COLUMBIA, SC — South Carolina's political season is about to get underway.
The State House is beginning to hum with some activity in the week before the General Assembly begins Jan. 14.
Expect some political news this week as candidates decide to run in elections this year.
Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell should announce Monday whether he will campaign again or try to become president of his alma mater, the College of Charleston.
And see how the races are faring with quarterly campaign finance reports due Friday.
State House meetings this week
• Wednesday, 9:30 am: Energy Advisory Council of the State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (Gressette Room 105, Agenda)
• Thursday, 9 am: Finance Special Subcommittee to Review the Investment of State Retirement Funds (Gressette Room 207)
• Thursday, 11 am: Joint Transportation Review Committee (Gressette Room 209, Agenda)
• Thursday, 1 pm: Governor's Nuclear Advisory Council, Gressette Room 207
(Note: Meeting days, times and locations are subject to change.)
Haley gets Red State backing
Red State editor Erick Erickson has posted a column calling for conservatives to contribute online to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley's re-election campaign. He writes:
"You may laugh at the idea of a Democrat winning the gubernatorial race in South Carolina. ... I am not kidding when I tell you that the left is plotting with big government Republicans to beat Nikki Haley. They are convinced if they can beat her in South Carolina, it will be an example to conservatives that they need to shut up. So we need to stick up for Governor Nikki Haley."
Erickson also adds how Haley asked for Red State's help in 2010, and she received contributions that kept her then-struggling 2010 campaign afloat.
His current column is dotted with links to her campaign site.
Haley has enjoyed a fundraising lead on Democrat challenger, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.
The Wrath of CON
The halt to South Carolina's program that reviews major medical-related projects is expected to dominate the General Assembly's health-care chatter this year -- even more than the fight over expanding the states Medicaid program -- writes The State's Adam Beam:
Republican Gov. Nikki Haleys veto of a key regulatory program has not stopped health care providers from moving forward with 69 projects that previously would have required state approval.
Since the Department of Health and Environmental Control suspended the states certificate of need program in July, health care providers have filed license applications for those projects, which previously would have required regulatory approval. Those applications came despite warnings from the S.C. Hospital Association that DHECs suspension of the certificate-of-need program would put on hold up to 32 projects worth $96 million.
The sky didnt fall, said Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee, and a critic of the certificate-of-need program.
• More technology in the classroom and support for teachers, as well as a greater focus on literacy and poorer school districts will top Gov. Nikki Haleys long-anticipated plan for improving S.C. public schools. Full story
• As 2013s political clouds pass, The Buzz takes a look back at who won and lost last years political skirmishes. Full story
• While the bottom-line issues U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford has always discussed - reining in the budget and deficit and assuring the nation's fiscal future - haven't changed, the Republican congressman from Charleston says he has. Full story
• Putting private firms in the Horizon building returns Innovista to its original mission - pairing USC research with private companies, on campus, to create jobs, USC officials said. Full story
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