By Ben Homeyer
The House Ways & Means Committee passed on recommendations from the special ad-hoc committee tasked with vetting the allocations of the American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds.
The proposal to allocate $1.76 billion of the $2.5 billion South Carolina received through ARPA. The Ways & Means Committee unanimously adopted the ad-hoc committee’s recommendations.
Funds will be allocated across SCDOT, Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA), Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), SC Office of Resiliency (SCOR), and the Department of Administration (DOA)
When it comes to SCDOT, the House allocates the entirety of the revenue loss funds ($453 million) to SCDOT for project acceleration, which would likely go towards advancing interstate projects in the pipeline.
It is also expected that the state at the next BEA meeting will have even more money set aside for the general assembly. It is possible the state could have as much as $3billion in non-recurring revenue and over $1 billion in recurring. Collections are not slowing down at all.
Medical Marijuana made its way thru the Senate with the passage of S.150. It is greatly changed from the original version become far stricter and a local opt-out provision has been added. In short, the bill legalizes the use of medical marijuana (for specified conditions) in the form of oils, patches, vaporizers, edibles, etc. (It does not permit combustible form that is lit and smoked.) Prescriptions must be obtained through specially chosen pharmacies and dispensed in limited quantities. It is still unclear what the House will do with the Legislation.
New DHEC Chairman
The SC Senate confirmed Robert Bolchoz to serve as the Chairman of the DHEC Board of Directors. As Chairman, he will be responsible for setting the agenda and direction for the governing body, which also hears environmental and health permit appeals. Something the association monitors very closely as air and water quality issues effect plants all across the state.