Santee Cooper roadblock stops SC Legislature spending plan

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House Reading Clerk Bubba Cromer, left, stands next to House Speaker Jay Lucas, center, and House Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith, lower right, during a special, one-day session of the South Carolina Legislature on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in Columbia, S.C. This year’s session has been paused for several weeks amid the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Legislature’s attempt to meet as quickly as possible and then stay out of session and safe from the peak of the coronavirus outbreak has run into a surprising but familiar roadblock.

Senators changed a House passed bill to allow the state to keep spending money because it placed restrictions on state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

The House will now have to return and deal with the changed bill or the state will be unable to spend money after June 30.

The spending proposal sets aside $200 million for emergency COVID-19 spending.

It also allows the state Education Superintendent wide powers to deal with testing and graduation requirements with closed schools.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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