Much of S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley's agenda is stalled by state Senate

The State (Columbia, S.C.)May 24, 2011 

Lawmakers are likely to get an “incomplete” on the end-of-session report cards that Gov. Nikki Haley gives them for acting on her first-year legislative agenda.

Why?

• A bill creating the Cabinet-level Department of Administration that Haley wants is unlikely to make it through the state Senate in the session’s final weeks, allies said.

• A proposal to cap awards in lawsuits has passed the House, but is unlikely to pass the Senate this year.

• Neither house of the General Assembly has held a hearing yet on a bill the Republican governor wants that would require lawmakers and statewide elected officials to disclose more about how they earn their income.

Those proposals are among a dozen items that Haley says will be included on legislative report cards that she says she will issue, following the session’s end on June 2.

Thus far, Haley has succeeded in getting parts of her agenda passed.

For instance, the General Assembly passed a bill requiring more roll-call votes, which Haley has signed into law. The Legislature also passed Haley’s call to allow the state Department of Health and Human Services to cut state payments to doctors and hospitals to treat the state’s poor and disabled.

And Haley expects more to be accomplished before the session ends.

“We’ve gotten a lot done this session, but there is still more to do, and the governor has every expectation that the Senate will get a Department of Administration and tort reform to her desk,” said spokesman Rob Godfrey.“The people deserve no less.”

What the Senate does in the session’s last weeks will be pivotal to Haley’s agenda. A half-dozen Haley proposals have passed the House but are languishing in the Senate, where work has bogged down as senators debate a state budget plan.

Income disclosure is the only Haley agenda item dead for this year.

To read the complete article, visit www.thestate.com.

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