November 15, 2019
With the new year right around the corner, the Chamber’s Government Relations team has been hard at work developing our 2020 Legislative Agenda. Over the last several months we have talked with our members and committees, business associations, other chambers, school districts and legislators to gather ideas of what should be included and what challenges our state is facing next year.
The three items most often brought up by legislators are:
- Education Reform – the House passed a bill last year and the Senate Education Committee is currently working. What a final package might look like is unclear.
- Tax Reform – some want comprehensive reform, while others prefer taking incremental steps.
- Santee Cooper – the future of the state-owned utility and desire for a resolution.
None of these are small issues likely to be settled in a week or two. These are complex challenges and any legislative solution will take a lot of time and consensus-building to get enough votes to pass. It’s also important to note that next year is an election year for every member of the General Assembly, meaning some crazy things could happen next year. We keep all that in mind as we zero in on the Chamber’s annual legislative priorities.
The first things considered for the 2020 Legislative Agenda are items that have made significant progress in the past, but came short of the finish line. Several Chamber promoted bills got pinched in the final hours of the 2019 session and we expect to go after them again in 2020.
- Angel Investor tax credit reauthorization
- Workforce housing legislation
- Spouse credentialing for military families
There are some new issues that have bubbled to the surface such as:
- Modernizing the education funding model
- Lowering tuition cost to in-state students at our public colleges and universities
- Funding for widening our interstate system
Drafting of the 2020 Charleston Metro Chamber Legislative Agenda continues to evolve, and we will share the finished product with you in full detail at the Annual Legislative Reception on January 9th.
It’s going to be another busy year in Columbia!
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