S.C. senators vote to change rules
The state Senate voted Wednesday to change its rules, limiting the number of bills that senators can block.
The new rule limits senators to objecting to no more than three bills on the Senate calendar. In the past, senators could object to an unlimited number of bills. If one senator objected to a bill, that prevented senators from debating it.
Sen. Ronnie Cromer, R-Newberry, new chairman of the Senate rules committee, said he hopes the new rule will speed up the Senate’s process of passing or rejecting bills.
The Senate also voted to limit how much time senators can spend introducing a new bill. But senators rejected lowering the amount of votes needed to fast-track a bill.
Haley: Private-sector workers not getting raises
Gov. Nikki Haley Wednesday encouraged members of the newly created Public Employee Benefit Authority to find ways to save money in the state’s massive retirement and health insurance systems.
“In the past, it has always been talked about either as a cost sharing or a cost shift,” Haley said of debates about changing benefits for state workers, paid for by the worker and government. “I’d like to kind of get away from that and get away from the winners and losers. I would like to encourage this board to look at cost savings.”
Haley also explained why she pushed to overrule the General Assembly and have the State Budget and Control Board raise the costs that state workers pay for their health insurance.
“We are getting such pressure from the private sector, that they can’t afford what is happening. They are not getting raises. They have to drop benefits,” she said. “I don’t want to create resentment of the private sector, of those who serve the state.”
Haley also announced David Avant is the Benefit Authority’s interim director. Avant succeeds Bill Blume, appointed by Haley last month to run the state Revenue Department.