SC governor offers June special session because of COVID-19

State - Regional

FILE (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Gov. Henry McMaster said he will call the South Carolina General Assembly back at the time of their choosing if they don’t want to meet in the next month because of the cornavirus.

The Legislature’s term ends by law on May 14 and the House and Senate couldn’t agree last week on a bill allowing a special session and spending after June 30 if a budget isn’t passed.

“As you know, last week they left without passing a continuing resolution to keep the government from closing down,” McMaster said. “It’s difficult for them all to come back to the statehouse before May the 14th, which is the normal date the general assembly would adjourn.”

Gov. McMaster said May 14 likely when South Carolina will be at its peak regarding the virus and said the General Assembly should not return until June, before the end of the fiscal year.

McMaster said he fully expects the economy to be back in business by June.

“They can come in then and pass that continuing resolution and any other important matters. That way the government will not shut down, we will have no concerns about having the government shutdown.”

House Speaker Jay Lucas immediately agreed. Senate President Harvey Peeler called the governor’s letter a welcome insurance policy even though he would rather meet sooner if it is safe.

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