General Assembly “in fighting mood” before Valentine’s Day

On the week before Valentine’s Day, members of the General Assembly were in an especially combative mood.
The Senate featured a battle of Lowcountry legislators as senators from Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, and Beaufort counties sparred over the governance of the State Ports Authority. Beaufort Republican senator and former Chief of Staff for Governor Sanford, Tom Davis fought against limiting the governor’s power to remove ports authority members at will.  
Davis says, “We all know where the power resides in this state. it doesn’t reside downstairs, it resides right in this chamber… and if anybody thinks that by protecting that board and removing at will removal powers that you’re going to take politics out of that entity; you haven’t seen politics until you make them protected and they can’t be removed at will.  You’ll see politics then.”
Another kind of fighting was the subject of a House subcommittee meeting this week.  A bill regarding “Mixed Martial Arts” that would repeal South Carolina’s ban on the sport was voted out of a House subcommittee Tuesday. 
Greenville County Representative Eric Beddingfield, an enthusiastic co-sponsor of the measure, says, “It’s certainly a great opportunity for South Carolina to have an opportunity  to bring this sport to our state and reap the rewards thereof. It’s a huge, huge tourism benefit for these types of events.”  
To date, 37 states sanction mixed martial arts contests including neighboring states Georgia and North Carolina.
On Monday at the capital complex, the Board of Economic Advisors revised revenue estimates downward by $190 million to $6.13 billion.  Board Chairman John Rainey says his group elected not to recommend further state budget cuts for 30 days.
Rainey says more cuts would mean more layoffs of state employees, “If you put in terms of people and take my hypothetical example of a hundred people, it’s a difference between cutting two or four people.  Three people this month, four people in March.  But if we were wrong, it was the difference between cutting three people and no people; so we had rather err on the side of caution given the fact that these now are pure people cuts.”  
Rainey says February is not as big a revenue month as January is and it’s hoped that a decline this month will not be as big or precipitous as the ones experienced in December and January.