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House overrides port permit veto

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to override Gov. Nikki Haley’s veto on a bill meant to help undo a permit allowing Geor­gia to expand its port in Savan­nah.

The 111-1 vote came a day after the Republican issued her veto. Haley ally Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill, cast the lone vote to uphold it.

The measure would retroactively suspend the Depart­ment of Health and Environment Control’s ability to make dredging decisions in the Savannah River.

The Senate also is expected to overwhelmingly vote to override, but a timing rule delayed a vote there until today.

Haley said the measure represented unconstitutional legislative overreaching.

Rep. Jim Merrill, the main sponsor, called her veto message a political ploy that made no sense.

“She is working more on behalf of Georgia when it comes to this permit and this issue than the state of South Carolina, and it really is sickening,” said Merrill, R-Charleston.

Haley has come under fire for asking the DHEC board she appointed to hear Georgia’s appeal last fall, after staff initially denied the water quality certification. The request came after Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal flew to Columbia to meet with Haley.

Blue alert created for fallen officers

COLUMBIA — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has signed a bill meant to help law enforcement quickly capture suspects accused of killing, seriously injuring or kidnapping an officer.

The Blue Alert Program will direct the State Law Enforcement Division to create the guidelines for issuing a blue alert, and to enlist TV and radio broadcasters to help quickly disseminate information on a suspect. Information could also be displayed on electronic traffic signs. The Blue Alert could resemble South Carolina’s Amber Alert for missing children.

Both the House and Senate passed the bill unanimously.

– From wire reports

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