How long will McConnell stay lieutenant governor? - Former SC Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell’s decision to quit his seat and follow the constitutionally mandated line of succession to become lieutenant governor creates a string of ripples as the 32-year veteran leaves his seniority behind to reluctantly fill the void left by Ken Ard’s guilty plea, according to the Charleston Post & Courier’s Schuyler Kropf. But there’s also a new spark of intrigue: During a news conference Friday, McConnell declined to commit to serving all of the remaining 2 1/2 years in the lieutenant governor’s term.
Behind the scenes of Ken Ard’s resignation - Some Republican lawmakers say they knew in July that Lt. Gov. Ken Ard either was going to be removed from the state’s No. 2-ranking office or resign, according to The State’s Gina Smith. Many of the state’s political leaders were in the dark as to what was going on as a state Grand Jury considered Ard’s fate, but there were some clues.
SC Democrats: “We have to fight for the entire state” - In a state effectively dominated by Republicans, South Carolina Democrats came together Saturday morning hoping to fire up their base and coordinate campaign issues going into the 2012 elections, Palmetto Public Record reported. About 200 people showed up for the state Democratic Party’s 2012 issues conference at the Embassy Suites in Columbia, where speakers discussed topics ranging from messaging and grassroots organizing to current issues in the State House.
Federal judges uphold SC House, congressional districts - Three federal judges Friday unanimously upheld the new boundaries drawn for South Carolina House seats and congressional districts, according to The State’s Adam Beam. The ruling clears the way for candidates to start filing to run for the posts next week, but also codifies district lines that Democrats argued diluted black voting power.
SC House to begin debating 2012-13 budget - The South Carolina House is debating its proposed $6.5 billion spending plan for the coming year, according to the Associated Press’ Seanna Adcox. Debate on the state budget opens Monday on the House floor, as Gov. Nikki Haley travels the state demanding that legislators include her proposal to cut $140 million in corporate and personal income taxes.
Funding cuts could put special needs children at risk - South Carolina is among 23 states to cut spending on people with developmental disabilities, an 11 percent reduction that was the second highest in the nation, according to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. As a consequence of the cuts, special needs homes have been closed or have been unable to accept people on the waiting list for services.
Next 3 weeks shape elections - State Republicans and Democrats open their filing periods at noon on Friday, and candidates must file by noon on March 30, according to the Charleston Post & Courier’s Robert Behre. Any primaries will be held in June, while the general election will be Nov. 6.