SC Legislative Updates
This week was crossover week for the General Assembly. Bills which originated in one body needed to make it to the other or risk not being taken up this year. Being that it is year one, bills will carry over to next year. Exceptions can be made if one body by 2/3 vote waves the rule on a per bill basis. Discussions are continuing with the DMV on a Spanish written CDL test. The department has stated they are in favor of the idea and are working with the FMCSA which is in charge of the C
DL process in SC to make it happen. The DMV and DOT both had budget hearings this week before Senate Finance sub-committees. They are preparing for full Finance next week. The BEA this week on April 8th certified $385.8 million in recurring and $1.334.5 billion in non-recurring dollars for the state to appropriate. This is in addition to $2 billion in federal funds that are coming via the latest cares act from the Feds. The Department of Employment and Workforce in their budget hearing stressed the need to continue funding for the Be Pro Be Proud program and discussed how well it is working in the State.
Bills and Legislation
H3144 SC WINS
The full house gave a favorable report on H.3144, a bill establishing the South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship (SC WINS) to cover the full cost of a technical college education that equips a student for a career in sector experiencing a high demand for qualified employees. The legislation makes provisions allowing a student who is attending a two-year public technical college and is majoring in an identified critical workforce area program and who is receiving a Lottery Tuition Assistance Program Scholarship (LTAP) for the current school year, to receive an additional South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship (SC WINS). The SC WINS scholarship is equal to the cost of attendance, after applying all other scholarships or grants, not to exceed $2,500 each school year for no more than three school years of instruction, including the student’s freshman year. This program will help us get more folks in to our pipeline as they will have access to dollars they did not previously have. The bill has made the crossover deadline and heads to the Senate for consideration.
S177 Covid Vaccinations Exemptions
The Senate this week passed S 177 which Under the provisions of this bill, COVID-19 vaccinations would be deemed voluntary, and no employer could take any adverse action against any employee declining vaccination. We are trying to get clarification how this could affect S147 the covid liability bill which would grant immunity for businesses that do all they can to protect their workers. The bill moves to the House for consideration where the companion bill has not gained traction.
H3011 Left Lane Driving
The Senate and House could not come to agreement on H3011 the Left Lane Driving bill. The bill would impose penalties on drivers that refuse to move out of the left lane. Provisions have been put in place about trucks and construction vehicles. The Senate amended the bill to fix what they called deficiencies in the House version. Their version takes account for three lane roads which are in parts of SC and lowered the fine to $25. The House version has a higher fine than the Senate. The bill will go to conference with Senators McElveen, Bennett and Turner and the House appointed Reps. Morgan, West, and Henderson-Myers.
Daily covid cases continue to stay moderate in the State. All South Carolinians now over the age of 16 are eligible to receive the vaccine. The state is receiving several hundred thousand vaccines a week now from the three major approved providers and vaccination sites are open in every county in the State.