SC Legislative Update
By Ben Homeyer
The SC House of Representatives prefiling dates were November 16 and again on December 14 and the SC Senate was November 30. This years prefiling period is different because it is the second year of a two-year calendar. That means any legislation that fails to pass by sine die in 2024 is dead and the process will have to start all over in 2025.
Leadership has stressed that the issues of economic development, workforce development, infrastructure, and lately, AI, will be the focus of this upcoming session. That was definitely evident in the bills we saw introduced this past year and remains the topic of conversation with members.
In the House, approximately 200 new bills were prefilled on November 16th. Regarding CRMCA issues, we did not see much that affects the industry. The few that stood out would be H. 4629 changes to the appointment of the Secretary of Transportation, H. 4610 transfers of roads and H. 4593 Driving in the Passing Lane. The first bill is sponsored and co-sponsored by members of the Freedom Caucus. The bill looks to have the Lt. Governor serve as Secretary of Transportation. It also says that when selecting a candidate for Lt. Governor, a candidate for Governor shall examine whether a person appointed to the position has practical and successful business and executive abilities and be knowledgeable in the field of transportation. The second bill requires SCDOT to “maintain, repair, replace, abate, and when appropriate, upgrade the roads, and the infrastructure, preexisting conditions and all related responsibilities for the roads” transferred to the state highway system from the county or municipal system. The third bill is sponsored by Rep. Bill Taylor. The bill makes driving in the left hand a misdemeanor and if convicted, the fine is not less that $100.00 nor more than $200.00 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days. A person who violates the provisions must have 2 points assessed against his/her driving record. H4659 would allow a change to impact fees when building. I flagged this because as the cost of building goes up people may look at alternatives in building. Just something to keep an eye on.
The Senate introduced 54 bills on their prefile date of November 30th. None of those bills appear to impact concrete.
We are continuing to monitor all legislation as it is introduced and will be sure to alert you to any legislation that would be of interest.
In the last 48 hours over $1.3 billion in economic development projects have been announced. The largest component of that was a $500 million project in Sumter County for a German electronic motor company. With close to $10 billion in projects announced for 2023 it is safe to say a lot of concrete is going to be needed in 2024.