A mammoth undertaking

Posted by Cindi Ross Scoppe on March 26, 2014 

US PARKS SERVICE

After the disturbing news that some senators are willing to settle for Official State Picnic Cuisine instead of going whole hog and demanding that barbecue be named South Carolina’s Official State Food, we could all use a little good news on the Official State Stuff front.

It is this: Last Wednesday, according to the Senate Journal, “Senator JOHNSON from the Committee on Judiciary submitted a favorable with amendment report on:

H. 4482 (Word version) -- Rep. Ridgeway: A BILL TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 1-1-691 SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE WOOLY MAMMOTH IS DESIGNATED AS THE OFFICIAL STATE FOSSIL OF SOUTH CAROLINA.

This is not a done deal yet, though. The bill still has to pass the Senate, where a single senator can block its consideration. And in fact it got delayed on Tuesday, when Sen. Kevin Bryant wanted to amend the bill by designating language from the Genesis creation story as “the official state passage from an ancient historical text” and Sen. Joel Lourie pointed out that that was out of order and Sen. Mike Fair objected to the whole thing. Perhaps this will blow over; perhaps we’ll find out today.

Anyway, even if the bill manages to pass the Senate, there’s no guarantee that the House will go along with the monumental changes the upper body is proposing: giving the official State Fossil code Section 1-1-712A rather than Section 1-1-691, and throwing in a bunch of whereases to explain why this is being done. (Short explanation: A cute little girl asked us to, and one day she and all of her friends will be old enough to vote.)

Still, at least this vital legislation is moving forward. While the Senate Judiciary Committee sits on the barbecue bill.

And just to clarify: Although the information in both this post and the one on barbecue are, sadly, accurate, they are written with total sarcasm.

If there is a serious point to all this, it is: This is the kind of stuff that our legislators spend actual time on, when they could be dealing with the serious problems facing our state. And then they tell us they didn’t have time to get to that texting-while-driving ban or the bill to remove the legal cloud that threatens to call off our fall elections — or the omnibus ethics reform bill that the House just can’t figure out how to either send to conference committee or send back to committee for work.

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