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SC proposal to register refugees stalls

AP

A state Senate bill that would require refugees who resettle in South Carolina to register with the state stalled Wednesday, when a committee hearing the proposal could not attract a quorum.

Chairman Greg Delleney, R-Chester, blamed Democrats on the committee for not attending. However, some Republicans on the panel also were absent.

State Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, who attended the meeting, said members were absent because the legislative session is winding down. There are “important things that they’re doing that they couldn’t be here.”

Delleney rescheduled a hearing on the proposal for Thursday. However, Smith said it may be even more difficult to get representatives to Thursday’s meeting.

No action on some bills “is a great thing, considering the offensive nature” of the proposals, including the refugee bill, Smith said.

Cassie Cope: 803-771-8657, @cassielcope

Supreme Court knocks down deal allowing governor to name roads chief

The S.C. Supreme Court ruled unlawful Wednesday a one-year budget amendment extending the governor’s ability to appoint the head of the S.C. Department of Transportation.

The budget amendment, called a proviso, was stricken down by the court, stripping Gov. Nikki Haley of her ability to appoint the head of the Transportation Department, now Christy Hall.

However, the commission that oversees the Transportation Department held an emergency meeting Wednesday to appoint Hall, retroactively from July 1. The unanimous vote also approved all actions taken by Hall since July 1.

Meanwhile, House members on the state’s budget-writing panel approved a Senate proposal that now merges changes to the Transportation Department structure with a bonding plan to spend roughly $4 billion in road-repair projects.

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