SC Legislative Update
By Ben Homeyer, Public Affairs
The House and Senate have had a lot of hearings looking to move bills as we get to just about the halfway point in the session. Had several conversations with Secretary Hall this week about some road projects and had a long discussion with the 3M corporation about they would like to see more concrete used in road projects. They stated that their material works better with concrete than with asphalt. SCDOT is continuing to crank out road projects so when yall are back fully rolling you may see some roads that were under repair when this began fixed and new ones being tackled. 161 of 465 load restricted bridges have been replaced. 80 of 140 miles of interstate have been widened, 4,000 miles of paving have taken place. Also, The Budget passed out of full committee last week and will begin debate on the floor the week of March 22nd. This is what they are calling budget H1 (House one) and it is a pretty simple budget. One item that was fully funded was the Be Pro Be proud Program at just $640 thousand dollars.
Bills and Legislation
LEFT LANE DRIVING
The Senate Transportation Subcommittee met this week on the left lane bill (H.3011 which came out of the house last week and their version of the bill S434.) The subcommittee amended the bill to fix what they called deficiencies in the House version. It now takes account for three lane roads which are in parts of SC and lowered the fine to $25. It is expected to move to the Senate floor next week.
There was lengthy discussion on multiple Santee Cooper issues this week on the Senate Floor. Multiple bills are associated with the issue but they Senate Chose to concentrate on the sale of the Utility. Santee is a major source of fly ash for the industry as they still operate multiple coal plants across South Carolina. We are watching this legislation as it could effects on the industry.
I wanted to mention this piece of legislation as it is the largest Economic Development deal in SC year to date. It is currently making its way thru the process and if it goes through the Chester area would see a $500 million project in the area building a bottling and distribution center for Gallo Wines. It could lead to a massive need for ready mix if the project gets approved. It has some hurdles but is expected to move.
As of March 8th SCDHEC has begun 1B. This captures a lot of South Carolinians and everyone in the readymix sector. IT covers teachers, anyone who works in close quarters, all folks over 55 and those that have other health issues but are under 55. Think diabetes, heart issues etc. But its really on the honor system so they are not checking ID’s or anything at vaccination locations. All schools have been ordered to open 5 day by the months end and they hope to have vaccinations open to all South Carolinians by Mid May. As of today 1.2 million doses have been given and 417K are totally vaccinated in the state. About 10% of the population which can be vaccinated. I would encourage all SC CRMCA members to take advantage of being in 1B as they plan to open 1C in a few weeks and the President is ordering all states to open vaccines to all adults on May 1.