- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Both chambers of the South Carolina Legislature are taking a break the week after Easter, and the House is taking two additional weeks off.

House Speaker Jay Lucas said Wednesday the House won’t meet the week leading up to the state’s Republican presidential primary on Feb. 20. The House already planned to furlough itself the two weeks after Easter, which is the last week of March and first week of April.

“We can do that without missing a beat or falling behind whatsoever,” said Lucas, R-Hartsville.

Taking time off mid-session supports the House’s decades-long call for a shorter session, he said.

“We can get the same amount of work done,” he said.

A bill shaving a month off the end of the session advanced to the Senate floor last week.

The Legislature normally meets Tuesdays through Thursdays from January through June.

Shortening that calendar saves taxpayers money, Lucas said.

Legislators’ base salary is $10,400 no matter how many days they meet.

But their supplements include a $192 per diem for food and lodging every day they’re at the Statehouse, as well as mileage reimbursement for one round trip a week. That translates to about $115,200 weekly if all 170 legislators attend that three-day span - though in reality it’s something less than that, depending on absences. The House portion of that is $83,700.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide