MORNING BUZZ: SC's No. 2 spot could go vacant, RGA hits Sheheen again, Det Bowers quietly announces

Posted by JAMIE SELF and ANDREW SHAIN on March 18, 2014 

Exclusive: The S.C. lieutenant governor’s office could be vacant for a half year if Glenn McConnell starts work as College of Charleston’s next president on July 1. Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson, next in line to become lieutenant governor, told The State that he would not take the office if school trustees choose McConnell from three finalists. A decision could come as early as Saturday.

The Republican Governors Association unveiled its second attack ad on state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Camden Democrat expected to face off with Republican Gov. Nikki Haley in November.

Ex-S.C. GOP chairman Katon Dawson and S.C. Superintendent of Education Mick Zais is co-hosting a fundraiser at his house Thursday for Meka Childs in the crowded race for the Republican nomination for state schools' chief.

Plans to shelve a plutonium fuel factory in South Carolina are being driven by what the federal government says are escalating costs of the project.

South Carolina's unemployment dropped slightly to 6.4 percent in January from 6.6 percent the month before, making the eighth month in a row the rate has declined.

The campaign for South Carolina's top prosecutor is working to correct four years' worth of quarterly filings after questions from The Associated Press.

Republicans vying for S.C. Superintendent of Education will participate in a candidate forum in Winnsboro on Wednesday in an event hosted by the Fairfield County Republican Party.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham touts his foreign policy chops in his newest radio and television ads warning of a "dangerous world."

Happening today: Columbia pastor Det Bowers will make a formal announcement that he's running for U.S. Senate as one of seven GOP challengers to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. ... Gov. Nikki Haley will address S.C. Specialty Foods Association's annual membership meeting at 10 a.m. at the S.C. State Farmers Market in Dixiana. ... Truthful Tuesday protesters plan for a third week to block the State House garage at 10:45 a.m. in an ongoing fight to have South Carolina expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. ... The state Board of Economic Advisors meets at 2 p.m.

In the State House today: The House could begin debate on a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks. ... The state Senate is expected to continue debate on a bill aimed at banning government agencies and employees from assisting with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and giving legislative oversight to state agencies seeking grants through the federal healthcare program.

Who's filed: Updates from the S.C. Election Commission on candidates for the June 10 primary.

Senate

Full body meets noon

10 am -- Gressette Room 308 -- Transportation Subcommittee

3 pm -- Gressette Room 105 -- Finance Committee on H.3021

(Contact Info: 803-212-6640)

3 pm -- Gressette Room 308 -- Judiciary Committee

(Contact Info: 803-212-6627)

Upon adjournment of Finance Committee -- Gressette Room 105 -- Finance Retirement and Employee Benefits Subcommittee on S.897

(Contact Info: 803-212-6640)

House

Full body meets noon

10 am -- Blatt Room 321 --South Carolina Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association

10:30 am -- Blatt Room 521 -- Ways and Means Retirement Ad Hoc Study Committee

11 am -- Blatt Room 112 -- Majority Caucus

11 am -- Blatt Room 305 -- Minority Caucus

1 1/2 hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 433 -- Education K-12 Subcommittee

2:30 pm -- Blatt Room 427 -- 3-M Subcommittee I, Health and Environmental Affairs

2:30 pm -- Blatt Room 410 -- Agriculture Wildlife Subcommittee

2:30 pm or 1 1/2 hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 516 -- Judiciary Committee

2:30 pm or 1 1/2 hours after the House adjourns -- Blatt Room 403 -- LCI Regulations Subcommittee

Upon adjournment of the Regulations Subcommittee -- Blatt Room 403 -- LCI Business and Commerce Subcommittee on H.3831 and H.3964

4:30 pm -- Blatt Room 427 --Legislative Black Caucus

Who's schmoozing today: 1-3 p.m. -- South Carolina Baptist Convention luncheon, State House grounds; 6-8 p.m. -- 2014 Florence County Legislative Day Committee, Columbia Museum of Art

Catch The Buzz: Blog updated all day / Twitter / Facebook

Get the newsletters: Sign up for the Morning Buzz and afternoon update

Got a tip?: Send us an email

The State is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service