House and Senate Ramp Up for Return in Mid-September

September 4, 2020

On Wednesday, the South Carolina Senate met to make sure all registered voters can vote absentee in the 2020 general election in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The vote was unanimous. The House is expected to pass the measure when both bodies return on September 15. This expansion is similar to what the General Assembly did for the primary in June.

Earlier this week the Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) met to certify last year’s budget surplus and gave new revenue estimates for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Here are the highlights:

  • They certified $775 million in surplus from last year’s budget. This is higher than the predicted in June and much of this is recurring dollars.
  • The BEA also estimates $86 million in new recurring funds for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

This likely means the General Assembly will extend the continuing resolution through the remainder of the fiscal year. The Governor asked the General Assembly to do this last week and the House signaled that they concurred. The Senate began Senate Finance Committee meetings this week while they decide whether to go ahead with the continuing resolution or create a budget. Right now, it is up in the air as to what they will do.

If both bodies agree to the continuing resolution, it would give the General Assembly nearly $850 million in one-time monies when they write the budget next year. This would give them some flexibility if the economy doesn’t bounce back and would also give them significant recurring revenue to use next fiscal year. A lot needs to be determined in the next few weeks and as always, we will keep you posted.

I hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend!

george ramsey

George Ramsey
Senior Director of Legislative Relations

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