Originally created 06/02/06

Budget needs OK as session closes

COLUMBIA - Thursday marked the end of the 2006 South Carolina legislative session, which concluded with a little drama and the usual flurry of activity.

The House and Senate adjourned without ratifying the $6.6 billion budget or reaching a compromise on eminent domain legislation, which determines how and when government can seize private land for public use.

But lawmakers still can take up that issue when they return June 14 to vote on Gov. Mark Sanford's vetoes.

Legislators gave their leadership the authority to ratify the budget at any time. The budget doesn't take effect until July 1.

Mr. Sanford had threatened to call lawmakers back into special session next week to force them into sustaining or overriding his budget vetoes before the June 13 primary election.

But Mr. Sanford was left with nothing to do because Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell and House Speaker Bobby Harrell never got together to ratify the budget. That deprived Mr. Sanford of the opportunity to veto items until next week.

Walking on crutches, Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who was injured in a plane crash, returned to preside over the Senate in the chamber's final hour of the session.

Associated Press reports were used in this article.

Reach Kirsten Singleton at (803) 414-6611 or kirsten.singleton@morris.com.


Among the local measures that failed:

- A proposal from Rep. Don Smith, R-North Augusta, to make "mental cruelty" a grounds for divorce. The measure came after Karyn Grace, formerly Young, called for reform of the state's divorce laws after her estranged husband killed her two children, then himself.

- A plan from Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, to offer parents whose children attend "unsatisfactory" schools an orientation class emphasizing the value of education.

- A bill by Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, to undo last year's changes to tax increment financing district law didn't pass, and his proposal to end enrollment in the state's tuition prepayment program didn't reach the Senate floor. The state Supreme Court ruled against changes to the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive program he had backed.

- Morris News Service


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