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As we have been preparing for the 2018 legislative session, we have become more and more grateful that the infrastructure funding bill passed this spring.
Members of both the House and Senate have made it clear that the halted VC Summer nuclear project is a top priority and we expect that issue will dominate the opening weeks of next year’s legislative session, if not longer. Add in a $24 billion unfunded liability with the state retirement system, an ongoing ethics investigation, a shortened legislative calendar and election year distractions and you have a recipe for a very busy General Assembly.
Given the context, you might wonder what the Chamber hopes to achieve in Columbia in 2018. We’re realistic about the obstacles, but optimistic about the prospects for several critical business bills.
Several items on our 2017 agenda made it out of committee or through one chamber but didn’t cross the finish line because of the late session sprint to pass the roads bill.
Those items form the foundation of our 2018 State Legislative Agenda and that progress last year is why we’re optimistic for 2018.
For the past two months, Chamber staff has met with members one-on-one, in small groups and through established committees. We met with each of the Local Area Chamber steering committees and sat down with partner organizations. We also met with lawmakers to understand their priorities. All of that input filters through the Business Advocacy Committee, Executive Committee and ultimately, the Board of Directors.
The goal of this extensive process is to shape an agenda that is aggressive, but attainable, and rooted in our guiding principles.
Keep your eyes peeled for the release of our 2018 Legislative Agenda in the coming weeks.
Have a great weekend!