Sine Die in Columbia: An Update on Legislative Priorities for the Year

The first year of a two-year session came to a close around 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 13. However, it won’t be long before they will be back to finish the budget, allocate federal dollars from the last round of stimulus and for redistricting. We will be back in Columbia quite a bit into the fall.

Here’s an update on where our legislative priorities stand this year:

  • One of our top priorities was S.147, which offers COVID-19 liability protections for businesses, passed earlier this year and was signed into law by Governor McMaster on April 28. The legislation provides targeted and temporary liability relief for businesses, health care providers, schools and others who continue to follow CDC and DHEC guidelines. We want to thank the General Assembly for their work to get this done for the business community.
  • In regards to the SC Port funding for the Navy Base Intermodal Facility (NBIF) and barge operations, the Senate passed a version to bond the $550 million earlier this year. However, in the Senate version of the budget, they allocated $200 million for the project and the House is expected to add in more one-time General Fund revenues once they return to rewrite the budget. We will continue to follow along as the process unfolds and help out when asked by Port leadership.
  • S. 627, the SALT tax bill, which allows LLC’s and S-Corps to deduct state taxes on their federal returns and allows them to file them through their business instead of the individual, passed the House 104-0 earlier this week and now moves to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This is a huge win for many of our small businesses.
  • H.3620, the Hate Crimes bill, passed the House and moved through the committee process to the Senate floor but didn’t pass this year. Several Senators have their name on the bill. Fortunately, we get another shot next year. We will be working with our partners in the Metro Chambers Coalition and the State Chamber to work on the opposition in the off season.
  • H.3243 on Immigrant Licensure allows people who are in the United States and legally allowed to work by federal standards to apply for and gain professional licenses in SC through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for high-demand fields such as nursing and engineering. The bill passed the House and made it to the Senate floor but was unable to pass due to several member’s objections. We, along with our partners in the Metro Chambers Coalition, will work with those opposed to the bill in the off season and get this passed in January.
  • S. 271, the abandoned building tax credit, passed earlier this year extending the credit to 2025. The bill was signed into law in April.
  • H.3144, the SC WINS scholarships to our technical schools, passed the House and is in the Senate Education Committee. We will work with Senator Hembree in the off season to get this bill to the floor as soon as possible in January.

Though we didn’t get everything we wanted this year, we are pleased with the progress of many of the bills. We can’t thank our delegation enough for their work this year. We look forward to celebrating their hard work at State Delegation Appreciation on June 17 at the South Carolina Aquarium. Click here to register for this great event.

George Ramsey, Senior Director of Legislative Relations
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