The Buzz

MORNING BUZZ: 2016 S.C. legislative session kicks off Tuesday

S.C. lawmakers return to Columbia Tuesday to tackle top issues.

In the S.C. Senate, passing a plan to repair roads will be a top priority. However, gas-tax advocates face a $1.2 billion hurdle in additional money that lawmakers are tasked with deciding how to spend. Senators will also be mourning the loss of state Sen. Billy O’Dell, R-Abbeville, who died last week.

In the S.C. House, budget subcommittees will meet this week to hear state agencies requests for new money. Legislators in the House will write the first draft of the budget. The Ways and Means Committee expects to unveil its spending proposal the week of Feb. 15. Ways and Means Chairman Brian White, R-Anderson, has already said he plans to aid S.C. farmers, whose crops were washed away during October’s historic flooding.

Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley will be preparing Tuesday to deliver the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s last State of the Union. The address will be live streamed at

2016 in S.C. Curious who S.C. politicians are backing? The Buzz asked the campaigns which current S.C. elected officials – in Congress, statewide offices or the General Assembly – have their backs.