State lawmakers return to Columbia in January, and the only thing they are required by law to do is pass a budget.
Lawmakers meet from January to June, and it will take them the whole time to write and pass a nearly $23 billion spending plan. The first thing that happens is Republican Gov. Nikki Haley will release her executive budget sometime in January. Then the House will pass its version of the budget, followed by the Senate.
Below is the schedule for House budget writers this year:
- Jan. 14-16: First week of session and budget subcommittee meetings
- Jan. 21-23: Budget subcommittee meetings
- Jan. 28-30: Budget subcommittee meetings
- Feb. 4-6: Budget subcommittee meetings. The proviso subcommittee (a committee made up of other committees) also meets this week
- Feb. 11-13: Budget subcommittee meetings
- Feb. 14: Final BEA estimate due
- Feb. 18-20: Full Ways and Means Committee meets to vote on the budget proposal
- Feb. 25-27: Budget is printed
- March 4-6: Budget is delivered to all 124 House members
- March 11-13: House members debate/vote on the budget