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As session wraps up, promising bills near the finish line

South Carolina’s regular legislative session ends May 12, meaning just three weeks remain (including this one) to send most bills to the governor’s desk for signing. Fortunately, there’s some great legislation near the finish line.  Below is an overview of these proposals, several of which SCPC has supported or sought to improve this year. Tax …

Check-in: Budget transparency hits a new low

Transparency for taxpayers hit a new low this week. On Wednesday and Thursday, the S.C. Senate held a total of nine budget subcommittee hearings – the most it has held in one week since session began. Not one was streamed to the public.   According to meeting agendas, 36 state agencies presented their budget requests to lawmakers without …

Analysis: SC’s competing tax cut proposals, what to know

After years of justified frustration from taxpayers, state lawmakers have finally decided to address South Carolina’s highest-in-the-Southeast top income tax rate. The House on Wednesday passed a bill that would lower and consolidate the state income tax, while the Senate recently introduced its own income tax proposal that includes a plan to use $1 billion in surplus funds …

Analysis: Blurring the line between education and job training (updated)

Update as of 2/12/22: H.4766, which would add more seats and give more power to the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development, passed the S.C. House on Feb. 8. The bill now heads to the Senate. For more information on why we oppose the bill, see below for our analysis. *** Two concerning education bills have …

Analysis: Medical cannabis is a win, despite issues in bill

In late 2020, a Senate bill (S.150) was introduced that would give South Carolinians the right to use medical cannabis to treat certain debilitating conditions, called as the “Compassionate Care Act”. Now, after days of debate, and many years of sitting on the issue, the bill finally passed the Senate. Below is a breakdown of …

Analysis: Bill would let for-profit pipeline companies take citizens’ property

A House committee this week deliberated a bill that would allow for-profit pipeline companies to take citizens’ property using eminent domain. Two similar bills were filed in 2020.   How your property gets taken  H.3527 creates a process by which privately owned petroleum pipeline companies can use eminent domain to acquire land for pipeline projects.   Under the bill, before a company could construct a new petroleum (oil) pipeline, or expand …

Half of House budget meetings not streamed in first week (now updated weekly)

Budget meetings sorted by week As part of our push for more government transparency, we have been tracking the streaming of legislative budget meetings each week. Below is list of how many budget meetings were held compared with how many were streamed, sorted by week. For a more thorough explanation of this issue, see our …

Bills to watch in 2022

At the end of each year, state lawmakers file a series of bills (known as “prefiles”) in anticipation of the upcoming legislative session. The following report looks at some of the most significant House prefiles, organized by category, as well as two bills gaining traction relating to state Coivd policy.   Spending  These bills offer a glimpse into some of next year’s spending priorities. Unsurprisingly, based on this sample, …

What happened at the Statehouse this week?

New bills filed (highlights)  S.1236 – Providing every taxpayer a rebate of $100 for each month that the average regular price of gas exceeds $4 per gallon H.5223 – A handgun must not be confiscated, nor its owner arrested, if during a traffic stop the gun is found underneath a seat in the vehicle S.1247 – Creating a …