Statehouse Bracketology: March madness is here… so while you’ve been glued to your brackets, we’ve been at work putting together this round up ….With the #SCRoadsDebate now back to the House, the Senate took some time this week to address other #scbiz issues. Here’s everything you need to know…
Farm Bill advances to the big dance…. Legislation providing farmers $40 million in state aidto help save their businesses after last fall's flooding advanced to the Senate floor on Tuesday. The Senate Finance Committee approved the legislation by a vote of 14-3 that allows farmers who suffered at least a forty percent loss of agricultural commodities to apply for grants of up to $100,000 each. Agriculture is one of the leading industries in our state, and the State Chamber supports the passage of this bill to help an industry that is such an important part of South Carolina.
A win for our troops…. The State Chamber supports legislation to completely exempt military retirement income from state income taxes.H.3147, a bill by Rep. Murrell Smith, seeks to eliminate income tax on military retirement income in South Carolina. A Senate Finance Subcommittee approved the bill this week after amending it to increase existing tax deductions for military retirement income. The legislation would incentivize military retirees to remain in South Carolina as they transition to a new career, thus enhancing the state’s pool of workforce talent and experience.
Gameday Prep…..Budget briefings for House members began as the House gears up for floor debate next week. Most notably the Ways and Means Committee allocated $300 million for roads and set aside $130 million for new tax relief. See the full report here.
Representatives will reconvene on Monday, March 21 at 1 pm to begin budget deliberations.
NCAA bracket already a bust? It’s not too late to start a new one for SC legislative seats... Filing opened on Wednesday and every state House and state Senate seat is up for election, along with all U.S. House seats and the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Tim Scott. You have until the March 30 deadline to get your brackets in order. Good luck!
In other news...
Applicants now being accepted for South Carolina Business Week 2016… Calling all high school sophomores, juniors and seniors! Apply today for the chance to interact with and learn from top SC executives from companies like Michelin and SCANA, build problem solving skills, and become a leader as you are introduced into a real world business-like environment. The event will be held from July 24-19. Apply here today!
Members of South Carolina Delegation receive Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the US Chamber of Commerce… Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott, Rep. Tom Rice and Rep. Joe Wilson were recognized Tuesday for their pro-business record in Congress. We appreciate the work they do in Washington to stand up for #scbiz.
Wednesday, May 4 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center
The Salute connects small business contractors with state, federal and private procurement officials, features a lively exhibitor area and recognizes the winners of the Small Business Week awards.
Bills on our radar:
H.5109 – South Carolina Business License Tax Standardization Act Summary: This bill aims to streamline the process for obtaining a business license within South Carolina cities and towns
Chamber Position: Monitoring
STATUS: Introduced in the House on Tuesday and committed to the Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry
H.4967 - Business License Compliance Reform Act Summary: This bill simplifies and reforms the business license tax process
Chamber Position: Monitoring
STATUS UPDATE: Now currently residing in House LCI Committee
*Business Licensing Reform is a top priority for the Chamber as detailed in our 2016 Competitiveness Agenda
S.868– Eminent Domain for Pipeline Companies Summary: This bill as amended prohibits condemnation authority by a specific energy industry sector.
Chamber Position: The SC Chamber testified in opposition to an amendment approved by subcommittee which sets a precedent for singling out a specific industry sector and has the potential to limit future energy infrastructure development in South Carolina.
STATUS UPDATE: Introduced in the House and referred to Committee on Judiciary
South Carolina Port Authorityreports growth in import-export volume…
BlueCross BlueShieldseeks stories of South Carolinians who ‘Live Fearless’…