S.C. Politics

SC political briefs: Haley and lawmakers discuss education funding

January 31, 2013 

Gov. Nikki Haley met with Republican and Democratic lawmakers Wednesday to begin a discussion on how to reform S.C. education.

No proposals came out of the meeting, according to some lawmakers who attended.

Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson, R-Richland, said the meeting, closed to the public, included discussion of a range of topics, from early-childhood education to the possibility of consolidating school districts.

“Gov. Haley appreciated that legislators took the time to join her for a conversation on education,” said Rob Godfrey, Haley’s spokesman. “It was a great first step toward devising a game plan for education reform. She looks forward to continuing that conversation.”

Jamie Self

Deer-baiting bill moves forward

Deer baiting is one step closer to being legal in the Upstate.

After listening to passionate testimony from both sides of the issue Wednesday, a split S.C. House wildlife subcommittee voted 3-1 to move along legislation that would allow Upstate hunters to put out bait and then shoot deer drawn in by that bait. Baiting, usually with corn, has been allowed in rest of the state for decades.

The issue arose in recent years after regulations passed in 2008 left ambiguity on deer baiting in Game Zones 1 and 2, where it traditionally had been banned. State Sen. Greg Gregory, R-Lancaster, introduced a bill that would clarify the situation for law enforcement officers by allowing baiting. It zipped through committee and the full Senate in two weeks.

Shannon Riley Ted Vick Stephen Goldfinch Bill Hixon

Joey Holleman

Elizabeth Colbert Busch

Bobbie Rose Tim Scott

Stephen Colbert

Mark Sanford

Early voting bill advances in S.C. Senate

An effort to implement true early voting in South Carolina moved forward Wednesday with approval from a state Senate panel.

The measure unanimously advanced to the Senate Judiciary Committee would set parameters for how the process would be handled, including allowing residents to vote starting 10 days before an election and directing local election officials to set up at least one early voting center in each county.

The Associated Press

Cuts to welfare payments to be partially restored

South Carolina’s welfare recipients will see a slight increase in their payments starting in April.

Department of Social Services director Lillian Koller said Wednesday fewer households on welfare means her agency can restore partially cuts put in place by her predecessor two years ago.

About 15,500 households currently are receiving welfare payments. That’s nearly 5,300 fewer than in January 2011. Koller attributes that to the agency’s focus on helping clients find jobs.

Welfare payments will rise by 10 percent April 1. That restores half of the cuts that took effect Feb. 1, 2011. The increase means just $27 a month extra for a family of four, bringing the payment to $297.

The Associated Press

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