SC Legislative Update

By Ben Homeyer

The General Assembly is in full swing and entering week 4. The Governor has given his state of the
state and made infrastructure a major priority. From building out sewar and water systems to over a
billion to the Department of Transportation. The budget process is on-going in the House and the
Senate is already moving legislation to the House. The SC DOT is working on the Ways and Means
Committee to provide the recurring $100M they need to meet new federal match requirements, and
to accelerate the plans they’ve got on the board to widen I-26, and the southern segment of I-95. the
SCDOT may have the opportunity to buy time and bring some of these projects to fruition earlier than
anticipated. A one-time allocation of $360 million would accelerate the I-26 work by six years and A
one-time allocation of $200 million would accelerate the I-95 work by 2-3 years are being discussed.
The Senate Transportation Committee, chaired by Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley), gave a favorable
report to the “South Carolina Hands-Free Act” (S.248), which would make holding a cell phone while
driving illegal. The bill would increase penalties to $100 on the first offense, and for each subsequent
offense, the penalty increases to $300, plus two points against the driver’s license. The bill now moves
to the full Senate for debate.

H3892 which was originally a bill dealing with landfills has been amended to state that DHEC would be
prohibited from issuing a permit for any mining activities within two miles from a public park, preserve,
green space, or other protected natural area owned or managed by the United States, the State, a
county, a municipality, another political subdivision, or any other public entity. The bill is currently
held up in committee as we are working with a coalition to make sure the bill remains held up.

Special Election Update
Mike Reichenbach won the Republican primary for the Senate District 31 seat in Florence.
Reichenbach defeated Rep. Jay Jordan, with 53% of the vote.
Reichenbach is a newcomer to politics and owns several car dealerships in the Pee Dee. He and his wife
Charisse have two children at the University of South Carolina.
He will face Democratic candidate Suzanne La Rochelle in the March 29 special election.
Senate District 31 encompasses the majority of Florence and a portion of Darlington Counties.