SC Legislature 2-week special session ends with money talk

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The September special session of the South Carolina Legislature continues this week with more discussions about money.

The House and Senate are expected to hash out differences on how to spend the $700 million in federal COVID-19 aid that has not already been allocated.

Their differences are mostly minor. The Senate put $420 million of it toward replenishing the fund that pays unemployment benefits, while the House is putting $450 million into that fund.

The Senate tweaked the state budget last week to give teachers a small annual pay increase and a $1,000 hazard pay bonus for state workers whose make less than $50,000 a year and whose jobs put them at risk to get COVID-19.

But House leaders said they don't plan to take up the bill, instead waiting until January to see how the economy responds to the pandemic.

The General Assembly also plans to vote on some college and university trustees on Wednesday.

The two-week special session should be the last meeting of the Legislature this session. Lawmakers have only met occasionally since the COVID-19 pandemic started in mid-March.