SC House Meets to Vote on 2 Vetoes, Costs Taxpayers $34,000 - WSPA.com

SC House Meets to Vote on 2 Vetoes, Costs Taxpayers $34,000

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The SC House overrode one veto and sustained another. The SC House overrode one veto and sustained another.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina House of Representatives met for a one-day special session Wednesday to vote on two bills Governor Nikki Haley vetoed. The session cost taxpayers about $34,000 in mileage, hotel, and meal costs.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell says the bills couldn't have waited until lawmakers return in January. “If you didn't come back until after the elections, the next General Assembly doesn't have the authority to deal with vetoes from the previous General Assembly. This General Assembly is the only one that could do that, so we either came back to deal with the bills or the bills just died because they didn't have any action," he said.

The first bill would give public libraries more power to ban disruptive people. The House overrode that veto, so it's now law.

The second veto was a local bill to allow a fire district in Horry and Georgetown counties to raise taxes. The House sustained the governor's veto, so the fire district will not be able to raise taxes.

The Senate had overridden the two vetoes when it met for three days in June to consider vetoes. The House met for only one day in June to consider vetoes. Senators overrode the vetoes on these two bills after the House had gone home.

Harrell says since the House met for only one day in June and one day during this special session, taxpayers still saved the cost of one day, since senators met for three days while the House met for only two.

But he says the most important reason for their coming back was so a newly-appointed criminal domestic violence committee could meet for the first time and get to work.

"South Carolina being number one in the country is absolutely not acceptable. We've got to deal with that issue,” he said after the session, right before the committee met for the first time. “Their instructions are to have us a piece of legislation ready to go by the time the General Assembly convenes in January so that we deal with that critically important issue.”

While House members did get paid mileage and per diem for the one-day session, they were not paid any additional salary. Their salary is set at $10,400 a year.

Robert Kittle
Robert is the 7 On Your Side reporter covering politics and government at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.
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