By Ben Homeyer
The House and Senate both were in abbreviated session this week. The House was on full furlough and the Senate only was in full session on Tuesday. They spent the rest of the time in full Finance working on the budget. The Senate’s version of the FY22-23 budget considers the $2 billion income tax reduction/rebate plan (S.1087 which has been discussed in previous updates), which unanimously passed the Senate last month. Roughly $1 billion of one-time surplus money will be used to cover the rebates included in the plan.
As part of the Senates FY 2022-2023 State Budget is another full-year funding for Be Pro Be Proud, DOT getting their minimum ask for $100M for federal match, the recurring funds needed for DMV to hire a Director of Motor Carrier Services and $10 million for commercial airport upgrades (down from $65 million in the House.)
These funds on a line titled “Motor Carrier Services State Progress” will instruct DMV to re-structure all motor carrier-related responsibilities under a new Director. That Director will have direct-line-authority to the agency’s Executive Director. This puts truck fleet owner, dealers, and driver needs in the “C-Suite” meeting room when agency issues, challenges, plans, and priorities are discussed. This will be of great help to everyone who has CDL drivers and fleets.
They provided the same one-time funding the House did for expanding and improving CDL testing facilities: $3,201,370. And new recurring/annual amount of $905,504 to fund positions to create and lead Motor Carrier Services as a consolidated division-level section.
On Be Pro Be Proud funding at the same $642,500 the House included. Senator Jackson said: “We are funding Be Pro Be Proud to help meet these in-demand skilled workers, including construction and trucking jobs.”
Senators also included their plans for the $525 million Savannah River Site (SRS) settlement in the budget. Included as part of the SRS dollars are a $131 million allocation to the County Transportation Committees.
The Senate plans to take up the budget on the floor the week of April 25
The General Assembly has four official weeks left before adjournment.