Imagine the nerve this takes.
State Senate President Harvey Peeler ignores calls to convene the senate to deal with the issue of school mask mandates and the state budget proviso that forbids them.
But he will call back the 46-member chamber to discuss redistricting, spending millions in federal COVID-19 dollars and money from the Savannah River Site settlement.
“As President, I am calling for the Senate to return so we may finish the business of the body, including supplemental appropriations and redistricting,” Peeler wrote in a memo.
Apparently the “business of the body” does not include protecting South Carolina’s school children by giving local school boards the power to use mask mandates as needed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Desperate school boards across the state are dealing with thousands of students and staff in quarantine as well as illness and in some cases death. Many of them want the option to use mask mandates as a way to keep children in school safely.
Yet, their hands are tied thanks to a two-sentence proviso inserted in the state budget.
Peeler clearly has the ability and the means to compel a special session, and, while holding such a session would in no way guarantee that the proviso is repealed, it would, at the very least, signal that Peeler cares enough to let the peoples’ voices be heard.