Update 4/28/23: Several adjustments were made to this summary to reflect developments that occurred during the week.
With just three weeks left in the regular legislative session, things are in high gear at the Statehouse. Important legislation like a bill to repeal state Certificate of Need (CON) mandates is in a House committee. But other questionable proposals, such as a bill creating a tax exemption for golf club membership dues, are also being considered. Most importantly, a bill that would create new K-12 scholarship opportunities and expand school choice is awaiting debate on the House floor.
- S.39 – This bill would create a new education scholarship program for low-income K-12 students. Under the proposal, parents could use scholarship funding to pay for private school tuition, textbooks, tutoring services, transportation to other schools and more. A similar education scholarship bill nearly passed last year. The bill is on the House floor and will be scored as part of our upcoming legislative scorecard. Read our bill analysis to learn more. Update: The House passed the bill with a final vote of 74-36. It now heads to the governor’s desk.
- S.164 – This bill would eliminate state Certificate of Need (CON) requirements for most South Carolina healthcare facilities. CON forces healthcare providers to go through an extensive approval process before constructing or expanding facilities or making certain purchases, and the outcome hasn’t been great for healthcare. Repealing CON would give people more options for healthcare and result in lower prices because of increased competition. The full House 3-M Committee is considering the bill Tuesday one hour after House adjournment. Update: The full House 3M Committee advanced the bill with amendment. It is now on the House floor.
- S.343 – This bill would exempt all crisis stabilization unit facilities from Certificate of Need (CON) requirements. Currently, only these facilities which are operated by or in partnership with the Department of Mental Health, and offer services to adults, are exempt from CON. A House 3-M subcommittee will take up the bill on Wednesday immediately after House adjournment.
- S.208 – This bill would allow counties to impose additional driver’s license and motor vehicle licensing and registration fees on new residents (subject to a local referendum). We oppose this proposal and believe the state should not enact policies that will penalize future residents and deter economic growth. The bill is on the Senate floor, though it is contested.
- H.3880 – This bill would prevent taxes from being charged or collected on annual or monthly dues paid to a golf club. Targeted sales tax exemptions such as this are silly and unnecessary. The House Licenses, Fees, and Other Taxes subcommittee takes up the bill on Tuesday immediately upon adjournment of the house.
- S.284 – This bill would allow local accommodations and hospitality tax revenue to be spent on the development of “workforce housing”. Such revenue is currently restricted to things more closely associated with tourism, such as improving beach access or paying for tourism-related advertisements. Expanding how these funds can be spent will increase demand for tax revenue and could inspire tax-hike proposals. The House Licenses, Fees, and Other Taxes subcommittee takes up the bill Tuesday after House adjournment.
- S.557 – This bill would increase a tax credit for apprentices, and extend the number of years that they can be claimed. The House Economic Development Legislative subcommittee considers the bill on Wednesday at 9 AM.
- H.3811 – This bill would increase the industry partnership fund tax credit from $9 million to $12 million. The House Economic Development Legislative subcommittee considers the bill on Wednesday at 9 AM.
- H.3121 – This bill would provide a one-time income tax credit to property owners who have a perpetual recreational trail on their property. The House Sales, Use, and Income Tax Legislative subcommittee considers the bill on Wednesday at 9 AM.
- H.3824 – This bill would add electrical equipment to the preexisting alternative fuel property income tax credit. The House Sales, Use, and Income Tax Legislative subcommittee considers the bill on Wednesday at 9 AM.
- H.3948 – This bill would create a property tax exemption for certain renewable energy resource properties. The House Property Tax subcommittee considers the bill on Wednesday after House adjournment.
- H.3605 – These bills would remove barriers to obtaining a work license by preventing licensing boards from using vague terminology for evaluation purposes, and from considering charges against a person that have been dismissed, along with other positive changes. The Senate recently passed an amended version of the bill, which is back with the House. Update: The House concurred with the Senate’s amendment and unanimously passed the bill. It now heads to the governor for signing.
- S.260 – This bill would require anyone who serves alcohol to take a minimum four-hour class with a test and receive a certificate. It would also create a new state alcohol server training fund. While more education and training may be necessary for some, creating a new regulatory regime for all alcohol servers is not the correct approach to this issue. The bill is on the Senate floor, though it is contested.
- H.3253 – This bill would prevent any governing body of a municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state from enacting or enforcing regulation that bans short term rentals (SRTs). SCPC supports this common-sense proposal (learn more about it here). The House Municipal and Public Affairs subcommittee considers the bill Wednesday at 9 AM.
- H.3553 – This bill would remove the current mandatory 90-day waiting period when finalizing an adoption. The Senate Judiciary Committee considers the bill Thursday at 9 AM.
- S.566 – This bill would allow a brewery to sell up to 2,000 barrels of beer each year at retail, wholesale, or both, and deliver or ship the beer to licensed retailers in the state. Beer in amounts over 2,000 barrels would generally be subject to distribution and wholesale provisions in the law. The Senate Judiciary Committee takes up the bill Thursday at 9.
- S.634 – This non-binding resolution expresses the view of the Senate that public funds should not be dedicated to economic development projects that benefit a corporation that is actively engaged in promoting ESG. The Senate Finance Committee considers the resolution at 3 PM. Update: The full Senate Finance Committee advanced the resolution.
- S.95 – This resolution would amend the S.C. Constitution so that the state comptroller general is appointed by the governor with Senate confirmation rather than being elected by voters. The proposed change comes after it was revealed the comptroller’s office is responsible for a $3.5 billion accounting error spanning at least a decade. The resolution is on the Senate floor and needs a two-thirds majority to pass.
As of Tuesday morning, eight of the Senate’s 17 scheduled committee meetings are scheduled to be livestreamed this week, while 16 of the 25 House meetings are scheduled to be livestreamed. Under a February House bill inspired by SCPC’s research, all legislative committee meetings would have to be livestreamed.
- Apr 18-20
- Apr 11-13
- Apr 4-6
- Mar 28-30
- Mar 21-23
- Mar 14-16
- Mar 7-9
- Feb 28- Mar 2
- Feb 21-23
- Feb 14-16
- Feb 7-9
- Jan 31-Feb 2
- Jan 24-26
- Jan 17-19
- Jan 10-12