SC Legislative Update

By Ben Homeyer

The General Assembly kicked off last week. While it was a short week on the floor it was busy with the inauguration of Henry McMaster. During the Governors speech he stressed the growth of the state and how SC has had record breaking years for economic development. Matching a lot of what the Governor stressed were bills officially filed by the House and Senate. Over a thousand pieces of legislation have already been put forth and the House and Senate both will be going full speed this
coming week and beyond with sub and full committee hearings. The Governor will be giving his State of State on January 19 th and it is expected to mirror his speech of last week. One item that we fully expect to be in the speech that was not in the inaugural address is the commitment to tort reform this
year. Senator Massey has already filed legislation in the Senate and language is being worked on for
the House. For many members of the business community from the Truckers to the General
Contractors this is their number one issue as the current system puts an unfair burden on the business

The SCDOT and Infrastructure Bank will present their budget requests to the Ways & Means
Transportation Regulatory Subcommittee chaired by Rep. Heather Ammons Crawford (R-Horry) this
coming week. They are expected to ask for close to the billion that they received in 2022. In a
separate meeting with Secretary Hall last week, she disclosed that she will be asking for $500 million
just for bridges over the next year. With the SC Port going to 52 feet and becoming the deepest on the
East Coast the Secretary is working to make sure that every bridge that is along an interstate that leads
to the port will be fully operational. The Governor in his executive budget has already pledged support
for this issue. This would be exceptional for the association as our folks should be doing the bulk of
this work. The Governor in his budget also pledged $500,000 for the Be Pro Be Proud program that
the association and its members have been supporting. The program is doing wonderful work in
getting younger folks in the workforce pipeline.

The House Ways & Means Committee chaired by Rep. Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) met last week to
give favorable report to legislation that allocates remaining ARPA dollars to water and sewer
infrastructure. By a vote of 24-0, the committee adopted language to allocate $586 million to the Rural
Infrastructure Authority (RIA) for existing grant applications for water/sewer projects. Of those funds,
approximately $86 million must be available for projects designed by the Secretary of Commerce for
economic development.