Sean Rayford file photo

South Carolina House legislators have been told not to hold any more committee meetings with only two weeks left in the 2021 session and a calendar full of bills to consider.

“We cannot possibly finish what we have on the calendar now. I’m telling committee chairman from here to not meet next week. We cannot do your bills,” House Speaker Jay Lucas told Associated Press last week.

Lucas also told lawmakers to expect to return to Columbia for special sessions over the summer after the regular session ends May 13.

Lucas is expecting the House to return June 8 to take up a review of thee extra $1.7 billion written into the 2021-22 spending plan by state senators after budget forecasters overestimated the economic impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

House members are expected to return again around June 22 to deal with bills where House members and senators work out differences, and again June 29 to deal with any vetoes by the governor.

Another special session is expected in the fall to draw new lines for state and U.S. House districts after the 2020 census, the full data for which has not yet been released.

Legislators are looking to have those new districts drawn and any judicial reviews finished by next year’s statewide primaries scheduled for June 14, 2022.