SC Legislative Update
By Ben Homeyer
Governor Henry McMaster called for the expansion of Interstate 73 (I-73) this week, specifically by investing $300 million to build six miles from I-95 to Highway 501. This project would be funded through a combination of South Carolina’s share of American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars and one-time money from the state’s projected $1 billion budget surplus for the fiscal year 2022.
Last month Governor McMaster announced a plan to use $360 million in ARP funds to accelerate the widening of I-26 from Columbia to Charleston.
Legislators continue to deliberate the allocation of ARP funds in respective subcommittees in the House and Senate. Currently, it is unclear if legislators plan to return before January to address ARP fund allocations.
Redistricting plans continue to go forward. The House and Senate continue to hold local hearings. While population numbers in SC have gone up significantly 35 of 46 counties saw a reduction in population which means they will see fewer federal dollars but the state overall will see an increase. The ACLU has already brought a lawsuit against the state for the redistricting plan it has yet to put forward.
The number of cases this week has fallen significantly over the past week to under a thousand per day. Death rates are also significantly lower. Booster shots for those that are over 65 or immuno-compromised are available across the state as are monoclonal antibodies which were previously unavailable.