SC Legislative Update
By Ben Homeyer
The House and Senate were both in Session last week with a large amount of activity in the House related to vaccines. The House abruptly pulled a bill from committee which would have made it illegal to have a vaccine mandate for any political subdivision or private industry in the state. It would have also created a private right of action against businesses which essentially made it impossible to fire anyone because they could have always claimed that their vaccination status was part of the reason for the firing.
The “compromise” amendment which was adopted and became the bill
- Eliminated the private employer vaccine mandate ban.
- Eliminated the civil cause of action.
- Added a sunset clause on the legislation of December 31, 2022.
- Opened access to unemployment for any employees terminated because of a vaccine mandate.
The bill was sent to the Senate who will not be back until January 11th.
USC’s Darla Moore School of Business’ 2022 Economic Outlook reports South Carolina is one of only 11 states to have completely recovered its pre-pandemic labor force. The unemployment rate in South Carolina in October sat at 3.9% — a stark contrast to the early days of the pandemic when unemployment shot up to 11.5%. The Department of Employment and Workforce currently lists over 100,000 vacancies in its system.
DOT Issues in which they are requesting public input
- The Proposed 2021-2022 Closed and Load Restricted Bridge Program in a Total of 39 Counties
- A STIP Amendment to Include Preliminary Engineering and Construction Phases on the I-95 NB and SB Bridge Replacement Over Lake Marion Project
- A STIP Amendment to Include Construction Phase on I-20 EB and WB Over Wateree River and Swamp Overflow Bridge Rehabilitation/Replacement Project