The full House this week is working to pass its version of the FY23-24 state budget, a process we are following closely. In January, SCPC released a report urging lawmakers to keep spending in the upcoming budget from increasing by more than what is sustainable based on population growth plus inflation data. However, a review of the latest budget numbers indicates another large spending increase is to be expected. 


  • 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 will increase demand for tax revenue and could inspire tax-hike proposals. The bill would also allow local governments to issue bonds for the construction of workforce housing. The Senate Sales & Income Tax subcommittee considers the bill Tuesday at 3:00 PM.
  • S.298 – In the event a business or the S.C. Department of Revenue believes the business’s income is not properly represented for tax purposes, the bill sets forth a process to more accurately determine such income, and gives the department significant investigatory power to accomplish this. The Senate Sales & Income Tax subcommittee considers the bill Tuesday at 3:00 PM.


  • S.285 –  This bill has been enrolled for special order, will be on the senate floor, and could be voted on this week. Known as the “ACE” program, the bill would drastically overhaul and expand South Carolina’s privately funded K-12 scholarship program. It would provide scholarships to four different student categories: (1) students with disabilities; (2) students from low-income families; (3) homeschool students; and (4) students generally. Scholarships could be used to pay for private school tuition and fees, or other education-related expenses, including homeschool expenses, depending on the student. Read our full analysis of the proposal here. This bill is set for special order and remains on the Senate floor, meaning it could be voted on this week.
  • H.3728 – This bill prohibits several concepts generally associated with critical race theory (CRT) from being taught in K-12 public schools. Among the prohibited concepts is the teaching that one ethnic/racial group is morally superior or inferior to another. A Senate Education subcommittee will take up the bill on Wednesday at 9:00 AM.  


  • S.361 – This bill would remove a requirement that the SCDOT Commission give approval before construction contracts can be extended, which will cut down on government red tape and help speed up road work projects. As the bill has now passed the House and Senate, it now goes to the governor’s desk.
  • S.260 – This bill would require anyone who serves alcohol to take a minimum four-hour class with a test and receive a certificate. Each certificate would cost $15. 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 Senate Judiciary Committee will consider the bill at 3:00 PM on Tuesday.


Government transparency 

As of Tuesday morning, only eight of the Senate’s 21 scheduled committee meetings are scheduled to be livestreamed. Six of the 13 non-streamed meetings are budget committee meetings. This means there will be no comprehensive public record of these budget meetings, leaving citizens in the dark during this critical stage of the budget process. Under a recent House bill inspired by SCPC’s research, all legislative committee meetings would have to be livestreamed. 

Here you can find the full list of House and Senate meetings for the week. 


State budget 

Senate Health & Human Services subcommittee

  • 3/14/23 3:00 PM – Hearing from the SC Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, and the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. (livestream not scheduled)
  • 3/15/23 9:00 AM – Hearing from the Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Conservation Bank, and the Forestry Commission. (livestream not scheduled)

Senate Natural Resources & Economic Development subcommittee

  • 3/14/23 3:00  PM – Hearing from the State Ports Authority and Santee Cooper. (livestream not scheduled)
  • 3/16/23 3:15  AM – Hearing from the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. (livestream not scheduled)

Senate K – 12 Education subcommittee

  • 3/15/23 10:00  AM – Hearing from the Education Oversight Committee, SC Public Charter School District, Charter Institute at Erskine, and the Limestone Charter Association. (livestream not scheduled)

Previous Weeks