Palmetto Sunrise: Confederate Flag bill crosses the hall, Senate goes home

“We just made history,” said Minority Leader Sen. Nikki Setzler after the Senate voted 37-3 in favor of removing the Confederate battle flag from Statehouse grounds Tuesday. (Paul Zoeller/The Post and Courier)

COLUMBIA —The nation’s attention will now shift to the other half of South Carolina’s legislature, as the House prepares for its debate on the fate of the Statehouse’s Confederate battle flag.

The Senate gave final approval to the bill on Tuesday with a 37-3 vote, and adjourned for the year after they were done overriding gubernatorial vetoes.

Both chambers have been in session a month longer than usual, and had been operating off a resolution that limited their discussions to the budget and other topics, including the Confederate Flag’s fate. When they were done with those topics, the Senate went home for the year.

But before they left, Pickens Republican Sen. Larry Martin made a move to preempt their return in the case that the House passes an amended Confederate Flag bill. He requested the Senate provide the House with an automatic non-concur response to any changes, and for the appointment of Senate conferees who will hash out the differences between both bills in conference.

Martin said that because both chambers aren’t supposed to be in session, the Senate doesn’t have the luxury of time; without the automatic non-concur, any changes the House makes would pull all senators back to Columbia just to say they disagree with the changes.

“It makes no sense to drag folks away from their business to come down here to just vote,” Martin said. “We’re talking about a lot of time here that you can short circuit by going to a conference committee.”

With 26 amendments pending for the bill in the House, senators agreed to Martin’s automatic non-concur request. The amendments have alarmed House Democrats, who have warned they will not vote for a bill that does not furl the flag and replace the location of its pole with grass.

Session for the House kicks off at 10 a.m.

In other news:

Four in race to fill Clementa Pinckney’s Senate seat (The Post and Courier)

Lawmakers tour Confederate flag’s likely new home (The State)

James Clyburn, Tim Scott to Lead Emanuel AME Church Benefit (Roll Call)

Legislators override Haley veto of $4 million in area projects (The Post and Courier)

Florida county votes to fly Confederate flag once again (The Associated Press)

Clinton says Puerto Rican economy deserves ‘fair shot’ (The Associated Press)

Bush, Clinton to share stage in Florida (The Tampa Bay Times)

Rubio: To create jobs, overhaul higher education ‘cartel’ (The Miami Herald)

O’Malley racked up debt in loans putting kids through college, wants to lighten load for others (The Washington Post)

Sanders’s Momentum Not Built to Last (The New York Times)