Palmetto Sunrise: Busy week for the legislature

S.C. State President Thomas Elzey addresses reporters. Cynthia Roldan/Staff

COLUMBIA — It was a busy week at the Statehouse for lawmakers, rattling cages on issues ranging from closing the state’s only historically black college temporarily to killing ethics reform in the Senate.

The saga over the potential temporary closure of South Carolina State University will continue at least through Tuesday, when the House’s Ways and Means Committee meets again.

That’s when the issue of a proposal that calls for S.C. State to shutter its doors for at least three semesters will resurface. Plus, Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston, is also expected to introduce a counter proposal that appoints an emergency chief, replacing the school’s President Thomas Elzey.

Until then, the university’s Orangeburg Alumni Chapter is expected to hold a press conference on campus today at 2 p.m. And rallies in support of the university will be held in Charleston on Saturday and in Columbia on Monday, though the time and locations are unclear.

Meanwhile, the three ethics-related bills passed by the House are now endangered, after Senators killed the Senate’s ethics reform bill.

Sen. Luke Rankin, the chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, said the Senate has done its job when it comes to policing itself, even if the House has not. The majority of senators agreed with Rankin, R-Conway, that Sen. Larry Martin’s bill, which set up an independent panel to investigate senators’ conduct, solved a problem that didn’t exist.

But the House already passed a measure that calls for independent investigation — a bill that will now likely never make it to Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk.

Related:

Matthews: House has damaged SCSU brand (The Times and Democrat)

Merrill sends S.C. State wake-up call, but they aren’t picking up (The Post and Courier)

Ethics Commission investigating complaint against Folly mayor (The Post and Courier)

In other news:

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