Legislative Update for South Carolina compiled by Ben Homeyer

Budget Update

  • The income tax is lowering from 6.4% to 6.2%. It was 7% just a few years ago.
  • The state has historically high reserves – over $1.1 billion in reserves for when the economic downtown does finally happen
  • Higher ed is having a tuition freeze for the 6th year in a row.
  • $200 million to bridges.
  • $200 million to local roads through county transportation committees. 
  • $117.4 million to rural road safety
  • $46.5 million to local road projects
  • $42.4 million to the Rural Infrastructure Authority for water and sewer projects throughout the state.  
  • $125 million to Clemson Veterinary School. 
  • $100 million to USC Medical School. 
  • $94 million to fund the SC WINS (Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship) program for technical college students to help with workforce.  

Policy Update:

The new department of Environmental Services became active on July 1.  This is the new agency created by splitting DHEC in half.  The new agencies which are at the cabinet level will be environmental services and health services.  Myra Reese will be the interim director until the General Assembly reconvenes and the Senate can confirm their full-time choice.  

The General Assembly has officially adjourned Sine Die for the year.  While they could conceivably come back prior to November elections the Speaker and President of the Senate have both said they have no plans to call either body back.  If one body is going to be called back both must be called per the rules.