" Christain Rainey said.

Senators plan to discuss the bill a final time Tuesday.

A massive ethics bill is also making its way to the senate floor, but some lawmakers believe their time could be better spent.

Some lawmakers say they rather spend that time discussing fixing roads or education issues.

Other legislators say ethics reform is not only necessary, but top priority.

"We'll get a bill out of the senate by early to mid-February," Larry Martin said.

Governor Nikki Haley named two new cabinet members, Sylvia Murray will take over the Department of Juvenile Justice and Jerry Adger will lead the Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services.

Meanwhile, DHEC Director Catherine Templeton tendered her resignation.

"We've been fortunate to have her for the first four years, and I know anything she does she's going to be great at it," Governor Haley said.

Templeton's last day is Monday.

Wednesday marks the start of Governor Haley's second term in office.

The governor will take part in a 9 a.m. prayer service at Trinity Episcopal Church across from the State House and will take the oath of office at 11 a.m.

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