Key deadline looming in days at South Carolina Statehouse

Key deadline looming in days at South Carolina Statehouse
Thursday marks the crossover deadline. Any bill that passes the House or Senate after that deadline must get a two-thirds vote in the other chamber to be considered. (Source: WCSC/WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC/AP) - A key deadline for legislation is coming up soon at the South Carolina Statehouse.

Thursday marks the crossover deadline. Any bill that passes the House or Senate after that deadline must get a two-thirds vote in the other chamber to be considered.

That high bar makes it difficult to take up issues that have significant opposition.

A few bills that are trying to pass one chamber before the crossover deadline are a hate crimes bill in the House and a Senate proposal to allow medical marijuana.

Last month, lawmakers added back protections for gay or transgender people to the hate crime bill five days after removing them. But they then voted Tuesday to remove stalking and harassment from the crimes that could add an extra hate crime penalty, leaving the proposal to only deal with violent offenses.

Charleston Democratic Rep. Wendell Gilliard called removing non-violent offenses from the proposal troubling.

Meanwhile, the sponsor of the bill that would allow medical marijuana in the state, Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, says he has been fighting for the legal use and sale of medical marijuana for the past seven years but is confident this latest version will pass out of the upper chamber.

“This bill is so conservative,” Davis told reporters earlier this month. “It addresses all unintended consequences.”

The General Assembly’s regular session ends on May 13.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.