A special session to finalize the state budget will begin on Tuesday in Columbia and with that the 2013 legislative session is in the books. The plan to hold lawmakers more accountable remains in limbo until next year.
Numbers from the Statehouse show Republican Governor Nikki Haley signed 99 pieces of legislation before the end of the 2013 session. The number may sound like a lot but does a majority of the legislation have teeth on the big issues?
That said, alligator season was extended in some areas until the end of May and there were changes to deer baiting and hunting as well. Also the catch limit on flounder will be no more than 30 very soon. Even stress relief was given a tweaking with a bill adding more oversight in the massage industry.
Gov. Haley who attended an event at the Maritime Center in Charleston on Tuesday said it's time for some in the legislature to work at getting things done. "Doing more than one thing in a year is what the people of this state expect. The legislature needs to start stepping up and getting that done, having said that, a lot of good things came out this year but not as much as we would have liked."
There are new laws governing gun purchases also a bill was passed to devise a system to better evaluate head injuries of student athletes. The state's business friendly climate remains strong as well, in just 19-days lawmakers proposed, passed and signed into law a bill giving Boeing over $120-million.
And for race fans Darlington Raceway received over $100-thousand in tax breaks as long as it keeps one NASCAR race a year, but for lawmakers it was not a race to the finish on ethics reform. The effort to make changes to hold lawmakers more accountable stalled in 2013.
Gov. Haley says in 2014 the bill will be front and center again and efforts to call out those not so fond of the plan will begin this summer.
"What this comes down to is the Senate refusing to show the people of this state who pays them. I am going to keep fighting, if they are refusing to show it then there is more of a reason for us to have it. It is going to be picked back up very first thing this legislative session and we are going to spend the entire summer letting people know who was for it and who was against it."