With the 2018 legislative session having only ended earlier this month, it’s hard to believe we are already beginning to draft the Charleston Metro Chamber’s 2019 Legislative Agenda.
Over the last several months, we have met with Chamber members and committees, other metro chambers and business associations from across the state, school district leaders, and, importantly, State Legislators to gather input on challenges facing the state and ideas about priorities for next year’s agenda.
When discussing the outlook for the 2019 session, Legislators consistently bring up these three items:
- The potential sale of state-owned utility company Santee Cooper
- Next steps for fixing the state’s underfunded pension system
- Tax reform, either a comprehensive overhaul or more modest reforms
None of these are small issues that can be addressed in a week or two. All will take a lot of study, time and effort to build a consensus, which means that any meaningful progress on any of these will consume a significant amount of the next session. Members from both the House and Senate have shared that legislation not prefiled in December isn’t likely to be taken up.
To that end, we’re hard at work defining our 2019 Legislative Agenda to make sure top business community priorities are addressed. The following items were on our agenda last year, made legislative progress in the past and are likely to be included:
- Angel Investor tax credit reauthorization
- Full exemption of military retiree pay
- Funding for renovation of Trident Technical College’s Berkeley Campus
Potential new issues that have arisen so far include:
- Changes to school district funding formulas
- Safeguarding military missions from offshore wind energy development
- Financial structures to promote workforce attainable housing
There are several other items currently being vetted. If you have an issue that should be on the Chamber’s radar for 2019, please reach out. We’re pushing hard to get the agenda finished in December.
Looks like it’s going to be another busy year in Columbia.
CMCC Business Lobbyist