COLUMBIA - The House is officially gone from Columbia, unless representatives are summoned back in the coming days for outstanding business.
That leaves the Senate with plenty to do between today and Thursday. Senators must decide in the remaining time who their leaders will be. They are expected to pick their next Senate president pro tempore, who will ascend to the position of lieutenant governor once Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell resigns.
Once that's taken care of, Senators have to pick again a president pro tem, this time for good. The two vying for that position are Sens. Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, and Larry Martin, R-Pickens.
Of course, nothing is that simple in Columbia. As of yesterday, there were rumors that Sen. Paul Thurmond, R-Charleston, was considering running for the pro tem position that would ultimately place him in the lieutenant governor's seat.
Thurmond denied those rumors when reached by phone late Tuesday. He said he's simply voiced concern over having a Democrat in that seat. Sen. Yancey McGill, D-Kingstree, is expected to become lieutenant governor today.
So, as of Tuesday evening, it was unclear whether McGill will have an unexpected faceoff with Thurmond. Everyone will officially learn what Thurmond has decided today at 2 p.m.
In the meantime, there are other matters the Senate has to deal with beyond figuring out its leadership; They also have to deal with more than 60 of Gov. Nikki Haley's vetoes the House overrode Tuesday.
Senators also have to address the ethics reform bill, which has been stuck in limbo since Sen. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, delayed the passing of the bill on June 5.
In other news:
Gov. Nikki Haley's vetoes: House overrides raise cut; Charleston fares well (The Post and Courier)
University of Charleston, Clemson Enterprise Act bill dies (The Post and Courier)
S.C. 'almost bipolar' when it comes to civic involvement (The Post and Courier)
Furman University gets high marks for teacher preparation (The Post and Courier)
Lexington Sheriff suspended following indictment for bribery, freeing illegals from jail (The State)
Pot, sex education heat up education chief race (The Greenville News)
Winthrop board lists accusations against president; Williamson threatens lawsuit (The Herald)
Will Issues Move to the Forefront in Education Superintendent Runoffs? (Free Times)