Reported by Ryan Brennan
The South Carolina Senate members have passed through a measure that would result in every member of the South Carolina State University Board of Trustees to be fired. The Senate passed the bill on the third reading of the measure on Tuesday. It passed both chambers of the state legislature. However, it must now be ratified before it is put into the hands of Governor Nikki Haley.
Currently, the bill is being handled by the House of Representatives, where they can either choose to accept the amended bill, or send it back down to the Senate for another emendation.
This bill has been in the works for a few months now. After problems with the university, a subcommittee once went as far as suggesting that the entire school be shut down for an entire fiscal year. Their hope was for the school to have their finances in check by then.
According to the provisions to the bill, the entire Board of Trustees would be dumped, while an interim CEO is announced who would be answering to the Budget and Control Board. In addition, they would have to select a new board within a week. The Senate Pro Tem, the Speaker of the House, the Head of the Senate Education Committee, the Head of the House Education and Public Works Committee, and Governor Haley would all select one person to represent the new-and-improved Board of Trustees.
The board selected by this powerful group of people would be set on limitations as to what they can do. For example, they would be expected to create policies that would keep SC State functioning within their budget, but wouldn’t have any spending power whatsoever.
If by any chance the House approves the amended bill, it will then head to a conference committee that would iron out any fine details that might be left. Once that is complete, both chambers would ratify the bill, sending it to Governor Haley’s office desk.
However, if the changes aren’t approved by the House of Representatives, “a line within the state budget would still remove the board, putting it under control of the Budget and Control Board,” according to WISTV. The Senate would still have to approve the budget next week.
SC State began having investigations held regarding their finances when the school asked the state for several millions of dollars to deal with a fiscal crisis. It’s reported that the school owes as much as $10 million.