Haley Tells South Carolina Legislators to Get Back to Work

No sooner did South Carolina legislators wrap up their main business this year than Governor Nikki Haley ordered them to come back next week-without getting paid-to "finish the work." Haley's directive immediately set up a showdown with Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, a fellow Republican, who said the move is unconstitutional.

The governor wants lawmakers to take up several of her ideas for strengthening the executive branch. The proposals passed the state House but did not survive in the Senate. She wants to create a Department of Administration, have the governor and lieutenant governor run on the same ticket, let the governor appoint the state superintendent of education and merge two agencies.

"The days of talking are over. Let's finish it. Let's get it done," she said, according to The Associated Press . "Restructuring is important to the people of this state."

Lawmakers immediately began debating whether Haley had the power to recall lawmakers, who are slated to return in a few weeks to take up budget matters, but not the proposals on Haley's agenda. The state constitution says governors can only call special sessions for "extraordinary occasions," explains The (Columbia) State . The last time a South Carolina governor used the power was in 2002.

"To think she can call us back is to trample on the constitution," said McConnell, the Senate leader. Even if senators wanted to come back on Tuesday, they won't be able to, he said. "The chamber will be locked. The doors won't be open."

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