Senator wants public to vote on Confederate flag bill proposal
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Lawmakers will debate Monday on what to do with the Confederate flag at the State House.
To take down the flag, it requires two-thirds of both the House and Senate to vote for it and enough lawmakers to meet that quota say they're going to vote to take it down.
If both the House and Senate vote quickly on the bill, it could make it to Gov. Haley's desk by the end of the week. Some lawmakers said they're going to make that happen but it still has to clear a lot of legislative hurdles.
Any bill has to get three readings or votes in a chamber to pass.
The Confederate Flag bill already got a reading in the Senate; it's up for its second reading Monday, and could move to the House of Representatives by Tuesday.
If it gets a vote a day, it could be on Governor Haley's desk by late Thursday or Friday but if the bill gets sent to a committee, or lawmakers add several amendments, it means more debate.
Right now, two lawmakers have amendments prepared - Senator John Courson wants a South Carolina State flag to go up on the flag pole behind the monument, he says as a symbol of state unity.
Senator Lee Bright wants the question to put to a referendum saying South Carolinians need to weigh in.
"There's conversation about putting other Confederate flags that are less offensive out there, but let's just move forward and put a South Carolina flag and say 'I'm ok, you're ok' and show the world what we are. I think we've done that very well the past two weeks," Courson said.
Bright contends the flag is a symbol of the state's history.
"To me and many others, this flag represents the Confederate soldier that fought under it," Bright said. "It's a part of history. I think the way a majority of South Carolinians feel. But they're not being intimidated by the national media."
Before lawmakers can take up the Confederate flag debate, they've got to get budget vetoes out of the way.
The House will take them up first on Monday.
And while Senator Courson says he's hoping to knock them out fast- however long it takes lawmakers to tackle vetoes- will set the pace for the flag debate.
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