SC Legislative Update
by Ben Homeyer
- Both ARPA and new dollars coming in $2.5 billion in ARPA Money will be distributed in January.
- The state is also running about $1 billion ahead of the estimates for recurring. SC is humming along when it comes to business.
- DOT is getting a huge amount of money from this arpa chunk.
- They are speeding up plans for I-73. Work on 26 is being accelerated. And of course, all the bridges and interchanges that will go along with it.
- Lot of talk they could use it for income tax relief. Right now, the highest rate is 7% and there is a lot of talk of trying to get that down to 5%.
OSHA fight and where that stands currently.
SC is currently fighting with the feds about vaccines and the mandate requirement that the biden admin is pushing. The 100 employees’ piece. SC is one of three states being sued along with Utah and Arizona. McMaster has vowed to fight to the Gates of Hell to keep it out of here. The reason SC does OSHA this way is that it benefits the employers.
Session dates. Plan right now is for them to not come back until January. We had several dates cancelled already with the Senate Cancelling two weeks ago. Major reason is they don’t want to deal with mask mandates. So as of right now the plan is for them to be back Jan. 11 to begin year two of the session.
Redistricting – These meetings are on-going. While SC is growing at a great rate not all counties are going to see increased dollars. The bulk of the new people are heading away from rural SC and to the more urban areas. Greenville, Charleston, Columbia regions. Roughly 30 counties are contracting slightly with 16 seeing growth. Along with this phenomenon dollars are tied to them.
Hugh Leatherman update
- Senate Finance chairman is currently in hospice care. I mention this for several reasons. One he was in the concrete industry with Florence concrete products.
- But two should he pass it creates a huge power vacuum in the Senate. He has run Senate Finance for over 20 years. He has made sure the pee dee area gets hundreds of million in appropriations.
- Harvey Peeler from Gaffney would be next in line for the job. He is current Senate President.
- Numbers are still all over the place. We go from having a couple of hundred cases to well over 5K a day. Back to a few hundred and we are now back up over 1000 a day.
- Boosters are widely available
- Monoclonal antibodies are available
- Some counties such as Richland still have mask mandates in place.
- S147 the Covid Liability protections are scheduled to end at the end of this year. I would suggest you all take a look at your policies. There are going to be multiple bills filed on both sides of the issue. Ones stating you have to mandate vaccines and others stating you can’t mandate vaccines.
- Could cause issues those because of right to work rules.