What's New

The Senate spent the week debating the State Budget.

Earlier in the week, numerous bills were reported from committees and placed on the Calendar. Senators worked quickly through the uncontested calendar before taking up the budget. On Monday, Budget subcommittee chairmen presented reports and began work on amendments.

On Tuesday, Senators spent a sufficient amount of time debating an amendment to give state employees a bonus. Senator Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) took to the floor to filibuster the amendment and his concerns with the budget.

The Senate continued to debate the bill for the rest of the week before voting on final passage of the budget on Thursday evening. Senators agreed to a final amendment that provided $23.5M for an $800 bonus for certain state employees, $4.1M for counties for storm clean up, approximately $27M to counties for road resurfacing and rehabilitation projects, and funds for technical and comprehensive education for training workers, STEM, Manufacturing and Allied Health Programs and Critical Equipment programs. The bill now goes back to the House for consideration.

The Senate Republic Caucus held a press conference Thursday morning announcing a comprehensive infrastructure improvement, tax reduction, and Department of Transportation reform plan for South Carolina. The Caucus said the plan would provide much needed long-term funding to fix the road system in the state as well as providing permanent across the board income tax cuts and restructuring at the Department of Transportation.

The House had a busy week debating a number of bills. On Wednesday, members adjourned debate on several bills before debating amendments to H.3151, a bill related to the study of the U.S. Constitution in schools.

Top News Articles

Borrowing plan for SC colleges, tech schools on shaky ground 

A proposal to borrow $237 million to pay for building needs at state colleges, tech schools and armories soon could die, state senators indicated Tuesday. Read more.

Gridlock looms budget talks in the Senate 

Differences over how to spend the state’s extra cash flow threatened Tuesday to undo the state Senate’s progress in approving a $7 billion general fund budget. Read more.

Lawmakers at loggerheads over ousting S.C. State trustees 
All but one S.C. lawmaker voted this session to oust S.C. State University’s trustees, but the board of the financially troubled school remains in place because legislators cannot agree on the number of interim trustees who should oversee the school or who should appoint them. Read more.

S.C. State trustees could be out in 2 weeks 

S.C. State University could have new trustees within two weeks after state lawmakers agreed Wednesday on a bill to oust current board members. Read more.

Senate Republicans to unveil new SC road-repair plan 

S.C. lawmakers just might pass a plan to fix the state’s crumbling roads before going home in June after all. Read more.

PRT report finds that tourism projects total more than $1B in S.C. 

Since July, developers have invested more than $1 billion in new tourism projects across South Carolina, according to the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Read more

Gov. Nikki Haley signs bill to oust S.C. State trustees

Gov. Nikki Haley signed the law ousting S.C. State University trustees on Thursday and appointed the first of seven interim board members. Read more.

4th roads plan would cut SC income taxes by $700 million 

Trying to end a stalemate, a group of S.C. Senate Republicans Thursday introduced the fourth major road-repair plan this year, less than month before lawmakers are scheduled to go home. Read more.

Meetings and Events

Tuesday, May 12, 2015 

5:00      Reception for Representatives Wayne George, Roger Kirby and Russell Ott 
             Pearlz Oyster Bar, 936 Gervais Street

5:30      Reception for Senator Wes Hayes 
             The Ballroom of the Palmetto Club, 1231 Sumter Street

5:30      Senate Republican Caucus Spring Reception 
             The Vista Room at Blue Marlin, 1200 Lincoln Street

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 

5:30      Senate Democratic Caucus Spring Reception 
             McCutchen House, 902 Sumter Street

5:30      Reception for Representaitves Todd Atwater and Samuel Rivers 
             Butch Bowers Law Office, 1419 Pendleton Street

Newly Introduced Legislation

EDUCATION: 

H. 4144 Rutherford: SO TO PROVIDE A STUDENT MUST BE EXEMPT FROM PAYING OUT-OF-STATE TUITION AT A PUBLIC INSTITUTION OF HIGHER EDUCATION IN SOUTH CAROLINA

ENVIRONMENTAL: 

S. 737 Medical Affairs Committee: RELATING TO AIR POLLUTION CONTROL REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS

TAX/ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: 

S. 743 Matthews: SO AS TO ENACT THE "PORT ENHANCEMENT ZONE ACT" 

H. 4152 Hicks: SO AS TO REPLACE THE INCOME TAX IMPOSED ON THE TAXABLE INCOME OF INDIVIDUALS, ESTATES, TRUSTS, AND CERTAIN OTHER ENTITIES IN TAX YEARS BEGINNING AFTER 2014 BY REDUCING THE RATE OF TAXATION BY ONE QUARTER OF ONE PERCENT FOR FOUR YEARS.