June 25, 2020
This week the General Assembly returned to Columbia briefly to take up a large share of the CARES Act Funding. Here’s a breakdown of where that funding will go:
- $500 million to replenish the state’s unemployment fund
- $222.7 million for summer academic recovery camps and adding 5 days of class
- $16,804,115 for PPE stockpile and supply chain
- $125 million for the Hospital Relief Fund
- $50 million for broadband mapping and planning infrastructure and mobile hotspots
- Over $42 million will go to DHEC for statewide testing and monitoring
- A statewide waiver from all state and federal standardized testing requirements for the 2020-2021 school year was granted to allow for more class time.
Though our small business relief package wasn’t included, the plan was brought up on the floor, as well as in the House Ways and Means virtual meeting held earlier this week. They plan to return later this year to direct the remaining CARES ACT funds, and small and minority-owned business relief funding will likely be included in the next package. There is appetite in both chambers to do something with some of the remaining funding (about $600 million) for the state’s small businesses. They will use the time between now and when they return to develop a plan.
Liability Reform wasn’t taken up either. Part of this is due to Senators Hutto, Kimpson and Malloy, who said they will block it because there aren’t many lawsuits yet. I believe that as those come in, momentum for Liability Reform will grow. We will continue to push for these two items in the time leading up the General Assembly’s return to Columbia later this summer or in the fall. With COVID-19 cases spiking, both bodies wanted to spend as little time together in person as possible. The House and Senate will continue to work to develop a plan.
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Senior Director of Legislative Relations
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